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Additional information for rail enthusiasts and a little history on the 260mm gauge line

We are often asked when the railway last worked and when was it preserved. The answer is that the railway was opened fully in 1984 and was specially built to provide a timetabled train service that linked in with the ferries to Oban for visitors to Torosay Castle and those who might wish to walk on to Duart Castle.

Construction produced all the problems of 150 years ago - objections from neighbouring owners and a peat bog to cross. Now between 25,000 and 30,000 passengers make the journey every year, not to mention many hundreds of children-in-arms and dogs.

 For a detailed history of the railway click here  (text only)

Lady of the Isles (LOTI) 

The first steam locomotive to run on the railway was the privately owned Lady of the Isles, known as LOTI, a 2-6-4 tank locomotive built in 1981 specially for the Mull Railway. Painted in the colours of the Old North British Railway (and incidentally similar to Edinburgh Corporation Steam Rollers and the much lamented Campbeltown and Macrihanish Railway) she has borne the brunt of the steam hauled traffic since the railway opened. LOTI was built at Brittania Works, Hinckley, by Roger Marsh in 1981.

  Lady Of The Isles

LOTI's vital statistics are: 

  • cylinders 4 inch diameter x 5 inch stroke 
  • driving wheels 11 inch diameter 
  • boiler pressure 105 psi 
  • length 99 inch 
  • width 36 inch 
The valve gear follows the tradition of the minimum gauge railways of Sir Arthur Heywood and is of his design. At the end of the 1999 season it is likely that LOTI will have her Heywood valve gear replaced by Walchaerts. 

When LOTI was first completed the Mull Railway was not finished and the locomotive was loaned to the Suffolk Miniature Railway near Lowestoft. LOTI was one of the miniature locomotives built in the 1980's that pioneered the current trend for locomotives to be made to look like half-size versions of narrow gauge engines. 

Glen Auldyn 

This is another privately owned locomotive and with LOTI has performed the lion's share of the work. Built on Mull by Bob Davies in 1986 it is a diesel hydraulic with drive to all 8 wheels on the two bogies. It is powered currently by a Perkins 4108 engine that started life in a Commer delivery van. During the 1995/96 closed season the engine departed to Mouse Boiler Works in Sheffield for a mid-life rebuild. 


Victoria 2-6-2T 

This is the latest and largest of our locomotives and we believe is the biggest tank engine so far built in 260mm gauge. Built by Mouse Boiler Works in 1993 it is based on the Baldwin designed class NA locomotives still in use on the Puffing Billy Railway in Australia. The Company had considerable assistance in this project from the Puffing Billy Railway and in particular Don Marshall the Chief Engineer, who sent us a set of drawings. As a result a strong bond between the Mull Railway and Puffing Billy has been created.

The locomotive, painted aircraft blue, has no problems moving 11 coaches full up the 1 in 52 of Beattock Bank. This represents a load of approximately 16.5 tons. The locomotive weighs 2.5 tons. The boiler pressure is 150 psi. The cylinders are 5 inch x 6.5 inch and the driving wheels 14 inch. The engine is 135 inch long x 36 inch wide. The valve gear is Stephenson's, lubricated from a lubricator in the cab.   
Victoria at the Engine Sheds
As far as Mull Rail is concerned Victoria, which has appeared on TV more than once, is the ultimate 260mm gauge tank locomotive.


She is the newest addition to our stable and we have to be grateful to our director George Phelon saw the need for the company to have another diesel that would take the pressure off Glen Auldyn and have a haulage capability more on a par with Victoria.

Mouse Boiler Works were again instructed to prepare drawings and build the locomotive that  has a strong resemblance to the Walker diesel mechanical locomotives on the Erstwhile West Clare Railway in Ireland, The mechanical principles are identical with Glen Audlyn except that the motive power is a brand new Perkins 1000 series engine.  Painted in John Deere green, an as yet unnamed Frances arrived on January 5th 2000.  After a period of adjustment and modification to some of the mechanical components she settled herself in and by February found herself featuring on a television programme !  On the most dreadful day of gale force winds laced with stinging rainand sleet she took part in BBC2's Clarissa and the Countryman.  On somewhat of a lesser rainy day In May she was officially named Frances by Frances PheIon, the wife of our director,  

Mechanical Details

B0-B0 Diesel Hydraulic Locomotive.

Power Unit:  Perkins 1000 series

Transmission:  Hydraulic pump, engine driven to motors on each bogie, supplemented by chains and sprockets so that all eight wheels are driven. 

Length: 162"

Width: 36"

Weight:  2 tonnes  

Frances is now proving to be an invaluable asset to the railway, be it pulling passenger coaches or winter ballast trains.

 Click here to view our workshop

Coaching Stock 

We have our 12 coaches divided between MKI - MKIII. 

Originally 2 open coaches and 1 closed that came from Loughborough. Rebuilt on Mull so that all are closed. New bogies and vacuum brakes fitted. 
Built by Bob Davies on Mull. Seat 16 with rolled canvas screens that give poor-weather protection. 
Similar to MkII but with a compartment that will accommodate a wheel chair passenger in each. 
Three coaches built by the late Jim Laverty of Tobermory, these are all weather vehicles with lift up windows. 
Goods Stock 

3 Ballast wagons with lift off sides converted from a set of articulated open coaches from Loughborough.    2 one Ton Plank Wagons and one crane.

Copyright © Mull Rail 2001
Most recent revision 04/03/2014