Bore 1 in
Stroke: 2 in
Length: 15 1/2 in
Width: 6 1/2 in.
Height: 7 1/8 in.
Design: Mill Engine
CAST IRON. Baseplate, pedestal, pulley, crank, cylinder, valve chest and cover, front and rear cylinder covers, piston, 7 in. flywheel.
BRASS. Slide valve, eccentric strap, valve operating block, glands, corned bush, crossheads, crankshaft bearings.
STEEL. Crankshaft, connecting rod, eccentric sheave, eccentric rod, clevis, crankpin, piston and valve rods, all materials for valve gear and crosshead guides.
SUNDRIES. Detailed drawings, gaskets, "O"ring, gland packing, fixings pack,
The Victoria engine is built on a ladder style cast iron base. at one end the cylinder is attached by brackets fitted to the cylinder endcaps attached by the same bolts, requiring two countersunk screws to be hidden at each end. They are very delicate and should have the threads oiled before fitting to ensure that can't rust in place.The cylinder is mounted with the valve chest on the top.
Next along the baseplate are the crosshead guides, providing equal support for the crosshead allowing safe running in either direction, determined by the eccentric sheave timing. Lubricating holes are drilled into the top guides, often fitted with delicate oil cups. A bracket at the cylinder end allows for a lever mechanism to raise the height of eccentric movement to the height of the valve rod. It also transfers the movement from outside the base to above the base centreline.
The eccentric, sheave and rod are basically the same as for the beam.
The connecting rod has a clevis mounting for the crosshead and a bearing for the big end. The crank arm, crankshaft, pulley, pedestal and pulley are the same as the Beam engine.
The engine above sports the later, lightened flywheel with cutouts on the rim between the spokes. The earlier design had a uniform thickness rim. Whilst the new design make paintwork look a lot nicer but impinge on the engines low speed operation.
The governor mounted off the side of the crosshead guides is an optional extra, available as a kit with the steam valve mounted to the top of the steam chest. Careful machining will create a fully working governor.
The Victoria engine requires a sturdy bas and an accurately made base for the engine to sit on. It is not uncommon to find washers underneath the engine to match the baseplate and pedestal height, to align the crankshaft bearings.
This engine also has some nice home made planked cylinder insulation with brass banding.
Missing are the optional cylinder drain valves. With the steam chest on the top of the cylinder it has difficulty clearing out condensate whilst the engine is warming up. Normally mounted to the underside of the cylinder they are tricky to operate and when fitted often have piping to clear the condensate and levers to operate them.
Normal operation would be to open the drain valves fully whilst slowly allowing steam to enter whilst turning over the engine until the condensate clears before closing the valves. Steam trains use the same technique when leaving a station, hence the large clouds of steam condensate as the Loco accelerates away and suddenly stopping when the cylinders are suitably warmed.
A book was written by the designer of this engine covering its construction. Andrew Smith.
In the front is the short story of how it came to be.
In a nutshell he was offered, free, an original small workshop engine, that was still in a workshop about to be demolished and lost forever.
Having rescued her, he restored and repainted the engine but unable to run it he donated it to a museum.
Later seeing Stuart's newly released Beam engine in their catalogue he realised that the key components, cylinder assembly, eccentric assembly, flywheel, were of strikingly similar dimensions. Thus he dragged out the drawing board and set to work designing the new engine using the existing parts.
Having read this story i was intrigued to discover the original engine. Many hours searching the internet discovered a picture of an engine in a museum in the correct part of the country that matched the authors original description. So here it is.
The design is so similar to the model that I will only pick out the interesting differences. The flywheel is a very early design constructed from wrought iron rods cast into the hub and rim. The small pulley is fitted between the flywheel and base making replacing drive bands awkward. The crosshead guides are cast into the baseplate with the top guides having reinforcing ribs to allow engine operation in either direction with a fully supported crosshead. Note how small the valve chest is, the steam chest on a model is often larger relative to the cylinder due to the problems with machining small items.
This governor fitted is a Proell design, the bulge in the centre contains a damping pot to smooth out surges.