Jump to content

Vintage 00 motor bogies


Recommended Posts

A quick contribution to the vintage section using pictures of what is to hand.


A Stewart Reidpath pre-war motor bogie. The main casting is very soft metal - probably lead. The pictures show both sides. Brushes are phospher bronze(?) strips. The magnet wraps most of the way round the armature in the same way it does in pre-war Stewart Reidpath chassis. The gearing is similar to that in a more modern Ringfield. The problem with these motor bogies is that the only way to take them apart for maintenance is to take the force fitted wheels off. Not easy with soft lead as risk distorting the whole thing in the process. These motor bogies sometimes or maybe always had a fuse on the left hand-side of the side where the commutator is visible so they would did not burn out and so that taking them apart was unlikely to be required. Missing here if it ever had one.








A Zenith motor bogie. The mechanics are enclosed making them a bit of a fiddle to check or adjust. I am not sure if there is another variant where the square ends are angled so that the bogie can rotate better on corners inside a coach body.






A Romford motor bogie. These have adjustable bearings at both ends with self contained set of three ball bearings per end. These adjustable bearing are prone to undoing themselves and the armature coming out of place and wedging itself against the pole pieces. These motor bogies are therefore sometimes found with improvised attempts to lock the adjustable bearing. I have seen plasticine, glue, or solder to do this on some examples. These bogies came in outside third, three rail, and two rail. They also came with three, five, and seven pole armatures. The one in the picture is three pole. The fly wheels on the five and seven pole variants are slightly smaller as the armatures are more bulky. These motor bogies must have been made in reasonable numbers as they come up for sale reasonably frequently.






A later Romford motor bogie. The troublesome adjustable bearings have gone. The brush springs are now, I think, hidden coil springs within the red plastic block. Not an improvement over the previous calliper type as difficult to adjust. I assume this bogie is contemporary with the Romford Phantom motor that also made use of plastic and had these awkward coil springs. The sideframe rivet detail is a thin casting. They appear at first glance to be identical to the Tri-ang DMU bogie sideframes, but are slightly different. These later Romford motor bogies seem very much less common than what I assume is the earlier variant shown above.






Tri-ang first type of Transcontinental motor bogie. This is a motor bogie built around the standard X04 with a shortened motor shaft with a gear on it. Probably rather expensive to make and not very efficient. It only lasted in production a short period of time. The coupling in the picture is not the original but a later one.






Tri-ang standard Transcontinental motor bogie. Based around a central armature like the Romford motor bogies this went on to be made for many years. A near identical motor bogie but with different sideframes was used under the Tri-ang class 81.






Tri-ang EMU motor bogie. Near the same as the standard Transcontinental type but with smaller wheels and EMU sideframes with third rail shoe beams. I think this bogie most closely resembles a Bulleid 4SUB motor bogie.






Tri-ang DMU motor bogie. The coupling attached is not original. Nearly the same as the EMU bogie but without the third rail show beams. This was used on the Tri-ang DMU and Blue Pullman and continued into production until 1977. The Trancontinetal, DMU, and EMU motor bogies all started life with very deep flanges, serrated wheels, and brass gears. Later versions of the at least the Trancontinetal and DMU bogies got finer flanges, smooth none serrated wheels and plastic gears. Tri-ang also produced other motor bogies for their EM2, class 31/37, Hymek, and Budd diesel railcar that are not illustrated here.





Kitmaster motor bogie. This was designed to power Kitmaster's Mk1 coaches to push around unmotorised locomotives. I think it came with a mounting plate to put in a Kitmaster Mk1 coach. It is very similar in mechanical design to the Tri-ang motor bogies. However, the wheels were of thinner corss section with finer flanges. There was also a Kitmaster motorised box van, which was a similar but longer wheelbase version this motor bogie but with plastic sideframes like a wagon chassis.



Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

I have yet to add one of the X04 powered Triang motor bogies to my collection, I have overhauled one for someone else though - lovely bit of engineering and look great with all the brass polished up and lacquered :)


Thanks for posting :locomotive:


here's a Kitbuilt Sentinel on eBay with a Zenith (I think) bogie powering it ...



Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one of the Kitmaster motor bogies. It came as the power unit for a K's GWR Diesel railcar. Based on my experience of the Kitmaster motorised van (it fell apart), I don't think it's up to the task and a replacement is needed. All I have at present is a Bachmann 'Underground Ernie' unit and I doubt this would manage it either.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

The Reidmere motor bogie in the first picture was a joint venture between Stewart Reidpath and C.W. Meredith of Dundee, who funded the MERCO business and made his money from Meredith & Drew biscuits. The brushes are indeed phosphor-bronze. The casting may be lead but I suspect it is the alloy of of lead, antimony, and tin that is known as type metal. Most Reidpath and Hambling castings were made of this material.





The group of metals which concern the printing trade are mainly lead, antimony and tin, which, when alloyed, form the type metal series.

Lead is a soft, silver-grey metal with a melting point of 327o centigrade (620oF.), found principally in nature as galena, a lead sulphide. The lead supplied from Broken Hill (NSW, Australia), which constitutes one of the largest commercial deposits in the world, is also of the highest purity.

Lead alone is too soft to be used as a type metal and lacks many other valuable properties needed for type metal purposes.

Antimony is a white, brittle crystalline metal, with a melting point of 630oC. (1166oF.), and is obtained from Stibnite, which is a compound of antimony and sulphur. It is used in type metals from 3% to 23% to increase hardness and fluidity.

Tin is a silver-white metal melting at 232oC (457oF.). It occurs in nature as an oxide termed cassiterite. The ore is widely distributed throughout the world, but main world supplies are drawn from S.E. Asia and Bolivia. Used with antimony and lead, tin produces a series of low melting point alloys which constitite the printing metals.

Chief of the many qualities which make these alloys specially suitable for type production is the ability to produce sharp-edged smooth-faced impressions. This results from a low surface tension of the molten metal and a reduced amount of casting shrinkage. The relatively low melting points of the printing metals avoid damage to mould materials, thus simplifying and cheapening reproduction costs. The basic material upon which the alloy series is built is a metal consisting of 4 parts Tin, 12 parts Antimony and 84 parts of lead, commonly described as 4-12-84 Linotype formula.

This metal has the lowest melting point of all type metal alloys, runs freely when melted, and hardens abruptly on cooling to produce a dense faced casting.

By varying the composition to include increasing amounts of tin and antimony, a useful hardness increase can be obtained to meet applications requiring heavy pressure, and to provide superior resistance to severe wear arising from various paper finishes.




Andy Emmerson.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

That is very interesting, Andrew, about C W Meredith. I had no idea that he was the "mere" in Reidmere. I knew he was behind Miniature Exhibition Railways Company (Merco) of Dundee who produced the Merco litho papers as well as Bilteezi buildings, wooden coach and wagon bodies for the litho papers and so on. Edward Beal designed many of the lithos and C W Meredith was notable as a photographer of Beal's famous West Midland layout.


Stewart Reidpath, Reidmere, S-R, Essar; confusing company! But a major influence in the 1930s.



Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Belatedly, not sure if Merco were responsible for the Bilteezi buildings. Thought that they were commissioned directly by Hamblings and introduced at the 1948 Model Engineering Exhibition.

They were drawn by R.G.Vacy-Ash and, according to his son, were all based on a town in Cheshire and the son remembers playing in the garage depicted on sheet A2.

Printing of the sheets was carried out by Webberley Ltd of Stoke on Trent although other printers may have been used.

The confusion with Merco may have arisen because their building papers were listed at the end of the separate Bilteezi catalogue issued by Hamblings.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Merco Smokey brick paper was the best on the market & if it was available today would probably give modern brick papers a run for their money,i remember the Rev.Peter Denny putting out a plea for more supplies after they went off the market.I believe the Engine Shed in Leytonstone,E.London bought the rights to Bilteezi & stated that the brick paper would appear but it never did.Also,they did a very nice strip of printed brick arches.I had some of these for years,i can`t remember if i bought them from Hamblings or W&H.



Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of early 50's ads for motor bogies from Romford.  Interesting to see the price has actually reduced in the 9 months between them.


And the spelling mistake.  Nothing's new..........................



Link to post
Share on other sites

It could have been a reduction in the dreaded purchase tax (the budget was in the middle!) To note it was less than the 20% VAT we enjoy today, despite being only applicable to a limited range of goods and not on services.




I have found this which, while applicable to records at the 'luxury' rate, shows that there was in fact a P.T. reduction in the April 1953 budget.




I am not sure which band model railway products fell into (toys fell into the middle bracket), but generally they had a retail mark up of 100%, which on 32/6d would put 10/10d at 33 1/3%, which seems about right! (I seem to recall this figure!)



Link to post
Share on other sites

the usual "shop" mark-up on model railways at that time was to add 50% to the price the retailer paid to the supplier; this gave a profit of 33.3% on the selling price.


It's one of those daft things I remember from working in Patrick's Toys in Fulham after school!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The retailer paid the supplier the wholesale price + purchase tax (at say 33 1/3 %) then adding 50 % gives my 100% mark up w ith 1/3rd as profit. (memories of calculating shopkeeper's profits at school and the different ways of working out profit - retaiolers chose the one that seemed less!

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

A few picture of a Romford motor bogie still with its box with instructions. Some of the instructions also apply to other Romford motors fitted with ball races. Those bits of metal holding the pieces of paper down are 00 wheel back-to-backs - nothing to do with the motor bogie:













Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Very interestng examples of the way it used to be done. Thanks for the pictures.

Ways it should still be done. These are all self-contained units. Thats it. These motor bogies were brilliant things to use, and still are, and now we need tenders to use locos, what is this? Sparta?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I am too young to have visited the shop, I am aware of the name of Jones Brothers, Chiswick, from Triang Servicing Scheme booklets etc. It's interesting to see that on the receipt they are G W Jones Bros & Co Ltd, Wood Turners and Cabinet Makers of Chiswick, W4

Link to post
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...