I had the pleasure of driving this engine at the builder's club recently - very impressed, it's a thoroughly well-sorted piece of kit, free-steaming and easy to drive, with a good deal of power and the adhesive weight to use it.
The builder is an experienced engineer with several fine locomotives to his credit. We sold his 7 1/4 inch gauge Alco last year - since finishing the "Tom Rolt" he's gone on to finish a fine GWR 14XX and is currently on with a Southern S15.
The engine has robustly proportioned valve gear and motion with generous bearing surfaces, the backhead is well laid out with everything falling easily to hand.
I particularly like the vacuum brakes, working on both locomotive and driving truck - it's a well thought out system, with vacuum reservoir behind the front buffer beam and brake valve high up on the left hand side of the cab.
It works very well although we rarely see vacuum braked locomotives - don't know why, I can attest to their effectiveness and ease of operation both from recent experience of "Lyd" on an early morning run up to Blaenau (courtesy of No.1 son, a fireman on the FR) and a drive some years ago, courtesy Chris Knibbs, of his superb Keith Wilson built GWR 47XX at the Ingfield Railway which is similarly equipped.
|gauge||7 1/4 inch|
|cylinder material||cast iron|
|boiler maker||Harry Holt|
|CE mark||n/a - pre-2002|
|boiler construction||welded, expanded tubes|
|steam test valid to||23/Nov/19|
|safety valve type||spring|