Category Archives: NPC 21

NPC No 14 – Brooks 4-4-0


In the 1890s the NPC acquired three Brooks 4-4-0s No 14, 15, and 16.  They had 48″ drivers, 16″x20″ cylinders, and weighed 70,900 and 70.100 pounds.  They were built by Brooks in 1891 and 1894. In the second renumbering on the NWP they carried numbers 92, 90, and 91 respectively.  Two were the last engines to run on the narrow gauge.  This is the builders photo of NPC No 14.

NPC 14

This was after she became North Shore No 14.  That was around 1902.  Notice the celestory vent at the top of the cab.

North Shore 14

This is her sister, No 16 after being renumbered to NWP No 91.  That happened around 1910.

NWP 91

The existence of three virtually identical locomotives certainly argues for having one or possibly two in the PC&N locomotive roster.  Two were the last engines to run on narrow gauge track.

Model – FED Spartan HOn3 4-4-0 in Brass

The Far East Distributers Spartan HOn3 4-4-0 was based on Brooks prototypes and bears a sharp resemblance to the prototypes.  Today these models are 30+ yeas old.  Dome shape and position match the prototype as does bell location, stack, and headlight.  The pilot is close.

Brass 4-4-0_1

A second view.  Tender and cab appear to be a good match.  Top tool boxes may need to go.  One of the NPC engines was converted to run on oil.  See bunker in middle prototype shot.  I may want to add an oil bunker,

Brass 4-4-0_2

Certainly some detail needs to be added – piping, whistles, LED headlight, etc.

Brass 4-4-0_3

This and the following photos are from an earlier auction on the same model.  I’ll need to check driver, truck wheel, and cylinder dimensions.  Valve boxes over the cylinders are taller on the prototype.

Brass 4-4-0_7

Note that the drivers are driven by a large brass gear.  The side rods transmit the power to the other pair of drivers.  Two of these drivers have to be insulated along with the wheels in the front truck.  Otherwise there would be a dead short across the engine.  So it should be possible to fabricate a suitable wiper to pick up power from the drivers and possibly the lead truck.  Here is a link to a tutorial that includes fashioning wipers from Kadee #5 Centering Springs.

Brass 4-4-0_5

This shot shows the underside of the tender.  The copper sheet is the electrical pickup to power the motor.  The brown floor is actually printed circult board.  Note that only two wheels on each side are used to pick up electricity.  This needs to be improved on as electrical pickup is one of the problems with this engine running smoothly.

It can’t be seen on this photo but this is a tender drive locomotive which is why the main electrical pickup was in the tender.  I see no evidence of any electrical pickups on the engine.  So you can see why this engine acted up when it went through switch frogs.

Brass 4-4-0_6

Approach to upgrading this locomotive

I have been able to find three resources that lay out approaches to upgrading and tuning performance of this locomotive.

SuperGlideDrive Conversions – This is a set of parts and instructions for upgrading this loco and its companion 2-6-0.  There are two variations.  One kit, the K-2, leaves the tender as the motor location.  it is simpler to implement but costs $120, $200 with a DCC decoder mounted.  The second kit, the K-2S, relocates the motor to the engine and uses the tender for a DCC sound decoder and speaker.  This kit apparently is not in release.  here is what the manufacturer says about the K2S kit.

K-2S (Sound). The Far East Distributors (Spartan Series) 2-6-0/ 4-4-0 are very nice size locomotives and the wheels and gearing are far better than the Ken Kidder 2-6-0 and can be made to run supurbly. I have just figured how to mount the motor/flywheel in the boiler so the tender will be empty and a sound system can be wired in. This kit requires more work to install than the K-2 kit, the top of the loco frame must be ground down flat to above the bottom edge of the boiler then a circular grove is ground down the middle of the top of the frame to fit the motor shape, it took me 30 minutes of hand grinding with a Dremel and routers and frequent test fitting of the motor.. The kit is a Faulhaber 1319 motor with a worm on the front and flywheel on the back. These are cemented on a mounting plate that has a NWSL delrin idler gear mounted under the worm, You drill a hole up through the frame for a 2 MM screw that will hold down the motor to the frame. Following the complete instructions you carefully adjust the motor fit to the frame to get perfect idler to axle gear mesh. The grinding does not have to be precice, you have to grind enough to get the motor and idler gear down for proper gear mesh but if you grind too much, just add paper shims under the motor to move the motor back up for proper mesh. then remove the motor assembly. Since the boiler and cab floor are very narrow, the motor, flywheel, idler gear and mounting bracket are inserted through the cab back then the boiler and motor are mounted down to the frame which ties all the gearing together. The tender wiring is modified the same as the K-2 kit to give 4 wheel electrical pick-up off each rail and 2 two wire TCS plugs will transmit power from the tender back to the locomotive for the motor and the LED headlight. The kit also includes sheet weights for the cab roof and inside the cab underneath the windows for better traction. Last detail is a C-16 backhead casting and a half circle of brass tube for the boiler shape inside the cab which is just wedged in place. Everything above is included in the kit.
Even though I figure sound is the main reason to install this more complex K-2S kit, the sound system in the tender will not be part of the basic K-2S kit though I can supply these items if you want to order them as a kit supplement, lets call it the Spartan Sound kit.
This kit has quite a few steps to install although it is not overly difficult and does not require special skills. Tools almost required are a Dremell motor tool with routers similar to #115, #124, #193 and #198, a #46 and 3/16″ drill, a flat hand file, a pencil soldering iron and a Verneer or DIGITAL CALIPERS is very useful but an included gauge can do this job. If you are afraid you can’t assemble it, TRUST ME, YOU CAN AND AFTER YOU COMPLETE IT YOU WILL BE A BETTER MODELER and have more confidence. If you absolutely freak out after starting I can complete it but I will bill for my time and YOU MUST START IT AND GET AS FAR AS YOU CAN, BELIEVE ME, YOU CAN DO IT. Don’t chicken out, you will be proud of what you do.
The instructions will fully explain how I fitted into the Spartan Series tender a Soundtraxx ECO 100 decoder, a “sugar cube” high bass speaker and a TCS Keep Alive KA-1.The time it takes me to build this kit will price the K-2S kit at a much higher price than the K-2. The Spartan Sound Kit with full instructions will just be the total of parts prices. STAY TUNED FOR RELEASE.”

This second kit will go for substantially more – how much is not stated.  The whole approach seems expensive.

NWSL Project Page – I found this project page (click link on the left) on the Northwest ShortLine web site.  It promotes use of the following to upgrade this engine.

  • NWSL motor – the biggest that fits the boiler
  • NWSL Gear – 10 tooth 72DP spur gear
  • NWSL Gear – 20 tooth 72DP spur gear
  • Drive line pickups to improve electrical continuity.

This solution continues to use the Spartan’s gear box.  Parts numbers are out of date but a written step by step is given.  This solution relocates the motor to the engine, freeing up the tender for a DCC control board and sound.  This solution is in the $60 range.  The instructions in this resource might be used in conjunction with this next resource.

Mark Schutzer Approach – Mark has given a number of regional and national clinics on troubleshooting and rebuilding brass locomotives.  Mark’s approach is generic but would apply to this locomotive.  Taking this approach would involve the following parts.

  • NWSL motor- the largest that would fit – $22-$25
  • NWSL Gear Box – Some variation of the 0.3 Mod – $40-$50
  • NWSL Couplings – Universal Joints and Shafts – $15
  • Torque Arm – Fabricated from scrap brass.
  • Electrical pickups – some variation of the Kadee #5 Centering Spring or pickups

Total component cost – $80-$90.

The sound board (Soundtrax Tsunami 750) and Sugar Cube Bass speaker might run another $140.

My first FED Spartan Hon3 4-4-0 came to me on eBay for $129.  It looks to be in excellent condition with little use.  Total engine cost including upgrades, DCC and sound – $360 plus paint.  Not out of line for a brass 4-4-0 with DCC and sound assuming I can turn it into a smooth runner.  There is even some money in a $400 budget for detail parts.

Conclusion: The FED 4-4-0 is a pretty good starting point for an bash into NPC 14, 15, or 16 – possibly more than one of the three.  It falls within my engine budget of $400 per engine or less.  The drive line is also a potential solution for turning Wiseman’s NPC No 21 parts set into a working model.  I may end up with three of these FED models.

NPC No 21 Wiseman Parts Set in HOn3

I was searching through eBay on Christmas and came across a listing for a HOn3 parts set to assemble NPC No 21.  This engine is my RR Holy Grail.  I have a partially built version in Large Scale.  I’ve felt building one from scratch in HOn3 is beyond my capabilities.

NPC No21-9

This sequence of images is from Wiseman’s eBay listing for this kit.  As they do not contain a copyright, I assume I am not out of line posting them here.  It is my hope that those reading this page will find them useful in assembling an engine from the kit.

NPC No 21-3

The kit is unpowered.  But the driver wheels and truck wheels appear to be of a quality that could be powered.  There is also that nice drive gear surrounding the front driver axle.  As you will see further down the page the original intent appears to have been to deliver a powered version.

NPC No21-2

This view is from the other side.

NPC No21-12

This shot of the engine is from the rear.  Remember, this is a cab forward.

NPC No21-10

The shot from the front shows the back head.  I think I can do better than this given the drawing David Fletcher, Keith Christensen, and I collaborated on that is posted elsewhere in this resource.

NPC No21-13

The tender was unusual.  One tank for oil and the other for water.

NPC No21-11

Tender shot from the side.  As presented in this sequence the tender is missing a number of air, water, and oil lines that appeared on the prototype.

NPC No21-6

A shot from the top.

NPC No 21-8

Here are some of the the parts bags.

So I’m going to build this engine in HOn3.

What the parts set gives me that I didn’t have as a result of my prototype research is an exploded parts diagram and a set of parts in 3D that can be used to design a 1:20.1 version.  So as I proceed with construction of the Wiseman model, I’m going to take of dimensions and convert them to large scale narrow gauge (1:20.1).  While I’m at it I’ll also convert them to 1:1 dimensions.

The Wiseman Parts Set Arrives

The above photo shows a box containing the parts set.  What I received is a plastic zip lock bag jammed full of parts along with four photocopied pages.  Two contain prototype photos that also appear in higher quality in this resource.  One page contains a drawing that was published in a railroad publication.  The final page is an exploded parts diagram for the kit.

So I dumped the parts out of the bag and started sorting them and comparing them to the parts diagram.  Guess what?  There are parts in the diagram that aren’t in the kit.  There are parts in the kit that aren’t on the diagram.  There is no parts list that names the parts that are numbered on the diagram.  The major inconsistencies are where the drivers are attached to the engine.  Now that’s a pretty crucial area of the engine to have a variance.

NPC 21 Parts Drive

In the above diagram of the drive area of the kit, there are a number of parts with X’s drawn through them and no parts numbers.  Those parts don’t come with the kit.  They include a worm screw with the male portion of a universal coupling, a universal coupling, the motor mount block, the cap over the motor mount, a yoke and the plate that screws into the bottom of the motor mount to secure the drivers.  Instead the kit includes a number of unidentified parts that presumably perform the same function without mounting a motor.   Some of these parts can be seen on the engine photo of the engine on its side in the photo series at the top of this page (photo 2).  Presumably the changes resulted from the decision not to release this as a powered model.

As soon as I have this sorted out, I’ll post a photo of the parts and a description of how they go together.

Project Goal

I’d love to produce a working running NPC No 21.  But the parts aren’t in the Wiseman parts set to do so.  So I could order parts and fabricate.  Assuming the Wiseman drivers and truck wheels are properly insulated, that is a possibility.  The following shot shows the wheels and axles for No 21.  The drivers are clearly insulated with cockle silver tyres, plastic centers and steel axles.  Presumably power could be picked up from these drivers with wipers.  One issue is the gdrivers are out of round.  I’m not sure whether this is a centering or quartering issue.

The middle set of four wheel sets are the tender wheels.  They are nickel center with plastic centers and steel axles.  With appropriate wipers, power could be picked up from these wheels.

The third pair of wheels and axles are for the lead truck.  These wheels appear to be plastic so would not be a good source of electrical pickup.

NPC No 21 Wheels

This photo is of drive line parts.  Side frames, cylinders and yoke, and piston rods appear to be white metal.  The rest of the parts (side rods, cylinder fronts, cylinder rears, and the parts that ride in the cylinder rear assemblies all appear to be brass.  Off to the left are some brass parts that are part of the connection between the motor (not provided), the gear box (not provided), and the center brass gear in one of the drivers.  It remains to be seen whether these parts and the out of balance drivers can be converted into an operating drive train.

NPC No 21 Drive Line

I could purchase a variation on the same upgrade parts I’ll be using for NPC No 14 which would provide a moor and the gear box as well as linkage between the two.  I wouldn’t be going for sound on this loco but would want DCC.  However, those two tanks may be large enough in diameter to hold a sound board and speaker.

A safer variation on the plan is to purchase a second FED Spartan HOn3 4-4-0 and use it for parts for the lower half of the engine.  I will have been through upgrading the 4-4-0 so I will know where the weaknesses are and how to address them.  And the parts would all be designed to work together in an engine that actually ran.  Assuming I can get a second FED for around $130, project cost lays out as follows.

  • FED Spartan HOn3 4-4-0 – $130
  • Wiseman Parts Set for NPC No 21 – $190 (already in hand)
  • NWSL upgrade parts – $90
  • DCC Decoder with sound and speaker – $140
  • Total budget – $550 – not too bad for a unique Holy Grail engine that is at least half brass using DCC and sound.  It might be the only running NPC No 21 in the smaller scales.

I might be able to use the surplus parts from the FED (boiler, cab, tender, etc.) in another project.  That is especially true if the surplus Wiseman lower end parts (trucks, wheels, tender, etc. are functional (electrically isolated and smooth running).   Or I could auction off the surplus parts on eBay to recoup a portion of the cost.  Until I work through the companion NPC No 14 project,  I’m going to proceed with superstructure assembly of the Wiseman parts set.

Tender Assembly

Given that the lower end of both engine and tender is up in the air, I thought it best to attack assembly of the tender superstructure first.  Here’s an exploded tender diagram.

NPC 21 Parts Tender

These parts all appear to have been shipped with the kit.  I’ve located the major parts.  Some of the smaller parts are still hiding from me in my parts pile.  I do find it amusing that one of the parts (a valve) has a question mark next to it.  I don’t know whether that means they couldn’t come up with a part number or whether the part is not supplied.

The first step in working with a kit where the majority of the parts are white metal is removing and filing down flash left over from the moulding process.  The white metal parts are of good quality and flash removal on the tender only took a few minutes with one of my modeling files.  This photo shows the parts that make up the major portion of the tender.  The white metal parts have been cleaned up.  I have a bit more work to do on the bronze parts.  The wheel sets are still in their parts bag.

NPC 21 Tender Photo

The following is the takeoff and conversion of major tender truck parts.  For example, in ON30 the oil and water tanks will need to be 1.604″ in diameter and 1.243″ tall.  The truck wheelbase will need to be 0.979″ which translates to 46.98″ in 1:1.  The wheels are 23.925″ in diameter.  Once I have these conversions I can begin looking for parts.

NPC21 Takeoffs

Here are two images of the completed Wiseman tender to this point.

Wiseman Tender1

This image shows some additional tender parts including the wheels, oil and water tank support brackets, a second air tank, and end beam.  The truck side frames are shown in the earlier drawing.

More No 21 Tender Parts

Note that the tender wheels appear to be electrically isolated.  If I could use a complete Wiseman tender without borrowing FED parts, I would have a complete 4-4-0 tender to either use in another project or sell on eBay.  I’ll need to fashion tender electrical pickups in either case. makes N scale electrical tender pickups.  I’ll bet they can be made to work in HOn3.

Bob Baxter’s No 21

It was Bob Baxter’s post to the forum asking for additional information on the NPC 21 that lead to the prototype researchy in this section.  He was particularly interested in backhead detail.  Much of the work on the backhead detail on this locomotive was too far along to take advantage of the collaboratrion that lead to the backhead drawings in this resource.


Bob has great modeling skills and is highly regarded in the MLS community.  He and Chris Walas got together at the 2003 Queen Mary Train Show and cooked up the idea of modeling this engine.  Bob pulled this model off in about a month of elapsed time in spite of taking a break or two along the way.


Bob began with a Bachmann Spectrum 4-4-0.  That’s appropriate given that Bill Thomas used parts from an 1875 Baldwin, the NPC’s No 5, Bodega, in constructing No 21.  Bob used the engine frame, drivers, leading truck, valve gear, and cylinders as a starting point.  He also used the Bachmann tender from the deck on down.  The Spectrum components are obvious in this early construction photo.


Bob’s construction was going on as the folks at the MLS site were pulling together the research.  I, in particular, drove Bob somewhat crazy by continually turning up facts as well as speculation that turned out not to be facts.  Hey, we were doing research on a 100 year old locomotive for Pete’s sake, and a highly unusual one at that !!  An example is this next photo where Bob needed to add a bump to the top of the cab to cover the steam cylinder mounted on top of the boiler.  The tanks are made from 3 inch plastic sewer pipe and Bachmann tank car ends.  Here are some of Bob’s comments about this project.


I’m almost finished with the old girl. Except for an engineer and fireman and full details of the cab interior she is all together and operational. The last few days have been a struggle to fit a smoke unit (Aristo SD45), a Phoenix sound system (stolen from my “Connie”) a working headlight, and the flickering firebox light from the Bachmann 4-4-0 that has sacrificed so much to make the construction of this loco possible. Installing the wiring to connect the three different units that make up the locomotive was no picnic.


The sound system went into the two tubs on the tender body, the speaker in one and the wiring, battery, volume control, and circuit board in the other.

Everything except the window frames is sprayed with Krylon semi-flat black and will be dusted with grimy black when I’m in the mood to do some airbrushing. I decided that as all the photos of the original were in black and white, I could give it a little more character by doing the window frames in ruddy brown primer. None of the photos showed her with touches of white here and there but I felt that the model needed a little brightening up so the running boards got their edges painted white. 


It’s been a month since I bought the 4-4-0 at the Big Train Show and I’ve been obsessed with getting this project behind me since then. This has been the toughest job I’ve taken on since I started working in large scale. I’ve always freelanced my models and built things that “could have been” rather than to try to follow plans. Kitbashing is a lot easier than scratch building but I just couldn’t resist this challenge. Here are tonight’s shots. I might mention that I decided to model her as she was first built, before they added the sand dome, the flip-up stack cap, and the relocated headlight. She looks as she did on her inaugural run.


I think you’ll agree that Bob’s craftsmanship is outstanding.  It’s a pretty high standard for Chris and I to shoot for.  I know Chris is up to the challenge.  But I’m awed by the craftsmanship in this engine


Congratulations on a great job, Bob.



NPC 21 Drive Train

Most accounts of the construction of No 21 indicate she was constructed by using parts from NPC No 5, The Bodega.  The NPC took delivery on No 5 in 1875.  The Bodega was one of nine Baldwin 4-4-0s purchased by the NPC from Baldwin between 1874 and 1877.  With the exception of No 9, the M S Latham all were virtually identical with 42 inch drivers, 12×16 inch cylinders, and a weight 0f 44,000 pounds.  What set No 9 apart was detailing as it was President Latham’s engine.  But mechanically all nine were virtually the same.  Bill Thomas believed in purchasing stock generic Baldwins because of parts availability and interchangibility.

No 5 was dismantled sometime around 1897.  When the time came to build No 21, Thomas had a complete drive train available.  The only photo I’ve seen of Number 5 is a partial engine shot.


This shot shows the rear half of the engine and the tender.  It was taken in 1892.


Here’s a shot of No 3, the Tomales.  Note the similarity of the drive train to this shot of No 21 when in testing.


If you look from the boiler down, the drive train, is virtually identical.  The NPC ran both kinds of pilots shown in these photos.  It is said that Thomas did some drive line upgrades as part of his rebuild, installing his patented American Balance Valve and adapting the drive train for the switch to a cab forward locomotive.

NPC 21 Tender

Number 21 had a most unusual tender.  Dominating features are a vertical drum tank for oil and another vertical drum tank for water.


This shot shows the tender from the engineer’s side of the engine.  Things are notable about this photo:

  1. Note the gauge on the top of the front (oil) tank.  Keith speculates that the gauge is measuring air pressure.  He indicates that given the quality of oil in those days, heat was necessary to get the oil to flow and combust properly.  So a steam line was likely to be coiled at the bottom of the tender.  But given the presence of the large air tank immediately behind the oil tank, it is likely the oil was pushed with air pressure.  The device next to the air gauge is likely to be a pressure regulator.
  2. A line running from the back along the tender sill.  It drops down then rises to the underside of the running board.  Note the valve to shut off the supply sticking up at the junction between the horizontal portion of the line and the portion that drops into a loop to the engine.  This line appears to rise to the underside of the running board where it is likely to run underneath the board to the engine.
  3. A line that runs along the top of the deck then rises out of site.  It appears to start in the area of the larger vertical air tank between the oil and water tank.  This is likely to be the air line headed toward the air compressor mounted on the engineer’s side of the engine.  Also note what looks to be a drain plug on the bottom of the air tank.  this would be used to drain condensate.  Click here for a diagram of a Westinghouse Air Brake system.
  4. Note also the vertical line beginning 2/3 the way up the side of the water tank.  It drops down to the deck.  What is the purpose of this line?  Water would be taken off near the bottom of the tank.
  5. Note the smaller tank located behind the larger tank noted in item 3.  Is this tank an air pressure regulator for the air brake system?


This shot views the tender from the fireman side.  Things that are notable about this photo:

  1. Note that the water tank appears to be significantly larger in diameter than the oil tank.  Not only does it appear wider, it also hangs over the edge of the deck.
  2. A line very similar to the line in item 2 in the previous photo appears on this photo.  It runs along the side of the sill back into the area of the water tank.   Keith indicates that redundant water lines were a common practice should one of the lines become clogged.  Note that you can see the continuation of this line running underneath the running board.
  3. A line also appears to come out of the side of the oil tank.  Note the shutoff valve.  It would also appear to run below the running board.  It is likely this is the oil line as the firemen is seated on this side of the engine.
  4. A container is located between the oil and water tank.  You can faintly see hinges on the left side, a door, and a latch on the right side.  This appears likely to be a tool box.
  5. A ladder appears to run up the back of the water tank to the top of the tank.
  6. A fill chute and cover appears to rise from the top back of the oil tank and the top front of the water tank.


This photo shows the tender from the engineer’s side.  Things that are notable about this photo:

  1. The rear water tank overhangs the deck on this side too.  That’s further verification that the water tank was larger than the air tank.
  2. In this view the water line appears to come from underneath the water tank.  In this photo it can be seen running beneath the running board.
  3. Note the gauge.  The device to the left of the gauge is likely to be an air pressure regulator.
  4. The line that appeared to begin 2/3 the way up the water tank also appears in this photo.  Is it coming off the top of the small tank instead?  The purpose of this line and device remains unclear.


This photo is also from the engineer side of the tender.  Things that are notable about this photo:

  1. The hatch allowing the water tank to be filled also appears on this photo.
  2. There is a vertical fitting on the top left of the oil tank.  Is this the filler?


This photo is of the firemen side of the tender.  hings that are notable about this photo:

  1. Note the top and what appears to be a lock on the box between the oil and water tanks.  It is likely to be a container for tool storage.
  2. Once again, the redundant water line appears in the photo.



Tender in the first two drawings are seen from the back.  The ladder appears on this drawing as well as the water tank hatch.


This Elmer Wood side drawing shows the water and oil tank hatches and the tool box.Note that only two lines are drawn between the engine and tender.  it is likely there were five.

  • Two water feed lines.
  • An oil feed line.
  • A line carrying steam to the oil tank.
  • An air line from the compressor to the air tank.

No 21 Backhead Drawing

This backhead drawing for No 21 was prepared by David Fletcher.  The final details resulted from a series of emails between Fletch and Keith Christenson.  No original backhead drawings are known to exist.  So these drawings are the best estimates of two men that have spent a significant amount of time studying existing photos and drawings.  Both have extensive knowledge of the operation of steam engines.


Click image for a PDF of the original CAD Drawing.


Click image for a PDF of the original CAD Drawing.





Logic Behind Placement of Key Components

What follows is a listing of the key components of the backhead and cab area of NPC No 21.  The logic behind the placement and design of each component is given.

  • Engineers Seat – On the right hand side of the locomotive when facing out the front of the cab.  See photo on Backhead Detail page showing Bill Thomas in this position.  Both engineer and fireman seats were fold up seats.
  • Fireman’s Seat – On the left side of the locomotive when facing out the front of the cab.  As second photo on the Backhead Detail page shows the fireman in this position.  Note the placement of the oil burner controls to the right of the fireman.
  • Burner Vent & Controls – Shows vents on front of the drum admitting air to the oil burners.  Earlier Backhead drawing on the Backhead Detail page also shows openings on side of drum.  It is likely there were holes in both locations as this was the only air supply to the oil burners.  Later photos of NPC No 21 show that the headlight was moved up and a hole was placed in the front of No 21 supplying air through a cowling to the drum openings.  The two levers on the drawing operate the dampers – controlling the extent to which the front and side openings admit air.
  • Oil Burner Controls – These controls which face the fireman control the flow of oil to the burners.  A side view of these controls is clearly shown on the photo of the firemen on the Backhead Detail page.  A schematic of these controls is also shown on the Backhead Detail page.
  • Air Brake Stands – While only one is shown, there were probably two brake stands, the direct air engine brake stand and the automatic air train brake stands.  They were likely cleated off the cab walls.  They would have been cleated to the front cab wall or to the side wall to the side of the engineer.  We feel the front cab wall is the more likely location.  The Backhead Detail page shows a Westinghouse Brake photo on the left and an engine brake photo on the right.  Note that brake gauges would have been placed in front of the engineer on the front cab wall.
  • Lifting Feedwater Injectors – Mounted on the upper slope of the boiler sides.  The injectors were probably “lever action” as was common locomotive practice. The water and steam settings were pre-set and the engineman pulled the lever to start the feed.  A photo on the Backhead Details page shows a feedwater injector just behind Bill Thomas’ head. 
  • Johnson Bar – Is secured to the floor to the left of the engineer’s seat.
  • Hydrostatic Lubricator – Two are shown, one on each side of the backhead.  They would have been similar in design to the photo on the Backhead Detail page.  Globe valves shown would allow steam to be shut off from the lubricators in case of breakage and when the lubricators were to be filled with steam oil.  Oil is fed to the cylinders via a line going to the cylinder covers.
  • Dual Water Glasses – This is not obvious from the photo but it is likely they were positioned 2 feet in front of the backhead so as to be visible to the engineer and fireman by looking sideways.  Note that given the slant of the boiler, it was not necessary that the cab side of the steam drum contain water.  As a result, the upper and lower ends of the water glasses in all likelihood extended from just below the top of the boiler to the lower part of the steam drum.  The only reason the water glasses would extend higher on the steam drum would be to check whether water was too high, causing a risk of priming the engine’s cylinders with water.  Lines feeding the water tubes would be braced with brackets attached to the boiler or possibly the top of the cab.  Globe valves at the top and bottom of the water glasses would allow the water to be shut off in the event of breakage of the glass.  Globe valves would also be placed there the pipes exited the boiler and steam cylinder so the flow should be shut off in the event of pipe breakage.  The preferred water level on this engine is 2 inches above the inner corrugated drum casing.  This keeps spots in the boiler from overheating.  Too much water in the steam drum reduces the steam generating capacity of the engine.
  • Oil Lamps – Lamps with vertical slits would be mounted to throw light on the water glasses.  They are shown to the inside of the glasses in the drawing.  The drawing shows them fixed to the pipe work and off straps attached to the backhead.
  • Turret – Comes off the middle of the steam drum backhead.  It supplies steam to the two hydrostatic lubricators, the compressor lubricator and the oil injector.
  • Throttle Valve – Was at the junction of the dry tubes.  It controlled the flow of steam to the cylinders.
  • Throttle – Earlier drawings on the Backhead Detail page show the throttle swinging directly off the throttle valve.  To reach the throttle, the engineer would need to reach behind his head and around the steam pipe.  In practice, the throttle would have been in front of the engineer’s seat in front of the Johnson bar.  The above drawing assumes it was suspended from the ceiling with a linkage back to the throttle valve.
  • Compressor Lubricator – Shown on the left side of the backhead, this lubricator uses steam pressure to feed oil to the air compressor mounted on that side of the engine.  While shown above the entry door (for clarity) it would have been mounted to the right of the entry door behind the throttle.
  • Steam Dry Lines to Cylinders – Earlier drawings on the Backhead Detail page show these lines in front of the backhead.  Yet these lines don’t show on the photos.  Furthermore, they would block access to the hand holes.  So in drafting this plan, they were curled around the inside outer edge of the boiler.
  • Water Tube Hand Holes – These appear to be 40 circles with a bolt in the middle on the drawing.  While they are appear to be circles, it is likely they were elliptical in shape.  They are actuall drawin that way with a vertical orientation.  As the drawing on the Backhead Detail page shows, the flanges were on the inside of the outer boiler casing.  If elliptical in shape, they could be removed through the hole in the outer casing.  The dots between the hand holes are the backhead stay bolts.  In one of the photos on the Backhead Detail page, you can see the brackets and bolts that held the hand hole covers in place.
  • Steam Pressure Gauge – is not shown on the drawing.  Given his seating position, it is likely the gauge was mounted to the front cab wall in front of the fireman.
  • Tri-cocks – Are not shown in this drawing.  Given their position above the crew’s head, the lack of space, the fact they were being phased out and the unusual characteristics of this boiler, it is unlikely this boiler had tri-cocks.
  • Entry doors – In all likelihood, these were not doors but openings.  They are drawn that way.  To exit the engine, both the fireman and engineer would need to lift their seats and exit through these openings.  Some NPC crews were concerned about the lack of collision protection provided by the cab forward design compounded with the time it took to exit.  
  • Cylinders – This engine was built with parts from wrecked Baldwin 4-4-0s.  Cylinder dimensions would have been consistent with Baldwin 4-4-0 design.  However, they had been upgraded with Bill Thomas’ patented American Balance Valve.

Fletch, and Keith — thank you for all the time and expertise that went into these drawings.