4-2-2 Emily / Stirling Single

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Part of the "Thomas the Train" family, it is actually modeled after a real prototope the Stirling single.

I bought this from RLD hobbies in fall 2014, with the intention to make it look like the real prototype.

Below is the picture of the stock unit with the face and moving eyes:



Below is the real GNR (Great Northern Railway)  Stirling 4-2-2 #1. These were built between 1870 & 1895, 53 were produced. There is only one preserved. The drivers were 8' 1" in diameter.


Changing the model to match the prototype

Jerry Barnes modified his loco to look very much like the prototype, and I'll be following his "footsteps" so to speak, here's a picture of his loco on his layout below.

He has modified his coaches to match the usual teak exterior on the prototype:

loco and coaches (Medium) 1

Here's a picture of one done in the UK, with the Bachmann "Emily" coaches (the coaches are not at all prototypical):


The first thing I did was pull the loco apart and see what is inside.

Underneath, there are 6 obvious screws on the bottom, remove the rearward 4. The front 2 loosen the cylinders and they can stay in place.

There is also a small screw in the smokestack.

You also need to remove the brown side skirts:




The shell comes back a bit before you can lift it off, notice the tab at the front of the boiler in the picture above (the tab is where the screw down the smokstack goes).

Now you can inspect the boiler. In the picture below, 2 interesting things are seen. First the partial circle is where the pin from the trailing truck rides as it swivels. But the small holes are for what?



Looking inside, you see the black plastic brace that holds the backhead to the shell, and you can see a small semicircular ring and mounting post for a very small speaker.



At first I was considering battery operation, but the Bachmann sound decoder is tiny, and I found a simple way to add a speaker to the loco. So, since I would have to add the batteries to the tender, and then run an extra cable between the tender and loco, it was a lot more work to go battery.

But, with a little imagination, you can fit a 2.5" Visaton FRS7 speaker inside.

Decoder installation

 Below you can see the decoder mounted on some velcro (I extended the velcro later, and the pickup leads attached. There are 3 pickups on each side of the loco. I removed the reversing switch, and left all leads from pickups as long as possible.

The leads from the front are tucked under little black "wings". In the picture below, you can see the black wire underneath one black "wing" on the near side of the motor block, just to the right of the rectangular hole.

There's another "wing" holding this wire behind the big driver. If you pull carefully you can pull the wire free without removing the motor block.

Now you have 2 long pickup wires, a red and a black. Solder these to the decoder. Now you still have 2 shorter pickup wires on each side and they won't reach to the decoder, and the holes in the decoder won't handle 3 wires anyway.

So I stripped the long pickup wires at the closest poit to the back of the loco, don't cut the wire, just remove some insulation. Then solder the 2 other pickup wires to it. If you look carefully you can see the heat shrink on the black wires right in front of the motor, and the red wires are just above.

I removed the circuit board from the motor (has caps and inductors) and soldered 2 new wires from the motor to the decoder, you can see an orange and a black wire.

Lastly I soldered wires for a speaker and added a disconnect, since I was not sure if I would need it or not.

Link to the decoder information: CLICK HERE



Speaker install:

Turns out that a Visaton FRS7 speaker will just fit. You need to remove the post that held the reversing switch and also I cut a hole for the sound.


You can see the dimensions of the hole below, also a small mounting post in there has to go.


 You also should open up the holes in the end of the backhead to let more sound out:



  • Now you find some spacers that are the same thickness as the bosses inside the backhead. This will space the front of the speaker the same distance above the chassis, as the rear of the speaker will rest on the bosses in the backhead.
  • Drill holes for clearance on #6 screws with the speaker as far forwards and centered between the bosses on the chassis.
  • I used 3/4" #6 screws and the spacers, and ran the screw down through the speaker, the spacer and then the chassis. I installed a #6 nut so it was JUST on the threads on each corner.
  • Now the speaker is held in place loosly by the front 2 mounting screws.
  • Hold the loco vertical and get the tab on the front of the boiler just in the smokebox.
  • Since you are holding the loco vertically, the speaker can flop a bit, and you can work the boiler shell in so the speaker is on top of those 4 bosses that hold the backhead on.

It takes a bit of fiddling, but it will all fit together. Now tighten the nuts on the screws, and the speaker is in place. I turned the master volume all the way up by setting CCV 128 to 255.

Kadee Couplers





Notice that the center axle is blind. No power pickup to any axle.

The tender takes the standard 830 / 906 gearbox. The holes line up and you can use the Kadee-supplied self tapping screws:


 Amazing! They just bolt on with no shims!



 And the front will take the standard 831 gearbox with the 901 centerset coupler:




Click the links below to go "deeper" into details on Individual topics

  Prototype info    Modifying to prototype appearance       



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