Dave Webb :  Almondbury Light Railway goes Electric

At Narrow Gauge North last year I noticed that IP Engineering was selling some of their kits at half-price.  Not wanting to miss a bargain I bought kits for the Polar Bear loco and two coaches.The original loco was a battery electric from the Groudle Glen railway in the Isle of Man.

[ John Orson ]

The kits went into the ‘To do’ box and eventually I started construction.

The kits are sold by IP but are manufactured and designed by Peter Lane of Yatton Model Engineering. The loco was constructed basically to the instructions but with a few changes to allow radio control to be added.  Two additional AAA batteries were installed in the end of the loco and a receiver/ speed controller from DT control systems was used.  A charging socket was fitted to the frames.

The DT is an incredibly small unit which acts as receiver, speed controller and controls the lights.  It is compatible with Spektrum transmitters. The original kit just drives onto one axle using a small motor and a nylon worm gear.  The gears seem a little more substantial than those supplied with most IP kits.

The wheels look like standard IP sets.  I added a chain and sprockets from Motionco to give two axle drive and the loco will now pull its two coaches and a few wagons easily. 

The driver is a cast metal one which I had in stock.  As he was too fat to fit through the door he had to be squeezed into the loco through the window on the other side of the cab!

Paint is Peugeot Antelope Beige and Ford Rosso Red.  The beige was sprayed and the red brushed.  Both paints are from Halfords.  Don’t look too closely at the paint finish. Transfers for the name and number were made on the computer. The coaches were made in accordance with the instructions given a similar paint finish.  The wheels on the coaches are very small and seem to be made of cast whitemetal – some of them are almost round. 


Finally Timpdon magnetic couplings were fitted which work very well with this lightweight stock.


































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