A Mamod Boulton sits on the railway tracks with a Deltang receiver balanced on its running board

A Mamod Boulton for the Moel Rhos

No. 5 arrived on the Moel Rhos in April 2020. It’s a Mamod Boulton – a steel-bodied battery-powered diesel outline loco with an MFA motor on an Essel designed chassis.

I wrote at the time:

“I’ve been eyeing up a Boulton for a while – the Moel Rhos needed a heavy battery loco for line clearing. With just one operational battery loco during lockdown (No 1 Gannet) reduced to 2 wheel drive after the belt snapped – the urgency for the new loco increased. What if No 1 had a failure? The consequences would be catastrophic (i.e. locked down and having to wait to get up steam every time I want to play trains).

“I’m delighted with the Boulton which is fully capable of hauling a dead Millie plus train. But it’s not as geared down as I expected and reacts to the sharp curves and even the minimal inclines on my line. If it stalls you can’t just wait for it to brew up like a steamer. Inevitably this occurs in the tunnels or the cutting. I feel it needs to be driven on my line, so RC needed. Fortunately I’d planned to do that anyway and had already ordered a Deltang Rx65c.”

Virtual Meetup post, 8 May 2020

Fitting the Deltang was a quick job. But I’ve barely done anything else to it since!

I intended to deal with the gearing issue by switching the MFA motor which I believe is 30:1 reduction for one geared at 100:1. But over 3 years later I haven’t got round to that. I also bought a detailing kit from SLR Models which I haven’t fitted yet. I bought it before I got the 3D printer, but there will be plenty of other details for me to draw and print – it really is a nice canvas for adding bits and bobs. I’m not going to go as far as my friend who converted his into a fantastic logging loco, absolutely dripping with details. But it does need a few additions to bring it to life. In the meantime, though, it is proving itself as a very practical loco and while it hasn’t been out visiting it’s seen a lot of use at home on the Moel Rhos. It’s one of the first locos I grab when I’m clearing the line, testing stock, or just want a quick play.

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Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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