Built in 1984 at Tom Cooper's Merlin Loco Works in Wales

"Hope" is the oldest locomotive currently in the Elmtree Line fleet

She was for a while joined by a second Merlin locomotive "Joy" who's details can be found on this site, "Joy" was a somewhat smaller locomotive and was not able to haul trains over the rolling landscape that the Elmtree Line brings so she is now based at a new home.


"Hope" is from one of Merlin Loco Works more elegant ranges, Tom Cooper designed and built a number of locomotives during the eighties, some of which he made several dozen, and others one or two, some as test models and some only sold a couple due to the design.

"Hope" is freelance in design, but a well proportioned 0-6-0 locomotive. She is fitted with radio control and a whistle, the radio control drives the reverser which works reasonably well although slow speed running is somewhat of an art. She is similar in design to the Roundhouse Lady Anne and some may even say the Accucraft Lawley. She is gas fired and has a good sized boiler allowing well over thirty minutes of operation in warm condition.


Merlin Loco Works made some very good locomotives and alot of very poor ones. It is not unheard of for engines to fall to pieces, develop leaks or just fail due to poor engineering and quality checks. Fortunately "Hope" has performed well, certainly since she has been with me.


I have closed the whistle valve off for now as the whistle quickly uses up any steam pressure and also has a tendancy to leak steam through the rotary valve when running. In the future it is a fairly simple job to fix, but for now closed off to give exceptional running.


"Hope" joined the Elmtree Line in a rather dirty state, boiler covered in what looked like caked on thick oil of some sort, carefully removed the paintwork still in great condition underneath. She has been fitted with one of the slimline Summerlands Chuffers as she only has a thin chimney and she sounds great working her way up the Elmtree Valley.