2 1/2 inch Gauge?

 
  CPH Chief Train Controller

Hi all,

I've recently been thinking about 2 1/2 inch gauge Locomotives
in particular building or buying one sometime in the near future.
I spent sometime on google searhing for photo's or articles on 2 1/2 inch gauge live steam to find not much.

This particular gauge was very popular in the 1940's, but I have not come across any information or articles in the recent AME magazines.
Is this gauge going out of fashion? 5 and 7 1/2 gauge is very popular are model engineers opting for larger gauges because of the larger avaliblity of castings and supplies? or is it simply "bigger is better".


I'm interested to hear if anyone knows someone who is building or runs a 2 1/2 inch gauge Locomotive.

CPH

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  Kevin Martin Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Hi all,

I've recently been thinking about 2 1/2 inch gauge Locomotives
in particular building or buying one sometime in the near future.
I spent sometime on google searhing for photo's or articles on 2 1/2 inch gauge live steam to find not much.

This particular gauge was very popular in the 1940's, but I have not come across any information or articles in the recent AME magazines.
Is this gauge going out of fashion? 5 and 7 1/2 gauge is very popular are model engineers opting for larger gauges because of the larger avaliblity of castings and supplies? or is it simply "bigger is better".


I'm interested to hear if anyone knows someone who is building or runs a 2 1/2 inch gauge Locomotive.

CPH
"CPH"


Yes, I believe you are correct that smaller scales (including 3 1/2) are going out of fashion. I suspect it is not just the castings & supply issues you raised. The availability of machine tools is vastly better & cheaper today, so bigger models can be made relatively easy. Much of the 2 1/2 gauge stuff was built using almost exclusively hand tools and small lathes judging by many articles in the Model Engineer.

Also larger locomotives are according to their owners are much easier to fire, not just from access, but the larger boiler/firebox allows for a much larger reserve and so are less "fussy" about firing & driving just right.

So perhaps, bigger is indeed better? But of course if you live near an active 2 1/2 gauge track, than perhaps it will not be a problem.


My club in its recent extension, abandoned 3 1/2 gauge on the basis that not a single loco had used it for several years, so it was deemed a waste of resources to include it on the extension. In fact due to changes, the old loop cannot be completed by a 3 1/2 gauge loco any longer.


In a way it is disappointing, but if it is not used, what is the point?

Kevin Martin
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
The club at Traralgon, Victoria has 3½" gauge included on their inner circuit. And I've yet to see it used. I understand it had some use when built in the 70s, but as far as I know, it hasn't been used in years.

[bigimg]http://www.gmes.org.au/EP0009.JPG[/bigimg]

Here's a photo from the club archives showing a 3½" gauge loco on the ground level track.

The only 2½" gauge I've ever seen would be at Moorabbin, which was the first miniature railway I ever saw as well. That was in the mid 1970s.

Looking through the AME club directory there's only around 10 clubs in the country with 2½" gauge tracks. So, unless one lives near one of these tracks, or builds their own, that's one more reason why less 2½" gauge locos would be built today.
  Ben Where Beginner

I have a, partially completed, 2 1/2 ' locomotive, for sale,  if you are still interested.
  TomBTR Junior Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
I also have a 2 1/2" gauge running chassis that came with some tools I bought in 1988.

I have never been in a position to build a boiler for it but I have kept it as an example of careful metalwork, unlike my 7 1/4" electrics. I am not interested in selling it because one day, if I get tired of the big stuff I might build a loop of raised track in the backyard, possibly dual 1 1/4" and 2 1/2".

An advantage of the smaller gauges is that a limited radius that would permit only a tram in a big scale might allow a mainline steam engine. A disadvantage is that if you want to haul people the track has to be flat.

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