Greenbat

Greenbat

Greenbat was the trade name for the locomotive range of Greenwood and Batley of Leeds, U.K.. This company made thousands of battery and electric locomotives, as well as battery flat trucks for factories.

Locomotives

Greenbats were perhaps most famous for their mining locomotives. These locos tended to be of a standard design which could be adapted for many gauges, usually by widening the frames.They made quite a few trolley and overhead wire locomotives too. These machines went all over the world, some being ordered by the Chinese government. If you know where to look, many of these locomotives are still preserved.

Notable examples

*The Steeple Grange Light Railway's main locomotive is GB No 6061, which worked at a number of steel mills. This loco was built from an adapted design, which had a cab that ran in on rollers. However, this was requested to be left off. She has one 5HP motor, a three notch controller and a 24 cell, 48 volt battery, and was saved and first restored by Adrian Booth. Mr Booth who has written a book on Greenwood and Batley, which is very interesting but sadly out of print. The SGLR also owns Ladywash mine No.6, GB No 2493. This loco was built in 1953, and is a standard 3 ton, 10HP design, albeit much modified by Ladywash throughout her career. Spending all her life at Ladywash, she was the first locomotive to be bought by the SGLR. However, due to a lifetime of heavy abuse, the controller being removed and the cost of new batteries nothing was done to her. She was bought by a member, who eventually sold her to another member, who is currently restoring her. She is now off site, with the frame being shotblasted to remove about 20 years rust.

*The Armley mills industrial museum in Leeds has two Greenbats, both of which also worked at Ladywash. GB Nos 1925 and 1926, Ladywash Nos 4 and 5, were bought by the museum when the mine shut. According to Adrian Booth's book, No 4 was in bits, and a picture of No 5 shows this loco was modified in a similar way to No 6 (frame and cab extensions, new controller). These locos were 4.5 HP, probably a forerunner of 6061 (see above). A picture showing what appears to be the back of No 5 (in front of the sheeted up traction engine) can be found here: [http://www.steamscenes.btinternet.co.uk/pictures/2001/armley/003.htm] . All these locomotives are 18" gauge.

*Another (presumably) 4.5HP Greenbat can be found at the Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock Bath. This one appears to be complete, and in very good condition but unrestored. She is underground in their Temple Mine display, and looks like she won't go for a long time, if at all, having a big ramp preventing any easy extraction. This one is unusually 17" gauge, and may have worked at Mill Close mine.

*Another Greenbat can be found at the West Lancashire Light Railway. Built in 1942, this one worked at RAF Faulds in Derbyshire. The WLLR stock list is here, and clicking on the loco shows it as it is now, fully restored and looking lovely: [http://www.djr12ecg.demon.co.uk/wllr/locos2.html]

*The Almond Valley Light Railway has No 1698.

*The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in Cumbria has the once 16" gauge No. 2872, built in 1957 for Thomas Marshall & Co. of Storrs Bridge Fireclay Mine in Yorkshire. Formerly used as a carriage shunter, it now awaits refurbishment and a new battery.

Greenbats also made a number of Coke oven locomotives. These strange looking machines were made to go very slowly for long periods, and had to be bulletproof. One is at the Middleton Railway in Leeds: [http://www.middletonrailway.org.uk/news/news3717.htm]

They also made some standard gauge battery and overhead shunters. Southampton Tramways owned a battery loco, but this was scrapped. However, a similar looking industrial shunter survives at the Ribble Steam Railway, who are cosmetically restoring her: [http://www.ribblesteam.org.uk/stocklist/greenbat.htm]

Factory Flat Trucks

Another successful product were the battery electric flat trucks, small vehicles designed for use inside factories, where fumes were not ideal. The consisted of a flat bed, with a battery box and wheels underneath. One set was driven, and the other steered, with the motor between them. The prop shaft went down the middle of the two battery boxes to the driven wheels. At the steered end, a platform, steering tiller (like a barge) and controller, with foot pedal operating brake and on/off switch. A 3/4 ton example can be found on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway: [http://www.pogo.org.uk/railway/gandbtr.html]

References

Greenwood & Batley Locomotives 1927-1980, A J Booth, published by the Industrial Railway Society, ISBN 0-901096-52-0 -- details all the locos built, and where they were supplied, as well as a bit on preservation.

See also articles entitled Greenwood & Batley and Greenwood and Batley.


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