Fairlight Works

Official blog of the High Weald Light Railway (1977) Co. Ltd.



Freelance steam loco design

Back in the mists of time (1998), I drew up a design for a freelance loco to run on the 009 layout I was planning at the time. Naturally, neither project saw the light of day.

Fast forward to now and I have a cheap Lifelike 0-6-0T chassis, picked up on eBay, in need of a new body. A thread on the 009 Society mailing list mentioned that Railway Recollections produce resin kits of Porter side and saddle tanks for this chassis, and they look interesting but not really appropriate for a UK preserved line.

The only other online reference I could find to this chassis in use in 009 was under a Darjeeling Himalayan railbus pictured on this 009 Society gallery page (third image). Something like this, or a diesel loco, would also help to conceal the very basic connecting rods on the chassis.

This morning I remembered the old design, which I had labelled at the time as “Hunslet-y” and filed away with all my speculative layout plans. Checking the dimensions of the drawing against the chassis it looked as if it might fit pretty well, so I scanned and scaled it down to 4mm/1ft.

Lifelike 0-6-0T chassis on drawing

Laying the stripped down chassis over a print out confirmed it – the coupled wheelbases were basically identical. I’ll have to make a few modifications to both chassis and design – a little off the top of the plastic motor block to fit it inside the boiler, and a higher cab floor to accomodate a realistically sized pony truck – but otherwise I think this simple design should make a good first go at scratchbuilding an engine.

And the 1998 layout plan? I might scan that another time.