I had originally planned on building a 3½" gauge Tich as a first live steam locomotive. Billed as an ideal beginner's loco and even the subject of a book entitled "Simple model locomotive building introducing LBSC's Tich", this attractive little engine seemed like the perfect introduction to the hobby. There has, however, been a considerable amount of debate in online forums and in the model engineering press as to just how suitable Tich actually is for the beginner.
The prevailing opinion seems to be that due to its small size, building this diminutive engine would be more akin to watchmaking than model engineering. And once complete, the tiny fire requiring constant attention, would not make it an easy engine for the inexperienced driver to learn on. Besides which, in the end, after all that work, one is left with a loco that will barely pull the driver and not much else.
In search of an alternative design for an introductory model, paging through old copies of Model Engineer Magazine I came across Don Young's Rail Motor. A 5" gauge 0-4-0 loco which reputedly is an excellent choice for the beginner - relatively easy to build, easy to drive, and by all accounts an excellent performer on the track. In addition, for me, it has the added appeal of it being a model of a real-world prototype rather than a freelance design.
Two variants of the model were described in Model Engineer, dubbed No 1 and No 2 respectively.
The No 1 engine drawn by Don from photographs of the Rhymney Railway Rail Motor was intended as a close to scale model of the engine unit, substituting a tender for the rail motor carriage. While the No 2 engine as a simplified freelance redesign of the locomotive speculating as to what it may have looked like as a tank loco.
In August 1982, details of a third variant dubbed Railmotor No 3, were published by Steve Titley and Harry Lumb in Don Young's own magazine - Locomotives Large and Small (LLAS). This combined a No 1 boiler with a No 2 chassis to create a representative model of the Southern Railway S14 0-4-0 tank engine.
Following on from the success of the 5" gauge locomotives, Don subsequently produced two 7¼/7½" gauge designs. Namely Tug, a simple but robust tank engine, as well as the close to scale Rhymney Rail Motor once again with a tender replacing the rail motor carriage. Construction for both engines was serialised in LLAS. For the newcomer to model engineering, either of these handsome locomotives would make a compact but powerful introduction to the larger gauges.
For myself, having decided to build in 5" gauge, and at the time not yet being aware of No 3, it simply came down to choosing between the No 1 or the No 2 engines. It was not an easy decision as both of these little locomotives have tremendous appeal. Yet, despite the No 2 being the simpler of the two engines to build, and also having the advantage of being a compact self-contained unit, the No 1 won out based on a combination of looks and my preference for a model of a real-world prototype.
|Gauge||Length||Wheel Dia||Boiler Dia||Cylinder Bore|
|Railmotor 1||5"||21.5" (exc tender)||3.5"||4.75"||1.25"|
|Rhymney Rail Motor||7¼/7½"||55" (inc tender)||5.25"||7.25"||1.75"|
The construction series for Railmotor No 1 and No 2 was serialised in Model Engineer between April 1968 and March 1969.
Railmotor No 3 along with the two 7¼/7½" engines were later designs published in Locomotives Large and Small (LLAS).
|134||3342||05.04.1968||325||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3343||19.04.1968||389||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3344||03.05.1968||442||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3345||17.05.1968||484||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3346||07.06.1968||553||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3347||21.06.1968||610||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3348||05.07.1968||640||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3349||19.07.1968||704||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3350||02.08.1968||753||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3351||16.08.1968||811||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3352||06.09.1968||862||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3353||20.09.1968||912||Two 5 in. gauge "Push and Pull" locomotives|
|134||3354||04.10.1968||958||Two 5 in. gauge "Push and Pull" locomotives|
|134||3355||18.10.1968||1016||Two 5 in. gauge "Push and Pull" locomotives|
|134||3356||01.11.1968||1062||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3357||15.11.1968||1122||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3358||06.12.1968||1174||Building 5 in. Gauge Rail-Motor Locomotives|
|134||3359||20.12.1968||1231||Two 5 in. gauge "Push and Pull" locomotives (drawings pg 1230)|
|135||3360||03.01.1969||30||Two 5 in. gauge "Push and Pull" locomotives|
|135||3361||17.01.1969||81||Two 5 in. gauge "Push and Pull" locomotives|
|135||3362||07.02.1969||124||Two 5 in. gauge "Push and Pull" locomotives|
|135||3363||21.02.1969||194||Two 5 in. gauge "Push and Pull" locomotives|
|135||3364||07.03.1969||235||"Push and Pull" locomotives (final tender details)|
After the conclusion of the construction series, additional construction notes were included with some of Don's subsequent designs.
|136||3397||17.07.1970||694||No. 1 Rail Motor progress report - lubricator drive error|
|136||3403||16.10.1970||999||The Author's Rail-motor progress to date - photo|
|136||3404||06.11.1970||1054||No. 1 Rail Motor - link trunnion error|
|136||3405||20.11.1970||1106||No. 1 Rail Motor lubricator drive - photo|
|12||August 1982||23||No 3. Railmotor|
|41||Nov 1989||29||Rhymney Rail Motor and Tug - Part 1|
|42||Feb 1990||25||Rhymney Rail Motor and Tug - Part 2|
|43||May 1990||25||Rhymney Rail Motor and Tug - Part 3|
|44||Aug 1990||25||Rhymney Rail Motor and Tug - Part 4|
|45||Nov 1990||25||Rhymney Rail Motor and Tug - Part 5|
|46||Feb 1991||25||Rhymney Rail Motor and Tug - Part 6|
|47||May 1991||25||Rhymney Rail Motor and Tug - Part 7|
|48||Aug 1991||25||Rhymney Rail Motor and Tug - Part 8|
Listed here are some articles that have been published in Model Engineer (ME), Engineering In Miniature (EIM), and Locomotives Large and Small (LLAS) that may be of interest to potential constructors.
|ME||141||3521||19.09.1975||903||No 1. Rail motor refit|
|ME||142||3543||20.08.1976||800||A 5 in. Gauge "Rail-Motor" built by Anthony Vince|
|ME||175||4002||06.10.1995||426||Don Young Memorial Rally - Photo of Railmotor built by Don Young|
|ME||183||4101||27.08.1999||278||1999 Don Young Designs Rally - No 1. Railmotor, photograph|
|ME||200||4325||09.05.2008||553||Rail-Motor boiler - My first boiler|
|ME||200||4327||06.06.2008||679||Rail-Motor boiler - My first boiler|
|ME||201||4329||04.07.2008||26||Rail-Motor boiler - My first boiler|
|ME||201||4333||29.08.2008||259||Rail-Motor boiler - My first boiler|
|ME||201||4335||26.09.2008||382||Rail-Motor boiler - My first boiler|
|EIM||28||10||Apr 2007||330||Rhymney Railmotor|
|LLAS||18||Feb 1984||34||Reflections on a Rail Motor|