SLC Update 22 July 2022


Hi everyone, hope you’re all doing well. Time for an update on the Z class.

With most of the main components modelled, the past month has mainly been spent creating, bending and getting frustrated at times with the myriad number of pipes required for the locomotive.

While not essential for a Train Simulator Classic model, I find there is something very satisfying about being able to follow a pipe from origin to destination, rather than it just simply disappearing.

For those not familiar, the inside valve gear on the ‘Z’ class was rather unusual as it employed a second eccentric to give the movement usually given through a combination lever. In the past valve gear animation has been something I dread doing but I was extremely pleased to find a much more efficient way of rigging the valve gear for the ‘Z’ though there won’t be a visible difference for you as the end-user.

I was surprised that as I added more components to the cab, it didn’t feel crowded like on some locomotives. One of the more novel features of the ‘Z’ class was the fitting of a steam brake alongside a Gresham and Craven ‘Dreadnought’ vacuum ejector. The Maunsell moguls and ‘W’ class, at least when they were built, were fitted with a Davies and Metcalfe ejector and steam brake valve.

A few years ago, when researching another locomotive at the Railway Museum’s Search Engine a few years ago, I came across a drawing of a couple of steam brake valves. My hope that these might come in useful in the future proved true when I started researching the ‘Z’. One of the brake valves looked remarkably similar to that shown in the General Arrangement drawing.

Sometimes though having a drawing of a component isn’t enough and you can’t beat being able to photograph and inspect the actual component. Unfortunately in the case of the type of steam brake fitted to the ‘Z’, there doesn’t appear to be an example that has survived. As a result, it’s very much a case of “make your best guess”. Overall though I’m pleased with how the steam brake is coming together and it will be another first for me as I’ve never simulated a steam brake on a model before.

There’s still a lot to get done, one of the biggest jobs on the to-do list is to finish modelling the AWS system, you can just see the completed stretcher for the receiver and junction box near the rear bufferbeam. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before all the outstanding modelling is completed and I can start getting the model textured and into the game.

Until next time…