My Pump Trolley

Andy Waller


I have not been entirely unproductive over the last few weeks.

Many years ago (nearly 30?) I took my kids to see Santa on the Severn Valley Railway. While we were waiting for our allotted train, we went into the coal yard at Kidderminster where there was a 7¼" railway. It had two tracks, one giving out-and-back rides with an infernal combustion engine loco and the other had a 7¼" pump trolley which they were letting the children have a go on. A couple of years later we went back and - never mind Santa - the kids made a beeline for the pump trolley track, But - no trolley. It had been banned for `health and safety reasons` (presumably there had been an accident at some point).

I always intended to try and make one, but I have only just got round to it. So, a generation late, it should be OK for the grandchildren.

There are no published designs I am aware of so it was based on photos of the one at Kidderminster, and some proportions from a drawing of a full size one I found on the internet. It had to be quite long for the wheelbase width to accommodate the long handle and give room for two people to stand on the platform. When I first tried it this gave problems on my garden track, as the frame was too stiff to accommodate the twist and poor track levels. I re-turned the (temporary) wheels at the non-driven end with much deeper (narrow gauge size) flanges and fitted a bolster using some springs I found in my (bottomless) scrap box.

She`s now a `go-er`. I am just waiting for the proper wheels to fit to the non driven end. They were ordered from a supplier who claimed on his Covid-19 page that they were `ex stock` quoting 2 - 3 days delivery . That was over a month ago, and I am still waiting. In the meantime, I have used some cast iron loco wheels I picked up at one of our Club clearance sales.