THE BRITISH OVERSEAS RAILWAYS HISTORICAL TRUST
 
A UK Registered Educational Charity

PRESS RELEASES


August 2017

THE LUNATIC LINE - TWILIGHT OF THE METRE GAUGE

BORHT will be hosting a meeting on Saturday 18 November 2017 to review the metre gauge in East Africa in the light of the opening on May 31 this year of the first section of the controversial Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) which is planned to link Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. This first section closely parallels the old metre gauge "Lunatic Line" which links the port of Mombasa with Nairobi, which was built by the British in the first years of the 20th Century and used 4000 hp British built Beyer-Garratt steam locomotives.

The review will be a presentation of slides by the noted East African railway specialist, Geoff Warren, and DVD's by Nick Lera of Locomotion Pictures. The meeting will be at the Model Railway Club, Keen House, 4 Calshot Street, London, N1 9DA (near Kings Cross Station) and will run from 15.00 hrs until 17.30 hrs.

To some people the SGR is a worthy successor to the title of Lunatic Line as the railway has cost US$3.6bn, 90% financed by China Eximbank, a loan which, commentators fear, Kenya will be unable to repay.

EAR Gradient Profile

These profiles of the British West Coast main line and the line out of Mombasa, both drawn to the same scale, show the challenge which the British engineers overcame a century ago.

Geoff Warren's latest visit to Nairobi puts him in an ideal position to update the meeting on the status of the (nominally) working steam locos there, which he has inspected, and also show us his excellent images of Kenya Railway metre gauge operations in the last few years. Nick Lera has some video footage (taken by others) of the 2005 trips when steam ran for the last time to Kisumu on the original Uganda Railway route. He also has some EAR&H official films of the 1960's.

The British Overseas Railways Historical Trust (BORHT) was incorporated in 1984 for the purpose of building a museum and railway on Manchester Ship Canal land to tell the story of our railway export industry. Since that scheme was lost through the hostile take-over of the Canal, BORHT has built up a library and archive which has become a respected historical research resource. A current BORHT project is the rescue of the “Cold War Railcar”, the C-in-C BAOR’s command train. For information about BORHT, readers are recommended to our website, www.borht.org.uk.

Note for editors – Editors requiring more information, please email, borht.org@gmail.com


March 2017

MISSING FORDSON RADIATOR

A 1920’s Cork-built Fordson tractor radiator went missing from a garden in Peterborough in late February. Anybody with any information should contact BORHT, to which it belongs, on borht.org@gmail.com or telephone 020-8464-3850.

The radiator is part of a 60 cm gauge railway locomotive which ran on a seaside railway near Antwerp between the Wars.

BORHT also owns a sister locomotive which was rebuilt in the 1950’s with a Perkins-engined Fordson Major tractor as its power unit, of which restoration will start shortly.

The British Overseas Railways Historical Trust (BORHT) was incorporated in 1984 for the purpose of building a museum and railway on Manchester Ship Canal land to tell the story of our railway export industry. Since that scheme was lost through the hostile take-over of the Canal, BORHT has built up a library and archive which has become a respected historical research resource. A current BORHT project is the rescue of the “Cold War Railcar”, the C-in-C BAOR’s command train. For information about BORHT, readers are recommended to our website, www.borht.org.uk.

Editors requiring more information, please email, borht.org@gmail.com

Antwerp Tractor Photo


August 2011.

David Shepherd is the New BORHT President

David Shepherd CBE, FRSA, FRGS, the well known artist and owner of “Black Prince”, has accepted the invitation of the Trustees of the British Overseas Railways Historical Trust to become the Trust’s President in succession to the late Andrew Henderson.

David Shepherd is famous as a wildlife artist and conservationist, through the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. He is well known in Railway circles as the leading light in the attempt to convert the Longmoor Military Railway into a preserved railway operation and, on the failure of that scheme, to move that establishment to the East Somerset Railway. He also owns the locomotive Black Prince and has saved a 7th Class 4-8-0 locomotive and carriage from Rhodesia Railways which now reside at Locomotion, and a South African 15F class 4-8-2 which is now preserved in South Africa. He has recently celebrated his 80th birthday and has been a supporter of the Trust and one of its Vice-Presidents since its incorporation in 1984.

David Shepherd succeeds Andrew Henderson, who was the son and successor of Sir Brodie Henderson in the once world renowned firm of consulting engineers, Livesey and Henderson, who designed railways for many foreign countries. Andrew Henderson was a member of the Institutions of Mechanical and Civil Engineers and spent much of his post-war career introducing diesel power to railways worldwide.

The British Overseas Railways Historical Trust (BORHT) was incorporated in 1984 for the purpose of building a museum and railway on Manchester Ship Canal land to tell the story of our railway export industry. Since that scheme was lost through the hostile take-over of the Canal, BORHT has built up a library and archive which has become a respected historical research resource. For information about BORHT, readers are recommended to our new website, www.borht.org.uk.


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