Mechanical Horse Club

Welcome to our Website!

This website is dedicated to the Mechanical Horse and the associated vehicles that were responsible for the local delivery of goods carried by the 'Big Four' railway companies (later British Railways) and a wide variety of private industries.

The concept of the Mechanical Horse and easily detached articulated trailer was first introduced in the early 1930's and for the next 30 years it proved to be highly successful and irreplacable. However, by the late 1960's British Railways, the principal users of the vehicles, were changing the way they handled their goods traffic and because of the heavier weights involved greater use was made of trailers fitted with the fifth wheel coupling. Some four wheel tractor units fitted with the Scammell automatic coupling continued to be used for a further ten years but new regulations relating to braking requirements meant it was the end of the road for the three wheeled Mechanical Horse. Some were retained as yard shunters but the vast majority had a one-way ticket to the breakers yard.

Around 30,000 Mechanical Horses were produced but of those only 30 original Mechanical Horses, 60 Scarabs and 30 Townsman models are known to survive, along with 3 Karrier Cobs and 2 Jen Tugs.

The club celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2018, the photo below shows some of the vehicles assembled at the Severn Valley Railway in June to mark the occasion.

Information Request

The Mechanical Horse Club is always looking to extend its archive of information about this unique form of transport that was such an important part of the haulage scene in days gone by. If you have any information at all, know the whereabouts of any 'lost' survivors or have any old photos you'd like to share then we'd be delighted to hear from you.

Although the majority of these vehicles were employed by the railway companies, some smaller concerns also used them in and around their premises. One such company was St Mary's Mushroom Farm in Bowden, Market Harborough who apparently employed several examples - if you remember these, can offer any information, or have any photos then please do get in touch via the email link at the bottom of this page.

For Sale

The Club Shop has one remaining workshop manual for the Perkins P3, P4 and P6 engines in stock. This manual probably won't be reprinted again so this could be your last opportunity to purchase one of these! The price is 18 plus 2.50 for postage, but as there's only one available please email before sending your payment to make sure you haven't missed out!


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If you require any further information about the club please email me

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