Sold July 2006 Back to Archive

5 inch gauge "Ajax" 0-4-0 - stock code 2771

A rather attractive variation on "Ajax", done as a saddle tank, beautifully made and in first class condition throughout. I took a bit of a shine to this one when it arrived, it's been sat on the hall table since. Last week we had a club running night and, after a long day in the workshop I couldn't face lifting the Prairie tank I was supposed to be taking so liberated this one from the house instead. Such is its prettiness that, two days after coming back from the club, Mrs P has asked for it back in the hall (and I can't remember the last time that happened).

Silver soldered superheated copper boiler, working pressure 85psi, feed by injector and twin axle pumps. Parallel action firehole doors in stainless steel. Gunmetal cylinders with slide valves actuated by Walschaert's valve gear with pole reverser in cab. Drain cocks operated from footplate, mechanical lubricator on running board. Steam ejector mounted on smokebox with driver's brake valve in cab, vacuum pipes to front and rear buffer beams. Screw-down brake. There is rather a good whistle under the running board.

At the club the engine ran well all evening, with a variety of drivers from 11 years to men of, ah, more experienced years... It runs near silently in next-to-middle notch, the axle pumps are master of the boiler (as one driver found when a noise of bubbling porridge from the chimney indicated the water level was long North of the top nut) and the injector is a joy to use. At one point she came in with just under 20 pounds on the clock, with a quick bit of firing and a crack of the blower, she was off again and made up working pressure in two laps (which at Stamford's track is about a spit and a half).

You may get the impression I like this engine. It's always a joy to see a well made locomotive, even more so when it goes as well as it looks. For a beginner it would be ideal, for an experienced man with several large engines, it's the easiest thing in the world to throw in the back of the car for a quick hour's running of an evening (and certainly easier than the Prairie).

Only problem might be getting it off Mrs P's hall table...

gauge 5 inch