Designed by George Gentry in the 1930s, "Midge" was based on the engines built by the Avonside Engine Company for the Great Western to work at Swansea Docks. He intended it to be a powerful engine, yet capable of going round the kind of curves found on the typical garden railway - which it did. I think it's a cracking design, although not as commonly seen as it once was, in this age of supersized 7 1/4 engines.
This one was particularly nicely made, really well done motion work, a neatly laid out backhead, with excellent platework and cladding. It has a saturated copper boiler fed by a single size large injector. Slide valve cylinders with Walschaert's valve gear, pole reverser in the cab. There is a screw-down hand brake and steam brake.
I ran the engine this afternoon, it has dead square exhaust beats and runs almost silently off load with no appreciable wear in the valve gear. From the dust in the smokebox, it appears not to have been used in many years (and certainly the smell for the first ten minutes after lighting up bears this out). The injector tries and almost squirts water, the steam brake doesn't, other than that it ran well and has certainly got the advertised "get up and go".
Length 38 inches
Weight approx 250 pounds
|gauge||7 1/4 inch|