This is the finest five inch gauge engine we have had in the last two years, built by a highly-experienced engineer with three other top quality engines to his credit already when work commenced on this one. Working from a combination of original drawings, photographs and visits to the preserved examples of the class, a model design was developed intending to combine authentic scale appearance with a powerful, easy-to-drive engine.
Copper boiler, silver soldered throughout with stainless steel radiant superheaters. Feed by twin injectors. Smokebox spark arrester, inner smokebox ceramic heat shield to protect paint finish on upper surfaces. Belpaire firebox with dummy washout plugs in cladding and backhead.
Piston valve cylinders with Walschaerts valve gear, twin mechanical lubricators mounted in prototypical position underneath the running boards. Cab-operated drain cocks and working spring pressure-relief valves to end covers. Screw-reverser in cab, actuated by correct 90 degree gearbox with cut-off indicator. The cylinders have been fitted with unobtrusive plugs to allow oil to be injected directly into the piston valves at the end of a day's running.
The chassis runs on roller bearings throughout and is ballasted with 60 pounds of lead for adhesion, distributed in the the frames to achieve balanced axle loadings.
Cab fittings comprise push-pull regulator, working gauges for boiler pressure, steam chest pressure and cylinder lubricator line pressure. Dummy speedometer. Steam and water feeds for injectors, blower valve, steam brake valve. Screw reverser with 90 degree gearbox and cutoff indicator. The regulator and injector steam valves are extended to the rear of the cab for ease of driving. The handwheel extensions are spring-loaded and can be orientated to the driver's preferred position - they have been non-invasively fitted and can be removed to leave the original hand wheels if preferred.
The tender has a screw-down brake and connections for the two injector water feeds. For running, coupling to the locomotive is by a slightly overscale length link to give more finger room for driving. For display, there is a scale-length coupling and detailed tender top and front.
The workmanship is immaculate throughout. The engine has been steamed on a handful of occasions and is in as-new condition in all respects.
For more information on the prototype class, the Southern E Group has an excellent website.
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