The On-Line Magazine of Rideable Model Railroading

  NUMBER 185


© April 10, 2012   

 ©Discover Live Steam. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission.

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From the Rubble, A Phoenix Rises!

click images to enlarge

Written by Rob Wilson
Loco Foreman
Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers


Actually, it is not a Phoenix, but a Goose. A 1/5th scale, 7 ¼" gauge version of Galloping Goose #2. The project started when I acquired 2 pair of 5" dia spoked wheel castings. I had read a lot of interesting articles about the "family" of Geese that had roamed the rails of the Rio Grande Southern and had thought that Goose #2 would make an unusual addition to my home club's roster at our Halswell site here in Christchurch, New Zealand. (see 

Yes, Christchurch, the home of the terrible series of earthquakes and continuing aftershocks that have plagued us for now more than a year. My workshop and garages were subject to between 8 and 12 inches of liquefaction throughout and I lost several welders, tools, parts and spares, all since replaced by insurance. After 6 days of cleanup I was able to get back into my workshop to work on and complete the Goose.

The chassis is a combination of 2 x 2 x 1/4" ms angle for the tapered front half under the cab and hood and 2 x 2 x 1/4" RHS1 for the rear "freight box" portion. The rear box is constructed of either 1 x 1 x 1/8" angle or 1 x 1 x 1/8" RHS depending on the position. The outer skin is 0.9mm zintex sheet2 and is pop riveted to the frame after the panels have a bead of glue inserted where they match the frame. This I have done with the last 3 locos I have built (UP Genset, French shunting loco, and Australian Cane loco – all 4 axle bogie, or truck, and it really takes the vibration out of large panel work.

The drive system is as the others, a horizontal shaft 4 stroke petrol or gasoline engine (4-5 hp) driving via V belt and Eaton hydrostatic unit. From there, either 4:1 or 5:1 ½" pitch chain drive to a shaft above the center line of the bogie from which an endless (looped) chain with idlers drives both axles of the bogie. The vertical legs of the final chain drive allow a lot of bogie swivel especially on the 20m radius curves of our ground level track.

The usual forward/reverse lever and throttle level at the back control the Goose's movement. The rear drive axles have the outside chains and sprockets fitted as per the original, but they serve no drive function as one sprocket is free to turn on the shaft. The side door on the RHS of the box opens to allow motor starting and I have made the roof hinged at the rear to facilitate re-fuelling and service duties.

The cabin (cab) panels are all laser cut 2mm ms plate. I rolled the lower edge slightly then stick welded it all together while clamped on my welding table. The transition in front of the cab to the engine hood is made of 3mm ms plate that I cut, rolled, bent and fabricated after making cardboard templates. The engine hood was folded from 0.9mm ms plate with store bought vents added and the radiator surround from 1/8" flat stock I had around. The grill is some perforated metal sheet. The radiator was sprayed with a "bright chrome finish" spray can and really looks the part. The bar grill or pilot is a mixture of ¼" round and square bar welded "not quite square" and the snow plough I rolled over an old fire extinguisher in my bench vice from 3mm flat sheet I had intended for the engine hood. The bell, my wife and I found in a souvenir store on a holiday on our West Coast. The front working headlights are cut down motorcycle indicators with a pleasing yellow color and the roof mounted headlight is an LED torch (flashlight).

The lettering is all computer cut after a long search to find the correct fonts. The door openings are picked out in 1.5mm stick-on pin striping. I have fitted 1mm polycarbonate windows and also rudimentary seats on the inside of the cabin. The Goose is painted (deliberately unevenly) with matt finish silver paint to give an "old" look. Performance-wise, the Goose will easily pull 2 of our club passenger wagons and I drive the loco from a 4 wheel car that has the wagon (car) brake compressor, tank and controls fitted inside. With the 5:1 final drive, care has to be taken when leaving the station to avoid snatching at (jerking) the wagons.  In fact, I have found the best way to start moving is by pushing just the control bar forward then adding throttle once well underway. The Goose travels nicely at 10 kph (6 mph) and will achieve a max of 15 kph (9 mph).  The Goose has certainly been well received by our riding patrons, although some have called it a "Jigger" or a "railtruck". One young lad, maybe 8-9, did correctly identify it as Galloping Goose #2!

Next in the workshop (once house and garages have been rebuilt!) is a Trackmobile!  Apologies for the mixed dimensions – 1mm=0.040"

1 Rectangular Hollow Section also called Rectangular Steel Tube.

2 Electro-Zinc Coated Steel sheet or Zintec is a cold rolled material that has been electrolytically coated with a thin layer of zinc. Zintec has a distinctive matt grey/blue appearance significantly different to the bright spangled surface produced by hot dip processes of galvanizing and Galvatite. Zintec is used in the manufacture of sheet steel pressed products such as washing machines, air conditioning cabinets and car bodies, but is not meant for unpainted outdoor applications.


Written by Rob Wilson
Loco Foreman
Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers


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