The Society stand at this year’s Model Engineering Exhibition at Alexandra Palace was a bit of a change from usual with a scale tram engine and matching goods wagons.
The loco built by Jerry Chivers is of a GER G15 Class 0-4-OT of 1898 used on the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway on the Cambridgeshire / Norfolk borders. The Tramway was built under a Light Railway Act to encourage the building of railways in rural areas. The vast majority of these railways were urban street tramways. Strict speed limits were imposed and other conditions on fencing, level crossings and signalling were relaxed. The trams had all moving parts covered hence the side skirts and wooden superstructure. The safety valves were enclosed with the steam directed back into the water tanks to prevent excessive noise. A distinctive feature was the bell on the roof, a whistle might have scared animals on the High Street. Trams could be driven from either end to enable good visibility at all times.
Jerry’s model is 2 1/4 inch to 1 foot scale built 2012 and is driven by two Sinclair C5 motors developing just under a horsepower. The battery is 12v 180 amp/hour weighing around 45Kg The tram can achieve a top speed of 5mph whilst pulling a carriage with about 4 adults up a 1:48 gradient.