TOBY - THE WORLD’S SIMPLEST LOCO - IN METRIC

Part one by Julius de Waal

Steve Eaton’s design for Toby has been most successful, providing locomotive builders with a live steam passenger hauler that is the most simple to build and operate. For 2.5” gauge it is of narrow gauge proportions, avoiding the ‘watchmaking’ skills needed for other small beginner type locos. Thick frames, with no horns, make things simple to build and provide good adhesive weight. Slip eccentric valve gear cannot be beaten for simplicity, and is perfectly adequate and reliable. The boiler is the simplest launch type, easy to build and to keep fired. Steve included solid steel ‘side tanks’, again for track adhesion weight, with water and coal conveniently catered for in a short simple tender.

Many have been built, or are under construction, and Steve’s drawings have now been moved from the MEWS website to the first DVD. They are also available from the National 2.5” Gauge Association which can also supply castings - although fabrications could be used. Some have also been built, slightly modified, to run on 3.5” gauge rails. Other versions are out there, including a saddle tank and one with an attractive Lynton & Barnstable outline.

Julius de Waal has now revisited the design in imperial and now in metric. Julius’ design is different in some ways. For example it includes water side tanks. It cannot be as simply tweaked to give a 3.5” gauge engine like the original - but we hope that he will produce drawings for a 3.5” version. Of course, builders can revert to solid ‘tanks’ if they prefer. Anyone building a Toby for passenger hauling, should use mild steel for the frames and other chassis parts and not aluminium.

Imperial version here.

Click on a drawing to download - for personal use only.

Part one here  part two  part three  part four