Simplex 40S302 “Little Peat”

The simplex loco is our oldest locomotive and has never left the Humberhead peatlands after being purchased new by Fisons in 1967.

The loco was the inspiration to form Crowle Peatland Railway as it was found abandoned on Thorne Moors.

Crowle Peatland Railway

Crowle Peatland Railway

It was built by Motor Rail Limited at their Bedford Works. Originally supplied with a short cab, the cab was extended to make it easier for operators to see over the large milled peat wagons and to avoid hitting their heads when they got in and out.

It was put to work at Fison’s Hatfield Peat Works but by the 1990s was photographed working on Thorne Moors. By 1996 it was photographed in an abandoned state at Bank Top – it does not appear to have been used after then and was left in the open until recovered by Crowle Peatland Railway in 2015.

The loco was initially renovated by the Engineering Department of North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe as an enrichment project for their students. This was supervised by our member Dave Bilmore, who had previously owned a simplex loco. Unfortunately, Dave died before the project was complete.

It was intended that the College students would assemble the loco on-site at The Old Peatworks and the renovated pieces of the dismantled loco were delivered to the site on 23 October 2019.

Unfortunately, the covid pandemic hit and it was not possible for the college to commence reassembly.

The loco was, therefore, reassembled by our own volunteers and on the 19th June 2021 the loco was able to operate under its own power for the first time in the best part of 25 years.