Restoration of a 2.5" Locomotive

2.5" Gauge model railways were popular back in the 1940's and 50's and were designed for use in the garden.

At the time it was the largest garden railway gauge available and allowed the construction of fairly large live steam locomotives, which the driver could ride behind if he/she wanted to.

This photograph shows the 2.5" locomotive which I inherited




This man's pictured on the right was the locomotive builder, he was also my grandfather.

Leslie was an office clerk by day, but a self-taught machinist and steam enthusiast by night. This locomotive was built by him some time in the 1930's and 40's. It ran on the 'Kingsley Road Railway' in Northampton which was in his back garden. Unfortunately, the last time it ran, it was driven of the track and the valve gear received a knock. It has not run since.










I inherited this locomotive about 15 years ago and it had been my ambition to see it back in working condition for some time.

Here are some photos showing the engine in its initial condition.

3/4 View




Baker Valve Gear

Smoke Box









Cab View



I joined the 2.5" gauge society and exchanged letters with several helpful people. They suggested that the locomotive might have been based on a design called 'Fayette' by LBSC but that if must have had a custom tender made because Fayette in it's original design, had a U.S. style tender as shown in the sketch below.









Original Fayette Design









Click for a readable version (850K)

Final confirmation of the model's origin came from my Nan, who provided the following magazine article about my Grandfather. The article came from a publication called "NEWNES Practical Mechanics" written in 1945. This article also gave other details; the cylinder castings were home made, the boiler had a combustion chamber and the valve gear was of the Baker type.