New Build Locomotives

Designed and built in the workshop here, we originally conceived our first locomotive, "Stafford", as a robustly-engineered, easy to drive locomotive - something equally at home on a garden railway or public running at the local club.

With more than 100 locomotives built, the design has proved a powerful, reliable performer on private, club and commercial railways throughout the UK and overseas - it has now expanded to a range of engines from 5 inch to 10 1/4 inch gauge, with a choice of styles and wheel arrangements.

You can see them running at pretty much any club track in the UK, and a growing number overseas - check out our YouTube playlist here to see our engines at work, there are pictures of engines we have built in the Stafford scrapbook on our Flickr page.


Having worked on some hundreds of locomotives over the years, a lot of the design choices fell into place easily:

  • An all-welded steel boiler with replaceable tubes - easy to service and maintain, with the ability to run at 120psi (Clubman range) or 150psi (Estate range) making for easy steaming and a good reserve of power

  • Full-sized controls - the regulator, reverser, steam and water valves are built to fit a driver's hand, they aren't scale versions which are difficult to get hold of and, when you do, are discovered to be red hot!

  • Steel wheels. Cast iron wheels + steel rails = grooves in the treads - at the end of the first season on my Tinkerbell (admittedly running a commercial service), which needed tyres at less than a year old. In contrast, the wheels on our demonstrator engine still look pretty much the way they left the lathe.

  • Sealed ball-bearing axleboxes, which reduce maintenance, increase service life (by keeping grit out of the bearings) and ensure that as much power as possible gets to the drawbar, rather than ending up being used to overcome rolling resistance.

  • Walschaert's gear for it's accurate control of the valves over a wide range of cutoffs - this allowed us to set out the gear to give generous full-gear cutoff for reliable starting (and I've lost count of how many big engines I've driven that need a bit of driver's leg assistance to move away after stopping on a "dead spot" in the valve gear) whilst still allowing economic high speed running with the lever "notched up"

  • Cast iron cylinders with slide valves. Pistons are in iron, fitted with the incomparable Clupet rings

  • TIG-welded stainless steel water tanks. I can't remember how many grotty old rust-filled tanks we've cleaned out and repaired on other engines over the years (usually they either start leaking or shedding rust into the injectors, both if you're unlucky). We build all our water tanks - for both locomotives and tenders - in stainless steel, wouldn't consider anything else.

  • Ball valve regulator - as fitted to my Tinkerbell in 2002 and still going strong (not to mention just about every other successful commercially-built locomotive of the last ten years). Silky smooth in operation, light action even under high working pressures, absolutely steam tight and easy to replace should the need ever arise.


Where do you get the engines made?

Easy - we make them ourselves, here in the workshop. First time we heard this one it made us laugh, but the question has come up enough times now for us to realise that there is a genuine belief that everything is made overseas these days! Far from the truth - our engines are conceived, designed and manufactured in the UK just outside Lincoln, a city with a great heritage of steam engineering.

Does the engine come with a boiler certificate?

Yes. The boilers are built to rigorously-controlled standards and inspected at key stages of the build by British Engineering Services who witness a twice working pressure hydraulic test when complete before stamping their mark on the boiler. The boiler itself is CE-marked and is delivered complete with all material and welding certification allowing future testing either by a commercial or model engineering club inspector. Prior to despatch, all engines are steamed to check operation of safety valve and injectors.

I'm a complete beginner - would I be able to drive and look after the engine?

Absolutely. The engine comes with a comprehensive set of operating & maintenance instructions which cover everything from unpacking the engine when it first arrives to dropping the fire at the end of a day's running. Having taught people to drive everything from a 2 1/2 inch gauge "Dyak" to a 7 1/4 inch gauge Baldwin K36 over the years, there aren't many problems we haven't come across! Anything that isn't covered in the manual, we're only ever an email or phone call away.

There are quite a lot of engines in your range - how do I pick the right one for me?

Dead easy - read this handy bit of paper we put on the back of the price list handed out at exhibitions, you'll know your Feldbahn 0-6-0s from your Stafford FC7s in no time. There are pictures, further information and brochure downloads on the individual engine pages.

Will I be able to get spares in the future?

Yes. We keep most of the "service" type spares (bushes, valves, etc) in stock on the shelf. The remainder can be manufactured rapidly using the original fixtures and programs used to build the engine.

Is it guaranteed?

Yes. The engine is guaranteed for 12 months against defects in manufacture. Just like our secondhand engine policy, I like to think it's a "no quibble" arrangement, the design is intended to provide a reliable, easy to service piece of machinery which will give good service for many years if looked after sensibly.

How do I order one?

Just ring us up! We ask for a deposit of £250, for which you will be given a receipt, your engine's works number and expected delivery date.
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