Tubby was a coal fired, twin cylindered, narrow gauge steam locomotive to a freelance design, converted to a standard gauge outline by Robert H. Morse.
Pressure: 80 PSI
Cylinders: 3in bore X 3in stroke
Valve Gear: Walschaerts
Current Livery: Dark Green
Tubby started its life as Stantor. With an incomplete 9 1/2 inch gauge railway in his garden, William Spriggs consulted Henry Greenly who duly produced a smaller design to the track gauge of 7 1/4 inches. Stantor became the first miniature locomotive to be built with narrow gauge outlines, with outside frames and a 2-6-2 wheel arrangement. The cylinders had a bore of 2 inches and a stroke of 3 1/4 inches, controlled by the unusual Joy valve gear. The locomotive was finished in a black and dark green livery, and white lining. The locomotive was bought by Frank Hoyland in 1923 and became the catalyst for building the Downs Light Railway. Later in 1928, Stantor was renamed Tubby. Tubby had a number of non-conventional features that made it difficult for the children to operate. In 1931 the locomotive was sent away at least twice to Robert H. Morse in Brighton for a rebuild. The first included a new Stephenson's Link valve gear, new boiler and new steam brake. The second included the fitting of new larger cylinders.
In 1937, Tubby went back to Robert H. Morse for a re-gauge to 9 1/2 inches. The locomotive returned with inside frames, a revised wheel arrangement to 4-4-2. The cylinder stroke was reduced to 3 inches and a new Walchaerts valve gear arrangement was fitted. The locomotive was finished in the "Improved Green Livery", which was a yellow ochre and green lined in white, red and black. The livery would later return to dark green. The re-gauge had several adverse consequences. Utilising the same frames, the driving wheels were too close together resulting in poor track adhesion. The forward bogie had a central pivot with no lateral movement, causing problems when navigating curves on the railway. For the remainder of its life, the locomotive was hampered by poor performance. In 1988 the locomotive was sufficiently worn out and retired from service with the view to rebuild the locomotive. By 1989, the locomotive had been cannibalised for components to build James Boyd. The remains of the locomotive were sold to a private collector to help fund this project. In 2018, the private collector very kindly donated the remains of Tubby back to the Downs Light Railway Trust. In due course, the locomotive will be cosmetically restored for exhibition.
- 1908-1910 the locomotive was built.
- 1931-1932 the locomotive was enhanced by Robert H. Morse.
- 1936-1937 the locomotive was regauged to 9 1/2 inches.
- 1989 parts were canibilised and remains sold.
- 2018 the remains were donated back to the Downs Light Railway Trust