WASP technical data

Manufacturer:  Clayton Traction Equipment

Type: 1 ¾ Ton Battery Locomotive (Beavers)

Works number: B0152

Built: October 1973

First Owner: C. V. Buchan and Co. Ltd. of Swynnerton, Stone, Staffordshire, UK

Penultimate Owner:  Fairclough Civil Engineering.

Last Owner:  AMEC

Overhauled in 2009 by Alan Keef Ltd of Ross-on-Wye.

Delivered to Great Laxey Mine Steam Railway: May 2009

Weight of Loco less battery and container: 2,345lbs (1,063kg)

Weight of charged battery and container: 1,615lbs (733kg)

Service weight of Locomotive:  3,960lbs (1,796kg)

Maximum allowable speed:  12mph (19km/h)

Power output:  7 horse power (5.2kW)

Max. drawbar pull at 25% adhesion:  936lbs (424kg)

Max. drawbar pull at 30% adhesion:  1,134lbs (514kg)

Wheel arrangement:  4WBL

Wheel diameter:  14" (356mm)

Gauge:  19" (483mm)

Control equipment:  Clayton mark 2C controller with deadman's switch

Batteries:  24, 2volt cells in series, working voltage of 48 volts.


The locomotive was ordered by C. V. Buchan and Co. Ltd and shipped to their headquarters in Swynnerton near Stone in Staffordshire in October of 1973. The locomotive was part of an order for six similar 18" gauge locomotives but this was changed to two 18" locomotives, one 24" gauge locomotives and three 18" gauge locomotives with reduced length chassis (16" shorter than standard). It is believed that WASP was the first of these six as the Clayton numbering system would suggest that the first locomotive's construction was commenced with the initial order but subsequent loco's were put on hold due to modifications to the original order. Usually the six would have been numbered B0152A, B0152B and so on but as the order was on hold the first would have been numbered B0152 not knowing if any further units were to be built. The order was later amended again so the 24" unit was B0152/1 and the last three B0152/2A, B0152/2B and B0152/2C

There was no identifying numbers on the locomotive when it was purchased from Alan Keef Ltd in 2009 apart from two numbers built up from weld, the second of which (263006) is on a steel plate welded over part of the first (S206). These two numbers are almost certainly plant numbers; the former probably from Fairclough Civil Engineering and the later being from AMEC, WASPs last industrial owner.

According to the Industrial Railway Society, the locomotive would appear to have spent its entire working life in the tunnelling industry, C. V. Buchan and Co. Ltd. being taken over by Fairclough Civil Engineering and then finally AMEC.

During the overhaul of WASP by Alan Keef Ltd, the battery box was exchanged so the present item is thought to be from a locomotive last owned by a company called Miller Construction. The locomotive was also re-gauged to 19 inch at this time, this being the gauge of the Great Laxey Mine Steam Railway, believed to be the only 19 inch gauge line in the UK. 

With thanks to Bryan Lawson of Alan Keef Ltd and Steve Thompson of Clayton Equipment Ltd without whom this information would not have been available. 

Maintenance Project 2016

It was decide that over the closed season we would try and carry out some maintenance tasks on WASP. This is covered in the section Maintenance Projects/2016 Projects of the website.

Maintenance Project 2017 

Over the 2016/2017 winter period and after last years mechanical and electrical overhaul, we have now completed the repaint of WASP. This is covered in the section Maintenance Projects/2017 Projects of the website.