5031 Totnes Castle

This loco started life as Hornby 00 gauge Ince Castle. It was bought to use on an 00 layout (Bruckless Junction) that I was building for a friend, on the basis that at some point in the future it would be modified to P4 using Ultrascale drop in wheelsets and Brassmasters fold up chassis. However, when it was apparent that they were not going to be available in the near future, I decided to use the chassis from one of two Malcolm Mitchell etched kits that were sitting in my stock cupboard. Obviously, at some point in the future, this chassis would have to be reunited with its etched body. Likewise, it was planned that the body would eventually be returned to its 00 chassis once that had been modified to P4. Consequently, any necessary modifications to either body or chassis should not prevent them being used with their original partners in the future. Most of the alterations related to body mountings and clearances for motor/gearbox and the wider spacing of P4 wheels.

The chassis was built generally as per the instructions although I did make a few changes to the front bogie (Figs. 1-3). The most difficult part of the build was modifying and fitting the motion bracket so that it did not foul the driving wheels. Malcolm Mitchell suggests using King wheels, which are of a slightly smaller diameter, to overcome this problem. I also added a bit of extra piework to the chassis (Fig. 4). The loco has Ultrascale wheels driven by a Mashima motor through a High Level gearbox. Power is collected from both loco and tender wheels and fed through the original Hornby DCC decoder in the tender. For the time being, this has a blanking plug fitted as Worseter is operating on DC at the moment.

Totnes Castle was chosen as the loco's new identity as I had access to several photographs, both black and white and colour, of it on The Cornishman. Totnes Castle was a Stafford Road engine for most of its life and was a regular on the run from Wolverhampton to Bristol.




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