Welcome to the Web Pages of the
Canterbury Society of Model Engineers
The Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Inc (CSMEE) is for all people in the Canterbury region who are interested in the design, construction and operation of models and machines. We are based at Halswell Domain. Come and see for yourself, we would love to see you. Why not become a member or supporter of CSMEE? Click here to check out our Facebook Page. Take advantage of our new Family Membership.
CSMEE now has a forum for members to exchange information. See Members Page for details.
The Club Contact for making a booking for a group to visit our facilities is Peter Grounds Ph 343 1443. See details under "About CSMEE / Meetings and Activities" for more details.
What's Coming Up?
Club members (who are all volunteers) endeavor to run model trains at our site in the Halswell Domain on Sunday afternoons from 1pm to 4pm throughout the year - subject to weather.
Follow the signs at the main entrance to the domain - off Halswell Road
Special Boat Sailing days are held the 2nd Sunday of each month. Traction engines and other models will be operated from time to time.
Whilst every effort will be made to ensure that trains and other services run as advertised, CSMEE reserves the right to cancel any service without notice and no liability for any loss will be accepted by CSMEE.
Meetings will be held at 7.30pm at our Clubrooms at Halswell Domain
First Tuesday of the month - General Meeting often with a guest speaker
Second Tuesday of the month - Boat meeting
Third Tuesday of the month - Chat night
Trevor Gage thought his first model should be something of a "Think Big" project. He has recently completed a magnificent 4" scale Burrell Traction Engine that certainly fulfils that dream. The model was a multi-award winner at the CSMEE 2014 Awards.
FEATURE MODEL - Trevor Gage's Burrell Traction Engine
Trevor has recently completed this fine model of a Burrell Traction Engine. The model is remarkable in a number of ways. First it took Trevor 4 1/2 years to build. Second it is his first model. Looking at this excellent model it is easy to appreciate what a fine achievement it is. At the 2014 CSMEE Awards Trevor won the Moody Cup (Best Model), Edsall Award (Best First Model) and Kevin Welsh Cup (Best Road Vehicle).
The model is a 4” scale (1/3rd full size) single cylinder Burrell Traction Engine. It is no lightweight. The boiler is made of steel and steams well. This gives it plenty of power and Trevor has already had enjoyable afternoons driving it around.
Click on the video below to see a video of the initial test engine running of the engine.
Traction engines became popular in industrialised countries from around 1850 when the first self-propelled portable steam engines for agricultural use were developed. They revolutionized agriculture and road haulage at a time when the only alternative was the draught horse.
Charles Burrell & Sons were well known builders of steam traction engines, agricultural machinery, steam trucks and steam tram engines. The company was based at Thetford, Norfolk. At their height they employed over 350 people and were the largest employer within the town. Burrell’s became known for producing reliable and good-looking steam-powered engines which were always built to customers' requirements. The company declined after the First World War when internal combustion engines started to become a cheaper alternative to steam engines. The company finally closed in 1928.
Traction engines tend to be large, robust and powerful, but also heavy, slow, and difficult to manoeuvre. Trevor has captured the essence of the original but does say it is real fun to drive. There are numerous preserved traction engines, many in working order. However experiencing Trevor’s model is almost as good as the real thing.