Captain Howey had often experimented with
alternatives to steam in order to make the
winter timetable more economical, and in
1929 the Theakston-Ford petrol locomotive
appeared for its brief life on the Railway.
Then in 1931, Howey converted his 1914
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost into a locomotive
that survived until 1961.
After running trials with the Ravenglass and
Eskdale Railways locomotive, Shelagh of
Eskdale the RH&DR duly ordered their own
mainline diesel. The cost was partly met by
the local district council, as the new engine
was going to make the operating of the
school train a more economic affair, than
the currently steam hauled operation.
In 1990, John Southland spent the summer on
the railway at the Gateshead National Garden
Festival. Since arriving on the RH&DR,
John Southland has helped to ease the burden
placed on the fleet of steam locomotives,
that have been in action for over seventy
years in most cases. The locomotive was
overhauled in 1999, and emerged from the
workshops resplendant in a new black and
yellow livery (reminiscent of the Rio Grande
Railway), that replaced the original maroon
and cream livery.
The Romney's first main-line diesel is often
seen hauling the permanent way train and
performing other essential maintenance tasks,
as well as some passenger train duties.