Mt. Gretna 4-4-0 (ga. 0)
plus coach

$10,000 + post

This train is something quite special. Around 1986 I was approached by a fellow in Pennsylvania, who asked if I would find a builder and coordinate a project that entailed custom building three 16mm-scale models of the famous Cornwall & Lebanon, Mt. Gretna Narrow Gauge locomotives, which ran in that state. Since the prototype ran on 2'-gauge track, the models would necessarily be 0 gauge.

I approached a professional model builder of my acquaintance, Peter Fenn of Wye Valley Model Engineering in Hereford, England, who agreed to undertake the building of these engines. I added one (for myself) to the order and Peter built a fifth one that was subsequently sold to someone in California. The project took over three years to complete and the engines were finally delivered early in 1991. They were stunning.

Once the locomotives had been delivered, the man who commissioned them approached The Garden Railway Company in Cincinnati about the possibility of obtaining some accurate coaches for the engine to pull. Evidently, a ship modeler agreed to undertake this part of the project, and produced a set of beautiful coaches to match the engine, of which I got one.

The locomotive. This model is built to exhibition standard. It is fully sprung and burns alcohol in an internally fired locomotive-type boiler. The engine is equipped with a safety valve, throttle, pressure gauge, water glass with blowdown, check valve, and a bypass valve. It has an axle pump and a hand pump in the tender. Alcohol is carried in the tender and is fed to the burner via a chicken-feed system. The engine has slip-eccentric reversing, per the request of the man who commissioned it. Unusual for a model of this scale, the locomotive has a prototypical pull-out type throttle. The backhead is set up prototypically. Special patterns were made and the wheels cast in iron. The engine is in pristine condition, having been test fired only once by the builder.

The coach. Like the locomotive, the coach is an amazing piece of model work, built to the highest standard, an exact copy of the original Jackson & Sharp coaches. Like the prototype, it is built primarily of wood, board-by-board construction. Where metal was used on the prototype for fittings, so was it used on the model. Even the trucks are scratchbuilt. The brake shoes bear a little on the wheels, so this would have to be remedied for operation.