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Newsletter February 2011


Yes once again it has been nearly 3 months since writing a newsletter. I know this is important to a lot of people, but it does take time and effort. Hopefully the wait is worth it.

Our Largest Loco Yet

No its not the blue loco on the left. This 5" gauge lcoc was loosely based on Captain Howey which is based on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.

As a member of Chingford and District Model Engineering Club I was asked if I would join a team in building a 7 1/4" gauge club loco.

As a group (three of us) we liked the Captain Howey but wanted it as a ride in loco. Simply upscaling the drawings, stretching, squeezing and generally messing them about we got a rather larger loco.


A little bit bigger than the one above. At just over 7 foot and 2 foot wide it is simply big.

Right - the chassis under construction with the cab in place to get an initial feeling for the loco.

Below- A thanks to East Herts Railway, who kindly let us take the loco to the track for a test drive. Too big for putting in a car I moved it by strapping the chassis to my trailer.


The back end of the loco was a temporary construction to give us an idea of riding position and width of the rear. The plywood was one side of the crate which the new bandsaw arrived in.

We are hoping to have the loco finished for 15th May for a naming ceremony at the Chingford track.

I will post pictures of the progress in the next newsletter.

As to whether we produce these commercially - that depends if there is any interest.

To help break up the rear end we need so grills. Not having the size we wanted available off the shelf, there was no alternative but to make our own. The grill on the right is made from a laser cut blank and put in to a jig made from more laser cut steel parts. Not bad for my first attempt. One of these grills will act as a door for the loco.


Not the most exciting few months in the workshop bit there have been a fewe improvements .


Left - Paint shop- the use of a lazy susan bearing has let me built a really nice turntable. This allows for easy turning of heavy items such as this 7 1/4" gauge chassis.

Below Left - after a lengthy delay our new belt sander arrived. We had a 12" disk sander which works fine but with glue backed pads it takes nearly 1/2 hour to replace the disk. The belt sander allows for easier change of the belt. The other achievement is a new shelf - not as exciting.

Below - As we are in rented premises and the back wall goes on to another property, I opted to finally duct the cooker hood over the welding bench to an exisitng extract fan. Being cheap the duct is an olf flue liner which came out of a skip in the yard. Want not waste not. I also put a 4' tube under the hood as the inbuilt light was a bit dim.

Alexander Palace Show


Although we didn't have a stand at the show I did take the oppotunity to drop off products to customers and enjoy a visit as a member of the public.

Left & below left - Station Road Steam's Stafford. The wagon behind was one we produced and dropped off at the show. This was the first of our improved trucks with flip up running boards and external brake handle.

Below - the power bogies from Captain Howey on Chingford stand. created a bit of interest. These bogies are not quite standard as Rin Manning made quite a few improvements including guards and sleeved pivots.

Big to Small


Lovely new signal box from Bachmann. Look behind at the wall and you will see the arches. In the past on my dads 00 railway we hand cut arches and covered them in brick paper.

Reasonable appearance but many hours of work.

On the last batch of MDF laser cutting I tacked on 3mm MDF cut arches. These were spray painted in red oxide primer and speckled with black, grey and white. A bit of smudging with black helped make them look more weathered.

They might not be as good looking but this ramp and rear wall took less than hour to build.

Another use of laser cutting mdf.



Next time - bogie raised driving truck - being developed - as ad when I get the time.

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