BUILDING A SMALL LOCOMOTIVE
MAY 21 TO 31, 2009
HOW IT ALL STARTED - This is the piece of machinery I got from Ride
Trains.  It consists of a frame, wheels, bearings, sprockets, chains and motor.  I
also got a controller and throttle.  Their website is
www.RideTrains.net .
DECK, FIRST VERSION - I built a plywood deck, sills, and pilots, 18 by
30 inches, and attached to the frame.  This is as low a deck as possible, with
the idea being to make it comfortable for an adult to ride on the locomotive
itself.
HOOD, FIRST VERSION - Yes, it's tall enough and wide enough to hold a
full size adult.  But it looked too wide, too low, and too tall.
BODY, MODIFIED VERSION - I replaced the pilots with higher ones,
modified and recessed the sills, lowered the body, pushed it forward, and
built a cab.
THE GUTS - Two 300 CCA lawn tractor batteries wired in series, 350 watt
motor, and control module (upper left).  The plug-in throttle is stored at the
lower left.
TAKING IT FOR A WALK - I wasn't sure of how well it would work, so I
walked it around the track first.
TAKING IT FOR A RIDE - I couldn't resist the temptation, so I climbed
aboard and carefully started off.  This is fun! Great acceleration and speed
control!  And fast!
CHARLOTTE'S TURN - I talked Charlotte into taking it for a spin.  She fits
a little better actually.  The locomotive leans a bit toward the lower rail.
PORTABLE - It's heavy but not too heavy to pick up and put on the golf
cart.  Then back to the workshop to finish up details, a roof, and a paint job.
[home]
IN THE PAINT SHOP - What should the railroad's colors be?  That was easy,
the Blue and Gold of the University of Delaware!  The headlight is made from a
flashlight.
RED LETTERS - The best letters I could find locally were 2 inch vinyl letters
at the Staples store, sold only in red.  I transferred them to a plastic jug to paint
them blue.
LETTERING THE OLD FASHIONED WAY - The large Number 2's are
drawn by hand on the masking tape, cut, and painted.
FINISHED PRODUCT - The Critter is painted and lettered, ready to run.