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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 20 - Summer 1974

The Building of A 5 Inch Gauge Great Central 4-4-0 Director Class Locomotive. Part 2 - F H Marshall

The next step I took was to try to obtain some drawings and I also thought a photograph depicting a full side on view would also be of assistance. The first requirement was kindly met by Mr Peppercorn, CME, Doncaster, whose secretary arranged to obtain from Gorton two general arrangement drawings to cover engine and tender. That of the engine was to a scale of 1½" : 1 ft. and for the self-trimming tender 1": 1ft. i.e. equal to 5" gauge which I could use as a working drawing once I had mastered the Design Office methods of draughting, it being different to what I was accustomed to in my employment of Toolmaking.

From Mr George Dow, who was then at Marylebone, I received a Builder's photograph of an 'Improved Director' showing one of the batch sent by Mr. Gresley for working on the North British section. The builder's plate reads, ' Kitson, Leeds, 1924'. We reproduced that picture in Quainton News No. 18. The engine illustrated above was built as LNER 6395 and was one of the same batch. The alterations to the splashers will be noted but the general appearance was very little changed in forty years.

I worked out the material needed for the main and tender frames and obtained from a metal warehouse in Clerkenwell, London (I was living in Edgware at the time) a ten foot length of 4" x 1/8" B.M. Steel strip. This was cut up to the required four lengths and the main frames were to be the first job. One section was carefully marked out including the axle box openings and then dowelled to the other. This unit I machined on a vertical milling machine and completed the radii by filing. The steel dowels were drifted out and I now had an identical pair of main frames to which I could fit the buffer and drag beams.

These I milled to size from cold drawn steel angle then slotted same to accept the frame ends. Below the slots made in the top faces I rivetted angle pieces, offered both beams up to the frames, and tested for parallel and square. It only remained for me to drill and tap 24 fixing holes and bolt up with 2BA hex head high tensile screws and I had before me part 1 of my ambition fulfilled. Finally I fitted the bogie bolster, stretcher plate and a single silver steel tie bar all of which I had previously made.

I next turned my attention to the buffers and guides. The elliptical faced' buffers could not be made from bars less than 2" in diameter so I was in for a fair stint at the lathe because the buffer shank is only 5/8" in diameter. In order to form the head - face and back in one hit - I made a forming tool out of Gauge Plate. This left me with a circular headed buffer 2" across so the required shape was arrived at on the bench. The guides were a turning and boring job each fit ted with a pin to register in a machined groove in the buffer shank. The guard irons fitted to a full size locomotive are very substantial but it might be argued do not warrant much attention when modelling. Perhaps I may be allowed at this juncture to voice a personal prejudice in favour of applying one's skills to the production of all the necessary accessories, be they coupling hooks, guard irons, screw couplings, lamps and lamp irons etc. I appreciate that some builders cannot wait to "get it on the road" and in consequence indulge in skimping. There are others (of whom I believe I must be numbered) who get much personal satisfaction from the construction and use of tools and the testing of one's skill. Let me say that in the course of my locomotive adventure I shall make my quota of mistakes. I trust that time and patience will not desert me. To return to the guard irons. In 5" gauge they are robust enough being shaped from 1/8" steel plate, and have to receive a double "set" so as to become positioned over the rail. I made a form tool on which the finished guard could sit after dropping onto retaining pins. The top half of the form was put into position and the whole assembly placed under a "fly" press ram and formed cold.

I had sufficient material from which to make the bogie frames and in view of their comparative smallness it was a pleasant task to make them by hand. The four sets of axle box horns are made from cold drawn brass angle rivetted in position after the faces had been squared off and checked for alignment with a test bar when the frames had been assembled. The axle boxes have separate "keeps" and white metal bearings, the methods employed being the same as that used when making the driving wheel boxes which I will describe later in the article.

1 - Unfortunately this was the last of these articles produced see Regrets - Quainton News No. 24 - Summer 1975

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1974 and so does not reflect events in the 40+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

The Building of A 5 Inch Gauge Great Central 4-4-0 Director Class Locomotive. Part 2 - F.H. Marshall - Quainton News No. 18 - December 1973

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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