Only few faithful copies of the world's best-known locomotive, the Rocket, designed and built by George Stephenson and his son Robert, exist and as far as I know there are no drawings for the model building in Gauge 5". In  the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney there is a model in gauge 7 1/4" to be seen, built in England in 1975 by G. Kay which was not finished completely. It is a challenge to build such a model and whether it is possible at all to get a faithful copy we will see. Variations are partly necessary regarding the driving wheels the first set of which was made with wooden spokes and later on when wrought iron was available the wooden spokes were replaced by wrought iron spokes.



model built according 

to the information I got 

 visiting the NRM 

several times

The Replica of the Rocket in NRM York and on the right the

An important basis for the model building of the Rocket was a visit in the National Railway Museum York

where the replica of the Rocket can be visited. The publication 'The Engineering and History of Rocket' 

by the NRM in 2000 gives detailed information as far as records are available. Construction-reports will 

be given on this site in due course of time.


The complete model with tender and water-barrel



The first steps of the construction:

The parts spokes, hub and rims for the wheel

The completed driving-wheel



The frame parts take shape:

Frame with boiler bearers, spring hangers and parts of the

reversing gear construction.



It was a very subtle job to build the parts of the valve gear because I had no detailed 

drawings of these parts and I could only rely on several photos in different magazines

 and on those photos I had taken myself in the National Railway-Museum York.  The 

already mentioned publication 'The Engineering and History of Rocket' 

by the NRM was also very helpful.

Valve gear details; left- and right-hand dog plates, eccentric 

sheaves and straps, in the middle the loose sleeve and slider.

Dog plate

The complete eccentric assembly on the driving axle

Loose sleeve


The model of the engine Rocket  is on its way. Driving wheels

 and rear wheels are mounted and the whole eccentric and the 

necessary rods are on their place and do their job.



Parts of the firebox during construction. 

In the middle of the photo is the inner part with

the grate. This inner part has to be silver-soldered 

to the outer part on which one can see the flanges.

The firebox back-plate will be attached to this 

combination with screws (8BA).


The  silver-soldering with all the 

stays is finished. The necessary 

outlets for water and steam are 

soldered as well.


The rear view of the firebox 

with the connection part to 

the boiler.




All parts necessary for the boiler are shown and ready for 

silver-soldering. The rear boiler mounting parts are already 

fixed to the boiler i.e. for tightness their screws are 

soldered inside the boiler. 




All parts of the boiler are soldered and 

by studs connected to the firebox. Thus both 

parts can be separated if necessary. 

The boiler inlets are soldered, the 

pipe connections to the firebox are still missing.  

On the right and left side of the boiler are the 

butt-straps with studs for the cylinder 

mounting plates.



The boiler with the  front tube-plate with 

the 15 tubes. Here the smoke-box with the

 chimney will be fixed.  



The first building stage of the model is now completed.


And now to the engines. The lack of detailed construction drawings brought many problems. 

So in the beginning I had to build three different complete cylinder and valve complexes to see what 

was wrong and what was necessary for a true function of the engine.


The right side cross-head and the slide bars. Here was

the problem that the bars had to be positioned exactly

 parallel for an easy running of the cross-head.

To the valve chamber the pillar for the

valve gear rocking shaft bearing has been 

mounted. The bearing has to be fixed with a 

screw after the rocking shaft has been mounted.


The finished cylinders mounted to their bearing-

plates. These plates have to be fixed to the left 

and right side of the boiler.



Right crosshead with 

connection rod.

The plates with the cylinders are fixed to the boiler with the

 necessary connection rods. The pipes and the valve timing 

with their rods and the steam regulator still have to be 

constructed. At first I intend to build the steam regulator.

The model is beginning to look something like the original 



Connection rod with driving


The steam regulator body and plug with flanges for the steam-pipe connection to the cylinders.


Left side valve gear with valve handles

for left and right valve.

    Lok-driver's place  with valve

gear and steam regulator. On the 

floor on the left the reversing pedal.


 Rocket in Snowland, where

there are no cars. 

(Due to wintery conditions in 2010)


The model is finished but


 without complete painting


 and tender and water barrel


have still to be constructed.



Rocket with tender and water-barrel



The complete model on the garden rail in autumn 2011