Abbey Light Railway

The Official Website of the Abbey Light Railway, Kirkstall, Leeds

Number 7

Click here to see the latest at the bottom of the page

7.     O&K     11 HP     5926     1935


New to Cape Universal Building Products Ltd., Uxbridge; Chalk Pits Museum, Amberley

The O&K (standing for Orenstein and Koppel), is a german loco fitted with a single cylinder engine. Its restoration has been on the to do list for many years. It for some reason had its rear wheels set to a diffenent gauge, unable to sit on our 2' gauge track, this end of the loco is balanced on a small trolley. But now its time has come, and it iks getting the TLC it has waited for for so long. I will put up pictures of the progress of it's rebuilt on this page. press the 'End' button on your keyboard to jump down to the bottom of the page to see the latest progress.

The loco in june 2005, dragged out especially for this photo. Here you can see the state it is in. Most of it is seized up and, obviously, one end is out of gauge and up on the trolley. uniquely to this member of the ALR fleet, the driver sits facing the left hand side of the loco.


October 2007

The wheelset has been re-gauged to 2' gauge, but the work was then put on hold whilst repairs to the Hunslet were made. Now that is done, work has resumed. The two body pieces have been lifted off the loco, cleaned and coated in red oxide to protect them from rust. In this view you can see the back sheet of the body, in fresh red oxide, balanced on the wrong end of the loco to dry. the corner of the other bit of body can  just be seen in the fore ground. the loco is still up in the air at one end as the wheelsets have not been replaced yet. the drive chains have been cleaned up and are ready to go back on.

November 2007

Exploritory work has now started to try and find out how this loco is ment to work! the first problem encountered was the inability to turn the engine over, this led to a look at the gearbox, which might have been in gear, so off came the gearbox lid fior some more jiggering about in there. The gearbox has been well preserved, and many of the gears are in excellent condition. however, water has been standing in the bottom of the gearbox and this has caused damage to some of the gears. However, nothing that can't be repaired!

The gearbox has been removed from the loco, along with its huge single cylinder engine, and the chassis has been turned over to access the underneith for cleaning and painting. We have also taken out the other wheelset. these will be painted properly before being put back. The livery for the loco has been decided upon marroon.

January 2008

Further cleaning up of the chassis has been done, and the whole thing has been coated in red oxide to protect it from rust. both wheelsets are painted, and some bearing blocks have been welded into position for the brake gear, which had worn badly. Some new springs have been ordered, and when these arrive we are a step closer to having the wheels back in and the loco the right way up with all four of its wheels on the rails for the first time for many years.

February 2008

The inside of the chassis is now cherry red, and various parts have been cleaned up and painted. The new springs have arrived, which is a major step towards having the loco back on its wheels again.


March 2008

Progress is being made on the chassis. it is now just a case of reassembling the axleboxes, horn guides and springing before the chassis is turned over and put on the rails.

The last time it was this complete was November last year.

A close up of one of the horn guides, with half an axle box and the springs in place.

Now with the axle in this end and the brake rigging assembled. this end of the chassis is really starting to take shape.

April 2008

The loco is now on its wheels and fully painted (well, what there is of it so far is). The engine has been lowered into the chassis, and work has started on cleaning it all up, putting bits back on and generaly making it rady to run again.

June 2008

First of all, i apologise for the lack of news on here recently, its been a busy time at university, and i havn't had much time for site editing!

In putting the engine back together, it was found that it is more worm out then originally thought, and has had to be taken back out of the loco and sent to a specialist in York.

The loco with its engine in.

and now without again. the object on the corner is the cylinder for the engine, which didn't have to go away.

The engine's connecting rod

While the engine is away, attention has turned to other jobs on the railway. when it comes back, the restoration will resume.

July 2008

The engine is still not back yet, this is the current state of the loco.

The engine is due back any time now.

August 2008

The engine is back and sat in the frames. work has now started on putting it all together with the ultimate aim of making it run. The gearbox has also started to go back together after reapir work on the cogs that had been damaged by the water sat in the gearbox.

September 2008

A voyage of discovery to Amberly Chalk Pits working museum. The museum has a 2' gauge railway with a vast collection of engines and rolling stock, including some familiar sights.

Our O&K came to us from Amberly chalk pits, but the museum still has another two similar machines in its collection.

This is one of them. as you can see it is very similar to ours, the biggest difference being that its a wider gauge. the engine and gearbox is the same, but this one has more bodywork at the front and a canopy over the driver.

It is really useful to see a complete one up close, not only to get a feel for how it'll be, but to see parts which ours is mising, with a view to making replicas.


One such part that we don't have is th starting handle, we know roughly what shape it needs to be, but the end has been a mystery until now. this one came off the other O&K at Amberly, stored in the tunnel.


This business with the gear change wheel has also been a mystery.

Some other familiar sights that greeted us at Amberly:

'Blue Star', which is of the same design and built at the same time as our Atlas. Blue Star is more famous, however, having been in the 007 film 'A view to a Kill'

Another Gogo Tractor, same colour as ours as well! This one, however is a wider gauge, but it appears to have the same problem with its gearing, with three forwards gears and only one reverse.

And some Lister Autotrucks. This is how most Listers look, ours has changed quite a bit with its bigger engine, cab and airbrakes.

I'd like to say a big thankyou to the railway staff at Amberly chalk pits, who were very firendly  and helpful, and supplied us with a cuppa!

Some pictures of our O&K

The loco, covered in bits of engine and gearbox

The engine, back from york and back in the frames, with the crank shaft back in place.

One of the clutches from the gearbox

The refurbished connecting rod.

October 2008

It is with great regret that I inform you that parts of the O&K have been stolen in a recent break-in at the railway. As well as various tools, the theives have taken the gearbox sump, the engine flywheel and the two drive chains from between the gearbox and the rear axle, all of which were off the loco whilst the engine and gearbox were being re-assembled. Although this is a rather major setback to the until now good progress being made on the restoration of this loco, replacement parts are being saught and work continues on the rest of it.

The engine is now nearly all back together, just the cylinder head and the stolen flywheel missing.

The front part of the body has recieved some attention to remove all the old paint before it gets a new coat.


November 2008

the body has been painted,

smoothing off the rear body pannel


the gearbox has been lowered into postion for further assembly. it is still missing the sump and will have to be removed when we find a replacement, and for the fitting of the replacement engine flywheel when we find one.

January 2009

Work on the loco has been slow but steady over the winter months, the body parts are now painted, the radiator is fitted to the front one, and set aside awaiting fitting once the engine is ready for it. Dawings are being made for a new flywheel and it is thought that a replacement gearbox sump can be fabricated. Meanwhile, assembly of the gearbox is progressing, and the braking system is being assembled.

February 2009

The brake gear is now fully assembled and working. The gearbox is gently being brought back into one piece. Hopefully, this sunday the lid will be put on, so the whole gearbox can be turned upside down for the fabrication of a new sump, to replace the one that was stolen. The front body pannel has the radiator in place, and the fuel tank, although this needs to be cleaned out. it cannot be attached to the loco until the engine is ready, and this will not be done until we have a new flywheel. the options for this are being considered, as it won't be cheap.

(left) The gearbox, with some but not all bits back in. (centre) the ghearbox with the clutches in. (right) the gearbox lid, with seat in place ready to go on.

The two bits of body, waiting to go on when the engine is ready. and inside the front body section, with radiator and fuel tank in place.

The engine remains sheeted over until it has a new flywheel, then it can start to be rebuilt and made to work.

February 2009

The gearbox has been assembled and bolted together, it has now been turned upside down so that work can start on making the replacement sump. The gearbox control wheel is also nearly finished. Also, things have started moving towards having a replacement flywheel cast.


The gearbox, with the lid in place, and then upside down and suspended from the gantry crane.

April 2009

I am pleased to report on some forward progress regarding the flywheel and gearbox sump. These original parts were stolen by thieves in October last year, but now we are back on track again with replacements. A brand new flywheel has been cast, and the fiddly bits of the gearbox sump have arrived, having been precision cut. parts for the fabrication of the new gearbox sump are now being gathered, and hopefully it won't be long until the whole gearbox is back together.

The gearbox, upside down, with the makings of the new sump on top.

The pattern for the new flywheel.

May 2009

Work progresses with fabricating the new gearbox sump. While this is being done, the body parts are in place, giving the loco a rather complete appearance.

The new gearbox sump under construction.

July 2009

work slowly continues on the restoration and rebuilding of the gearbox.

September 2009

Although work has been slow of late on this loco, now the flywheel has been sent away to a firm in Keighley for machining and is reported as being 'nearly finished', this has sparked enthusiasm back into the project and the new gearbox sump has progressed rather rapidly in the past few weeks.

October 2009
So nearly a year on since the bits were stolen, we are about back to where we were. The new flywheel is complete and will be united with the engine as soon as we get it to the railway so that it cannot be lost again. the gearbox sump is well underway. For now the loco looks very incomplete, with the engine sheeted over and the gearbox lifed off for access to the engine for fitting the new flywheel. Could we now see the engine fire before the end of 2009? All fingers crossed.

November 2009
The newly built flywheels is back from the engineering company in keighley where it has been machined. It is now back at the railway, painted and fitted to the engine all being well never to come off again. Now all we need is the new gearbox sump to be completed and we are back where we were just over a year ago.

The technical drawings for the next bit.

The O&K gearbox has been craned back onto the loco, still upside down and only as a tempory measure while we need the space around the crane. more progress has been made on the new sump, with only a few more bits to make and weld in for the sides, then it only requires a bit of plate cutting to cover the whole thing to complete.

December 2009

Work now focuses on getting the gearbox sump finished, it has been away for further welding to make it oil-tight. It has been reunited with the rest of the gearbox for some final tweaking before a lid is cut and welded over the top (Which in reality is actually the bottom.)


The gearbox was test fitted for clearences, giving the loco an almost complete appearance.


As the next three pictures show, it fits!


We then lifted the gearbox back out and turned it over for the fitting of the bottom of the sump, for which we already have a possoble bit of metal lined up.


April 2010

Wow, I hadn't relised it has been so long since I updated this! Work has continued on the new gearbox sump. The lid has now been cut out and it is ready for welding up.

May 2010

Work has continued on the new gearbox sump, and it has now been lowered into position to allow the position of the oil drain to be marked on.


Updates on this loco can also be found on the Abbey Light Blog,



September 2010

Apologies for the lack of reports on this recently, but I have moved from Yorkshire to Devon, and now have to rely on what people tell me and my occasional visits to see whats happening with the O&K. The most recent news is that the gearbox sump has been completed, the internals of the gearbox have been bolted together once and for all, and the whole thing is sealed up for good now. Attention has now turned to the coupling between the gearbox and engine, and after that it will be the chains from gearbox to wheels (which were also stolen at the same time as the sump and flywheel) and making the engine work.

Christmas 2010

Final touches are being made to the link between engine and gearbox, then the gearbox can be bolted in for good and work can begin on making the engine work.


October 2011

She runs!

At our 2011 October diesel gala, The O&K's engine ran for the first time in over 50 years! Albeit with a tempory fuel tank and with no radiator yet, however, it did run! This was a very good step towards having a working loco, as was great to see.

August 2012

After 6 years of restoration, and overcoming various hurdles including theft of some of it's parts, the O&K is now running under its own power!

Not long until completion now, come along to the railway and see for yourself. (Photo: Justing Bretherick)