The Hunslet Connection
Many visitors to the Statfold Barn Railway are aware that there is a connection with the Hunslet Engine Company, so some clarification of that relationship may be helpful.
In his former capacity as Chairman of LH Group Holdings, a major specialist railway engineering business based at Graycar near Burton-upon-Trent and now ultimately owned by the US-based Wabtec, Graham Lee negotiated the purchase of Andrew Barclay and the Hunslet Engine Company from the Telfos Group in 2004. Both businesses were acquired as successful going concerns, not just for their historic names as has sometimes been erroneously reported.
As well as exceptional engineering and design expertise and facilities, the Hunslet Engine Company has a huge parts business supplying spares for locomotives that have been exported all over the world. The company maintains a worldwide presence through a network of agents in 32 countries.
It continues to build new locomotives, such as the recent contract for a specialised locomotive for working the coke ovens at a steelworks in Korea, the DH60C industrial shunter and the complete re-engineering of a series of heavy shunting locomotives for steelworks use originated by Corus.
Graham subsequently retired from the day to day running of the LH Group business and eventually oversaw the acquisition by Wabtec at the end of 2012. He now looks after the heritage and preservation connections arising from the Hunslet Engine Company’s business. The ‘Hunslet Steam’ name is used to distinguish the heritage aspects of Hunslet from the modern commercial operations under the Wabtec umbrella.
The engineering works at Statfold Barn Farm are privately owned by Graham. Here he and his staff are engaged in restoring heritage locomotives and rolling stock for use on the Statfold Barn Railway and for external customers.
Graham and his team are committed to restoring all the locomotives and rolling stock in the collection to working condition for future generations to enjoy, and to preserve and transfer traditional engineering skills to a new generation of craftspeople in the process. Statfold is not a place for static exhibits!