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On the Narrow Gauge

MikeOxon

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I have mentioned before in this blog that my layout includes an 009 narrow-gauge section. Most of this section does not need changing in order to fit in with my revised 19th-century timeframe but, a long time ago (1980), I built a 'Centre Models' kit of a Leek & Manifold 2-6-4T, of which the prototypes appeared in 1904. Whilst not quite fitting my new era, it is a handsome locomotive that I had never got to run well, so I decided to re-build the chassis. A body kit is still available from Meridian Models

 

The original kit included a fret of nickel-silver valve gear, which was extremely fiddly to construct and get working. Alas, all my efforts were soon undone by the unsatisfactory white-metal chassis supplied in the kit. This soon warped and, in the process, destroyed the valve gear, which I could not face re-constructing at that time.

 

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More recently I saw a small Roco engine being sold fairly cheaply, which had working outside gear. I had read that this chassis is not considered to be very reliable in heavy use but, nevertheless, I decided to see if I could use under the L&M body.

 

blogentry-19820-0-58227200-1381511612.jpg

 

 

My method is to take photos of the parts I wish to fit together over a sheet of graph paper, as a scale reference. I have the camera fixed on a tripod, so that all the photos are at the same scale. I then overlay the images in a photo-editor (I use Photoshop Elements) to check clearances and to see where any parts need to be modified. I find this method of creating a 'visual impression' of how the parts will fit suits me better than trying to make detailed drawings.

 

blogentry-19820-0-92729000-1381511640.jpg

 

It was clear that, with a little trimming of the underframe, the Roco chassis could be fitted and give a reasonable impression of the original loco. I even found that there were suitable attachment points for the existing pony wheels and trailing truck. I adapted the motor mount, by fitting a cord grip from a British 13A plug across the side mounting points, and re-wired, omitting the DCC adapter board. (My layout is DC only)

 

blogentry-19820-0-57829600-1439828372.jpg

 

It all went together surprisingly easily and proved to run very smoothly at nice low speeds. Now, it must join the queue for re-painting, once I have got the hang of my new airbrush. It probably won't find a home on my current layout but I do enjoy watching the outside valve gear working, as in the following animation. :)

 

blogentry-19820-0-69372700-1439827445.gif

 

Mike

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Good to see that parts are still available for these attractive models.  For anyone thinking of building one of these: do remember that they are quite large locomotives!  I don't have sufficient clearance, in several places on my NG line, to run mine!

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I have not had a problem with these (I have 5 of them), but one did break very shortly after I got it home.

 

Taking it back to the shop they said that some batches had a less than reliable gear train, a bit like old Grafar models, in that the gears split.

 

Their slow running is superb and they actually run even slower if used with DCC....

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I agree that the slow running of the Roco chassis is superb! 

 

I read the comment about lack of long-term reliability on the County Gate website at http://www.009.cd2.com/members/how_to/roco.htm

 

I expect this wear only arises in heavy continuous use and, if it arises on my model, I shall try to devise a 'work-around' :)

 

Mike

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