The Steeple Grange Light Railway

ZM32 – Horwich

This famous locomotive is a conventional Ruston & Hornsby 20hp Class LAT locomotive, but enjoys considerably more celebrity than any similar machine due to it having been in the ownership of British Railways. ZM32 (in 'wasp' livery) and Wren at Horwich works on 4 March 1961
ZM32 (in 'wasp' livery) and Wren at Horwich works on 4 March 1961
It was built in 1957 as works number 416214 and worked for eight years on the 18" gauge railway at Horwich Locomotive Works in Lancashire alongside Wren, the last of Horwich's 0-4-0 saddle tanks (there were eight of these L&Y Beyer-Peacock saddle tanks built for transporting materials at Horwich over the 18" gauge system. Wren is now at the National Railway Museum in York.)

After 1965, an intended export to British Honduras failed and it remained in store until 1971, when it was purchased by RP Morris. It was restored to working order and re-gauged to 2' gauge, and the loco operated in this guise at Pen-yr-Orsedd quarry, Nantlle and Gloddfa Ganol. It was bought by the SGLR in 1997.

In British Railways days the loco bore a black and yellow "wasp" striped livery, but it arrived at Steeple Grange painted in BR blue, complete with double arrow logo. During 2001-2003 it underwent an extensive overhaul and was fitted with air brakes. It is now in green livery complete with British Railways "Lion and Wheel" logo and has been named Horwich, and is often used for hauling passenger trains.

In the summer of 2004, ZM32 topped an informal poll amongst narrow gauge enthusiasts to determine the ten most popular non-steam locomotives in the UK.

ZM32 in BR blue
ZM32 in BR blue
© Steeple Grange Light Railway Society