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10 1/4 inch gauge "Sweet Pea" 0-4-0ST with tender - stock code 9696

I first saw this engine back in 2005 when I bought the late builder's 7 1/4 inch gauge freelance Pacific, completed in 1975.

He'd subsequently built a pair of "doubled up" 10 1/4 inch gauge Sweet Peas - a picture of one features in the Sweet Pea construction book, that engine being sold shortly after completion. This one was steamed briefly on a short length of portable track in the builder's garden before being put in the garage, emerging once more some years ago to attend the annual Sweet Pea rally.

The work of a talented engineer - in addition to the Pacific and two 10 1/4 inch gauge engines he also built a 6 inch scale traction engine and rebuilt a 7 1/4 inch gauge LMS Mogul. His interest was inherited by his son, a fine builder in his own right with a particularly fine Sweet Pea to his credit (although this one in 5 inch gauge, it lives in his hall) and work currently well advanced on a 5 inch gauge LNER A1 to the Michael Breeze design.

In common with the Pacific, his 6 inch traction engine and the other 10 1/4 inch gauge Sweet Pea, the boiler was made by the builder and his son - a welder by trade, he also acquired the seamless steel tube. We removed the cladding to expose the barrel before inspecting the boiler and taking thickness readings throughout before conducting a twice working pressure hydraulic test at 200psi. No sign of any leaks or distortion, however the firebox is not bushed for a fusible plug, something we'd consider essential before putting into service.

Complete with a well-built storage cradle on castors. The engine runs, with a rather wet exhaust - not uncommon with a new steel boiler, our own Staffords take two or three steamings to stop priming from new. Valve events have optimisation opportunities - the engine runs, but somewhat asymmetrically. Most likely slide valve position on the spindle, as return cranks are pinned and appear correctly set.

A large engine, within about an inch in all dimensions of our own 10 1/4 inch gauge "Big Stafford", it's complete with a ride on tender carrying water to feed the two injectors.

The locomotive is fitted with a steam brake, we've replaced the original pair of suspiciously brass-looking water gauges with a high quality three cock bronze gauge, of the same type that we use on the engines we build.

gauge 10 1/4 inch
length/inches 65 + 32
width/inches 25 1/2
height/inches 42
weight/kg est 600 inc tender
wheel material steel
axlebox type plain bearing
cylinder material cast iron
valve type slide
valve gear Hackworth
reverser type pole
lubricator type mechanical
injector(s) 2
boiler maker J & A Brown
working pressure/psi 100
boiler type marine
boiler material steel
boiler construction welded, expanded tubes
fusible plug no
safety valve(s) 2
safety valve type spring
whistle yes