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2003 Diary: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2004 Diary: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, closure notice, The Final Run

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Salfords Light Railway

Locomotives of the Salfords Light Railway


After several abortive attempts at finding a steam loco, I posted a "wanted" notice on Chris Heapy's Model Engineering Adverts Pages for a quarry Hunslet. My loco is currently un-named but as my Father has had such an influence on my interest in railways, I intend to name the loco PETER. Based on a Dinorwic Quarry ALICE class loco, these did not originally have cabs as clearance in the quarries was very limited, however the model is built as many of these locos now look in preservation with a full cab (she would've had wooden dumb-buffers originally too).

This is the first I actually saw of the loco when the previous owner brought her along to the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition in 2002 for me to inspect.

Until I get around to building a secure locoshed to put her in, I have a Hunslet in my kitchen (as of Nov. 2002). I tell you one thing, she looks a heck of a lot bigger in my kitchen than she did in the back garden!

PETER being steamed-up on his first trip in to the garden. I didn't get a picture of him in steam as the digital camera's battery went flat. 

However on the next attempt, PETER was moved in to the station to pose after a good couple of hours running.


After much soul-searching I have decided to sell my quarry Hunslet. I have only steamed him twice in the last year and he is too fine a loco not to use. A lot of things have happened in the last 2 years and I feel it is time to find him a good home. Using Chris Heapy's website I sold him sight-unseen in 4 hours.



Diesel No.1 (actually a battery-electric) is a "special order" Trojan from Ride on Railways. I first got to drive a standard Trojan at Paul's open day in May 2002 and was very impressed with its performance. I didn't much care for the body though, but Paul agreed to work with me to develop a more "industrial feel" body to go on his proven chassis. I sent off some (very) rough sketches and Paul came up with some ideas.

Image courtesy of Ride on RailwaysThis is a "standard" Trojan with the standard-gauge profile cab.


These were my sketches (sorry, they didn't scan well as the originals are in pencil and of low contrast)


Image courtesy of Ride on RailwaysThis is the preliminary drawing Paul came up with - essentially a raised cab roof and different windows.


Image courtesy of Ride on RailwaysThe modified chassis in Paul's workshop.

The buffer casting is from Maxitrak and is designed for their "large" steam locos, but it looks just right on here - many small industrial locos had huge link-n-pin couplers, sometimes just to add more weight.

The chassis arrived at the SLR's workshops on 28th Sept. The body shell will be some weeks yet. My order from 4QD for the controller arrived this morning too. Unless you order a ready to run Trojan, you buy these from 4QD yourself.

Paul sent through these "final" drawings for my comments on the body-style for the industrial Trojan. I have told him to go ahead as it looks good to me.

Image courtesy of Ride on Railways

If you are about to build a Trojan yourself, you might like to read my "Trojan Construction Tips".

For my Trojan I have chosen the following colour-scheme. I am using Halfords* own-brand spray paints.

  • VW Tornado Red :- buffer beams, wheels, crank and coupling rods
  • Rover Brooklands Green :- bodywork
  • Glossy Black :- chassis

* Halfords is a UK-based motor-spares store. Any car spray-paints would do, but you probably want to avoid metallic colours.

Here's a couple of progress shots of my Trojan as of 20th Oct. 2002. She is almost ready for a track test - if I had track. May have to lift her up on blocks to run-in for a while.

Good news and bad news. I have wired up my Trojan and she runs. Now the bad news. It turns out, though I didn't notice it at the time, that when I put one wheel on it was not completely seated on the axle shoulder (goodness knows how, I was careful). Net result that the wheel is wide to gauge and to top things off, wobbling too. Now this is not much, but it is enough for the rear face of the wheel to stick on the motor mounting stud - even though it is trimmed off level.

I have tried moving the wheel and it won't budge - Loctite sure does its job. Paul has suggested that I heat up the wheel/axle joint with a blow lamp or gas torch as this should loosen the Loctite. If not, I will have to cut the axle out and remove the wheels some how. I originally thought I'd have to build a complete new wheelset, but Paul thinks that worst case I'll have to buy a new axle. So near and yet so far.

I didn't manage to get the wheels off without damaging the axle, so I have asked Paul for a replacement.

The new axle has arrived, but then so did the Hunslet and a load of track, so I have been "pre-occupied" this weekend.

16th November 2002, 11:50 a.m. I have run the first powered train on the Salfords Light Railway.

I rebuilt the defective axle, reassembled everything and she ran, so I took her out on the line, coupled up to my bogie chassis and open wagon #1 and had a ride round the garden.

There is still some more work to be done on the loco (battery meter, max. speed control and "deadman" button, not to mention the side cranks, rods and a body), but she does run.


Paul got the metal back from the laser-cutters and has put my body together. I am off to pick it up at the weekend.

I am really pleased with how she has come out, the proportions look just right. This view taken by Paul shows the body on a "normal" Trojan chassis with buffers, mine is a little different with the large central link-n-pin coupler.

I also managed to find some nice headlights for her at a bicycle shop. 6V halogens - should light up half the garden when I turn them on!

This picture was sent to me by Paul showing the body on his chassis - mine doesn't have buffers.

I am making real progress with the Trojan now. About all that is left to complete the loco are the cranks, the max speed pot., and the battery-level meter needs connecting up, but otherwise nearly there.

I had real trouble with the Halfords own-brand paint covering - especially the green. I resorted to Plasti-kote lawn green in the end as it covers better, but it is a bit light.

I also noticed I forgot to put the RoR badge above the radiator - it is picked out in red - looks nice.

On this shot you can see one of my "not sure if it is a good idea"s. Many industrial locos are rather crude in design and to replicate this I have attached the vented side panels (bought in a DIY store) with small wing-nuts. Many full-size industrial diesels have wing-nuts like this to make it easy to get to the "innards". If you don't believe me, go and have a look through some of the photos I took at the Amberley Working Museum. I am not 100% convinced, and in this photo the strong sunlight makes them stand out against the shadows - up close they are not quite so prominent. A friend has since told me in no uncertain terms they look terrible! Oh well. Perhaps I will look at making some sort of replacements.

I am still contemplating some kind of exhaust, probably directly up in front of the cab window.

Trojan (aka No. 1) is shown here with 2 of RoR's new V-tippers. I have ordered a total of 4, but have only received 2 so far as Paul says they take up too much time and is only building about 1 per week.

No. 1 travels to Harrogate as part of the National Model Engineering and Modelling Exhibition 2003.

40hp Protected Simplex

Some time ago I asked Paul at Ride on Railways if he would be interested in making a protected (not fully armoured) 40hp Simplex as provided to the British War Department in World War I. Originally I had thought he wasn't interested, but he mentioned it to me again the other day, so perhaps he'll make one after all. Years ago I used to have a 009 model of one of these by Meridian Models. It is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. I have a bit of a soft spot for them myself. Here's a couple of links if you are interested: www.wdlr.org.uk -and- www.tinturtle.info

Image courtesy of the Moseley Railway Trust and used with permission.


[ author: - last updated 13th May 2004 ] [ HOME ]