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Regner Class A Climax

By Shawn Viggiano

Regner Class A Climax

Its been over a year when Regner announced that they would be producing a Class A Climax in three styles: T boiler, straight boiler and vertical boiler.  Being a huge fan of the Class A Climax I decided to place an order for a T boiler. 
 Yesterday I  received a call from Jay Kovac of the Train Department that my Regner order had come in.  Rather then wait for it to be shipped I decided to take the 1.5 hour drive to his house and pick it up.  It was well worth the drive.  As soon as I got home I started looking through all the parts etc......... and start my build. 

The first thing I did was unwrap all the parts and lay them out on some paper and make sure everything was accounted for and nothing broke.  Regner has always been great with packing the parts so nothing can rattle around and break.  The one problem I did run into was the directions are all written in German.  Apparently there is no English version at the moment.   The best I can do is go by the pictures and hopefully some of my past experience will help.   




Step 1 Trucks

The first step is assembling the trucks.  Because he direction are written in German and I have only twp photos to go by I was able to figure out the assembly of the trucks.  At this point I have to wait for the glue to dry before I can fully assemble the trucks.

Below are the parts required to build two trucks:

I managed to get the trucks together.  Overall it was fairly easy.  The only problem I ran into was one side of the wood pieces with the grooves (see below) should have been glued after everything was assembled. The two T looking pieces with two larger eye looking holes are glued onto that metal flat bar.  One should be glued after everything is assembled otherwise you cant slip the axles on with the side truck frame.  Im sure it is clear in the directions but I can read German grrrrrrrr................................

The springs were a challenge but I found threading some string through the springs prevents the springs from flying across the room.  

One thing I found is only one axle per truck is geared.  

The easy fix to my problem was to cut out the notches on the bottom piece (see picture below)  The wood piece below the two springs have notches that go against the truck frame. (See two photos comparing cut piece vs uncut).  Doing the cut has no effect on anything as long as the other side is not cut.  Eventually I will glue a piece to replace what was cut.  Because its wood its easy to repair or replace.  

Bottom piece not cut

Bottom piece cut so it can slide through frame

Completed truck

Step 2 frame and motor bracket

I made more progress over the weekend.  I manged to get the deck and frame together.  It was fairly easy assemblimg the deck and the braces for the motor.  As long as you study the pictues and pay attention to what way everything faces.

Parts laid out

All the pieces glued and clamp together

Once everything was dried I bolted the motor to the frame.  This was a simple task that requires 6 bolts. 

The truck brackets and trucks were then added as well as the drive shaft.

While connecting the drive shafts I noticed the back shaft was too long, not allowing the truck to go straight.  After looking everything over and making sure I didnt miss anything (because all holes are predrilled its hard to be off on the placement of things) I decided that I had to cut some of the shaft to shorten it.  It was an easy task using my dremal and a file. AFter putting the shaft back together I was able to swing the trucks around with nothing getting tight.  

Below is the shaft.  The truck could not swing anymore

Drive shaft cut.  Now it can swing freely.  It has no effect on the dia curve.  Like the shay the shaft does not pull out of sleeve very much. 

Step 3 boiler

The next step is the boiler. Parts laid out.

I got the boiler complete.  It went together easily.  The hardest was the sight glass but luckily I have replaced these in the past.  After testing the sight glass for leaks and put the oiler together and the gas tank. I replaced the Regner stock gas filler valve off and put the more common Ronson style valve. It all went together easily using photos.  It also helps having done a Lumberjack kit.    

  The final step was to fit all the plumbing.  Now I just have to wait for my brass darkener to come in and weather the decking.  Then I can secure everything.   

Boiler completed


gas tank

Plumbing test fitted


I got a little behind waiting for the brass darkening solution and some India ink for weathering the wood. I was able to start building the cab while waiting The cab was fairly easy just had to wait for the glue to dry before I could move to the next step. I might end up adding some small hex screws in the cab and frame for more support.

Parts for cab/frame

All the brass parts were then darkened.  I debated long and hard on whether i should darken the brass or keep it shiny. The fact is it would not be a logging engine if everything was pretty. That pretty much made up my mind.   I also started to weather the wood some using the India ink and alcohol. A few coats were applied until I got the look I was after. Once that was completed the boiler, gas tank, stack and piping were all hooked up and the cab was fitted.  The only issue I ran into was the screws.  The two screws for the gas tank were too long.  I solved this by cutting them shorter.  Not a big deal.  I also broke one of the hex heads  on the screw when screwing into the tank.  You have to be super careful with these, as the heads will snap very easy, even if they are over tightened slightly.

Next step is the roof and weathering the cab. Below are the parts for the roof.

Finished product

The Climax is finally done (other then a few personal details I still have to add)   The roof was finished and all the detailed parts were put on.  The rest of the wood was weathered.  I brushed on steam oil to the wood surfaces to protect the wood.  Once I had it together i tightened all the steam fittings etc.....   It lite on the first try but as soon as steam started to build I found the sight glass was leaking.  I had to shut it down and redid the sight glass.  It took a few tries wrapping plumbers tape around the nut and glass tube.  I did eventually get it.  The second time I lite the gas.   As the steam started to build i found a few minor leaks in the connections.  All were fixed by tightening the nuts.  One other thing I noticed was Regner does not provide a pressure gauge.  I found it odd since all u other regner engines came with them.  Once the safety blew I turned the throttle up and off it went.  It ran at a nice slow speed.  Changing the gears adds a tad more speed but less power.  It will take a few runs to get everything broke in but I think I got a keeper.

Now I just need to add the top off system, chuffer and a head light. 




A few things that would have been nice:

pressure gauge 


Extra screws (I had two missing)

All axles geared rather then only two.