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June 2006

Salem Steam Models 0-4-0T

by Marc Horovitz

The model
This engine has no particular prototype. It's more of a generic, two-foot gauge engine of the industrial variety, following typical British practice. It's powered by a gas-fired pot boiler, with an external burner beneath the boiler tube. The flames are protected by a firebox concealed in the side tanks.

A pair of double-acting oscillating cylinders drive the four-coupled chassis. These are hidden behind shrouds to simulate a fixed-cylinder loco. There's some added dummy rod work, also in aid of the illusion. The engine is reversed by a rotary valve in front of and below the smokebox, in the best Mamod tradition. A displacement lubricator with a screw drain resides next to the smokebox in front of the left side-tank.

The boiler can be filled via the safety-valve bushing or through a Goodall-type filler atop the boiler. A throttle in the cab controls the speed. There is a transverse butane tank beneath the footplate, with a filler valve at the bottom of the back sheet, angled out. My example is fitted with two, multi-position, link-and-pin couplers.

The engine is regaugeable to virtually any gauge up to gauge 1. It is low on detail, but is solidly and neatly constructed -- altogether a good example of the engine-maker's art.

The run
I recently acquired this locomotive, so this was its first time out on the Ogden Botanical Railway. Steamup day was a toasty 90 degrees, with a brisk breeze from the west. I removed the safety valve, then filled the boiler through the Goodall valve, looking through the safety hole to gauge the level. Then I filled the fuel tank through the oddly placed fuel valve. I thought this would be a problem but, in fact, it was easy to use and the fuel transferred well. I oiled the engine all around and opened the gas valve. Since the burner is external, lighting is a snap -- just get a flame anywhere near the engine and it will light right up!

I found the gas valve extremely touchy and couldn't really turn it down as low as I would have wished. I put the engine on the track and waited a while. It was soon sizzling away. I pushed the reversing lever to one side (not knowing if it was forward or the other way) and opened the throttle. After a little encouragement, the engine moved smoothly off (it was forward).

The throttle is a little touchy, too, but I was able to slow it down, running light, to a brisk walk. The run went very well but the engine stopped after only about 10 minutes of running time. I suspected that the fuel tank might not be entirely full so, after allowing it to cool for a spell, I filled it up again, this time making sure it really was full. I opened the gas valve and lit the fire. The tank was full all right, as proven by the yellow fireball that engulfed the boiler, the result of liquid fuel entering the burner. Once the level dropped a little, the fire settled down.

Steam came up smartly and this time I coupled up a train of three eight-wheel cars. Again, the engine performed well, with a disctint chuff under load. But, again, the run didn't last very long. I sustpect a more sensitive gas control valve might help this, as the tank seems adequate in size. While running the engine looked very good -- a typical industrial locomotive going about its business.

Builder Salem Steam Models (Wales)
Date built 1993
Gauge No. 1 (45mm) Regaugeable
Scale 16mm
Boiler Pot
Fittings Safety valve, throttle, Goodall filler valve
Fuel Butane
Blow-off pressure 30 psi (?)
Cylinders Two, double-acting oscillators
Reversing gear Rotary valve
Lubricator Displacement
Weight 5 lb., 0 oz.
Dimensions Length over beams, 11"; width across cylinders, 4-3/16"; height, 6-1/4"
Moshannon is a chunky industrial locomotive. It is festooned with rivets, the texture of which helps to give the engine character. The maker made liberal use of plates, which also adds to the engine's charm.
Left: Boiler fittings include a safety valve and a Goodall-type filler valve. The dome is a dummy.

Above: Cab controls are sparse. Atop the backhead is the throttle. Just below it, next to the backsheet, is the gas-control valve.

The reversing lever, controlling a rotary reversing valve, is on the front deck, ahead of the smokebox, a la Mamod. The gas filler projects at an angle from the rear buffer beam, near the link-and-pin coupler.
Although an oscillator, the engine tries to conceal the fact by hiding the offending cylinders behind fixed shrouds and adding some decoy rod work to distract the eye. It's actually pretty effective.
A displacement lubricator hangs off the smokebox.
Underneath, the engine is simplicity personified. The reversing valve can be clearly seen at the left. The brass bar extending down the center is actually the external gas burmer. Wheels are regaugeable.

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