Ruston & Hornsby Class LPSE, Works Number 544997 built in 1969.

This locomotive was the penultimate to be produced by Ruston and Hornsby – being of their second generation designs. This was intended to update the 165 design by incorporating a more powerful 200h.p. turbocharged engine with a better arranged cab and improved viewing for the driver and crew. Few were sold before the decision to cease production of railway equipment was taken by the RH group.

The locomotive was delivered to 23rd January 1969 to Hays Chemicals in Sandbach, Cheshire. Time was not kind to the loco as the salt laden environment and the practice of leaving the loco idling throughout the shift led to a worn out loco when preserved in 1996.

A full structural rebuild has been completed on this loco and a replacement engine has been acquired and fitted.

The locomotive is named ERIC TONKS as a fitting testament to his work in documenting the history of the Ruston and Hornsby production, his association with the east midlands ironstone quarry railways and his strong support of the museum’s endeavours in the field of industrial heritage.