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3 inch scale Fowler BB1 ploughing engine - stock code 10307

A 3 inch scale Fowler BB1 ploughing engine, an older engine which has come to us as part of a large collection of traction engines, from 1 inch to 4 inch scale - none apparently steamed in many years.

Given the size of the prototypes, most models of ploughing engines we see are built to 2 inch scale, built to the designs by John Haining and Colin Tyler published in "Model Engineer" magazine back in the 1960s and 70s. Even then, the larger types - including the BB1 and Z7 - are a heavy two man lift.

In 3 inch scale, the engine really becomes quite an imposing size. At nearly six feet long and around a third of a ton, there was no chance of lifting it - the engine took three of us just to push it up the ramps onto the trailer!

Unsteamed from new, the engine is largely complete bar a missing pressure gauge - the coiling gear, not shown in the photographs, is included. The boiler is welded steel with expanded tubes, most of which leak at the front tube plate.

Jobs requiring attention include:

  • Service leaking clack valves
  • Replace missing pressure gauge
  • Set valves and/or eccentrics
  • Retube boiler - existing copper tubes are of light gauge and leak at the front tubeplate
  • Replace pump delivery pipe
  • Right hand motion bracket loose
  • Adjust weighshaft/reach rod/lifting link mechanism to give reliable expansion link movement
  • Service water gauge which leaks at unions and blowdown
  • Fit new gasket to blower valve
  • Connecting rods fouling motion bracket

Not a five minute job, but a worthwhile project - rare in this scale we've only ever had one other 3 inch BB1which sold back in 2014 - there are some picture of that one in the archive here.

scale 3 inch
length/inches 70
width/inches 24 1/2
height/inches 38
weight/kg est 350
wheel material steel
axlebox type plain bearing
cylinder material cast iron
valve type slide
valve gear Stephensons
reverser type pole
lubricator type mechanical
injector(s) 1
boiler type locomotive
boiler material steel
boiler construction welded, expanded tubes
safety valve(s) 1
safety valve type Ramsbottom
mechanical pump 1
road speed(s) 2