Steam Engines

0-4-0 Switcher

This little engine is modeled directly after an HO-scale model I had as a kid. I believe it came in a Toys-R-Us special set. The engine is marked with a round "Santa-Fe" logo and also "ATSF". I had some trouble finding if a real 0-4-0 Santa-Fe engine ever existed. But I did find some similar 0-4-0 tank engines that were used as dockside switchers.

I built this engine in June-July 2008.

This engine uses four large flanged drivers from Big Ben Bricks. The framework underneath is made up of studless beams and liftarms.

5 years ago, when I bought the BBB wheels, I had an idea to make a steam locomotive and use 1x3 Technic liftarms for the pistons. I finally got around to it in 2008. My solution isn't perfect. The pistons are a little bit high compared to the drivers. But that's a bug to work out next time around.

For the boiler design, I wanted something basic and something that did not involve using a lot of bricks with different slopes (which ends up expensive and heavy). The boiler is made of several long 2xn plates with a curved framework of small plates and linked 1x2 Technic bricks (with two holes) inside.

The engine isn't powered and doesn't allow itself to be pushed well. I.e. it has to be pulled by something to work well. The problem is that long, hinged arms link the magnetic couplers back to the frame, and they will rotate to the side when pushed. The engine needs some clear spots in the back so that the buffers from the car behind will push well against it. I almost added a single axle pony truck to the rear to make the engine more "pushable", but decided against it in the end.

Thomas J. Avery 2009