to my pages about 'Gentoo', a 7¼ inch gauge Stafford Class Saddle
Tank steam locomotive manufactured by Station Road Steam. In
these pages I hope to share with you my experiences of operating and
maintaining this locomotive.
seen the locomotive at many
model engineering exhibitions throughout its development by
Road Steam I eventually decided to make the change from
owning a 1/3rd scale Tasker traction engine to a railway locomotive at
the end of 2009. Consequently I ended up by purchasing one of
first batch of three locos produced for delivery in the late spring of
2010, but by the time I had built the driving trolley
added a few items to the engine I did not have my first run until
September 2010. The engine completed more than three
seasons of regular passenger train work on
my local model
engineering society railway at
the Pinewood (Wokingham) Leisure Centre before I sold it back to
Station Road Steam and purchased the first of their 0-6-0 versions of
the Feldbahn. During those years the Stafford covered over 524
miles of running, visited many other miniature railways,
and proved to be a reliable performer. During public
at Pinewood it was frequently worked hard, on one occasion for a solid
seven hours of passenger hauling, and it proved itself equal to the
task being easy to fire and
personal record for a nonstop run
with this engine was just over 7 miles in 90 minutes and I had no
problems with firing the loco during the run, I only had to stop
because the saddle tank had run out of water ! On
members days at Pinewood it
frequently spent the
in the hands of the junior members and other novice drivers, and
none of them managed to break it which says a lot for its design
and ease of use. Finally, despite the huge number of hours
spent cleaning the engine I spent very little time on maintenance
which showed that the reliability was very good. The very few
maintenance actions / repairs that were required are detailed in
the relevant positions in the Running Log pages.
Stafford Class Saddle Tank is not a replica of any particular full size
locomotive but it bears more than a passing resemblance to some of the
Bagnall narrow gauge engines. With many of the Bagnall
engines operating on industrial sites or in quarries on 2 foot
gauge track this model running on 7¼ inch gauge track is
approximately 1/3rd full size and weighs 230 Kilos (almost a quarter of
a Ton) when ready to run.
Since the sale of that first batch of three
locos Station Road Steam have produced and sold more than 75 Staffords
/ Feldbahns, the latter being modelled on the Orenstein and Koppel
locomotives. They have also built variants for 5" and 7 1/2"
gauges as well as a much larger version of the Stafford to run on 10
1/4" gauge (or 7 1/4" gauge for those requiring a very large engine).
As with all engineering
includes improvements made as a result of "lessons learnt", so if you
buy one today you may notice many detail changes with respect to my
question people most often ask me is "are you happy with the loco ?"
The answer is unequivocally YES, so much so that I purchased one
of their Feldbahn variants ! Having been involved
engineering all my professional life I would say that it represents
very good value for money and it is doing everything that I wanted it
to do. Although I consider myself to be a competent model
engineer I don't have the workshop equipment to build an engine of this
size myself. However, like many model engineers, I enjoy
tinkering with things and the Stafford is an ideal engine for me.
If you look at the photo on this page you will see some of
modifications I have made to my Stafford simply because I could, and
they are all explained in the modifications pages of this website.
will be very hard to improve the performance of the engine, but that
won't stop me (and probably many other owners) from adapting it to suit
their individual needs or preferences.
I hope that you enjoy this website and that you may
find some of the information on these pages useful to you. As
far as possible I have endeavoured
provide links to all the references and other relevant websites
mentioned in these pages, so if you
wish to know more about a topic or organisation then please use the Links tab on
the navigation bar. If you would like to read about my other
model and engineering projects then please click
The content of this website represents the views of the
which may not be supported by Station Road Steam who manufacture and
sell the Stafford Class locomotive.