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5 inch gauge Maid of Kent - stock code 2836

I've mentioned my liking for LBSC's "Maid of Kent" design before - I ran an elderly black specimen a few years ago, bought after being impressed by one running round at Romney Marsh Club. With 7 inch driving wheels they have a stately sounding exhaust and are an interesting engine to drive, particularly with a good load on.

This one is perhaps more accurately a "Senorita of Kent" - while MoKs normally get dolled up as either ersatz versions of Midland Compounds or Wainright L1s, this is the first one I've seen running around with a distinctly turn of the century European flavour.

Silver soldered copper boiler, feed by axle pump, injector with auxiliary hand pump in tender. Working pressure 80psi, the entire boiler and backhead are clad in stainless steel. Outside cylinders, inside valves actuated by Stephenson's valve gear with screw reverser in cab. Sight feed lubricator in cab with oil tank on left hand running board.

This engine is nicely made and runs very well. It's set up for comfortable driving from behind the large bogie tender - there is a regulator extension handle, the handpump, pump bypass and injector water valves are all mounted at the back of the tender in easy reach. There is a spark arrester for the chimney - not shown in the pictures, it got in the way of the steam-raising blower when we started and, in the excitement running round the track, I forgot to put it back on.

On a rather damp and mizzly day down at the club yesterday four of us took turns having a run round with it - thanks go to Alan for his steady handling of what can be a light-footed wheel arrangement in wet conditions, enduring the rain simply so that I could run up and down with the camera! I found the engine particularly free steaming - the last two clips show it setting off with little more than 40 pounds on the clock and finishing the lap 800 feet later with the safety valves lifting as the regulator is shut for the station.

Length 64 inches
Weight 150 pounds

(Having now found out how to rotate video, I still haven't got the hang of sorting out the aspect ratio. The last two clips have been rotated, the cab isn't really three feet wide - I'll read up on video conversion for the next update)

gauge 5 inch