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00 Works Ready to Run GNR(I) Class U 4-4-0 in action

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Well, she goes and how! Well beyond my expectations

Ok, here goes. This repeats my input to another site - but it's more likely to raise a bit of interest here!


Straight out of the box, it ran smoothly - did a full circuit of my 21 x 17 layout, minimum radius 2ft, without a falter.


Tried pulling five coaches (with very old, poor-running bogies) tender-first, out of the Portadown loop, to place so I could place her at the front, but she slipped quite a bit - especially as she was going straight onto a 2ft curve. NO WORRIES - try her with three coaches.


Flew with three - no slips, perfect.


Now four - same again - no problems.


Back to five coaches, we've been chimney first throughout all of this - she slipped a bit starting, but ran fine on straight, but curves had her slipping coming out of them, with the train all on 2ft!


Now - embarrassing to relate- my VS slips furiously on five of these coaches (a Hornby Schools chassis), so she's doing really well for a handmade engine.


I'll try and video it for you - at the very least I'll post a sunshine photo to compare with Patrick's indoor shot - yeah - we get sun in Surrey! Also, I'll try her with more modern coaches and report back. 


She's one of my 70th birthday presents - makes you want to be 70 again!!!!


BETTER than any loco I've had handmade for me - end of ......


A truly wonderful piece of work, so well done Roderick, Rebecca and whoever helps you guys - a masterpiece!


If you want a proper Irish steam loco - get your order in!


Can't say more than that



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Looks the part. Arguably the photo suggests that they could have made a bit more of the chimney, which was a distinctive GNRI "pot" with a noticeable tapered shaft and a wide opening above the rim, but the rest of it looks legit.

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I've just had a quick look at Ken Gillen's model, though as his new layout is still at a very early stage, we weren't able to run it on test. It certainly looked a lovely little loco and while I make no claims to being an expert on GNRI locos it seems to capture the "look" - surprising when you s see a scale 4mm model just how small these locos were compared to many English 4-4-0s. 


PS Leslie, for a "fix" on your VS try a bit of weight in the boiler over the wheels, there should be some room in there - despite the traction tyres they can still "skid".



Edited by colmflanagan
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The arrival of the OO Works GNR(I) U Class 4-4-0 has certainly opened a can of worms regarding the running qualities of what is a superb, and expensive, RTR model of an Irish prototype. For the money paid, one would expect the model to be a superb runner, as well as a superb looker.


Not having seen one of these models in the flesh, I don’t know how easy it would be to fit extra pickups to both the locomotive and tender, but from the photos I have seen, it would seem to be fairly simple.


The second issue is the weight distribution problem. 4-4-0s are notorious for having poor pulling power, and being front end heavy. They also have a tendency, due to the short rigid wheelbase, for the front end to wiggle from side to side, even when running on straight track, and for a massive front end overhang when traversing pointwork and curves.


My solution to the weight distribution problem, also addresses the ‘wiggle’ and overhang problems. All my 4-4-0s are fitted so. The examples shown are old Tri-ang 2P 4-4-0 chassis fitted with Romford wheels, Mashima motors and 44-1 gearboxes.


A piece of nickel silver wire, or thin piano wire is used as a vertical spring, and also acts as a lateral bogie centraliser. A hole, big enough for the wire, is drilled either vertically, or horizontally, in the chassis. The wire is inserted in the hole, and secured rigidly. For the vertical hole, I have soldered the end to a tab washer, which is secured by the chassis extension bar fixing screw. For the horizontal hole, a second hole is drilled vertically, tapped for an 8BA screw, which secures the wire. I would assume that a liberal application of superglue, or careful use of epoxy glue could do the same job, but I have no experience of this.

At the bogie pivot, which in my locos is a hollow rivet, a suitable pin is made up. In one example, an 8BA screw with a nut as a spacer is used. A hole is drilled horizontally through the head of the screw, large enough to allow the wire to slide freely in it.

The wire is centralised simply by bending, and then adjusted vertically by bending, until the required amount of vertical support is achieved. You can keep adding weight and adjusting the wire until you are satisfied with the resultant pulling power. The horizontal centralising qualities will allow the bogie to guide your loco into curves, just as the prototype does.         





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David's reply certainly is a good way of preventing some of the issues with 4-4-0 r-t-r chassis. I've just had a session with ken Gillen's "OO Works" U class which runs very well -no signs of the problems which I know some others have been having. I do note that attempting to propel the train the front bogie wheel lifted slightly so the wheel turned intermittently, turn but this is a problem I've had with other locos, including Hornby Dublo 2-6-4 tanks!


Although she could pull 6 Bachmann Mk1s on my relatively flat layout, (see attached youtube video for anyone who hasn't seen one of these) we think that 4 would be a comfortablenumber for this small loco.


having said all that I am not sure if the "Bundoran Express" ever had sleeping cars attached....





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It's at times like this I envy those who have flat layouts. 


I'm still testing mine with weights on the cab of the Locomotive pulling amongst others a brass coach heading up the incline towards Father Murphy's chapel.



It didn't like it put got there.



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