The Hunslet "War Office" Type Locos

War Office Locomotive Society

Charitable Company Registered in England and Wales, Company Number 5359002

(For information on the new TRUST see further down the page)

Outline Aims

  1. Collection and compilation of information on "War Office" type Hunslet locos
  2. Locate and record any surviving examples
  3. Repatriate one or more examples
  4. Restore to operational condition

Situation Update

Item's 1 and 2 are ongoing, 3 was successfully achieved in 2005 with the group effort funding the purchase and return of 1215, the third of its type, probably the oldest survivor (although rebuilt with some parts of 1226) and the first in Western Europe for 42 years.Which leaves item 4 the restoration to working order.

Initially the loco was at a private site to allow engineering assessments and some conservation work to be undertaken, until an invitation came for display at LOCOMOTION the NRM at Shildon.

1215 On the night of arrival at Shildon

Well while at Shildon we returned 1215 to all over black, but all good things come to an end and after caretaking 1215 for a little over 2 years, they indicated that they had a pressing need to find more space for national collection locos, so came the move to the Apedale Heritage Centre by agreement with the Moseley Railway Trust.

1215 freshly painted and still glossy at Shildon.

1215 at the first Apedale Open Day, in front of WW1 equipment from the MRT collection, a H class water tank, A D class open wagon, and the recently arrived 060t Hudswell Clark.


After taking professional advice the War Office Locomotive Trust was formed and has now been successful in becoming a registered charity (No 1136914) this opens up more opportunities for grant applications and the possibility of registering for gift-aid, which is now done.

After a successful annual general meeting in October 2011 the course was cleared for the official transfer of 1215 to the trust, which has now been done, this brings a lot more clarity to the situation for potential supporters and grant giving organisations. All funds raised so far by WOLS have been transferred to WOLT.

The change to the trust kick started our restoration plans, and after a move to a fully equipped workshop, a team of experienced volunteers set upon the locomotive. Some 6 years, 20,000+ volunteer manhours and approx. £300k later 1215 finally reappeared from its workshop chrysalis and on July 8th was presented at a recommissioing event at Statfold Barn Railway for all the supporters.

The following weekend it appeared to the public at the Moseley Railway Trusts, Tracks to the Trenches event at the Apedale Valley Railway. After all the trials and tribulations of the restoration all went well.

However support is still required after the final stages of restoration and to ensure WOLT has the resources to maintain 1215 to the appropriate standard, offers of donations, sponsorship or help can be sent to me at my email , or for more information look at the fundraising page.

1215 will be appearing elsewhere as time and support allows:-

Apply a little imagination and all sorts of historical combinations could be created, some have already been tried as a static exhibit:- With either of the Baldwins or the tin-turtles (Leighton Buzzard 2009, Apedale 2008) or maybe with Russell, recreating Hook Norton or with Barber and the Peckett to recreate Harrogate Gas Works or with The Doll, for Sydenham Ironstone (Leighton Buzzard 2009, also with Gertrude) or with Stanhope, for The Lochaber scheme.

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