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Four Coupled Tank Engine, Bassett Lowke, c. 1910

The little engine is described in Bassett Lowke's 1911 catalogue as a 'Scale Model' capable of pulling 15 loaded coal wagons and a brake van. The second part was certainly true - see picture of it doing exactly that 110 years later - but 'Scale Model' was a rather flexible term before the First World War.

Acquired in Aug 2023, this loco came to me via Ebay in virtually untouched condition, except for a missing burner. The paint had been utterely destroyed, but a green shade was found under crude coats of red oxide and black.

This is a very robust single cylinder design and outperforms more complex G2 locos.

A three wick burner was made with the largest fuel tank possible clipped under the footplate. All burner parts are silver soldered. Stainless mesh wicks were tried initially, but the model was just under the critical 'self sustaining' point with these and ceramic wicks give best performance. The burner duration is 15-20 minutes, long enough to raise steam and run for about 10 mins. A replacement cab back was made and the piston required re-packing, but otherwise the little engine was ready to go. And go it does!

The model has been dressed in printed vinyl and lined to a GN style but is entirely freelance. A 3D printed dome was made in SLS nylon to replace the long lost original. Here it is running with the heavy wooden bodied GN set (coaches built to Greenly's 1910 design) in February 2024 (Click picture for video).

The little engine is reminiscent of G1MRA's 'Project' design of 80 years in the future and showed, perhaps for the first time in model railway history, how a single cylinder was not a disadvantage out on the track!

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