No 763 'Axe' ready to roll
The locomotive would have to fit in with
the history of our railway. This claims that when the Minehead extension
was built, an additional Manning Wardle called 'Axe' was delivered.
Guess what? We can always change the history! The important
consideration is that a more powerful design would have been preferred
due to the heavy grades.
So who could have delivered such a loco? 'Lyn', the Baldwin was already
nominally more powerful than the Manning Wardles, by the way.
Lynton and Barnstaple track was not as
heavy as it might have been and in addition it could be best described
as 'serpentine'. The loading gauge was not as generous as some either.
More power would mean more weight and more wheels would possibly be
So here were the contenders.
1. South African
These were delivered during the right epoch
(1900s) from Manning Wardle and were effectively, 'L&B locos on
Egyptian Railways Delta
3. South African
Railways NG 4 Kerr Stuart
A few Hunslet designs were also suggested
but they were either far too ugly or looked too much like Russell. One
design cropped up a lot which is without doubt one of the most elegant
locomotives of all time. This was the Kitson design for the Leek and
Manifold Railway. These were large locomotives for 2ft 6in gauge and I
felt that if reduced in size, something would get lost in translation.
Then there was the 'stalking horse'
designed by Bernard Taylor. This was the result of speculation of what
North British would have made of designing for a two foot gauge railway
in the UK. Bernard Taylor developed the design based on the Darjeeling
a photo mock-up of the loco
was again based on the Grafar N scale class 08 chassis.
The side frames were removed and the ends butchered a little and Bissel
The tanks and cab sides were cut from nickel silver sheet.
The frames were then gradually cut to fit the chassis and loco.
The is the completed chassis ready to receive the cylinders and Roco
The chassis is now complete and
runs smoothly. It is now being wired for DCC (including lights).
The body is now being formed and the
boiler and smoke box made. The following series of shots shows how the
body was gradually put together.
Preparing for fitting the DCC chip
Comparison with an L&B Manning Wardle
The completed loco which is now ready
The loco is finished in black and sent
to Chris Meachen (Golden Arrow Productions) for panelling and lining.
Axe in service on County Gate.
So we have experienced adhesion problems.
The grades on County Gate are severe and this design just did not give
me enough space to add the required ballast so we suffered from wheel
slip with the train I wished to haul. This has been solved by using a
companion boxcar fitted with powered bogies.