Sold June 2012 Back to Archive

3 1/2 inch gauge 4-8-4 "Lady Anne" - stock code 5287

An extraordinary locomotive, the work of a prolific engineer who produced many large, generally American prototype locomotives, whilst still finding time to produce fine steam boats again, typically in the larger sizes. Some years ago I bought his Lucky 7, a particularly well made engine that took three of us to lift, it stayed with me for four years before moving on to pastures new.

Rather like LBSC, whos articles he had grown up on, he was not afraid to produce formidable freelance hybrids when the fancy took him, and they dont come much more imposing in 3 inch gauge than this seven foot long streamlined 4-8-4.

Paying homage to the streamlined North American expresses of the 1930s, it is typical of his build quality fit and finish is good throughout, the sweeping curves of the streamlining confidently executed in metal, most impressive given the challenging shapes around the front end.

I spent some enjoyable hours in the man's company before Christmas when collecting both this and his last engine, the incomplete 5 inch gauge Mohawk which sold recently. The 4-8-4 was in its crates in the garage, not having been run for many years; one look and I spent most of the journey home planning how to get it past Mrs P into the house (lack of an eight foot long bookcase notwithstanding, this is an ongoing project, if it disappears from the site you'll know she's relented).

We've run it on air in the workshop it goes well, as expected. The technical details below are from the builder, to whom I'm indebted for the information.

The engine has been unused in many years whilst in good mechanical order, the thermic syphon has a leak which will require attention before its used in anger again.

Driving wheel

5 1/8 inch diameter, Scullin disc pattern, cast iron


1/8 inch plate

Axle boxes

Steel, case hardened with Oilite liners

Main axles

5/8 inch diameter


5 inch diameter, resistance welded


Inside length 7 inch x 5 inch wide

Fitted one thermic syphon

6 inch long combustion chamber with 6 vertical 5/8 inch diameter copper water tubes


Fitted plain petticoat 1 1/8 inch diameter

Blast nozzle

inch bore


Poppet valve as per LBSC, actuated by cable from tender

Firehole door

Sliding type, coal fed to firebox via chute

Tender wheels

2 5/16 inch diameter

Water capacity

2 gallons


All supplied by Poole Foundry to builders own patterns

gauge 3 1/2 inch
length/inches 86
bore x stroke/inches 1 x 1 7/8
valve type piston
valve gear Baker, conjugated inside
reverser type screw
working pressure/psi 100
fusible plug 1