The Six Coupled Goods Locomotive

In 1907 Henry Greenly published drawings for a 'Six Coupled Goods Locomotive' in Gauge 2. It appears from surviving models built to these plans that quite a few models were made, but not always completed. This is Greenly's original drawing, owned by collector Adam Goodyear:

The model subsequently appeared in Bassett Lowke's 1906 catalogue and was also available in component form.

It's difficult to tell now which models were actually built by Bassett Lowke and which assembled by amateurs. It's possible that my example was an amateur build since it has been fitted with Stephenson Link reversing motion not shown in Greenly's drawing  Here it is:

Like a lot of Gauge 2 models, the exact history of this little engine is unclear. There's evidence of the boiler having been steamed, but the cylinders had never been mounted in the frames! The most likely explanation seems to me that it had originally been built with slip eccentric valve gear as shown in Greenly's drawing, but that a subsequent owner had decided to modify it with Stevenson link motion.

The valve gear has been made to a very good, almost modern, standard but is likely to have been carried out before the Great War because Whitworth 1/16" and 3/32" threads have been used throughout. These screw threads dissapeared from models after 1918 in favour of BA (British Association) sizes and today is virtually unobtainable. In refurbishing these ancient models I've actually had to have batches of tiny Whitworth screws custom made, paying special attention to their characteristic head form.

This picture shows one of the remanufactured 3/32" Whitworth screw compared with a standard but not compatible 6BA size. Sadly many historic models have been butchered by forcing BA size fasteners into Whitworth threads.

This process had never been completed and for unknown reasons a new cylinder stretcher was made to a good standard, but never drilled for the mounting bolts! So it fell to me to finally complete this lovely little model in it's intended form with working reversing gear, a chicken feed fuel tank and tender tank with hand pump. In this form it's a very powerful little engine, but the road to success was a long and sometimes frustrating one.

The boiler had a long history of savage modifications which now had to be reversed. Most seriously, two of the five water tubes had been cut out and plugged with bits of brass. This hadn't been done well and one of the plugs leaked, requiring the whole boiler to be heated and silver solder reflowed into the leak. It can't be known why this modification had been made and it was feared that the boiler might not steam well enough with only 3 tubes, but some articles of the time referred to three tube boilers and so it was decided to try it. Here's the boiler after reflowing and pickling, now tested to modern Model Engineering standards:

A 6 wick burner was made to go with the Chicken Feed tank that was already fitted in the tender. This modern innovation is itself a mystery appearing to date from modern times, suggesting that there had been several efforts to get the little engine to work, all of which had evidently failed since it came to me dismantled with many fasteners and other parts missing.

Once complete, a long period of trial runs followed during which numerous details were amended, Models of this age are of very marginal performance compared with modern Gauge 1 designs and every aspect requires fine tuning to reach that magic moment when for the first time, the model becomes self sustaining and continues around the track without slowing down!

Eventually, still running with three instead of five water tubes, that happy day dawned. Success! And success it is! Here it is, with a long coal train, running in January 2024:

The little 0-6-0 is not alone. My friend Adam Goodyear has found one, and my own collection includes the tank engine version. Hopefully these engines will benefit from the experience of restoring this one to life and join the fleet of operable live steam Gauge 2 locomotives.

Passengers too! The little 0-6-0 makes light of the heavy Great Northern set.

Back to Gauge 2 Model Railways