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Listen to the locomotive!.

Welcome to My Steam Locomotive Construction Page.

If you are interested in Steam Locomotives, Confectionery Capers has on display a partially completed live steamer that is the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken. It is quite possibly the only one of its type in Australia.  It is a 1/8 scaleup844a.jpg (39687 bytes)

 4-8-4 based on a large American Northern Class locomotive (quite common in the U.S. but rare in Australia). The Northern (4-8-4) class was a dual purpose locomotive up814.gif (45444 bytes)
and could handle a 5,000 ton freight train as readily as an 80 m.p.h. express passenger train. The Northern was, in fact, the most successful locomotive type in U.S. history.

The 1:8 scale model being constructed is based on original plans as supplied by Little Engines of California and is more specifically based on the Union Pacific Northern (800 Series). It is pic00002.jpg (58911 bytes)
designed to run on 7 1/2" rail which is the largest gauge commercially available. It has taken over 5 years to reach it's current stage of manufacture including the 3D  modeling. The pictures show the lower half of the locomotive construction including all the drive wheels, lead truck and trailing bogey wheels, suspension units and drive cylinders. Other than those seen here in the photos, there are many more ancillary parts

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which have been completed ready for final assembly. Overall the locomotive is approximately 50% complete. This type of locomotive employs 2 large drive cylinders as can be seen at the front of the main frame. These operated on the double acting principle as can also be seen from the steam engine in the Old Engines section and were used in almost all steam locomotives.

Some vital statistics of the finished model will be (in imperial units to be fair to it's era):

Type:   4-8-4 Northern Class.
Scale: 1:8 (1 1/2" model in American terms)
Gauge: Runs on 7 1/2" rail.
Mass: 7/8th ton.
Length: 13'6"(162") engine and tender.
Max. Height: 21 1/2"
Bore/Stroke: 2 3/4" x  3 1/2"
Driving wheels: 10" diameter.
Lead & Trailing truck wheels: 5 1/4" diameter.
Boiler: 12" diameter.
Fuel: Coal (or oil with conversion).

As most of the plans for the model were received as copies of old blue prints and difficult to read the decision was made to completely valve_linkage_7_0000.jpg (32016 bytes)

remodel the entire design into a 3D engineering model using ProEngineer.

This in itself is a vast project with every nut, bolt, screw, beam, rod and frame having to be recreated in 3D to get the complete locomotive assembled on screen.

The purpose of this is two-fold......
........Firstly, once all parts are in 3D form, 2D drawings can be created easily direct from these models (in either Imperial or Metric dimensions.)

....... Secondly it creates a superb analysis tool that allows for the investigation of fits and relationships of parts and can highlight possible problems before the parts are manufactured. This was done

on the crank/valve linkages where a dynamic analysis was created to ensure proper operation. Click on this picture to view the animation. Be warned though, due to the size of this file it may take some time to load. Please be patient, it's worth it!

The long term plan once the locomotive is complete is to construct a rail line around the property of Confectionery Capers. This model will have the capacity to pull up to 100 people in 10 trucks, but don't hold your breath - this could be many many years away !!

Here is a link to a website suggested by Linda Fuller and her students who are researching the history of steam power and its applications (with thanks).


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