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7 1/4 inch gauge LNER U1 2-8-0 + 0-8-2 Garratt - stock code 7181

Certainly unique in this gauge, possibly in any gauge (certainly now that the original is long gone), LNER's U1 Garratt, the "Wath Banker". Originally conceived by the Great Central Railway, it came to be built under Gresley's command, using a pair of 2-8-0, three cylinder bogies with conjugated valve gear.

The only Garratt ever built by the LNER, the first mainline Garratt in this country - and the most powerful locomotive ever to run in the UK with 72,940 pounds of tractive effort - it entered service in 1925. Between then and 1955 when it was scrapped, the locomotive notched up nearly half a million miles running.

This model was built by a well-known model engineer, prolific in a variety of gauges. We sold his 7 1/4 inch gauge LNER V2 last year, I was lucky enough some years ago to see the (still unsteamed) LMS Jubilee in the same gauge he built to order for a man in the Midlands - a finely engineered model, it has spent its entire life on a table in the owner's hall.

Now in his eighth decade, with the U1 recently finished, run on air but yet to be steamed, he decided that 7 1/4 inch gauge was a couple of sizes too big. He continues to build, but now exclusively in 3 1/2 inch gauge - there's currently a Great Western King at a well advanced stage on his bench.

The U1 was built to his own drawings, it was shown at Harrogate Exhibition the year it was finished. Boiler is by John Rex, welded steel with expanded tubes. Standard of machining is to a good standard throughout.

The engine has been steamed three times since completion. It runs, however it is only fair to say that further development is required (in common with a good number new engines we see). Safety valves accumulate, injectors have a mid of their own. The engine is fitted with a steam reverser which works, although sometimes struggles to hook up full gear.

The engine comes complete with its own trailer (it's pretty much the only way of transporting it) - mudguards were removed for the photographs but are all present and correct. Trailer dimensions are 179 inches long, 50 inches wide, and 40 inches to the top of the wooden shell that slots over the engine.

gauge 7 1/4 inch
length/inches 131
width/inches 15
height/inches 19
wheel material cast iron
axlebox type plain bearing
cylinder material cast iron
valve type piston
valve gear Gresley-Holcroft
reverser type steam
lubricator type mechanical
injector(s) 2
boiler number JRME 0083/07
year built 2007
boiler maker John Rex Model Engineers
CE mark yes
working pressure/psi 115
boiler type locomotive
boiler material steel
boiler construction welded, expanded tubes
hydraulic test valid to 23/Nov/18
fusible plug yes
safety valve(s) 2
safety valve type pop
mechanical pump 1
whistle yes