All safe in New Zealand (the models, that is)
A very helpful reply from Alan at the New Zealand Model Railway Guild explains that the locomotives and rolling stock models have survived and were sold to the NZ Government Railways by Frank Roberts in the 1950s. The models are now in the possession of Te Papa Tongarewa/Museum of New Zealand and appear on exhibition from time to time.
He confirms that the models are G gauge (which in the 1930s would presumably have been called gauge 1). Given NZ's 3'6" track, the scale is 1:24.
The Wikipedia page I've found on Frank Roberts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Roberts_(model_maker) has a link to the NZ museum where there are photographs of the models which show their superb detail. https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/topic/631
Frank lived from 1882 to 1963. A book called Vintage steam: stories by Frank Roberts, edited by Gordon Troup was published in 1967. Then a book by Frank Roberts' daughter was published in 1976, covering his life, his workmanship and love of steam power and the making of the garden railway with the aid of his brother, George and friend, Bill Stewart.
It's good that this pioneer of garden railways has a place in history.
A New Zealand garden railway in 1933
My planned running session (and visitors) today had to be cancelled because of wet weather. So I started to peruse some long-forgotten copies of the Armstrong Whitworth Record, which was a promotional magazine produced by the engineering group.
The following photos, with not much supporting text, show the Roberts Stewart Roberts Railway which was in Auckland. This was built "not as a plaything but as a historical record of the New Zealand Railways, Locomotives and Rolling Stock from the earliest days".
"The completeness of the data collected in the work of building this line is astonishing, every locomotive, every vehicle, is a true to scale model of a prototype whose history is known in amazing detail as the result of the tireless searching out and writing to scores of descendants of old railway employees."
Unfortunately there's no mention of scale or gauge, but I'm hoping someone in NZ may be able to enlighten us, especially if the models have survived to today.
The models were apparently built by Messrs F & G Roberts, with the research done by Mr W W Stewart.
There were a few weather records broken in the UK in May too I believe. I'm waiting on Mick's weather report for the month, but he's been very quiet of late so hoping everything's OK with him.
Anyway, let's hope June brings more opportunities to get out into the garden and progress /play on our railways.
Athearn are a reliable brand. It sounds like your points may be too small a radius.
I would try to open it up and see if you can re-gauge the wheels you speak of.
Ideally an NMRA gauge is your best friend, but I've found turning the loco upside down and sliding a piece of set track, or identical kind of point over the wheels will show you what is going on.
No fun having a new loco fail on the layout.
Hi Mate, thanks for the feedback. This is an SD751. I'll take a good look at the bogies/wheel axles when I have some time. It seems like one of the middle wheel axles doesn't have any lateral movement. It could be a lemon loco, or just a design fault. Having been used to European locos (Trix, Brawa, Roco etc.) and Bachmann Branchline UK stock which are mostly great runners, I was expecting something better out of the box. Maybe 3 axle bogies aren't really suited to tighter radius curves.