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  ken hughes
Ken Hughes - The Story of Ken's Engine
Having completed my BSc with the Open University in Oct. '02, I was initially undecided what to do with the large amount of free time I now had. An article in a magazine about building a 'Live Steam' locomotive caught my eye, I have always been interested in trains and enjoy building things so this seemed an interesting project to attempt.

I Started looking for a suitable 'victim' to make, and also for the equipment with which to make it. An outbuilding was cleared and my workshop started, this was soon filled with a secondhand lathe and milling machine and various other bits & pieces.

The engine had to be something big enough to 'get hold of' but still be able to be handled by one person, I decided upon a freelance design by a well known model engineer judged to be suitable for beginners. This is a 3 ½ in. gauge 2-4-2 Tank locomotive.

The following pictures show the locomotive as it is now (Dec. 03) With a bit of luck the boiler will be ready for initial pressure testing in Jan.

I was thinking of running a length of track round the back garden, thus providing somewhere to play, I can't understand why, but this was not received too well !
Ken's Engine Part II - Progress so far....
These three views show the progress of my engine as at July 2004. It has been rather hectic since then, so progress has slowed somewhat . The boiler was pressure tested (using compressed air) and the engine will run (on compressed air). As you can see most of the pipework and control valves are complete. Sue was a little surprised to find the whistle in the kettle one evening - I had been boiling it to remove the soldering flux - and it does seem to work OK.

The current work is on the water tanks & coal bunker & the cab bodywork, all is surprisingly time consuming. I have yet to decide upon a colour scheme, as the Engine is a freelance design it does not belong to any of the normal railway companies - I shall consult the oracle on colour & design matters ! Will try to put some more photos on over Christmas/New year, hopefully I will have some time off work then and be able to do something more interesting.