Quintinshill Disaster Connection….?

The SRPS were offered an incomplete 3½” gauge Caledonian 4-4-0 model.  The SRPS were unable to take this on and referred the owner to ESME.

Kevan Shaw takes up the story:

‘We have been very fortunate to have received a donation of a part built 3½” gauge locomotive.  Andrew Newton and I collected it from the donor who acquired it as part of the contents of a house she bought.

It is a 4-4-0 of a generally Caledonian appearance with the number 140 on the cab side sheet.  This would make it a ‘Dunalastair 4‘, a class built between 1904 and 1910 by John Macintosh.  Number 140 was one of the locomotives involved in the Quintinshill disaster of 22 May 1915.

Our engine is a well developed model with the chassis pretty much complete.  It has a complete boiler that is constructed by riveting and screwing with a round top firebox with bolted stays all caulked.
There are many castings including the cylinders and valve chest (this has the bogie pivot incorporated), motion bracket, rear frame crossmember and wheels that are rather elegant.  The motion is complete though there are some pins loose or missing, the side rods are there but crank pins are bodged .
So, we have a very interesting model, possibly very old judging by the boiler making technique, of an interesting prototype.  It is now in the Heritage Centre & Museum if members would like to inspect it.

The ‘Model Engineer and Amateur Electrician’ in 1901 ran a constructional series by E.L.Pearce on building a Dunalastair III .

The series ran in issues 42,44,46,48 & 50 from Vol 4, and 54,56 & 58 from Vol 5.

It was designed with a prototypical fire tube boiler suitable for spirit, paraffin (Primus) and ‘charcoal’ firing, with details for the burners and grate included… it would be interesting to track down these articles to see if our loco is related to these drawings albeit it is an earlier version of our loco. If anyone recognises any other bits as belonging to another loco it would be good to know.

What do we do with this engine?  If we can find the above articles, should complete the model, restore it as a static exhibit or just keep it as it is?  What do you think?

Answers on an e-mail to development@edinburgh-sme.org.uk