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Battery Electric Locomotive

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John Millis16/10/2021 16:18:00
16 forum posts
6 photos

I have come to the decision that I am too old to consider making a steam locomotive and that a battery powered unit will be a better option. I am looking for advice on a beginners locomotive and where I can get plans

not done it yet16/10/2021 21:53:17
6733 forum posts
20 photos

You might want to read Ron’s thread HERE.

I’ve no idea how he is progressing, but he is keen.

Jeff Dayman17/10/2021 03:00:28
2222 forum posts
47 photos

Another great resource for plans and ideas on basic beginners' battery electric locomotives is Jan Eric Nystrom's site at

He's a model engineer in Finland and has produced many novel locomotive designs of many types, with emphasis on easy builds.

Ron Laden17/10/2021 09:42:31
2297 forum posts
452 photos

Hi John,

I have built two electric locos to date both my own designs I dont know if any plans exist for electric locos I havnt come across any but thats not to say they dont. The first thing you should consider is what type of loco do you want to build, scale, semi scale or a fun type loco, obviously a scale loco needs a lot of research and build time compared with a small simple fun type one. Pictures below of my two, the little 0-4-0 shunter with a simple 08 style body I built first and it didnt take too long the aim been to produce some thing quite quickly that would carry me and the grand kids around the club track. Its quite simple with a single 12 volt battery and 4 x 65 watt motors giving 260 watts total, 2 motors driving each axle through 6/1 gears, it turned out quite a capable little engine it copes with 4 adults or me and 5 children no problem.

The Class 22 is my latest offering, semi scale as the aim was for a reasonable representation of a 22 which allowed some licence in certain areas. A lot more work and build than the little shunter though, twice as long and almost 3 times the weight 60kgs against 23kgs, 4 motors again but 150 watt each, belt drive and twin bogies driven from 2 x 12 volt batteries giving 24 volt.

I have a build thread for each of the locos 5 inch 0-4-0 Shunter and Class 22 Diesel have a look it may give you some idea but bear in mind that I am no expert they are just my approach and take on things (keep it simple), though there is lots of ways to skin a cat.



Roger Best17/10/2021 11:44:33
369 forum posts
56 photos

Battery locos have been a great success at Basingstoke &DMES. the club has two of their own and at least one member brings one regularly. All are 5" gauge and can pull a rake of three laden bogie coaches laden.

The performance of each is excellent with very impressive traction.

The member-owned loco appears to be of narrow-gauge outline, it has two bogies with minimal gap between, each axle is driven. It has a simple but very responsive electronic control. It strips down in five minutes with no part weighing more than 15kg, so its very easy to move, no need to queue for the loading rig. I think it is brilliant. If I were not such a lover of steam and if there were not two club locos in the shed I would be building one already.

The other thing worth considering is that you can use Plummer blocks and other simple bearings, or off-the shelf power units so you can be up and running very quickly. No parts going rusty if you only take a couple of weeks.

Steambuff17/10/2021 12:16:01
529 forum posts
7 photos

Blackgates do the plans for a 5" gauge Class 08 called Charlatan. They also do various castings and laser cuts for it.

The plans are quite old, so you may need to re-think what Motor/Gears you use.

Chris Gunn17/10/2021 20:23:27
429 forum posts
27 photos

John, if you fancy a steam outline loco, here is a 5" G Boxhill I made many years ago. It uses all standard Boxhill parts, but the boiler shell and tanks are dummy, and under this there is a 12v motor and chain drive to one of the axles. The battery is carried in the driving trolley.

Chris Gunnboxhill-0004.jpg

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