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Engine query


Joined: 1-01-00

Topics: 1

Replies: 0

Posted: Sun 24th Apr 2011, 3:25am
Engine query

I am planning a garden railway which is relatively short (250 metres / 820 feet) but with steep gradients (1 in 24) and tight curves (7.6 metre / 25 feet radius).
I have heard of a garratt built with a Tinkerbell boiler and Romulus engine units which copes well with steeper gradient and tighter curves than those which I am planning.
Where can plans for the Tinkerbell and Romulus be obtained and what are the advantages of locomotive boilers over the marine type originally specified for the Tinkerbell?
I note that Roger Marsh and Sir Arthur Heywood both favoured the marine boiler for their engines presumably with good reason.
What would be the most suitable type of boiler for a short, steep, tightly curved private line likely to receive relatively infrequent use?

Simon Hutchinson Penguin Tasmania Australia

Replies To This Post

Peter Beevers

Joined: 9-10-01

Topics: 5

Replies: 166

Posted: Sun 24th Apr 2011, 8:07am

It's all about personal preference, allied to a little knowledge!!
Marine vs locomotive boiler: A marine boiler is much simpler and cheaper to make than a locomotive boiler. This is why Marsh and Heywood favour it. However, (and opinions vary here) the locomotive boiler is simpler to use, certainly for novices. There are plenty of tales of marine boilers steaming badly - the driver then panics and it continues to steam badly. So most prefer a locomotive boiler.
For a short, steep, sharply curved line, I would personally recommend a loco boiler - it will steam rapidly, easily and freely. However, if it is infrequently used, then the price will come into play and the marine boiler becomes a better economic proposition.
Type of loco - it depends how much you want to haul and the type of line you're building. A Romulus is a pretty powerful loco - but is a 'ride behind' loco. A tinkerbell is a ride in - a proper locomotive, in effect.
The Tinkerbell garratt - frankly, unless you're up for a LOT of effort (and want a wonderful loco to show off!!) then I'd give it a miss - a tinkerbell should get round those curves and be much simpler to build, but just as powerful.
Hopefully I've covered it all - if not, drop me an email and we can discuss further (


Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 28

Replies: 346

Posted: Sun 24th Apr 2011, 8:25am

Simon, Part of you question was where to obtain drawings. Romulus can be had from Reeves2000, one of our advertisers. If you do decide that you like the Garratt route but prefer a loco type boiler, a Thomas 2 boiler is more than adequate (+ 7-8%) for two sets of Rommy cyls.
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