These powerful 2-6-2 tanks designed by Churchward were a common sight on suburban and major branch lines. Their excellent combination of weight, cylinder and wheel diameters gave them the acceleration required for the short distances between stops.

       The first 51xx tank appeared in 1932, developed from 31xx class. They lasted right through until the end of steam and can therefore carry several different liveries, from shiny GW Green with gold faced lettering, to BR lined black and eventually ‘Barry black’.


       Our model represents the 51xx & 61xx classes covering the majority of the large Prairie class. The model is designed with working outside cylinders with ‘O’ ring seals. Inside slide valves are driven by a simple, robust, and easy to set, slip eccentric gear. A hand pump is located in one of the water carrying side tanks which also feeds water to an axle driven pump. The split bunker carries meths in the rear and water in front compartment which also acts as the balance pipe coupling both side tanks together.

          You will require a bench and vice, some hand tools, a drilling facility (which could be an electric drill on a stand) and a small gas torch for soldering. The work includes bending sheet metal, drilling piloted holes out to size, tapping threads in holes ( in many cases nuts could be used instead), soft and hard ( silver) soldering of small items.  The model making hobby is littered with part built projects which have been abandoned because the modeller has hit a problem. Included in the price are two hours of our time, a ‘get out of trouble’ service. It could be advice on the phone, a practical soldering training session in our works, correcting a mishap or setting valve timing. Apart from phone calls, a modest charge will be made for time spent over your two hours.

         We can also supply replacements for individual components providing they are returned for us to identify. For etched items there will be charge depending on the size. Whitemetal returned with stamped addressed packing are free. Laser cut steel may be a problem as there are minimum order quantities involved and we shall only order a limited number of spares.

       The Construction  Guide comprises over  30 pages of photographs, exploded diagrams produced on 3D CAD and text, together with identification diagrams and drawings. It takes you through each stage, including jigs and methods, settings and adjustments, finishing with operation and use.


 Scale            : 10mm : 1ft

Length         : xxx mm (23.5”)

Radius          : 2.3m  (7’ 6”) minimum  

Weight         : 3.5- 4 Kg   estimated.

Fuel               : Alchohol  (Methylated spirit) supplied by constant level feed system.

                      :  to ‘toast rack’ style wick burner.

Boilers           : Internally fired, multi flue, superheated. with safety  valve.

                       : Built from copper and bronze, silver soldered throughout.

                       : Tested to 200psi  (13bar)

                       :   Max. allowable working pressure 100psi (6.5bar)

Controls         : Regulator, blower, water level test cock and pressure gauge.

                       : Spirit valve in rear bunker

                        Bypass valve on side tank for water pumps.

Cylinders      : Two,  12.7mm dia x 22mm stroke  (1/2” x 7/8 ”)

Valvegear     : Slip eccentric, slide valve, between frames.

Lubrication  :  Displacement (Rosco) type.

Water feeds : Water carried in both side tanks and bunker

                       : Hand pump with bypass valve in side tank.

                      : Axle driven pump with its pipework, clack valve and boiler feed.

General         :  Loco suspension, buffers and coupling hooks sprung.

                        Wheels and axles are to Gauge One ‘Standard’ dimensions.

GWR 51xx
Production complete, available now