Canvey Railway and Model Engineering Club.


7 inch gauge 0-2-2

Rainhill was a 3 1/2” LBSC design. It was a freelance design but it was typical of locos following on from The Rocket. It was possibly another couple of decades before cylinders were in line with the wheels and at the front. Lion was an early one of these.

One the Midlands members, Gordon Smith, up-scaled it to  7 1/4” and exhibited it at the Midlands exhibition, which is where our builer saw it. He contacted the club and was invited up to see Gordon. He gave me copies of his drawings and lent me his boiler flanging plates. The builder purchased a set of the LBSC drawings to help with a bit more detail. As the 7 1/4 design was not published there were no casting sets available but GLR allowed me to go through their casting and pattern stocks until the builder had what he needed.

The cylinders are 5” Simplex, well modified; there was not enough room for anything larger. The builder thinks the carrying wheels were Bridget, not sure what the other bits were. It was designed with two axel pumps, which gives  the required ‘two means'. The builder managed to squeeze in a small and rather slow hand pump.

    After running it a few times the builder added an injector because if you get stopped on the track the axel pumps don't do much. Bit naughty because they were not invented until the mid 1850's. It has slip eccentric gear, reversing gear was not invented for a few more years. In full size they used a crowbar to more the loco in the required direction before applying power.

The boiler is not that large but I used £90 worth of gas, £120 of silver solder and, I think, about £150 of copper. The little wagon that carries water and coal was taken from a 5” design that I had used in the early 80's with my first loco. This really does not hold a lot of water so I have recently coupled through to the much larger tank in my driving carriage. That has an audio low water warning plus vacuum brakes which are electrically driven when I am not running my GWR loco that has an ejector.

Given that Simplex cylinders are used, the stroke / crank throw is going to be as Simplex. However, the wheels are 6 3/4 “ diameter while Simpex has 4 1/8”. As a result of this Rainhill's drawbar pull is only about 60% of Simplex's. This not a problem on the flat but it is noticeable as you come out of the loop on the inner track. Our builder had never expected it to be a passenger hauler anyway.