In addition to all the facilities required to run and maintain a railway, the NYMR also owns Armstrong Oilers, an historic company which uniquely manufactures axlebox lubricators.

Established in York in 1903, Paddy and Tony Mooney began production to a patent owned by sleeping partner Ernest Armstrong. The device, which feeds oil to the plain bearings used in what is now called “heritage railways” was very successful, and was sold to much of the Empire and many British railway companies. It is a very flexible design that can be adapted to fit almost any axlebox.

With large scale adoption of roller bearings, the writing was on the wall for the company as orders inevitably fell away. The two Mooney brothers looked around for a buyer who could take on the company, as they knew how important it was to railways like ours. The NYMR bought the stock, machinery and goodwill in 1994, setting up first in Whitby and then in a new building placed at Grosmont shed.

Today, two people work in Armstrongs, making oilers the same way as they always were, only a bit slower.  About 1000 are manufactured each year, for the great majority of preserved British rolling stock. We still export, as far as China, South Africa and the USA. 


Oilers Site