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Getting model engineers on track

11 December 2017

A model engineer from Cleckheaton has received a helping hand with building his miniature steam locomotives and trams from Yorkshire Laser Fabrication.

Tram at Clayton West

Steam locomotion has been a life-long passion for Chris Moorhouse and since his retirement as an architect eight years ago, he can generally be found each day in his garage cum workshop spending a couple of hours working on his model locomotives and trams.

Over the years he has built two trams and currently has two locomotives under construction. His pride and joy is a model of the trams that used to run in Bradford for which he obtained the original drawings and then scaled them to the size he wanted.

“I’ve always been a modeler. I love making anything and like most small boys was attracted to real steam locomotives and the idea of being an engine driver. My involvement in building model locomotives and trams really stems from there,” explained Chris.

“I build them from scratch using hundreds of different parts. It’s unbelievable the amount of work that goes into them.”

Some of the parts that make up the working locomotives and trams are quite big – and that is where Yorkshire Laser Fabrication come in. Over the last three years they have made the steel frames for the chassis for the trams and laser cut frames for the locomotives.

“These are quite hefty frames for me to cut myself out of considerably thick steel and to mill to size. With Yorkshire Laser Fabrication I email them an autocad drawing and the thickness of the steel required. They feed it through their machines and cut the frames from that far quicker and easier than I would ever be able to do myself,” said Chris.

“I receive an excellent service from them. They turn my work around quickly and the rates they charge are reasonable and worth every penny.”

Chris is part of the Barnsley Model Engineering Society which operate a small multi-gauge track in the grounds of Kirklees Light Railway. At weekends he can be found driving his trams around the track and often with passengers on board.

Matthew Orford, MD of Yorkshire Laser Fabrication said the company’s processes and equipment made light work of the precision engineering required to produce the parts for Chris’ model trams and locomotives.

“We have a diverse customer base both in terms of the sizes of the businesses and organisations we work with and their requirements and are pleased to turn our hand – and our equipment – to everything. Chris’ models – especially the Bradford tram – are exceptionally well made and we are pleased to have been able to play a part in making them,” he commented.

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