A model engineer has received a helping hand building his miniature steam locomotives and trams.
Steam locomotion has been a life-long passion for Chris Moorhouse – and since retiring as an architect eight years ago he spends a couple of hours each day working on his model locos and trams in his garage-workshop.
Over the years Chris 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 modeller,” said Chris, who lives at Cleckheaton. “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. 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 which is where Leeds-based Yorkshire Laser Fabrication came in. Over the last three years, the firm has 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,” said Chris. “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.
“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 a member of Barnsley Model Engineering Society which runs a small multi-gauge track in the grounds of Kirklees Light Railway at Clayton West. At weekends, Chris can be found driving his trams around the track, often with passengers on board.
Matthew Orford, managing director of Yorkshire Laser Fabrication, said: “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.”