In Introducing Model Traction Engine Construction, John Haining, the doyen of traction engine modelling, explains what is involved in the construction of working steam models and outlines briefly the history and variety of such engines. A degree of reader familiarity with normal machine work and workshop practice is assumed, but even the inexperienced lathe owner will easily follow the procedures with the aid of the many clear illustrations provided by the author and will be encouraged to try his hand at this fascinating branch of model engineering.
● A brief history of the traction engine
● Choice of an engine and deciding on a scale
● Order of construction. Description of the steam engine
● Boilers - locomotives and other types
● Smokeboxes, chimneys, grates, boiler fittings and cladding
● Cylinders and valve gear
● Connecting rods, crankshafts and bearings, compound cylinders, safety valves, lubricators
● Road gears and compensating gear
● Tender, steerage details, wheel and roll construction
● Painting and lining
● Raising steam and driving
● The engine 'outfit'
Those of an engineering bent who wish to make a live steam model have a basic choice between a railway locomotive, a stationery engine, a marine engine or a traction engine in one form or another. The locomotive needs a track, the marine engine a hull and a stretch of water, but a traction engine can run on any area of reasonable ground. Coupled with the enormous growth of interest in preserving and running full-sized engines at agricultural shows and steam rallies, it is no wonder that traction engine models are so popular.