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The modified 2-6-2.

A modified
Brandbright "Liberty Belle"

by Steve Janus
Pompano Beach, Florida
Photos by the author

April, 2013

This engine is a Brandbright Mk I Liberty Bell 2-6-2 locomotive. I purchased the engine second hand through Southern Steam Trains. It has been modified somewhat from its stock form and now looks somewhat different.

The engine started out pretty much as a Roundhouse "Fowler," with a front pilot deck, front truck from a SR&RL No. 24. It had the Fowler's roof-mounted gas tank and no boiler jacket.

A different headlight has now been added, as well as a dummy dynamo behind the headlight, different domes, and a bell. The engine also now has a Jim Sanders Weebee pop valve installed where the water-filler valve normally is, and a Weebee Goodall-type filler valve where the old safety valve was, in the cab. The old roof-mounted gas tank was replaced with one from a Roundhouse "Sammie." The original engine came with full, factory-installed radio control, which has now been upgraded to 2.4 gHz.

My friend Andrew Finegan and I did a lot of additional work to the engine. We insulated the boiler and gave it a proper jack. Then I repainted it. We moved the domes around and added a lot of detail.

I also had to replace the pressure gauge, as I accidentally knocked the old one off while trying to fix all the steam leaks from the rebuild. It needed a lot of Teflon plumbing tape in certain areas to say the least. The nipple that retained the pressure gauge popped off while I was working on it. I cut off almost all of the old copper tubing for the pressure gauge, then silver soldered in a new 1/16"-diameter brass pipe with a PM research pressure gauge attached.

I felt that, originally, the locomotive just looked like a Fowler with a front pony truck added, but not anymore! It now looks like a Baldwin export model, as it should look.

Below is a video of the engine under steam on blocks. If, for some reason, you can't see it, click here.

Builder Brandbright (built on Roundhouse "Fowler" chassis)
Date completed Approximately 1992
Gauge 45 mm (can be adjusted to 32 mm)
Scale 16mm = 1'0"
Boiler type Single flue, gas fired
Fittings Safety valve, pressure gauge, Goodall-type filler valve, steam regulator
Blowoff pressure 50 psi
Fuel Butane
Cylinder Two, double-acting D-valves
Reversing gear Roundhouse simplified Walschaerts
Lubrication Displacement
Dimensions Length, 24" from coupler to coupler; width, 4-1/2"; height, a little under 7" to top of the smoke stack
Weight Around 10 pounds
The "Liberty Belle" as originally received by the author. It has factory paint and is lettered for the railway of its previous owner.
The engine, after undergoing extensive modifications and repairs. Domes have been repositioned and insulation and a boiler jacket added.
The top of the boiler. The engine sports a new headlamp, dynamo, and bell. The safety valve is now under the steam dome.
Looking into the cab through the roof hatch. The servo controlling the regulator can be seen just below the cab windows. To its right is the new gas tank. A Goodall-type filler valve sits atop the throttle turret.
The entire locomotive received a new paint job. Knuckle couplers have also bee installed.
A view of the underside. The radio gear is housed in the tender. Wires to the servos in the cab can be seen between the loco and tender.
Beneath the boiler. The boiler bands holding the jacket in place over the insulation can just be made out. The curved shaft connecting the rocker arms is between the first and second axle.
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