Ruston & Hornsby, later known as Ruston, was an industrial equipment manufacturer in Lincoln, England, the company’s history going back to 1840. The company is best known as a manufacturer of narrow and standard gauge diesel locomotives and also of steam shovels.
“Indian Runner” is a Ruston 33/40HP diesel locomotive No 200744 powered by a 3VRO engine. It was delivered to Bessacarr Gravel Works, near Doncaster, on 27 July 1940.
It was acquired by the Long Eaton Railway Society in 1972 from there, and after that line succumbed was moved to the Bala Lake Railway in 1977. Some restoration work was carried out including refurbishment of the wheels, which were worn out, and the fitting of a cab formerly used on Talyllyn Railway No 5 “Midlander”.
The loco was purchased by Francis Stapleton who named it “Indian Runner”, a name that was to have been fitted to a locomotive at the Dinorwic Quarry.
In March 2004 the loco was donated to the Museum Trust and moved on 3 April from Llanuwchllyn to North Ings Farm Museum at Dorrington near Sleaford. The locomotive was basically in working order, but work has been undertaken to replace components of the cooling system including the radiator and top water tank, and the upper and lower fan belt covers which had suffered from corrosion as well as replace other parts such as the front platform, air filter, fan belt, fuel overflow pipes, engine cover clips, oil pressure gauge and the like which were missing. The replacement top radiator casting was previously used on Talyllyn Railway No 5 “Midlander”.
In 2010 it was decided to restore the Ruston green livery, and although much detail work remained to be completed the loco was started and run again on 3 July 2010.
The partly made brass name plates held by the Museum Trust were completed commercially early in 2013 and fitted to the loco and considerable repainting was carried out between April and August 2013. On 7 September 2013, some of the Museum trustees and invited guests gathered at North Ings for a short ceremony to thank all who had worked on the restoration of the loco and the staff at North Ings. Francis Stapleton was there and he unveiled one nameplate, started the loco and took it for a couple of runs.