The original design was by the Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds and was for a 2 ft 6in narrow gauge, 2-8-4 Tank Locomotive for the Chilean – Bolivian railway, the order being placed in the years just before WW1. The design subsequently proved that a large locomotive with multiple driving wheels was capable of transporting heavy loads on a narrow gauge track. Additionally, significant financial savings could be made with the initial construction costs of narrow gauge track and the ongoing maintenance of it and the associated rolling stock. This basic locomotive design was then used for locomotives destined for the Dholpur – Bari railway in Northern India during the late 1950's.
After some thought this locomotive has to come under the category of Freelance. This is best described as one being modelled on an original full size locomotive but for which plans do not exist for the 5 inch gauge miniature and therefore requires a degree of innovation mixed with engineering skills and at times, a hint of bravery by the builder.
To date only 5 inch gauge construction drawings for the Indian version have been produced but Geoff who built her didn't like the lines of the Indian version. Have a look and decide for yourself at http://glrkennions.co.uk/model-engineering-steam-locomotive-dholpur.html His solution was to use the drawings and castings available for this Indian version supplied by the model engine suppliers GLR Kennions but then modify where necessary to be able to model the original Chilean – Bolivian version. The result is the Dholpur as seen below and can of course be seen for real on some of our public running days.
Her builder, designer, owner first steamed her in 2004 but to get to that stage required 10 years of dedicated Hobby time! Since then she regularly appears on public running days where she reveals her considerable towing capacity by being one of the locomotives that happily pull more carriages and therefore passengers than is the standard.
I have referred to IMLEC before, it's the annual competition for model steam locomotives where they and their drivers compete to determine the combination that is the most efficient. Dholpur has entered three of these events since she was constructed, at Fareham, Bristol and Llanelli and although not winning has performed well.