Watch these guys try to start abandoned diesel train locomotive

This isn't your usual abandoned 'will it start?' video. These guys attempt to get a 1962 diesel train locomotive running again after years of neglect.

by | Published on 31st Mar 2023

There’s no shortage of ‘will it start?’ videos online, but this is the first we’ve seen of this type.

Usually, they’re old cars or trucks that have been sitting abandoned for years.

This time it’s a diesel train locomotive that’s been left to rot away.

READ MORE! Trying to power up a semi-truck abandoned since 1995

Bruce Wilson is no stranger to a challenge, but even he admits at the start of the video that this is his biggest yet.

He came well prepared, though, bringing with him the usual will-it-start supplies: batteries, fuel, fuel line, and tools.

With four diesel train locomotives parked up, he made his way round each of them to see which was the best candidate for the challenge.

After deciding on the best, Bruce and his buddy got to work hooking brand new batteries straight up to the starter.

Despite sitting for years, the loco’s oil was free from water which, if you’ve watched these videos before, you will know is a good thing.

Using a remote starter switch, Bruce pulled the trigger and the engine cranked, so it clearly wasn’t locked up.

With a longer pull on the trigger, much to Bruce’s surprise the diesel train locomotive sprung to life.

It seemed far too easy to get the old girl running, but what appeared more of a challenge was trying to shut her off.

With one Plymouth diesel-electric switcher running, Bruce and his buddy moved on to another to see if they could do the same.

Much like the other loco, when the guys hooked up the batteries, the engine cranked.

This one wouldn’t run freely, though, so they wired up the fuel solenoid and sprayed some fire maker in there.

After cranking the engine once more, they blew a line, so decided to leave that particular loco be.

When doing their recce, Bruce and his buddy found that the first diesel train locomotive was missing a turbo, so it wouldn’t be able to start.

That left just one loco remaining, but after a quick go at it, the guys soon realized its starter was done so called it a day.

Two out of four isn’t a bad attempt.



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Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with motor manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for supercarblondie.com. Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.

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