Ruston and Hornsby Locomotives 2nd Edition

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Ruston and Hornsby Locomotives

Eric S Tonks  IRS  1974, fully revised 2022

Ruston & Hornsby was the most important UK builder of industrial diesel locomotives, developing a full range across all gauges and constructing nearly 6,500 locomotives in less than forty years. Although construction ceased more than fifty years ago about six hundred still exist, the majority in the heritage sector, although a few are still in commercial service. Rustons have also become a subject of considerable interest to modellers. Nevertheless, surprisingly few books have been published about Ruston & Hornsby locomotives. Perhaps the most comprehensive was that by Eric Tonks in 1974, based on information gleaned on his regular visits to Ruston’s Lincoln works over a period of nearly twenty years. This new edition incorporates Eric’s original text, but Tables III and IV, summarising the locomotive classes have been greatly expanded to form a separate section, with additional information, extra drawings and a wide range of photographs to illustrate at least some of the numerous variations of the standard designs. Eric’s analysis of the use of Ruston locomotives by the British Sugar Corporation has been brought up to date, and now forms part of a third section which also covers the Irish peat railways, Drakelow power station and Chiltern’s Aylesbury depot to provide a broader appreciation of the role Rustons played in industrial service. The numerical list of locomotives which concluded Eric’s book has been revised and expanded to reflect the latest research on Rustons sales records. Accordingly the original 92 page A5+ softcover book with eighty B&W photographs has become a 248 page A4 hard cover work with over three hundred photos, more than half of them in colour.

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