Small-Scale Live Steam Locomotives

Things to do with the Accucraft Ruby

Accucraft's Ruby is designed to be a platform for many other locomotive types.  The cab and side tanks are easily removable, giving the enterprising owner an easy way to get a good-running locomotive with a unique style.  Building cabs, tanks and tenders is relatively easy work, and a great way to start scratchbuilding without having to design your own boiler, cylinders and valve gear.  From what I've seen so far, it's a good runner with plenty of pulling power, so give some thought to using the running gear to design your own locomotive, with guaranteed performance characteristics. Click on the photo to see Accucraft's specifications sheet for Ruby.

Here are some possibilities for the Ruby -- taken directly from the Baldwin Locomotive Works1,2, who did the same thing with their locomotives.

Boiler diam. 30"
Driving wheels diam. 30"
Truck wheels diam. 22"
Wheelbase 5'0" driving, 10'3" total engine
Hauling capy 375 tons (on a level)
A 2-4-0 tender locomotive.  That tiny tender would be very easy to scratchbuild.  The herald on the tender of this example indicates that it was used on a sugar plantation.  (Porter also made similar 2-4-0s for plantation use.)
Plans for another locomotive of this class were printed in the Nov. 1981 Model Railroader magazine.7
Boiler diam. 30-5/8"
Driving wheels diam. 33"
Truck wheels diam. 22"
Wheelbase 5'0" driving, 10'0" total engine
Hauling capy 500 tons (on a level)
Probably the extremely large tender required a trailing truck on this engine.  Clearly, this engine was designed to go where sources of fuel and water were very, very far apart.

Boiler diam. 28"
Driving wheels diam. 28"
Truck wheels diam. 20"
Wheelbase 4'0" driving, 14'2" total
Hauling capy 405 tons (on a level)
Don't forget the Forney types!  This one was built for sugar plantation, while others were used in lumber operations.  The long rear overhang of the Ruby cries out for a rear truck and a bunker!
Plans for a similar Baldwin 0-4-2 (Class 6-10-C) were published in the Jan/Feb 1986 Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette, pp. 50-1.

Boiler diam. 38"
Driving wheels diam. 28"
Wheelbase 4'6" driving
Hauling capy 530 tons (on a level)
The full-length saddle tank makes for a very attractive locomotive, and this one's proportions seem to match Ruby's closely.  This one really shows its deep firebox beneath the cab.

Boiler diam. 40"
Driving wheels diam. 36"
Truck wheels diam. 24"
Wheelbase 5'6" driving, 17'6" total
Hauling capy 700 tons (on a level)
Baldwin called 2-n-2 wheel arrangements "double-enders", because the symmetrical leading and trailing trucks make them equally sure-footed going either direction.  This was especially useful when the engine was required to do a lot of switching, as in mining or lumber operations.  This type was also delivered with a saddle tank instead of the tender.
If Accucraft  makes components such as wheels and side rods available, turning a Ruby into this Mogul could be a fairly simple task.  How long before we see little Ruby Consolidations and dual-Ruby Mallets?
Baldwin 2-4-4 This metre-gauge Forney was used for switching at the Port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil8.  It is much like the road engines on many small railways, however, and would look fine in front of a couple of coaches or a mixed train.
I can't wait to see what the Ruby ends up looking like after hundreds of intrepid builders get through with it!

For lots of other ideas, check the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette for plans.  You can search an index of the Gazette and other railroading magazines at the Kalmbach-sponsored Train Magazine Index:

Ruby's Principal Dimensions

Measurement Actual size 1:20.3 scale 1:13.7 (7/8n2)
Boiler diameter 1-3/4" 35.5" 24"
Wheel diameter 1-3/8" over tread 28" 19"
Boiler/smokebox length 6-3/4" 11' 5" 7' 8"
Length over end beams 8-7/8" 15' 0" 10' 2"
Width over cab and tanks 4" 7' 9" 4' 7"
Height over/inside cab 5-1/2" / 4-1/8" 9' 4" / 7' 0" 6' 3" / 4' 8"
Wheelbase 2-3/8" 4' 0" 2' 9"


  1.  Baldwin Locomotive Works, Logging Locomotives (Philadelphia, 1913; reprinted 1973 by Specialty Press, Ocean NJ)
  2.  Baldwin Locomotive Works, Catalogue of Locomotives (Philadelphia, 1915(?); reprinted 1972 by Specialty Press, Ocean, NJ)
  3. Armitage, Al, "3/8-Inch Scale Narrow Gauge Logging Locomotives", Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette (May/June 1989, p. 72).  6-ton 0-4-0ST and 7-ton 0-4-2ST with bunker.
  4. "H.K. Porter Company 8-Ton Saddle Tank Locomotive", Class B-S, Outdoor Railroader (June/July 1992, p. 59).  This engine scales out very close to the Ruby's dimensions.
  5. Gebhardt, Ed. "Vaccaro Brothers Railroad Company #1",  Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette (Sept./Oct. 1995, p. 54).  An Alco engine very similar to the Baldwin Class 6-C.
  6. Knoll, Les.  "Narrow Gauge 2-4-4-2 Mallet." Steam in the Garden, vol. 10, no. 5 (Nov./Dec. 1999).
  7. Odegard, Gordon.  "Baldwin 2-4-0 Industrial Locomotive".  Model Railroader, Nov. 1981, p. 82.
  8. Hahmann, Carlheinz and C.S. Small. Brazilian Steam Album III, Out Beyond the City.  (Canton Ohio, 1990, Railhead Publications).

Click here for a gallery of photos and drawings of Ruby modifications.

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Last updated: 16 November, 2005.
Copyright © 1999-2005 by: Vance R. Bass. All rights reserved. Please use any and all information contained herein for your hobby enjoyment. If you're going to make money from it, talk to me first.