Back in 2005 I bought a particularly well-made Edaville #7, to Don Young's "Lucky 7" design - there are pictures of it in the archive
. At the time, other than the entry "A Mattock" on the boiler certificate as builder, I had no other information about the man responsible for what turned out to be a very fine engine which performed every bit as well as it looked.
Several years passed when I got a call from a friend of Tony Mattock's. By this time he was not in the best of health and wanted to move on some of the locomotives he'd built. I spent a very pleasant afternoon looking around his workshop and talking about the engines he'd made over the years - he was surprised to find out I still had his Lucky 7. It was the last time I saw this talented, original-thinking engineer - we came home that day with his fabulous-looking 3 1/2 inch gauge streamliner 4-8-4
, a well-advanced 5 inch gauge New York Central Railroad Mohawk 4-8-2
and his steam tug
, one of several boats he'd built alongside numerous locomotives over the years.
The engine you see here is a 5 inch gauge Alco Mikado 2-8-2, one of a class built for the Missouri Pacific Railroad in the 1920s to a First World War design. As with many of his models, drawings were worked up from a single general arrangement, with all details and valve gear worked out by the builder - it's a three cylinder engine, Baker gear with conjugated drive to the inside cylinder.
I'm ever so impressed by this engine. It's a large (and, to my eyes, attractive) locomotive, beautifully made and, following a comprehensive overhaul and repaint in recent years by its second owner, in excellent condition throughout. It's full of interesting details, rarely seen on locomotives in this gauge, including prototypically correct thermic syphons in the firebox, steam reverser and turbo generator. Features like the hinging cab roof are thoroughly practical ideas, beautifully executed and all go towards making an engine easier to live with on the track.
|53 + 37
|3 x mechanical
|n/a - pre-2002
|locomotive with combustion chamber & thermic syphons
|welded, expanded tubes
|hydraulic test valid to
|steam test valid to
|safety valve type