Narrow Gauge Locomotive Efficiency Competition (NGLEC)
Originally the brainchild of Joe Holdsworth of the Wrexham Society of Model Engineers, the idea was to give the little engines of the narrow gauge railways a chance to show their paces on their own turf, without being overshadowed by the bigger locomotives, as they tend to be at the long established International Model Locomotive Efficiency Competition (IMLEC). The competition rules have evolved over the years and are now pretty much in line with the mainstream IMLEC rules. The main difference is that the load comprises the driver's choice of loaded loose-coupled slate trucks, rather than the more usual passenger trucks, and the speed limit is 5mph, both making for some challenging driving. This must be hauled around the track by the competing locomotive for half an hour, as in IMLEC. The work done, or 'output’, is measured by a dynamometer car, and the coal used is measured and converted into potential energy 'input'. The efficiency of the engine is then calculated by dividing 'output' by 'input' and converting to a percentage. The result rarely exceeds 2 or 3 percent!