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Aug 17, 2017

How to get started with Model Locomotives?


Hello. I am a young person who is interested in steam and everything to do with the railways. I would like to build a small 7.25in gauge steam locomotive but I am not sure where to start. Is there any chance you could give me any tips to do with this? I would like the locomotive to be to my own design but still be cheap to build and powerful.

Aug 17, 2017

I am a model railroader and I can tell you that everything associated with 7.25 in gauge is expensive. If you want cheap, I would suggest G gauge (45 mm track spacing). Even G gauge is not cheap but you can pick up a used live steamer for around $500 or less if you are patient and look hard enough. An Accucraft Ruby model is a good small live steamer that is cheap and easy to work on. You can take this 040 locomotive and add pilot wheels so it will track better and other mods like a steam blower, radio control, etc. Once you thoroughly understand it, make your own boiler, cylinders, and valve gear. You can find places that sell wheels, castings, and other things for your build. Take a used engine and rebuild or modify to suit your needs. A good source for used engines is:

Good luck and have fun with the hobby!


Aug 17, 2017

I forgot to add that I want it to be 7.25in gauge because that is what the track gauge is at my local model engineering track. I would like something smallish but powerful and at least powerful enough to pull around 5 people or the equivalent weight. I have G Gauge track somewhere, but because of the current situation regarding where I live I do not have anywhere to set it up. Both me (UK) and my friend (US) want to build them to that scale using mostly recycled materials or something like that. I know that the longest wheelbase I can have is 48in and that's it for measurements.

Mike Cole
Aug 17, 2017

Start with talking to your local club and join if not a member. You will need it to be passed by their boiler inspector. Get hold of a copy of Reeves 2000 cat there are lots of designs there. It will take many hunderds of hours so build something you like.


Charlotte Appleton
Aug 17, 2017

A great question topic. I have selected it for a video response. Watch this space! Off to pick Dad's brains on the matter.

Aug 17, 2017

Hi Charlotte,

Thanks for the response but I'm not a Patron, so what should I do? Or is it gonna be a free to watch video?

Charlotte Appleton
Aug 18, 2017Edited: Aug 18, 2017

Hi Adam,

I was going to put the answers on Patreon exclusively, simply because I spent ages hand building the website, it takes time to manage it and do the filming and editing etc. I have since decided to put the answer videos on youtube for all but if you find it useful and want to support the concept going forward, there is a Patreon site you can pledge to (as little as $1.00 per month). I'll leave it up to our community to choose to pledge or not. Either way, you can access the videos based around answering this forum on youtube. I will ask Dad to put them on his channel on a separate playlist.


If you want to support down the line here is the link.





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