The road-rail hybrid in this newly discovered footage aims for the best of both worlds – the low-friction rolling wheels of the rail with the advanced mobility of the tractor. If it gives the impression of an amusement ride, then it certainly performed that function at the British Empire Exhibition of 1924-25 at Wembley – as seen in the second part of this film. But as the fully laden locomotive twists and turns on its tiny two-foot gauge through a variety of environments, you get a good idea of its uses.
Economical to build and requiring only a single operator, the system was aimed at the British colonies and used in many countries, including England, Scotland, Spain, Morocco, Palestine, Union of South Africa, the Uganda Protectorate, Australia, Tasmania and India. The British idea was based on the use of a conventional road lorry with front wheels jacked up over a railway bogie and rear road wheels spanning each side of the track - but as the film shows, a variety of options were on offer.