Sold June 2008 Back to Archive

7 1/4 inch gauge Hunslet - stock code 3455

A four inch scale Hunslet "Alice" Class, built to the Milner Engineering design by John Horsfield, a talented and prolific engineer who, amongst other engines, also built "Taw" that I bought in 2005 when the Oldown Railway closed (and, incidentally another Milner design, although somewhat scarcer that the Hunslet).

This engine was built originally for commercial use - however, after one season the first owner decided that a petrol-engined device would be more cost effective. The engine was laid up until 1996, during which time the paintwork deteriorated. It was bought in 1996 and restored by a doctor, who made a fine job of repainting the engine and refitting the cab with commercial steam valves (again, "Taw" had been similarly modified by Joe Nemeth when he owned it) - the engine has been in his hands ever since, lightly used for club running at a society track situated in the grounds of a school in Dorset, sharing duties with his three other engines.

Steel boiler by H.Middleton Ltd, feed by twin injectors set up to feed from either the tender or saddle tank. Twin soft-pop safety valves to the Gordon Smith design, working pressure 90psi. Spark arrest in smokebox. Cast iron cylinders, slide valves actuated by Stephenson's valve gear with pole reverser in cab. Twin mechanical lubricators mounted behind the front buffer beam (thoughtfully stamped "L" & "R" on their lids, should you become confused...).

The engine is fitted with a screw-down brake, effective steam brake and a vacuum ejector for train braking, with a driver's brake vacuum brake valve fitted on the left hand side of the footplate and a vacuum gauge in the cab.

The tender had a water tank at the rear with drain, there is a good-sized coal bunker beneath the driver's seat, with a sliding shutter allowing coal out into a tray in the footwell. Locomotive and tender are both fitted with spring buffers.

With a hot, sunny day in prospect, I got up early this morning and fetched the engine up from the workshop for a play on the railway. It's been in steam all morning, it goes very well running quietly a notch off the middle - there's some footage of it here, with Sam at the helm.

Locomotive 48 inches
Tender 36 inches
Weight 6 cwt

gauge 7 1/4 inch