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Doc Ref RMB1

The Freelance loco….

Hmmm -I wonder(?)

Sometimes the loco you want for your railway is not around -either in the plans of “The Planning and Design Dept” of an existing or previous railway company or in the illustrations in books. It may be that you like a particular design of one company and would like to have a version of it running on your tracks. A student of locomotives can easily identify a designer of the steam ages and thus, the part of the world in which it was built.

As a group, the designers of the UK locomotives were extremely conservative. Thus it is very easy to date and identify the designer and company from where the loco came. Some of the characteristics were down to the locale that the loco had to traverse. The popularity of the 4-4-0 configuration was down more to the problems with high speed running or poor track. It has been stated with some truth that the Californian side of the Trans American Railroad would have been impossible without the invention of the Bissel Bogie to pilot the loco through the curves. English designers used an Adams or Radial bogie layout which were incapable of that amount of movement.

So, do not be afraid to throw the perceived wisdom out of the window and experiment with alternative configurations. I would suggest that your loco be electric powered as this removes most of the problems with a live steam design and the boiler tester. Before you put pen to paper have a look and examine your local tracks as it would be a shame if the only track that your loco could run on was your own.

I would suggest that the following configurations be used for a steam outline loco.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the various configurations?

An 0-4-0 can be expected to run on most tracks with few problems. An 0-4-4 and 4-4-0 has problems with front to back balance, make sure your design has good weight on the drivers. An 0-6-0 is a good general purpose option, all the wheels are driven and there is plenty of room for equipment either as a tender or tank . A 2-6-0 tender or 0-6-2 tank is about as far as it would be safe to go with a totally rigid wheelbase and it would be better for the carrying wheels to be on a pony axle with a large element of control to it.

The rules tend to get well and truly broken when the subject of articulated steam locos is raised. The author is somewhat of a fanatic on the subject and my humble advice is “don’t”… The great builders of articulated locos spent YEARS getting the things to work and even then they got it catastrophically wrong on occasion… There are some very good books on the subject and once you are familiar with the difference between a Meyer, a Kitson Meyer, a Mallett and a de Bousquet, then and only then, will you be able to think about building an articulated.

If you think I am being alarmist then I would quote you the incident of the order from The Zaragosa Railway in Spain for twelve Meyer locomotives from SLM. They were shipped out of the Danish Baltic port of Copenhagen and arrived at Bilbao on the Spanish Atlantic coast as a kit of three parts. A boilered chassis, and two steam bogies. They were expected to be assembled at the Bilbao shop of The Zaragosa Railway. Frantic telegrams went between Bilboa and SLM that, “not all the parts could be there” -despite the inventory shipping notes. Eventually a photograph of the assembled loco was faxed to SLM, who must have fallen on the floor and laughed for at least a day! They had assembled the loco as a Mallett… The front bogie and the rear bogie were the wrong way around. The low pressure compound bogie was at the back facing forwards, with the high pressure cylinders at the front facing forwards. Instead of the high pressure at the back facing forwards and the low pressure cylinders facing the the centre. So there was an easy connection from high to low pressure cylinders. This is not a isolated incident, as The Jamaican Railway found it was possible to mount the bogies the reverse way on their Kitson Meyers. The horrible joke is that they found that they ran better this way…

With a diesel or electric loco your best bets are -B- and -C-.

Unless your loco is fundamentally different from the mainstream then everything can be contained in “the box on the bogie”.

Now that my garden railway is approaching completion I have found that in order to get it to run effectively I need a shunter engine to move stock around. I will also need a an 0-4-4 loco for the Pre-WW1 “Austro Hungarian” part of my railway and either a Pacifc or Adriatic! What follows next are the thoughts and design options that I feel are relevant...


The Brain Storming Session for the Shunter.

The time is 1962 BR in the post LMS era. The location is the BedPan line. Steam in decline -probably a diesel or electric shunter then. -B- or -C-? -B- more points friendly but -C- more powerful. What does the bits box have? From a number of AGMs I have two sets of GRS 0-6-0 (4F?) frames, with six cast iron driver wheels. Go for -C-! Diesel of some type or Electric? Do I want some version of an 08? -No the idea is something freelance. Makers? SLM, Crewe, Derby, Baldwins, Sentinel. Sentinel? So, I have decided to build a -C- shunter in the style of Sentinel. Sentinel had steam motors and later diesel engines made by RR when RR took them over. Research shows a Sentinel locomotive with Gyro motors. There was only one, a -B- with two Gyro motors, but it will serve as the idea source for my shunter, which I will say has three... Machinen Fabrik Oerlikon (MFO) provided the loco power chassis so it will have the typical Swiss touches to it. Being -C- there has to be some form of interconnection between all axles. MFO did provide the KPeV with steam locos with external chain drive -so that could be used “legally”… To function truly a chain needs a sprocket of at least 16 teeth, which should ideally a duplex chain as well. From my SM32 days I am familiar with NZ “bush lokeys”. Chain drive is an NZ speciality. Split axle drive a la “Leader”.


Brain Storming Session for the Small KKStB or MÁV loco.

The date is 1910, the State Austro Hungarian Railways is dominated by two companies who are left and right hand. KKStB are the Austrian Imperial Railways and MÀV are the Hungarian Railway Company. Both shared the same directors and CME/Designer.

KKStB is a passenger railway with some freight. Colours are Pewter and Pearl grey. KKStB locos pulled The Orient Express “Wagons Lit” across mountainous Austria. MÁV is a freight only railway. Colours are Black and Cherry Red. Go for KKStB. CME and Designer is Dr Karl Gőlsdorf, he has 49 unique design patents. He developed Compounding and Superheating. Prior to him visiting the UK his designs were very different stylistically to UK designs. Key features must include “Bread Oven” smoke box doors, “Bird Bath” spark arrestor, and double dome “Clench” steam drier. Snow tender would be required on mountain routes. It will be a steam loco with typical Eastern European features of the time. 2 Cylinder Compound probably?


Brain Storming Session for Large KKStB or MÁV loco.

Everything in the above session for the Small loco counts here as well. I will have two passenger locos in KKStB livery, this does mean that the big loco has to be freight! Hence MÁV. Do I want Pacific or Adriatic layout, tender or tank? Some extreme cheating is going to be needed to get a Pacific or Adriatic around my curves…. MÀV burned Lignite not Coal -so it would have to be a tank -easy to replenish. Although I would like an Adriatic I think that building a Pacific would be easier to get around my curves. So, a Gőlsdorf Pacific tank loco of the MÀV.


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Page last modified on March 22, 2018, at 09:25 AM