150 years ago the Hunslet Railway Company built their first steam locomotive – an 0-6-0 saddle tank. The company would continue to build around 7000 locomotives that would be exported and used all over the world. Until 1995 they built locomotives in their works at Jack Lane, Leeds and the city and the company name are synonymous with each other. Arguably their most famous steam locomotive design was the Hunslet Austerity, a type for which the whole railway preservation movement owes a great debt.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Hunslet Engine Company, steam is set to return for what may well be the last time to Jack Lane for a special event this coming weekend (18th – 19th July.) The Middleton Railway are hosting the event and running connecting buses from the railway to the former works site and Armley Mills Museum for what looks to be quite an weekend. Full details of the event including the locomotives taking part can be found at hunslet150.webs.com
Former employees of Jack Lane are being asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org as a special event for former workers is being arranged for the 17th July.
Special thanks go to Daniel Baxter for supplying a photograph of two of the stars of the event – the last standard gauge steam engine built in the UK (aside from Tornado) NCB 66 of 1964 and the first Hunslet standard gauge diesel shunter LMS 7051 built in 1932.