Fires of Prometheus


The pre-existing records refer to two open wagons in the collection as “cotton” wagons. They were supposed to have been supplied by Hudson to the Gezira Light Railway (GLR), in the Sudan. However this review found that both were of the wrong gauge (2'6"); the GLR was/is a 2' gauge system. Eventually it was determined that a 2' gauge steel-bodied drop-side wagon (RM14) was one of two almost identical vehicles acquired by the museum in 1988. The second wagon was deaccessioned and transferred to the Ffestiniog Railway, from where it was moved to Amberley Chalk Pits Museum and finally the Old Kiln Light Railway in 2016. Already much-altered, having lost its sides, it was subsequently significantly adapted by the Rustic Timber Group to create a bolster wagon. The LIM wagon, being unaltered, therefore most closely retains its original Hudson features. It also carries two numbers in Arabic script.

It is not clear whether the GLR still functions. At its peak it operated through Sudan's cotton plantations, seasonally, over some 700km of track. Durham University holds archive material associated with the GLR. Strangely, the wagon in the museum collection does not closely resemble the most common GLR wagons, which were open-sided.

Last updated 9th November 2019

Gezira wagon
Gezira wagon (RM14).

Arabic number 60
Arabic numeral 60 painted on the side of dropside bogie wagon RM14.

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