Leek and Rudyard Railway
Isle of Mull Railway
A Bo Bo diesel with all wheels powered by hydraulic motors.It was originally built new in Sheffield by David Vere with a Perkins diesel engine for the former Mull Railway in 1999. It was a mainstay of services on the island right up to its final closure in 2011. She is probably the most powerful engine of any type in this gauge and has been a hugely sucessful performer over the year. After the sale in 2012 Frances was put into storage in Oban for 2 years before being overhauled by David Vere in Sheffield. As part of the overhaul an air compressor and valving was added allowing her to run at Rudyard.
Frances made her debut at Rudyard at the 2014 Steam Gala and has been resident ever since. It’s a powerful and useful locomotive. Fitted with a handbrake and its also piped for air and vacuum brakes.
Frances was named after the wife of one of the directors of Mull Rail. She is now permanently based at Rudyard and in between useful service on works trains she will make regular appearances on passenger services as well.