Cygnet Committee

If you’re a fan of early Bowie music you’ll not need to Google that.

“So much is gone, and little is new” could refer to me kitbashing second hand toy trains to make my models but the cygnet reference is actually just a follow on from yesterday’s blog entry.

I’ve decided to use the cab from the Christmas train on #9 instead of #57. In addition to which #9 will also receive the smoke stack and steam dome from the Christmas train, giving it a much better appearance even before they’re properly fitted. If I make the running boards a bit wider to match the cab the engine will look like quite a respectable On30 model and, with its dual power (from loco and tender), it should be able to tackle the FCPyF’s gradients with ease.

Still an ugly duckling? I think not.

The small cab removed from #9 will be used on #57 where it will allow better access to the controls for the clockwork mechanism. A carrying axle has been added to try and offset the front-heavy look of the loco but it’s not functional and may be removed if it interferes with the loco’s running.

I think there’s a fussy, slightly comical, typically British narrow gauge air to this loco now, and maybe more than a hint of the Craig and Mertonford in #57’s appearance. The historic Scottish railway is a world apart from the Pampas and Fernandez but it is still, after all these years since I first read about it in the 1960s, one of the primary reasons I model narrow gauge.

After tea I dug out the soldering iron then disassembled #9 and added jumper wires between the engine’s motor and that in the tender. With the two motors wired in parallel they can now both pick up current via the loco and tender wheels for added reliability. The loco’s boiler has a heavy lump of metal in it and extra lead weights in the tender mean there’s plenty of traction on all the powered wheels.

There’s no rear coupler on the tender yet so I tested the dual motored loco by propelling the Cuarto Mail up the hill from Bodjio to Cumbre. No problem!

Loose ends

The tender that was originally used with #9 has been dismantled. Its (bogie) chassis will be used under #2’s tender, meaning that the 2-4-2 will have Kadees at either end instead of Kadee on the front and tension lock on the rear.

The 6 wheeled chassis displaced from #2’s tender is a perfect match for the Christmas train’s present wagon, which is being converted into a boxcar.

The body from #9’s original tender is a fair match in size for an Underground Ernie EMU chassis, which could result in another powered tender. If this comes about it will be used as a booster for #5, though without being electrically connected to the loco so the ordinary tender can still be used when the extra pulling power is not required. However, if #9’s original tender is not motorised I have a suitable four wheeled chassis in stock so it may be converted into a snowplough.

This was what happened to a lot of redundant tenders in real life and a mountaineering railway like the P&F could certainly find a use for one.


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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