MM6 Alco-Cooke War Department Light Railways
Scale = 4mm to the foot (1:76.2)
Gauge = 9mm (009)
Built at the Cooke Locomotive Works in 1917 for the Light Railway Operating Division ( L.R.O.D.), these locos' were used on the 60cm. battlefield supply railway lines in France and Belgium during the First World War. A total of 100, works numbers 57092 - 57191, WDLR Nos. 1201 - 1300 were constructed to a British War Department requirement and were known by their crews as “Cookes” from the place of manufacture. They were the largest and most powerful of the locos’ in service on the light railways. Similar in design to the more numerous Baldwin built 4-6-0's, the ALCO’s wheel arrangement meant they ran equally well in either direction.
In the months following the Armistice in 1918 many of the locos' saw use on former supply networks which were used to aid the reconstruction of the devastated French towns and countryside, the Regions Liberee. Some of these large systems were later taken over by the Departments and given over to become industrial and light railways. The largest around Vis en Artois in the Pas de Calais retained large amounts of ex-WDLR locos' and rolling stock hauling loads of sugar-beet until the mid 1950's. Four out of the ten or so remaining ALCO's that survived the Second World War were, in a modified form, used on the Tramway de Pithiviers a Toury.
Following closure of this line in 1964 the three surviving T.P.T. ALCO’s were saved for preservation and may be seen - in France on the Cfd. Froissy Cappy Dompierre where the loco has been restored to as near as possible its original form; at the Musée des Transports de Pithiviers; and in Britain on the Festiniog Railway, North Wales, as “Mountaineer”.
About this kit
This kit has been prepared from information gained by many months of research. Sources included a copy of an erecting drawing supplied by Roger Chivers of Chivers Finelines This was painstakingly re-drawn by Dave Pomeroy to his exacting standards with additional dimensions taken from the surviving locos’, most notably the Chemin de Fer Froissy Cappy Dompierre example. We wish to thank our fellow members and the committee of APPEVA for the unlimited access to their locomotive and for their kind assistance and patience.
The body has been designed to fit an adapted ‘Old style’ plastic framed Bachmann “N” scale 0-6-0 locomotive chassis. This drive unit is as close dimensionally to the prototype’s coupled wheelbase and driving wheel diameter as can be expected of a commercially available ready to run mechanism. The only drawback is that the locos’ had in reality outside bar frames. ln mitigation of this the cast iron tracery following American practice is less distinct at normal viewing distances than the plate frames of most British locos’, and when in motion and obscured by rotating rods and valve gear almost unnoticeable.
A word of thanks also goes to Dave Gander for the artwork, Frank Gunder, to a'ladin Leyland for his lamps! and David H. Smith.
Recommended sources of further information :-
- Light Railways of the First World War Davies, W.J.K David & Charles
- Narrow Gauge at War Taylorson, Keith Plateway Press
- Narrow Gauge at War 2 Taylorson, Keith Plateway Press
- The Light Track to Arras Heritage, T. R. Plateway Press
- Le P'tit train de la Haute Somme Appeva - information on the Cfd. Froissy Cappy Dompierre includes photographs of their ALCO and the museum of Military and Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways.
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