Steaming Up My Mamod SW1 Steam Wagon

One of my favourite Mamod steam engines, the SW1 steam wagon looks amazing no matter how you look at it. The bright green body work brings a vintage but beautiful look to it making it a very desirable Mamod engine. Here are some pictures of me steaming it up on what was a very wet English day.

The first thing I did was buy some fuel tablets for it. Although it is designed more for the meth burner, I prefer the tablets because they are safer. eBay is a great place to buy these tablets: I got 40 for £9. This means I can steam up my wagon 20 times! However, upon looking around the internet, offer 20 tablets for £2.50! I know where I am going to buy my tablets in future...

I have to admit that my wagon is not in the best of condition. I don't plan on making it look amazing and sparkling brand new. Instead, I want to have fun with it. The enjoyment of steaming up the wagon is greater than the enjoyment of looking at it in good condition (if you get me?)

When steaming up, I tend to leave the body frame off to give me easier access to the gear lever and whistle. I'm not sure about others with engines but I find that the engine runs fastest not when the gear level is as far to the right/left as possible but instead a tad from centre. It is also one of few engines of mine which can go from forward to reverse without me having to flick the flywheel as a jump start.

Even with being steamed up a few times a week, I would say this engine is still in a good condition. The chrome work is still there with the majority of the paint too. What gives it away that I use it a lot is the burn marks around the whistle area.

Every now and then, I stick the body frame back onto the engine just like it should be: how it was designed to be. This is when I love looking at it the most. The smoke bellowing out of the chimney with the piston spinning round at a rate of knots, it is a master work.

What I also tend to do is move the gear lever to an angle so the piston moves very slowly like the engine is on tick over. This produces a really nice sound and enables me to use the the extra steamed pressure on the whistle. Having it on tick over makes it feel like it is a really powerful engine with lots to spare and give.

Steaming my steam wagon up has made me realise that when I come round to restoring another steam wagon in the future, it will prove a lot more challenging than, lets say, a Mamod SR1 Steam Roller. At least it is achievable. But, I will need to get more experience with simpler engines before I make my way onto the steam engine.