A look back at the Diamond Jubilee Saddle Tank

A look back at the Diamond Jubilee Saddle Tank

It seems a long time ago but the summer of 2012 we celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Thousands upon thousands of people lined the edge of the Thames in London waving miniature Union Jack flags to commemorate 60 years of Queen Elizabeth on the British throne. While the working population enjoyed a day off away from the office on this extended bank holiday, Mamod was making its own tribute to the Queen's reign.

The Diamond Jubilee Saddle Tank steam engine was the latest in the company's long line of model steam trains. However, this was one that would live long in the memory and struck a chord with Mamod's customer base. Units have been steadily selling ever since it was first introduced and as the final stock leave the Smethwick base, we look back at this popular model.

In the build-up to the Diamond Jubilee, Mamod developers got together to find something that would be able to commemorate this very special occasion. The company prides itself on being 100 per cent British and exclusively builds its engines from parts manufactured in the UK. Honouring the Diamond Jubilee was agreed to be a great way to acknowledge another British icon.

Designers looked at numerous different configurations that could be used on the Diamond Jubilee engine before it was decided to go with the saddle tank design. Based on tried and test mamod locomotives, the team believed they would be able to create an engine that was not just aesthetically pleasing but one that would be highly functional and powerful.

While based on previous Mamods, the Diamond Jubilee boasted a saddle tank design never seen before in the company's range. Both the oscillating piston and cylinder design had been altered and the entire shape of the train had been changed completely creating a truly new and original model.

The decision to use a saddle tank was taken to fill a hole in the current Mamod range. The designers felt that it would be fitting to use it as the Diamond Jubilee model as it evoked images of a time gone by where these types of locomotives would patrol the railways all across the British Isles.

Released in 0 gauge, 1 gauge and a set, 100 Diamond Jubilee Saddle Tank steam engines were made with each order being tailored to the customer's specifications. A simple change of the axle and an alteration of the size of the engine face. Mamod saw a huge interest in the 0 gauge versions with 80 per cent of the models sold being in this configuration.

As the models continued to strike a chord with Mamod's customers there was increased interest and they began make their way out of the Smethwick headquarters of Mamod. It was not until recently that the final models made their way out of the factory doors onto the customer's door mats.

So with production of the Diamond Jubilee complete, what is next from the Mamod production line? A simple answer – The Telford which is due to be launched in late February 2015.