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7 1/4 inch gauge Mogul "Wendy" - stock code 9462

A 7 1/4 inch gauge locomotive, an old engine with an interesting history. Originally built as an 0-6-0 tank engine, in recent years its owner embarked on a project to convert it into a Mogul, using a period tender chassis.

Originally bought from Cherry's of Richmond by Michael Collyer in 1962, the engine was new or as new at that time. Purchased for use on the owner's miniature railway at Felixstowe sea front, it ran in company with a freelance Mogul "Rupert". A substantially built engine of robust proportions it proved - both then and latterly when club running - to be a powerful, reliable locomotive.

The engine was bought by Jack Lillington in 1972, moving first to the Great Cockrow Railway, Chertsey where it ran from 1975 to 1979 and thence to the railway run by the Lillington family at Wellington Country Park near Reading in 1980. During that time it was repainted by Ray Hammond into LBSC&R livery, featuring - along with several of the other engines there - in an illustrated article in the 7 1/4 inch gauge Society journal.

Sold again in 1997, it remained with its next owner for 24 years. The man is a professional engineer who, in retirement, went on to become an award-winning model engineer with several large scale models of his own design, as well as rebuilds of other locomotives.

As bought in 1997 the engine ran with a driving truck, comprising a wooden body built by the previous owner, mounted on a steel six-wheeled tender chassis he had bought in Brighton. Realizing that the engine, with its nine inch diameter boiler, might make a fair representation of an LNER K5 Mogul one day, the tender chassis was carefully put aside by its new owner.

The boiler was lifted from the frames in 2003 for replacement of stays around the firebox and throatplate. No trace of hard or soft solder were found at that time, so the new stays were threaded in, documented in the owner's notes.

After many years of club running, and with the chassis due an overhaul, in 2019 the decision was made (the owner by this time a mere 91 years old) to start conversion of the engine into the long-planned Mogul. The tanks and cab were removed, the frames shortened at the rear and extended by five inches at the front. New running boards, front pony truck and a reverser were made and fitted, the work done to a high standard; the tender chassis was cleaned and fitted with newly-built superstructure.

Discarded parts from the old tank engine - cab, tanks and buffer beams - had been put aside, thoughts being that one day they might make the basis for a steam outline locomotive. Fortunately we managed to acquire these with the engine, retaining that part of its history.

In running order and with current certification when dismantled in 2019, the engine is largely in one piece; parts removed during conversion work - pipework, fittings, lubricator, injector etc - have been retained.

The boiler is substantially built, of heavy gauge copper flanged and riveted together; believed by the previous owner - and documented on its past paperwork - as by Goodhand.

The engine is complete with a quantity of documentation, including the last owner's hand written notes on its history and detailed design notes for the conversion, allowing a new owner to continue the work that - with great reluctance - he has finally had to give up at 93, the engine now simply too big and heavy for him to handle.

During its long life the engine has travelled widely, running - in addition to those railways mentioned above - at Guildford, Aylesbury, Mizens Railway, Harrow & Wembley, and Malden club tracks. It has been documented in various places over the years, including a mention and picture in "A Survey of Seaside Miniature Railways" by D.J.Croft, published by Oakwood Press in 1992.

An worthwhile project to resurrect a fine old engine - it would be nice to think it might be running again for its Diamond Jubilee in 2022.

I am indebted to Trevor Collyer, the original owner's son, and Geoff Calver who grew up in Felixstowe and remembers the locomotive and railway there well, for additional information and historic views of the engine and railway shown opposite.

Geoff's postcards show the railway on the seafront, with Wendy in charge of a train. Trevor's pictures show Wendy when new to the railway, along with a picture of his father driving the Mogul "Rupert", with Geoff Birch - who helped with maintenance - driving Wendy.

gauge 7 1/4 inch
length/inches 50 + 35
width/inches 14
height/inches 22
wheel material cast iron
axlebox type plain bearing
cylinder material cast iron
valve type piston
valve gear Baker
lubricator type mechanical
injector(s) 2
boiler number G1962
year built 1962
boiler maker Goodhand
CE mark n/a - pre-2002
working pressure/psi 80
boiler type locomotive
boiler material copper
boiler construction flanged & riveted
hydraulic test valid to 21/Apr/23
steam test valid to 21/Jun/20
safety valve(s) 2
safety valve type spring