Neil the box tank
Neil as rendered by Webmaster and SiF's O1Salty

From Tony Grigg's notes on “The Island of Sodor ”:
S&M Locomotives
Numbers 1, Number 2 "Neil" and Number 3. These are 0-4-0T locomotives with open cabs and square tanks that operated on the Sodor and Mainland Railway from 1883 until the line went bankrupt. Little is known of these locomotives.

Tom Wright adds:
One last engine: the briefly glimpsed Neil from Very Old Engines. He's a Neilson 0-4-0 box tank.

Neilson 0-4-0 box tank
And so he is!

Many thanks to the following correspondence from Simon Jones. Pure Gold!
Neilson Box Tank's Makers Plate
Stumbled onto your fascinating website whilst browsing for something else (as you do).

I had no idea just how many engines Awdry created.

I noted with considerable interest "Neil" the 0-4-0ST built by Neilson

As way of some minor contribution I attach a photograph of an actual 0-4-0 Neilson.

The one in the photograph is Neilson works no. 360 of 1856 which worked on the West Somerset Mineral Railway, where it was known as "the Box" (for obvious reasons). Photo taken about 1885 by H.H. Hole

It cost £1.065 13s when ordered in 1856. Unfortunately the first engine suffered the ignominious fate of "having been injured by the stoker having lighted the fire without water in the boiler and rendered useless" (West Somerset Railway Minute Book, 30 Jan 1857)

The second Neilson arrived 25 Feb 1857 and both were damaged in a collision 22 Aug 1857.

A third arrived in 1865. On 28 December 1865 one of them had another accident, running through a shed wall whilst being driven by an “acting stoker”, an 8 year old boy who subsequently died.

Both remained until 1883, one probably being sent back to Wales.

In 1896 N 360 was replaced by another Neilson. It was probably sent back to Ebbw Vale and scrapped about 1899.

Notes and photograph from: “The West Somerset Mineral Railway” by Roger Sellick, David and Charles, 1970 (2nd edition)

Model art by Daniel Snell.

Collector's Corner:

Classic ERTL model of Neil Learning Curve Wooden Neil
Classic ERTL model of Neil Learning Curve Wooden model of Neil - Now discontinued :(

Diesel (2)<----

---->Bill and Ben