I’ve spent some time over the last couple of days looking at photos of Sentinels on passenger trains. The browsing started after I’d read a post on the NGRM forum which mentioned a Muir-Hill passenger tractor on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, I looked for a photo of the prototype and there was another miniature railway’s Sentinel on the same search page.

I thought that looked really good so I then progressed from there to searching for full sized, but narrow gauge, Sentinels on passenger duties.

When a British railway modeller thinks of Sentinels it usually means a railcar like the ones on the LNER or the neat little boxy locos on shunting or local goods train duties but colonial railways, like the ones in these photos, used them on passenger trains.

The geared steam engines could shift pretty impressive loads.

But they were also used on shorter trains, more suited to a model railway.

Trains of just one or two coaches are perfect for most modellers… Hang on a minute, let’s just take another look at that last photo!

Yes, it’s FCPyF #14 at Ciudad Grande.

The gradients on the FCPyF are considerably stiffer than those on the railways in the prototype photos and #14 can’t pull the full scratch set up the hill to Cuarto de Pulgada, but it can cope with the two coaches if the caboose is switched out.


About Bob Hughes

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