Steve Johnson    Modelmaker



Back to BR Locomotives

Wickham Type 27 Trolley

1 'Billy'

3 'Monty'




22, 25

23-24, 26-27









9125 (Titchie)

















Ex-GNR Baguley

Ex-LMS Ruston 16/20HP

Ex-LMS Ruston 33/40HP

Ex-LNER Ruston 20DL

Ex-SR Hibberd

Ex-SR Ruston 44/48HP

Ex-SR Motor Rail





PWM1779 & PWM1780

Ruston LB




ED1, Fowler  0-4-0DM

Fowler ED.1.

ED1 was a Fowler 0-4-0DM built in 1935 for the LMS. It was numbered No.2 by the LMS and worked at Beeston Sleeper Works. Upon nationalisation, British Railways London Midland Region numbered it ED1 in their Engineering Department number series. ED1 was withdrawn in 1962.

Although a standard Fowler product, it differed in quite a few aspects to GWR No.1. The obvious difference was the position of the donkey engine, being on the opposite side to GWR No.1. The buffers are standard 16" LMS type as opposed to the GWR tapered Collett type. There are other relatively minor differences such as chimney, jackshaft balance weights and connecting rods.

Taking all of the above into account, I thought it was worthwhile having a go at trying to convert the excellent High Level Kits GWR Fowler to the LMS/BR version. Although I have already built the GWR version, I would not be able to use it much as it had a short life with the GWR and is well outside my timeframe. The LMS/BR ED1 could, at a push, be used on my model railway.

As with all of this type of modelling, working to a good set of photographs of the prototype is essential. There are a number out there, including two works photographs showing both sides. These have to be carefully considered date wise because as with a lot of locomotives, changes were made during the life of the locomotive. Only one minor problem appears and that is cab doors. They are supplied in the kit for those making an industrial version. Of the number of photographs I have located of ED1, only one seems to show cab doors late in its life. They are not visible otherwise, so were they fitted later, or is it just that all the other photographs show the locomotive with the doors open and therefore not visible?

So, a High Level Kits Fowler was duly obtained and construction commenced. The chassis assembly is the same as for GWR No.1. It is quite intricate, but as with all High Level Kits, if it doesn't fit, you've assembled it wrong!

Chassis assembled with motor and first gear test fitted

A slight difference in this newer Fowler kit is the inclusion of a motor, a High Level 1020FE. Previously, the motor had to be purchased separately. I also made one other slight change having already built one of these kits. That was to change the gear ratio from the supplied 108:1 gearing to 80:1 gearing. This involved a replacement worm and first gear. The reason for the change was simply that I felt 108:1 was a bit too pedestrian! I realise these were not fast locomotives, but I just fancied a bit more speed instead of having to turn the controller up to full power to get it to move  reasonably. The brake rigging was also assembled and test fitted (although not shown in the photo). Having completed and test fitted the gearing. The chassis was primed, painted black and varnished. The connecting rods are also slightly different on ED1 in comparison to the GWR version. The GWR version has a raised rib running the length of the rod. ED1 seems to have plain rods. This was easily achieved by turning the rods around so the plain side was showing.

Attention now turned to the body. As far as I can see, the cab is virtually the same as supplied in the kit. One slight difference is that ED1 had an air horn fitted, whereas the GWR version had an air whistle. A suitable brass air horn was fitted between the front cab windows. So this was assembled along with the footplate as per instructions. Cab detail was fitted, but I don't know if ED1's interior cab layout differed much. Buffer beams were fitted, but not the supplied buffers. The supplied buffers are cast brass Collett tapered buffers, which is correct for the GWR version, but the LMS version seems to have standard LMS/BR 16" head buffers. So a pack of Alan Gibson 4903's were substituted. They are rigid and not sprung. The reason for this is that the rear cast beam is quite deep and the tails of the buffer heads do not protrude far enough through the casting to be operational.

The engine casing and donkey engine are obvious differences. What I decided to do was to remove the casing detail on both sides. I then fixed the casing the opposite way around. This meant that the chimney hole and fuel filler hole were in the wrong positions. With some careful measuring, I drilled some new holes for the chimney and fuel filler. The former holes were filled and made good with Milliput. A new chimney baseplate was made from some very thin Plasticard and fixed to the casing top along with the chimney. I understand the chimney is slightly different, but I cannot quite see what the difference is. The fuel filler was also fixed into its new position. With this done, the radiator and transmission cover casings were fixed in position. There are a few grab handles fitted to the engine casing top and transmission cover that are not present on the GWR version.

ED1 right hand side with minor tidying up to do

The engine casing louvres are another issue. As supplied, the GWR version has two rows of vertical louvres on each panel on the left hand side. Now, I turned the engine casing around and filed off the louvres. ED1 has one row of longer vertical louvres and one horizontal louvre above on each panel. Louvres are very difficult to replicate on a model, so I have tried to represent them with very thin strips of plasticard.

Turning to the left hand side again, it was time to modify the donkey engine and clutch mechanism. As supplied, the castings are 'handed' for the right hand side. So I had to file off the shafts protruding from the donkey engine casing and drive cover. The donkey engine also sits on a plinth made from channel section. The plinth was fabricated from plastic sections and glued to the bottom of the donkey engine casing. This was then fixed to the footplate. The drive cover was then also fixed in the appropriate location. A new shaft/clutch was made from plastic rod and fixed between the donkey engine and drive cover. The donkey engine also has an air filter (?) on top of the casing. This was made from various plastic sections and fixed in place. There are also a set of louvres on the main engine casing just visible behind the donkey engine. With this all done, the operating lever from the cab was fixed in place.

ED1 left hand side looking fairly reasonable

After an examination of the body and cab roof fit, I was happy to proceed to the next stage of priming the body. I use Halfords grey primer. Once primed, it is possible to see if any other tidying up work is necessary. A few tweaks were needed.

ED1 Left Hand Side primed ready for final checks and spraying black

ED1 Right Hand Side primed and ready for final checks

As can be seen by the lower photograph, some louvres need altering. This wasn't obvious until the model was primed and photographed.

The next procedure was a spray of Halfords gloss black, having first masked off the buffer beams. The buffer beams were sprayed red.



I do not know of any specific 4mm scale model of this locomotive.