Friday, July 22, 2011

ex-LNWR dock tank

ex-LNWR dock tank

Introduced in 1896 these small shunting tanks had the very short wheelbase of 7ft 3in and a trailing Bissell truck to cope with the very sharp curves for use in docks. Unusually the saddle tank was square in section, an inelegant and unusual design.

I'd only ever seen a square tanked loco in the Rev Awdry's books (who according to the Internet was called Neil) and even he didn't look like this beast. When I spotted the M&L kit on a second hand stall and the box said "Dock Tank", I knew it had to be mine. The kit made up easily enough, in fact it pretty much fell together. The body is whitemetal stuck together with superglue and the chassis a nice set of brass etchings.

On the layout, the biggest problem is the long wheelbase. On normal track it's fine but give it a trip around the Dock's tighter curves and that back truck jumps off the rails. My suspicion is that the sloppy and slightly sprung axle just doesn't cut the mustard as a replacement for the proper engineering job. On the other hand the model looks nice and anyway, my engineering isn't up to the job. Not to worry though, the model looks great in the display case and I've got plenty of other model locomotives to run anyway.

Wikipedia on the prototype engine.

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