Morris Lubricants, a major UK-based maker of various lubricant products, has released a series of videos about how it helped a team of enthusiasts to rebuild a classic road locomotive from scratch.
Following six years of groundwork and construction, engineer Alex Sharphouse of Ulverston, Cumbria and his dedicated team completed building a Fowler B6 “Big Lion” Road Locomotive. Only five of these engines were ever built, with the last one being completed in 1931. The engine was nicknamed “King of the Road” for its ability to haul 100 tonnes or more over the road network.
Sharphouse said he had always aspired to own a Fowler road locomotive, but it proved impossible to source the right model. Following a suggestion from his wife, he resolved to build one from scratch. Assisted by Morris Lubricants and its brand ambassador Guy Martin, the build took years of work and around a quarter of a million pounds of investment. While the new engine faithfully follows the original design, the team took advantage of modern build methods, as Sharphouse explained:
“The new Talisman exactly matches the original engine, but we have used modern technology to build it, such as laser cutting and 3D moulding. The next generation is not going to be building steam engines; they will be restoring iPads.”
The new engine’s rear wheels stand seven foot high, with the engine weighing 20 tonnes in total and having a power rating of 10 nominal horsepower. The series about the build can be viewed on YouTube.