16mm Projects

Dave Webb renovates a Salem battery diesel

Almondbury Light Railway No 19 Jabberwocky

Last year I was given a battery diesel Loco which had been stored in a shed for a considerable time.

This is the Loco as received

There was a lot of corrosion, the batteries were dead and the motor/gearbox was locked up and would not move.I took the loco to bits to investigate further.  It seems it was made originally by Salem.

The start of the strip down and rebuild:

The motor was very weak and ran slowly even on 12 Volts.  The gearbox was incredibly noisy.  The original loco had a smaller battery pack which had corroded and leaked.  The decision was made to replace the motor and gearbox. I don’t really like worm drives so considered using a geared motor and bevel gears as used in Essel locos but the wheel bosses were slightly larger than Essel ones so I was not sure that the gears would fit with the wheels set to 32mm gauge.

I eventually used a different arrangement (see later).

After stripping as much paint as possible and starting to repaint: Rover Brooklands Green which is what Salem used originally.

Reassembly of the chassis begins on the workbench which is sometimes known as a Dining table

Wiring up and fitting a new motor. The motor is a 12V 500 rpm geared motor from ebay and the gears and chain are from Motionco most of which I already had in stock.I had to bend the frames to fit the motor across the loco:

A test run and all was well:

Under the bonnet - A 12V battery pack and Chuffed 2bits Mtronics speed controller with a DSMX receiver from ebay so that I could use my existing Spektrum transmitter:Some details from my ‘might be useful one day’ box:A horn was added and the front LED replaced.

Crew (Design Scan Print 3D) and toolboxes:


A new rear LED, chopper couplings (P & J) and Vacuum Pipes (Brandbright with magnets so that they connect to my coaches).  Number transfers are GWR numbers from Fox Transfers.   

Still to do:  Fit some nameplates and number plates from Narrow Planet.  Not sure when they will arrive as the etching company is not working at the moment.The name will be ‘Jabberwocky’  from the poem by Lewis Carroll.

April 2020





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