Accucraft 'Earless' rebuilt....test run.

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
3,809
933
76
Near Huntingdon, UK
Country flag
Back in September of last year my much-loved and ever-popular 'Earless' caught fire, out of sight, on a stretch of line about fifty feet long that even on a good day hides the aformentioned line. By the time I'd figured out that it overdue, and found it, it was a blazing ruin. The entire front end was fire-blackened, the tires had come off the wheels, all the soldered-in detail had fallen off and the loco was looking VERY sad.

Luckily, we were heading over to North Wales to spend our Golden Wedding Anniversary with our relatives, and after calling up old friend Dave Mees of AbbeyBach Engineering Services, we met up at the bottom of his steep uphill climb and handed it over. 'It'll be a good while' he said 'I have five more, just like this, to do first...' And off he went.

Fast forward to a couple of weekends back at the LS train show at Llangollen, where he handed it over for my safekeeping.

This is the first chance I've had to run it on our little backyard test track - with most of our Accucraft freight rolling stock. The chuff-pipe is from Chris Bird of Summerland Chuffers [Hi there, Chris!]. From my point, probably the best 'fix' is the fitting of a Roundhouse throttle lever, just sticking out of the LHS of the cab. It makes adjusting the velocity MUCH easier than having to stop, lift the roof, and twiddle - it can, and has been, adjusted on the fly...

Thank again, Dave. :)

 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
8,988
1,312
59
Royston
Country flag
Lovely, I do like that loco. You must have been upset when you first saw the damage
 

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
3,809
933
76
Near Huntingdon, UK
Country flag
Lovely, I do like that loco. You must have been upset when you first saw the damage
Paul, I was devastated. Luckily the flames were dying down by the time I got to it, it was almost at the end of the run, so it could well have been even more worserer if the gas tank had been full.

I've never had an engine fire before, and I hope never to have another.
 

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
8,988
1,312
59
Royston
Country flag
No, I seen a few flash overs, they're not good so a whole engine ablaze must be very upsetting.
On the subject of fires, I take you heard about the nasty accat a Gauge 1 meet. Someone's spirit fired loco caught fire, and after using all the available water in his bottle to douse the flames, he reached for another bottle that he assumed was water too, but wasn't. Very nasty burns to 3 chaps. Moral, keep water and spirit away from each other, and make sure the bottles are marked
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
3,809
933
76
Near Huntingdon, UK
Country flag
No, I seen a few flash overs, they're not good so a whole engine ablaze must be very upsetting.
On the subject of fires, I take you heard about the nasty accat a Gauge 1 meet. Someone's spirit fired loco caught fire, and after using all the available water in his bottle to douse the flames, he reached for another bottle that he assumed was water too, but wasn't. Very nasty burns to 3 chaps. Moral, keep water and spirit away from each other, and make sure the bottles are marked

Yup, it was all over the G1MRA pages and the NL&J. I keep my ethanol in a clearly-marked container - marked ETHANOL - NO chance of a mix-up.
 
Last edited:

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
22,304
4,312
74
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
Yup, it was all over the G1MRA pages and the NL&J. I keep my ethanol in a clearly-marked container - marked ETHANOL - NO chance of a mix-up.
Nasty, I have to say I do not like Meths burners any more and for many years (near 30 now) banned them from my Garden Railway. Invisible fires do a lot of damage to expensive plastic sleepered track.
 

musket the dog

Registered
31 Oct 2009
776
142
Leicester
nlrr.webs.com
My apologies for dragging up an old thread (and the painful memories) but any idea what caused the incident Tac? Is it a case of the gas escaping the flue and burning in the smokebox?

Anyways, very glad to see the model was able to be resurrected, it certainly is a lovely piece of machinery.
 

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
3,809
933
76
Near Huntingdon, UK
Country flag
My apologies for dragging up an old thread (and the painful memories) but any idea what caused the incident Tac? Is it a case of the gas escaping the flue and burning in the smokebox?

Anyways, very glad to see the model was able to be resurrected, it certainly is a lovely piece of machinery.
No need to apolicate, old flún. As for your surmisity, it would seem so. According to Mr Mees, the jet was 'big enough to drive a bus through' - the replacement is a lot smaller. Also the poker burner was cut back by 12mm. It is one of my bestest little locos, having been hauled behind the prototype many times over the last forty-something years we've been visiting the line.

Let's remember, no matter how carefully you watch over your precious 'toys', it has to be remembered that they are nothing less than a butane-fired blow-torch on wheels that just happens to boil water as an incidental by product.
 

musket the dog

Registered
31 Oct 2009
776
142
Leicester
nlrr.webs.com
Thanks for the explanation Tac and I certainly agree with your summary of all our little steamers. Like all machinery with the built in ability to cause harm, you can go a long way to keeping your nose clean (and your eyebrows intact) by starting out treating them with the respect that demands.

I've managed visit the home of the prototype twice now, still haven't been organised enough to fit in a ride, one that is definitely on the todo list.
 

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
3,809
933
76
Near Huntingdon, UK
Country flag
Mr The Dog - you really MUST do it, especially while the Zillertal loco is there!!! The sight of it hauling four Zillertal passenger coaches is something not to be missed!!!!!
 
Last edited: