Whistle Problems

Teething Troubles
Mechanical Lubricator
Steam Control Valves
Injector / Clack Valves
Having the whistle on the problems page may at first seem a little odd as Station Road Steam didn't even offer a whistle on the options list for at least the first two production batches of Stafford's.  However a whistle is mandatory at the Pinewood track, and at many of the tracks I have visited, so in view of the problems I had getting it to work properly I decided that it should get a mention here even though there is more on the subject in the Functional Modifications section of this website.
Stafford Steam locomotive WhistleBuying a whistle and fitting it to the Stafford was quite easy, and the rather poor photo here shows the original installation on the locomotive.  The whistle was deliberately mounted in this position to keep its operating lever well out of the way of the various steam valves but still in easy reach of the driver.
An angle bracket was bolted to the front panel of the cab to carry a threaded bush, with the whistle screwing into the top and a shut off valve into the bottom.  The steam feed for the whistle was simply taken from the conveniently nearby pressure gauge pipe using a 'T' piece.  This solution did work after a fashion, but the whistle always started with a splutter as condensation was blown out of the pipe.
To cut a very long story short, the steam feed was disconnected from the pressure gauge pipe and instead fed from a spare outlet on the side of the steam fountain (that's the big boxy brass lump on top of the boiler that all the steam valves fit into).  Ever larger and thicker walled steam pipes were used to connect the whistle to this outlet, and all of them sloped as much as possible down from the whistle to the steam fountain, but the whistle still spluttered.  Finally the steam pipe was wrapped in two layers of thick garden string and then covered by a layer of white heatshrink sleeving.  The pipe now looked like an industrial lagged steam pipe and should have been well insulated, but the whistle still spluttered with condensation.
Eventually I gave up with this installation having learnt that:
1)  Condensation in the steam pipe apparently couldn't be avoided.
2)  The shut off valve was probably unnecessary as the whistle valve wasn't showing any sign of leaking (unlike some whistles that I've known in the past).
The final solution, still in use and working perfectly, was to mount the whistle directly onto the steam fountain with no intervening pipe work.  You can read more about this solution on the Functional Modifications page.