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Broad and Narrow




One aspect of modelling, which interests me, is the ability to compare the proportions of locomotives that are rarely photographed together. Many years ago, I built a K's Milestones kit of the GWR Broad Gauge 'Rover' class locomotive, so I decided to photograph this model alongside my Tri-ang Dean single, to iillustrate the profound differences between these types.




The Broad Gauge locomotive takes advantage of the width between the wheels to use a much larger diameter boiler and very wide firebox but, at the same time, the overall length is much shorter. When Dean designed his locomotives, it was still considered important to maintain a low centre of gravity, so he had to fit a boiler of sufficient steaming capacity between the large driving wheels; hence, the much smaller diameter but increased length.




It was not until much later, when boiler pitch was allowed to increase, that the girth could once again reach Broad Gauge proportions.


One day, perhaps, I shall build some mixed-gauge track, so that I can see these locomotives performing together!



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  • RMweb Gold

Well those other railway companies can go home now ;-)


An interesting comparison, and your Rover build looks very good and neat. Does it run?

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Does it run?

I knew someone would ask that :)  I'm afraid not - it's just a straight build of the Milestones kit.  As my interest in the 19th century grows, I might think about how to motorise it. 


Another confession is that the outside handrails are only Photoshopped on - they just seemed too vulnerable to fit.  I feel that there is something 'ship-like' about the early BG engines, with their rails round the edge and boiler like a superstructure.  It's hard to believe that engines of this size were around in 1847!



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  • RMweb Gold

And those inverted springs! Looks like someone had a bit too much to drink the night before designing them :-)

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Looks like someone had a bit too much to drink the night before designing them

Gooch would not have approved such behaviour.  It is said that he founded the Mechanics Institute at Swindon to counter drunkenness, when he heard that this was becoming a problem at Swindon!


History repeated itself, since both the Gooch and Dean singles started as 2-2-2 designs but were rather hastily modified, when the front ends proved too heavy for the axles.

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