Sold May 2008 Back to Archive

3 1/2 inch gauge "Virginia" - stock code 3378

I don't know how many of LBSC's "Virginia"s have been made over the years, it must be hundreds and hundreds. Typical of his better designs, if built to a half-decent standard they make loads of steam and go very well.

This engine came into the workshop appearing to have sat on a (very dusty) bookshelf for the last few years. Having given it a clean down, replaced a cracked gauge glass and tested the boiler, I steamed it yesterday afternoon - it proved to be one of the nicest running of these little 4-4-0s I've had in, running like the proverbial sewing machine with super dead square exhaust beats.

Many engines need a crack of the blower to maintain steam on the rolling road (which runs on ball bearings with little resistance to create a decent exhaust, consequently the fire doesn't get much of a draw). This one ran without the blower, in half an hour it maintained pressure and water using the axle pump, needing only an occasional shovel of coal to sustain it - there's a video of it running here (although I really need to get a remote microphone for the camcorder - I've become aware that the soundtrack to most of these videos is the noise of the rolling road - it's only when I get near the front end, as in the lubricator closeup on this video, that you can hear the exhaust).

Silver-soldered copper boiler with superheaters, working pressure 80psi, feed by axle pump and injector with auaxiliary hand pump in tender. Gunmetal cylinders with slide valves actuated by Stephenson's valve gear with pole reverser in cab. Mechanical lubricator.

The engine has presentable though improvable paintwork and the cab roof needs some minor attention to the brass beading around its edge. Otherwise it's in good order and goes well.


gauge 3 1/2 inch