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hilldweller

As I've mentioned in the past I served an apprenticeship at Associated Electrical Industries' Attecliffe Common, Traction Division Works.
Around 1965/1966 a large diesel-electric locomotive was brought down the single track siding from Broughton Lane Station. It's name was White Lion and it was a prototype locomotive made by AEI. The story was that it had undergone trials on the rail network and had been dogged by technical problems. It was painted in what appeared to be white primer and was a very striking. The loco was backed up to a point at the end of the main service road and all the major components (engine, generator & motors) were removed over a period of time. I was allowed to scrounge some of the instruments from the cab which I kept for some years.
It would appear that a bit too much equipment was removed (the brake system) because one day the locomotive started rolling back down the line, demolished a set of small level crossing gates and ran the length of the back of the works, making a horrible groaning noise as it went. When it reached the end of the line it ran through the buffers and finished up partly through a sectional concrete wall/fence into the scrapyard of Tommy Wards which ran around the end of our works.
There was a bit of of a cover-up as I remember and the crash site was out of bounds, but I understand that the loco was pulled the rest of the way through the fence and scrapped.
I found a reference to White Lion on a transport website which states that the equipment was removed at Attercliffe and then the loco was scrapped at Tommy Wards Beighton scrapyard but I have no memory of the loco being brought back up the line which ran just behind our workshop.
hilldweller

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hilldweller

there is some reference to AEI on this link

http://www.class47.co.uk/c47_feature_425.php

Thanks for that andyrad.

I noticed from the article that one of the problems Lion suffered was an oil leak from the engine causing a flashover in the traction generator (TG). When I was an apprentice I remember a TG being brought in for repair that was covered in diesel oil. Some bright spark decided that it should first be "flash" tested (high voltage test), to determine the state of the insulation. Of course it caught fire and had to be put out with extinguishers.

The foreman came up and said " I knew the job was s**t hot, but I didn't know it was that bad".

The things you remember !

hilldweller

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  • 3 years later...
Peter Hall

Only just came across this thread as it was last active before I joined the group. It is though a subject of great interest to many railway enthusiasts both locally and elsewhere. The mystery of what became of the white 'Lion' having roared again recently as a result of the debate surrounding a significant number of steam locomotive disposals having been revealed to have been fabricated. My interest is more with diesel locomotives and it is apparent that the published disposals of a number of these, including that of 'LION' are obviously not correct.
A reference is made to http://www.class47.co.uk/c47_feature_425.php by andyrad and I believe hilldweller as a result may have contacted Paul Appleby. As a result an update was made and I would recommend those who have no looked at the website since 2010 to look again particularly 'The End of the End' section.

Independently to what Paul has on his website I have been creating a section about the locomotive on the RCTS website https://www.rcts.org.uk/features/diesels/loco.htm?id=diesels/lion this actually includes a picture of the locomotive in the AEI Works at Attercliffe.

I have been told something very similar to what hilldweller has related about the demise of 'LION' and would very much like to make contact with him to discuss the two recollections with the aid of some other pictures. If hilldweller is reading this, could he make contact with me through the RCTS website. I would like his thoughts before I add or say anymore on the website on the topic as his knowledge of the location may prove invaluable.

If any of you saw 'LION' yourselves and can add a sighting to the RCTS website that would also be very much appreciated.

More to follow.

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hilldweller

Only just came across this thread as it was last active before I joined the group. It is though a subject of great interest to many railway enthusiasts both locally and elsewhere. The mystery of what became of the white 'Lion' having roared again recently as a result of the debate surrounding a significant number of steam locomotive disposals having been revealed to have been fabricated. My interest is more with diesel locomotives and it is apparent that the published disposals of a number of these, including that of 'LION' are obviously not correct.

A reference is made to http://www.class47.co.uk/c47_feature_425.php by andyrad and I believe hilldweller as a result may have contacted Paul Appleby. As a result an update was made and I would recommend those who have no looked at the website since 2010 to look again particularly 'The End of the End' section.

Independently to what Paul has on his website I have been creating a section about the locomotive on the RCTS website https://www.rcts.org.uk/features/diesels/loco.htm?id=diesels/lion this actually includes a picture of the locomotive in the AEI Works at Attercliffe.

I have been told something very similar to what hilldweller has related about the demise of 'LION' and would very much like to make contact with him to discuss the two recollections with the aid of some other pictures. If hilldweller is reading this, could he make contact with me through the RCTS website. I would like his thoughts before I add or say anymore on the website on the topic as his knowledge of the location may prove invaluable.

If any of you saw 'LION' yourselves and can add a sighting to the RCTS website that would also be very much appreciated.

More to follow.

I have tried to contact you on the RCTS website but couldn't find your contact details 'so I have left you a message with my email address with the RCTS Webmaster.

It wasn't me who contacted the class47 website originally but some third party had pasted bits from my initial post on here to Paul Appleby.

I have today posted a bit more to the class47 website.

Regards.

HD

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hilldweller

Further to the above posts there is a very good aerial photo of the Metro Vick / AEI works on Picture Sheffield.

The works is located towards the top of the photo on the other side of Attercliffe Common.

Nearest the road is E Bay, then an internal road runs the width of the factory, then D, C and B bays with the shorter A Bay (Gear or Gun Shop) at the back.

You can see the railway line from Broughton Lane Sidings snaking in at the back and the back line which ran the length of the factory. The loco was parked at the extreme right hand end of the line, behind the English Steel Stamp Shop at right angles to Attercliffe Common (with chimneys). It ended up at the other end of the line where you can see the bit of Tommy Wards scrapyard that wrapped around the AEI works.

HD

http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s26972&pos=1&action=zoom&id=29388

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  • 4 weeks later...
Peter Hall

Hope this works as this is the first time I have attempted to add a picture.

The picture shows the locomotive 'LION' under discussion. It was taken at Sheffield Victoria in late 1963/early 1964 by the late Peter Fox. At the time it was heading the 15:20 Sheffield Victoria - London King' Cross 'Sheffield Pullman'.

My thanks to hilldweller for making contact with both myself and Paul Appleby. As a result we have learned a lot more about the final days of 'LION'. There is much though that we still do not know about the locomotive so if anyone else knows anymore please get in touch or post here.

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