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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Artillery Narrow Gauge Transport



A visit to Beamish Open Air Museum revealed a Simplex 40HP Armoured Locomotive. The locomotive, LR3098, never saw war service having not been completed until 17/12/1918. Over 900 locomotives would be manufactured between 1916 and 1918 for use within the UK and on the Western Front.


Simplex 40HP Protected Loco Beamish June 2022

The Motor Rail & Tram Company won a tender in January 1916 and produced narrow gauge locomotive for use on the Western Front. A protptype proved succesfull and a asignificant order placed for more locomotives. 

The Simplex 40HP Protected loco was an  armoured version, made to a specification defined by the Ministry of Munitions.  Over 900 locomotives would be manufactured in the course of the war.


The narrow gauge railways on which these locomotives were vital to the movement of artillery ammuntion, combat supplies and personnel. It also appears they were used to move guns !


6 inch Mk VII Gun supported on two Class E narrow guage rail wagons with 40 hp Simplex protected locomotive.

© IWM HU 54672


Simplex 40 HP Locomotive passes 6 inch 30 cwt howitzer

Edited by ianjonesncl


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