Gungadin - The First Encounter


Roundhouse Engineering produced "Gungadin" between 1996 and 2000 exclusively for Garden Railway Specialists of Princes Risborough (shop still open). The locomotive was an extended Roundhouse Fowler making the loco a 2-6-2 as aposed to the normal 0-6-2 of the Fowler.


The tender was also different to the normal Roundhouse offering and wasn't produced by Roundhouse.




Talking of the tender, there were two versions, the second version coming in two designs (open or enclosed cab back). The first tenders were modified Bachmann "Annie" plastic tenders running on modified bogies and with radio control gubbins installed under a lift out tacky plastic coal load (as was the norm with Bachmann electric powered steam locomotives of thetime).


Later tenders were scratchbuilt from brass sheet and are believed to have been painted by Roundhouse with the loco itself so the colour match was much better (early plastic tenders were painted before joining the loco). Bogies were similar on both the early plastic and later brass tenders.


Wheels on the tenders were not re-gaugeable, but wheelsets could be swopped out with reletive ease, as could the pony truck wheels if visiting a railway running on another gauge. Driving wheels on the loco remained fully re-gaugeable in normal Roundhouse style. Later brass tenders had much more realistic coal loads that werestill removeable to get to the radio control electrics.


The earlier tenders were a bit light and a lump of metal in them helped them to stay on the rails!


The locomotive itself had an additional piece of chassis added at the front to carry the pony truck and some detailing bits on top, the cab was different to the Fowler it had evolved from, and it gained a deep running plate along the length of the loco which gave it a much more british appearance. the safety valves ended up close to the cab front and thus prohibited a safety valve dome being fitted.


In the cab a larger square gas tank sat under the cab roof on all models, believed to be Butane safe only. Other fittings were as per a standard Fowler design loco. The connection between loco and tender varied in design through the locomotives history, some connected the loco to the leading bogie on the tender, later models saw a more standardised approach by Roundhouse connecting the loco to just behind the front plate of the tender (as is the case on most tender loco's to come from Roundhouseof recent).



The locomotive was heavier than a Fowler (that can be a little light-footed at the front) and certainly attains better adhesion, but the extra weight also see's the loco more sluggish than the more nimble Fowler. Handling the Gungadin is also somewhat fiddlier as there's nowhere as easy to grab hold of.

Unfortunately the front end design of the loco (smokebox rivited to the chassis) makes it annoyingly hard to fit a chuffer (Summerlands or others). The loco does hold the track very well, the front pony holds the rails very well considering its notload bearing in this design.


It is believed that nearly all the Gungadin were produced in Black, although subsequent owners are known to have painted one into Blue and one into Maroon (see pictures below!)   Later models came complete with Works Plates showing the year of manufacture and the GRS shop wording.



Our Gungadin is one of the last to be produced in 2000, comes with metal enclosed cab back tender and has been upgraded to the very latest 2.4ghz radio control.


In March 2013 this locomotive was sold by the Elmtree Line.

It now has a new home elsewhere in the UK