Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

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Cross head

I have started work on the loco mods to the Saint. This involves changing the cylinders and adding various details to represent the Lentz valve gear. 

The first attempt at cylinder change did not go well. I meant to take the slidebars from the existing loco and marry them to a set of A3 cylinders to represent the different valve chest arrangement. (A3 cylinders L, original cylinders R) 

Unfortunately, despite a good start in modifying the back cylinder cover and drilling out the piston rod gland, securely fastening the slidebars to the cylinders involved them locating slightly too far forward so the crosshead then fell out the back of the slidebars. 

With the best laid plans in tatters I am awaiting the arrival of a set of Castle cylinders and slidebars which I hope will solve the issue. 

In case the existing crosshead doesn’t fit in the Castle slidebars I got the pack which comes with the connecting rod and crosshead. In some ways I shouldn’t be too cross as modern slidebars look a lot more realistic and with the right profile than the old 1980s Hornby efforts. 

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Musical tenders

Continuing the tender story from my last post, I dismantled the tender on my Saint ready to install a Collett 3500 gal intermediate tender top. 

However, here is a snag. As I’ve said, Hornby have produced a Collett 3500 tender for their Grange. The spares shops don’t stock the tender top as a separate spare so I contacted Hornby spares service who replied with, “our stockists of spares are…”. Genius, not. 

I already had a spare Hornby Collett 4000 gal tender top from an Olton Hall (Hogwarts Castle) but the Hornby one includes the top frame and buffer beam. I may yet use that one but I wanted to reduce the cutting if possible. 

(As an aside, why was Stanier the only person, prior to Coventry Colliery, LT, and Hollywood to realise GW engines looked good in maroon…?!)

Lima’s King comes with a 4000 gal tender and the top is only the tank. I had one squirrelled away in the spares box having arrived as a “spares or repair, unable to run” from eBay. Turns out it was unable to run as it had a Hornby Zero 1 chip in it (which if anybody wants for the cost of the postage please drop me a comment). 

I did think of using the whole Lima tender but its mechanism is awful compared to the later Hornby tender drives and finding out that the intermediate tenders had Dean frames meant I could use the Hornby chassis. 

I therefore dismantled the Lima King with help from the smallest member of the family, and have trial fitted the 4000 gal tender top. I’ll now need to build a jig to insert in the tender top to keep it rigid while I skim 2.5mm off the bottom of it before then changing a few minor details. 

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Tender spot

So I’ve turned into a bit of a tender geek. Who would have guessed? (Steph*, don’t say ANYTHING!)

It’s this Saint idea of mine. The picture of Caynham Court on a parcels train shows it with a Collett 3500 gal intermediate tender. These weren’t very common but found their way onto a variety of classes. 

(Ignore the caption, its Lentz valve gear) 

To keep it simple, what I believe is correct is that there are 3 main classes of GW tenders:

Dean / Churchward 3000, 3500, and 4000 gal tenders (such as you’ll see on City of Truro), with the higher capacities achieved using a well tank between the frames. 

Star class Lode Star with Dean / Churchward tender
Collett 3000, 3500, and 4000 gal tenders (such as you’ll see on Collett 4-6-0 locos). In preservation Manors have been paired with 3500 tenders to give a greater capacity but looks a tad odd. Hornby’s latest Grange is paired with a 3500 tender which in real life is 7″ lower than a 4000 (2.5mm on the model)

Modified Hall Class Raveningham Hall with Collett 4000 gal tender. 
Hawksworth 4000 gal tender thin and wide. The wide ones (8’6″) were paired with the Counties and the thin ones (8’0″) were build for other 4-6-0 classes including the Modified Halls. There was a plan (and drawing) for a Hawksworth 3000 gal tender but it was never needed as scrapping of older locos (the Saints in particular) provided spare tenders. 

Hawksworth County Class County of Chester with wide Hawksworth tender
It turns out that in the GW standardisation policy, it was easy to mount different tanks on different frames so all sorts of wonderful combinations appeared at some time or other. 

The Collett 3500 gal intermediate tender is an oddity (if I have researched this correctly) and as produced was mounted on a Dean / Churchward chassis. 

This is good news for me. The Hornby Saint I have comes with a Dean / Churchward tender. Removing the tender top and replacing it with a Collett one should give the desired result. 

Hornby Saint Patrick 

*Steph is my (little) big sister, and I always reckon she stopped being interested in trains once she was old enough to realise she had a choice! (Although being sensible she did enjoy her footplate ride on the mighty Square on the Ffestiniog). 

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Purposeful but not pretty

On Wednesday I got the train to London. When it arrived (2 minutes late)  it wasn’t the usual Mk4 DVT leading but a blunt ended Class 91. The problem at Newcastle before departure had been sufficiently last minute that it was quicker to run the loco round than find another set (if they had one). 

Chances are it was the control from the DVT to the loco that wasn’t functioning. BREL had problems with it 25 years ago when they were developing it. 

What did surprise me was that despite being on a fast service (where top speed matters) the 110mph limit was sufficient for it only to drop another minute over the route to London, much of which is cleared for 125mph running – although that might have been because the driver’s speedo wasn’t as accurate as mine. 

What this basically means is that there is a lot of slack in the timetable. 

It will be interesting to see, once the Hitachi IEP trains are in, how much the timetable can be accelerated. 

As an endpiece, I always take a photo of something odd if I get a chance, on the grounds that at some point I’ll want it for railway modelling or need it for a report I’m writing for work, so here’s a photo of the end of the B carriage of an Intercity 225 set, and the view through the window when it’s not blocked by a 91 (although I couldn’t do anything about the filthy window!)