By Dave Ball

This locomotive was first shown at the 2019 London Exhibition at Alexandra Palace. It was completed late 2018 by Dave Ball -  best known for his 7.25 engines which can be seen at the Great Cockrow Railway in Chertsey, Surrey through the summer weekends.

Construction took two years, commencing in September 2016. The chassis was scaled up from the popular Martin Evans 5" gauge Simplex loco design (like Bob Symes' Burry Port), with boiler and platework scaled up from 4mm drawings to represent an LMS Fowler 2F Dock Tank in its final British Railways form.

It has a working pressure of 110 psi, with 3.5” bore cylinders, and is fitted with three radiant superheater elements. Cylinder are produced from Tinkerbell castings, with fabricated slide valve steam chests.

Frames, buffer beams, frame stretchers, con rods, coupling rods and valve gear support irons were laser cut at Model Engineers Laser in Doncaster. The boiler came from a Midland Compound built in 1974 which had seen little use before changing hands. The loco was somewhat out of scale, and the new owner wished to have it rebuilt closer to correct scale, requiring the commissioning of a new boiler. The redundant unit was found to be a perfect size for Dave's project, enabling construction to proceed much quicker than expected.

The loco performed beautifully from its first steaming and is now resident at lngfield Light Railway in West Sussex.

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Editor: David Carpenter