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Parts from Classic Hudson Locomotive Build Realistic Stationary Steam Engine.

By Bob Galler (meccanom@msn.com)

In the following article, Club member Bob Galler, describes the construction of his model. This article first appeared in the SCM&EC Newsletter, First Quarter 2007, however some more photographs were added here.

Many are familiar with the most famous of Golden Age Erector models, the Hudson locomotive.

For the introduction of this model in early 1931, Gilbert added some 50 or more special locomotive parts. The Hudson is so sought-after today, a completed model in good condition brings in thousands, box or no box. It is therefore rare indeed to see any of the other models in the range of the of the No.8 or No.8 sets, other than the usual Hudson.

Since I had some extra parts, not in great condition, I decided to refurbish them and build one of models in the manual other than the locomotive. I decided on the No.8 set model Twin Cylinder Horizontal Engine with Upright Boiler for its realistic appearance, valve gear and overall handsome look. I will keep it together and bring it to one of our meetings. I substituted only the drive motor A51 (also rare) for the P53 because it is AC rather than DC operated. If you would like to build this model, you will need the following parts (summary only):

  1. Steam Chest and Cylinders complete, with two each JR and JS crosshead bearer and link frame.

  2. Two sets Link Rod and Valve Assembly.

  3. Two sets Parallel Rod  Main Connecting Rod and Crosshead Assembly (the large drivers JE are not used).

  4. Main Boiler KB, two Air Drum Shells KY for a stack, Steam Dome IV and Smoke Box Front JC.

  5. Additional smaller parts JM and JN (Cylinder End), axles, couplings, Special Coupling CQ, and S, P and Q base plates; the fairly rare HF Butt End Plate is also culled out.

  6. CJ and P36 gears and old-style chain--I say "old Style" meaning larger chain pitch than later chain or Meccano chain spacing. You could use later sprockets and chain without losing anything in looks. This chain rides over two teeth.

  7. Flywheel is two heavy-steel GV disc wheels.

  8. One P58 motor or equivalent.


I tumbled and cleaned all plated-steel parts using procedures called out in the Club newsletter of January 1992 (many years ago!) Base plates were spray-painted with Rustoleum either black or red.

Assembly procedures are quite clear from the manual drawings, and I found no misrepresentations from the drawing to actual building as happens in many of the early renditions. This tells me that someone actually built the model. I did find, however, that it was necessary to elongate the holes in the AC brackets which hold the P79 car trucks which journal the flywheels. If this is not done, the valve gear hit the steam chests at the extreme end of forward travel.

The fine art of double-nutting is required to get the mechanism to run smoothly. A light oil on the piston guide rails and axles will help smooth out the action.

I do not recommend operating the model with either the P58 or A51 motor geared as shown: it is much too fast. In the future, I shall build a base and platform with suitable slow-speed drive which will operate the engine for long periods at expositions.

Please feel free to contact me for details if you want to have a go at the model. Mike Wagner of Wagner and Sons may be able to help you find a few of the parts if you do not have them—or take that Hudson apart—you can always reassemble it again!                                   

Last Updated: March 7, 2012