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Bradypus- Ruby Railmotor

by Bradypus (Nick)

A few pictures of my freelance railmotor.

Being a lazy so-and-so I wanted a 'train' which I could run end-to end without all that tedious mucking about running the loco round the coaches at each end. Many minor railways tried steam railmotors. Not many narrow gauge (other than Sentinel steam railcars), to my knowledge but I thought I would have a go anyway.

The germ of the idea came from a drawing in issue 66 of Garden Rail magazine (Feb 2000 - I never clainmed to be quick off the mark) which was a never built 3ft gauge railmotor for the Tralee & Dingle Railway. That proposal came from the Hunslet Engine Co but, as I lean towards the Isle of Man Railway, I based mine on a supposed Beyer Peacock counter offer.

'Discovered' by the old archivists in the company library is the 1911 CAD General Arrangement drawing:

And in the flesh:

The 'motor' end. The power unit is an Accucraft Ruby, being the smallest (and cheapest) loco available at the time. It came as a kit which made throwing the body away so much easier. Styling owes much to Isle of Man Railway No 16 with the addition of a heavy bufferbeam to counterbalance the coach portion. The raised boiler gives the driver room to oil the inside valvegear.

Broadside on shows the coach portion which is an amalgam of the IOMR 'Saloon' coaches and a short luggage compartment. Seating for 21 plus a few boxes of kippers or, as this is Yorkshire, boxes of rhubarb.

Loads of underframe detail to add yet. Auxilliary water tanks, brake rigging, dynamo, batteries etc. The Loco is numbered 10 in the loco series but the coach is 'R2' in the carriage book, just to keep the maintenance records straight (ahem)

Remote cab end, the door prominantly labelled "DRIVER", just to emphasise to the passengers that this is something special. Passengers enter through the luggage doors at the loco end. The IOM saloons were notorious for lack of ventilation so all the droplight windows are down as it's a sunny day. They will still be down in winter as they are fixed in position.

There isn't any cab detail fitted yet. I was struggling to find details of 'remote' controls. Fortunately, only last week I came across an online accident report concerning a GWR push-pull set. It has a good picture of the cab with the controls neatly labelled so I can start designing with (some) confidence.

I did have my own accident while testing the power unit, although I only took one photo for the official report:

The report made two recommendations:

1) Don't run locos on uneven track without the r/c switched on.

2) If a loco derails, DON'T TRY TO CATCH IT. It will only make things worse.

Major casualties were dents to the cab roof and smokebox, a broken chimney and a dent to the dome.
The first three were repaired easily but the dent in the dome is still there.

It adds 'character'...