As 2014 draws to a close, many people reflect on the year and see what they have achieved in the last 12 months.
The same happens at Mamod and the company has once again enjoyed a productive year. There has been the re-introduction of marine engines and other requested engines while it is the end of the road for a Mamod favourite. There has been work behind the scenes to get ready for the dawn of 2015 and there are bright days ahead.
In the last few days, Mamod sold the final Diamond Jubilee Saddle Tank steam train bringing an end to a real favourite among the steam community. Made to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's 60th year on the Great British throne in 2012, the steam engine struck a chord with customers and proved to be a successful model. Not only was it a reliable engine but it was also flexible in that it could be converted from 0 to 1 gauge when needed.
As the company says its final goodbyes to the Diamond Jubilee Saddle Tank engine, it is time to look ahead to the new year. The next 12 months will mark the long-awaited launch of a brand new engine, one that Mamod has been working on for a considerable amount of time – The Telford.
Initially dubbed by engineers as 'the runaway train', the Telford has been the culmination of fours years hard work at Mamod's production site in Smethwick, West Midlands. It got its nickname after the original design meant it was far too powerful to stay on the track but with numerous tweaks and alterations has meant that it is now ready for sale.
The concept for the Telford was first brought to the table in mid-2011 as Mamod looked to increase its locomotive offerings. Planning got underway but it was not until 2012 that blueprints were sketched and the journey to create the next steam train for the Mamod collection.
Creating the Telford was a labour of love for many of the Mamod engineers involved and it needed a range of modifications to ensure that not only was it able to run on a track but that it was also "its own engine". There was a concerted effort to make the Telford a locomotive that would stand out from the rest.
The model is an updated version of the Saddle Tank but with the introduction of a new piston head, it became a pioneering model. The development stage was an arduous process as the designers looked at how the engine could be marketable. One of the main issues flagged up during the production was matching "O" rings to fit the size of the new cylinder.
Engineers were tasked with making a clearance underneath the train and working to make sure the train had the correct centre of gravity.
One of the recurring problems throughout the building process was the power of the Telford, it wasn't called the runaway train for nothing. The tweaking of the engine had made it significantly more powerful meaning it would run fast and hard but only for a short time.
There were many journeys back to the drawing but it was worth it in the end and it will be ready for purchase in late February.