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7 1/4 inch gauge GWR 14xx - stock code 4261

A new, unsteamed Great Western 0-4-2T to Martin Evans’ “Dart” design, built to an excellent standard by a retired professional engineer, the man responsible for the nicest 3 ½ inch gauge “Britannia” I’ve ever had in – a particularly strong runner - along with a beautifully-finished Class 37 diesel and a very fine 3 ½ inch gauge “Hall”.

Professionally-built silver soldered copper boiler by Bishop-Richardson, initial hydraulic test at 275 psi for a maximum125 psi working pressure. Stainless steel radiant superheaters, feed by twin injectors fitted beneath the footplate with overflows piped out to and cleated beneath the steps, with auxiliary hand pump in the bunker.

Stainless ball-valve regulator – same as we use in “Stafford” and the only way to go for a completely reliable, smooth-operating, leak-free system which can be replaced with an off-the-shelf component should the need ever arise.

Blowdown valves are fitted with separate heads on stainless shanks, as per full-sized valves, which avoids the working faces being ground into each other as the valve closes.

The grate – removal of which has never been one of Evans’ strong points – is mounted with a pin through the inner firebox sheet extending beyond the foundation ring, making removal and replacement easy.

Water tanks are dummies – given the amount of cutouts inside for reach rod and top-feed plumbing, there is minimal capacity at the best of times, the engine has been set up to draw water from a driving truck-mounted tank.

Cast iron cylinders with slide valves actuated by Stephenson’s gear with screw reverser in the cab. Sight feed lubricator with oil tank beneath cab floor.

Axle boxes have an oil reservoir machined into the top, with galleries feeding oil to the journals and hornblocks – they are filled with an oil gun via the hollow axles, which is an excellent system, I had a 57xx similarly equipped some years ago.

I won’t dilate further on this one, the pictures show the standard of construction, it runs on air it goes every bit as well as it looks, valves are set spot on, the exhaust beats dead square in forwards and reverse.

The first 7 ¼ inch gauge locomotive since my Stirling Single made it into the library which has passed muster with Mrs P and been allowed into the house, where it currently brings a little bit of Swindon to our hallway. For those preferring something a bit more nationalised, I've got 1454 in as well at the moment in British Railways livery - it will be listed as soon as I can find an afternoon spare to give it a run.

Length48 inches

gauge 7 1/4 inch