Building the Dholpur 2-8-4T
Dholpur is not too far from Agra and there
was a captivating 2ft 6ins railway there, operating Hanomag tender
engines and two rather strange Hunslet 2-8-4 pannier tanks, built in the
1950s. No one could ever call them beautiful; they looked top heavy and
rather alien. Again, I was allowed to play with one for a day and grew
to like the beast. I have been able to get virtually no information on
these locos bar the two photos I took. They were built in the early
1950s so my rendition has to be one 'Hunslet made earlier' to operate it
on County Gate and Cliffhanger.
Being a tank engine, there is space to add
enough ballast weight to haul decent length trains so the new class 08
chassis, bought for the purpose will remain powered. As with the Gwalior
locomotive, a bit of butchery was needed to add an extra wheelset.
Luckily, I had enough bits of scrap 08 chassis to give me what was
needed for the conversion.
The new class 08 loco
The chassis is first
The additional chassis
The completed 8 coupled
chassis. The part at the left is yet to be removed.
This is the chassis
dismantled. Slots have been cut (wedged shape) to take the trucks. The
two parts of the keeper plate show how it is 'stepped' so the short
front section is captive under the main part.
Here, the rear truck has been fitted. The screw that holds it in place
was live to the pick-ups. This would make the truck opposit polarity to
the chassis and be a constant short problem. The screws has been
insulated and a new wire soldered onto the phosphor bronze sheet so the
truck remain same polarity as the chassis.
The truck is then weighted with
lead and on to the front pony truck
One frame is now cut.
It will be tacked onto another sheet to cut that one out too.
The front footplate is the first to
affix. Both plate and frames are slotted to get the thing to fit
Now the bulk of the heavy soldering is
complete on the chassis (bar a few details) focus is going to the
cylinders and valve gear. The Roco gear needs to have the cylinders
modified a bit for it to work. The screw and vertical plate is the front
fixing of the body unit.
The footplate and coal bunker floor is
fitted and this and the smokebox front plate will be the two fixing
points of the body. The firebox and ashpan with linkage are fitted.
Couplings are also in place.
The cab sides are made and soldered onto
the body section which is the footplate.
The cab roof and firebox are made as
separate units to facilitate easy painting later. The roof has an inner
section which accurately locates it and makes gluing easier later on.
Now the job of building up the tank and
boiler has started in earnest.
The completed body is sand blasted and
The Roco valve gear is installed.
Detailing of the chassis complete.