Gullick Dobson Tamper
1970-84: Coal mine tamper but left above
This gauge-adjustable machine was one of a number built in Wigan during the 1970s for use in National Coal Board underground coal mines. Gullick and Dobson, the builders, were established suppliers of flameproofed equipment but had no previous experience of tamping machines. The layout they devised consisted of a four-wheeled power unit articulated with a two-wheeled tamper module.
Following the run-down of the British coal industry after the coal strike of 1984, much rail equipment was abandoned underground. However, this item was on the surface freshly overhauled when it was decided that it had no further use, and it was acquired by the Yorkshire Engine Company.
1997-2008: Not up to the Welsh Highland
In 1997, it was purchased for use on the WHR(C). It was adapted for surface work by the Yorkshire Engine Company at Long Marston, including the removal of the flameproofing equipment and the fitting of cabs. It then went to the Bala Lake Railway, where it was wired and tested. After arriving at Dinas, it was used to tamp the whole of Phase 1 to Caernarfon.
The Gullick & Dobson machine proved fragile in the heavy use required on the WHR, and was taken out of commission after a failure in the hydraulic drive. Having spent several years at the end of the long siding at the north end of Dinas yard, it was put up for sale after the arrival of the Plasser and Theurer tamper. It was sold to Andrew Briddon and was moved into the bay platform at Dinas from where it was removed in early 2008 to Rowsley (Peak Rail) for restoration.
Weight -- 10 tonnes (in working order)
Power Unit -- MWM 4 cylinder normally aspirated
Drive -- Hydrostatic
Tamping capability -- with lift and slew
Gauge -- adjustable from 1' 11½" to 3' 0" as required.