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For many, the alcohol firing set up on the old and new Bassett Lowke live steamers is a love/hate relationship.  The burners are prone to vapor fires in the cab, which quickly destroy the paint job and unsolder the body work.  Leaving the owner a ruined model if they didnt get a soaking wet towel over the model quickly to put out the fireball it became.   Now this modification only works on the reissue model from Corgi.  It has a solid tube boiler instead of the rolled brass sheet style boiler with the soldered seam right above the fuel source in the original live steam models from BL.   

I used a Bix brand burner from Mini Steam here in the USA that is designed for the venerable Mamod SL1 live steam locomotive.  It gave me the burner, fuel tank and jet/fuel line at the best possible price.   There are a couple of minor mods, mostly to the burner and gas jet line to make it work in the Mogul.   The mounting boss on the bottom of the burner must be made narrower and the gas line has to be cut, extended and a rubber flex line made up to go between the tender fuel tank and burner in the engine.  I used Tygon brand silicone line commonly used on 2 stroke lawn equipment as fuel line.  I hard soldered an extension of the fuel line from the jet assembly to extend it to the rear of the cab and soldered up a support mount.  A hold was cut with my dremel in the slope sheet on the tender and the fuel tank set in place with silicone caulk.  I maybe spent 2 hours working time actually doing the install, the rest of the afternoon was brainstorming how I wanted to do this.   The black rubber line in the pictures was a temporary set up for testing on the bench.   

Today was test day, to see if starting with all levels of fuel, steam oil and boiler water, would the gas run out before the water was gone.  Which is does with a good safety margin of water left in the boiler still.  Steam up time with room temp water was faster, run time was 25min pulling 6 ACE coal wagons with loads and a BL brake van(caboose).   This is with the gas kept turned right down to the min needed.  One can overfire with this and make a real mess, so one must run the model within its limits.  But gone are the dangers of cab fires and or track fires and melted ties from burning alcohol, which is invisable in bright daylight.  And the gas burner smell is much more tolerable vs the denatured alcohol.    AD




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Last edited by artfull dodger
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You mean fuel fed to the burner?  The knob on top of the fuel tank that is mounted in the tender, soon to be mostly hidden with a coal load and I will blacken the shiny brass knob so it doesnt stick out like a sore thumb.   I open the knob a bit, light the burner with my "aim n flame" bbq grill lighter, then adjust the burner to a nice low setting.  To high will do damage to the paint, the boiler and so forth.  Most any gas fired live steamer, most are G scale, can be over fired and do damage to the model.   Live steam is very hands on with prep time before the run, full attention to the model during the run, then clean up time after the run as the model cools down.  But the sights and smells are well worth the work.  But...its not for everyone.  Bassett-Lowke made many models in gauge O and 1 in live steam.  You have the Enterprise 4-4-0, Super Enterprise 4-6-0 and the Mogul 2-6-0 that came in several variations, with and without the Belpair boiler ect.  I also have a ratty Super Enterprise in LNER green that really needs a professional repaint with modern paints that better tolerate the heat.  It dates from the 1930's and still runs well. It uses denatured alcohol or bioethanol for fuel.  I have not run the Super E since I got my rake of UK coal wagons and brake van.  Maybe I will dust her off and do that tomorrow if the wind is calm. 

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