'5ft.6in. TANK' Class, No 2263

These locos are another example of the simple, cheap and efficient machines designed at Crewe during Webb's regime before compounding became the fashion. They must have given satisfactory service because some lasted over 50 years. It was an advantage, on suburban services, that they did not need to be turned round.

The model is constructed from the London Road Models kit and is perfectly straightforward to build. I added a few extra bits such as a coal plate in the bunker and a more detailed cab interior. The main frames have provision for tapering in at both ends to provide extra sideplay and I found this to be necessary to get it to go through PECO medium radius points. The loco has a rather long wheelbase and, even with increased sideplay at both ends, it tended to derail until I fitted stronger springing to the leading and trailing axles. If you look closely at the photo of the chassis you can see that the front springs have lifted the leading driving axle clear of the track. Fortunately there is plenty of room in the loco body for ballast. This is one of my heaviest locos but not one of the best pullers because of the high proportion of its weight that is transferred to the leading and trailing axles.

The motor, just for a change, is a Mashima can driving the rear axle through an underhung worm and wheel gearbox and has given totally satisfactory service. Nevertheless, I still prefer open framed motors where the cooling air can directly reach the armature.

The loco weighs 320grms and exerts a pull of 40grms, a very low power to weight ratio.


The '5ft.6in. Tank'

Its works

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