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Live Steam Locomotives

Roger Byrne

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Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
How many on this board are into live steam locomotives? I rebuilt a few scale steam locomotives over the years, but 10 years ago I figured if I didn't get with it, I'd never have one of my own. Here are a couple of photos of my engines (1.5" scale) what I am working on now. One is a 1870's style Baldwin Mogul made from Little Engines castings/prints. It was first built in the early 1960's and was used at several tracks in the southern US. It is undergoing a complete rebuild including a new frame, valve gear, cylinder rebore, new plumbing, pumps, ect. The engine has a copper boiler that is still in great condition. The other engine is an Allen's 10 Wheeler built in the early 1980's. It's getting a conversion to propane fuel, rebuild of parts as needed, new plumbing, steam turbine generator for lights, a tender rebuild, and a face lift so it looks like a Chicago Great Western locomotive. I've included a photo of some of the freight cars I have built since 1999. My freight is being pulled by my good friend, Berne Ketchem of Rowan Iowa, at Bob Drenth's track in Nora Springs Iowa.
 

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Craig DeShong

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Last Subscription Date
12/13/2019
Roger
Looks like you have your work cut out for you, re-building two locomotives. Mine is also an Allen 10-wheeler. My profile has a picture if you care to view. I completed mine in the summer of 1999 after around 3000 hours, but then I was trying to learn machining also. I machined all the parts myself. A friend (who maintains the nuclear reactor here at the university) tig-welded the boiler for me. I patterned mine after a southern 1904 Baldwin, although my Windber and Geistown road name is fictions. . My three 1890 era passenger cars are scratch built and have removable tops for riding cars. I’ve re-worked my valve gear once to get the exhaust square again since the initial build. I fire mine with coal.
 

Roger Byrne

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Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
Your locomotive and cars look great! I think that the Gene Allen's designs are the best around. They look good and are built to run. The Little Engine's Baldwin is attactive but it is not designed for heavy use. When I rebuilt the frame, I made it stronger than the original. The only reason that I am changing my 10-Wheeler to propane is for giving rides at our Steam Show. When you give rides to the general public, they demand a lot of your attention and firing with propane is easier for the engineer. I plan on making it "convertable" so I can go back to coal.
 
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Kelly Tytlandsvik

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I have been building a 3/4" scale Northern by Martin Evans. I have been at off and on for the last 20 years. Maybe I will get it done some day. I am 90% done and 50% to go!

Kelly T
 

Craig DeShong

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Last Subscription Date
12/13/2019
Roger
Thanks for the compliments. I think you were wise to “beef-up” the frame of the Little Engines Baldwin. The friend who built my boiler I mentioned earlier is also an avid live steam modeler of traction engines. He recommended welding the Allen frame once I got it built. We did that step by step, little by little; welding side-to-side, front to back to keep it straight. Because of this, I probably have one of the strongest Allen frames around.

I also have another friend who has a Royal Scott that is propane fired. He gets some ribbing from time to time about his “dial-a-flame” engine, but I have run his engine and I can appreciate the ease he has of regulating his fire. Also, at the end of the day, I’m filthy and he is still clean.

Riding the public has been a chore. Our club has pretty much given it up; not only because of insurance regulations, but the property owner was getting a lot of angst over it; and I can’t blame him. I guess this is just another sign of the changing times.

We also have another fellow in the club who has a Fitchburg northern who is set up to convert from coal to propane.
 

Roger Byrne

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Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
Craig,
I would rather not give rides to the general public. Our track is located on the grounds of an antique power show and they require giving rides during the show for use of the land. Insurance for live steamers has been a real problem since the LA Live Steamers incident. The steam show insurance covers us. The agent didn't feel that someone that is 18" off the ground and moving at 2 or 3 miles per hour was in much danger compared to everything else at a steam show. I enjoy giving rides to people that respect model railroading and steam engines, but anyone who deals with the general public has their hands full. I'm afraid that the future of public access to Live Steam Railroads is going to continue shrink.
 

GaarScott

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51
Last Subscription Date
05/26/2009
Roger,

I'm saddened to read some of the postings here. It would be a real shame for the general public not to be a part of it. Yes, I can understand dealing with the general public, my situation being different...but would assume somewhat the same. I would hope that the public, as difficult as it can be at times, would continue to be part of the overall focus. If we don't share what we have...how are we going to spark an interest in someone if they can't see it, smell it, and share it! Just my quick thoughts on this. As i said, my situation is a little different since I run steam traction engines, but it has to be somewhat the same, I would assume.

Lawrence
 

Craig DeShong

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Last Subscription Date
12/13/2019
Lawrence
I respectfully submit that your situation is quite different. The public stands to the side and watches you go by. Assuming your equipment is maintained properly so you do not fear a catastrophic equipment failure, your main concern is that someone doesn’t step out in front of you or touch something hot. We have the same concerns.

In addition however we also have to deal with people who refuse to follow club rules and place their hands outside the cars or on the ground as they ride, where their hands can easily be run over and fingers removed. Also against club rules, some people insist on taking pictures as they ride where they can unbalance their car and roll the car over, resulting in injury (or feigned injury) to them and a resulting lawsuit. We also worry about the rare person who will purposefully roll a car over so that they can claim an injury and instigate a lawsuit.

You are undoubtedly aware that this topic has been discussed to death in the live steam railroading fraternity. I enjoy giving rides to people, but I am always very concerned about the litigation that may result if someone gets injured. For this reason, many of us have taken the position that we must personally know our riders well enough so that we know they will follow our instructions and we are much less concerned with frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, this excludes the general public.
 
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Roger Byrne

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Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
I'm sorry that this thread about Live Steam Locomotives has changed into one about public rides. Craig is right about the problems and they are well known by the Live Steam clubs. One of the main problems is size. For over 100 years the larger gauges (12" & 15") have giving rides to the public. These gauges are known as "Park" gauge because they have been used since the early 1900's to give rides at fairs and amusement parks. When you put the public on the narrower 7.5" gauge track, there are more problems with balance and stability. In the future I feel that the shows wishing to give the public rides will change to the Park gauge and the general public access to the 1.5" scale Model Railroad train rides will deminish. After all, 1.5" scale (7.5" gauge) is large scale MODEL RAILROADING and was never designed for public transportation.

Now how about some more photos of Live Steam locomotives and get back to model building.
 
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Craig DeShong

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Last Subscription Date
12/13/2019
Folks
Roger has asked me to post a picture of my engine for you all to see, so I thought I'd do one better and give you a short film clip. This is my son at the controls, every once in a while he lets the "old man" take her for a spin too.



(no, the guy in the back isn't me)

Here is another video clip from my daughter's birthday a few years ago. She had her party at the club and of course, a train ride for the girls was in order.

 
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Peter

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11/14/2013
it there an unspoken rule about posting photos of these things to never ever give the viewer an idea the size or scale? Not to pick on any of the beautyful engines shown here, but its just peeves me. Any magazine or picture anywhere of less than 12" gauge stuff it all macro trick photo'ed. Why the gimmic. I'd like to know what I am loookin at.
 

Roger Byrne

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Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
Peter, I don't think there was any gimmick intended with the way these photos were posted. I guess most of us feel that the locomotive is more important than what we look like. All of the engines shown so far are 1.5" or 1.6" scale. They are 1/8 of full size and run on 7.25" or 7.5" gauge track. The 10-Wheelers (mine and Craig's) are a lttle over 5' long, 8" drive wheels, 8.625" boiler and weigh about 550# not counting the tenders. Maybe BigJohn can fill us in on the facts of his engine. If you look at the photo I posted of my freight train and Craig's vidio, you can get a perspective of their size. I can understand now (I never thought about before) that if you only see a picture and your not used to this stuff, it's nice to have something to compare it to. Below is a photo of me (6'1" & 220#) and my wife with our Allen's 10-Wheeler taken a few years ago to give you a better idea of the locomotive's size.
 

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BigJohn

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Maybe this will help my locomotive is 8' 9" long drivers are 9" the boiler is 10" it operates at 125 Psi. And has a steel boiler with copper tubes. It was built by Mr. Jim Altarie of Ma.
 

BigJohn

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These should have been on the other post the 1st picture is in the station on our July 07 public run day, 2nd is a fun run day Aug. of 06, the 3rd picture is the builder and his last engine a New Haven Mountain type that has also come to the Pa Live Steamers .
 

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Andy Rafferty

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I've got a Allen ten wheeler I finished after four years in 1990 I've been involved with several builds with friends. I've got to rebuild a smoke box throttle by spring. I hope to see yall on the rails soon.
 

Peter

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11/14/2013
I did not know this thread was regarding all 7.5" track spacing. Thats for the additional photos. What fun!

The trick photos I refer to were some I saw in magazines when drinking expensive coffee at Barnes and Noble. All that caffeine must have gone to my head,.... I had no idea what size those were but no-where in the ball park with the stuff shown here.
 

GaarScott

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Age
51
Last Subscription Date
05/26/2009
Great photos....please, keep them coming. I enjoy all models....especially these steam locomotives as I can only imagine what it takes to make one of these detailed models. Thanks for sharing the photos guys....and gals, if any have posted.

Lawrence
 

Eric W B

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Age
39
Last Subscription Date
03/15/2011
HI
Figured I post some pictures of our engine. It was built by Emmitt Anderson of Park Rapids, MN. My wife and I bought it about 3 years ago. It runs great other than I am going to replace the mechanical lubricator before I run at Adrian, MO this year, the old one is not so reliable. I know we can't advertise on this site but if anyone knows were to get a good inexpensive one please PM me. I want to mount it to the running board, unless someone has a suggestion?
The second engine also shown at Lake Itasca, MN is owned by Vern (I won't post his last name). It is a beautifull Mogul finished in high detail. It runs like a dream. We have double headed on numerous occasions and at the most we had 38 adults and kids on behind us!
 

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GaarScott

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Age
51
Last Subscription Date
05/26/2009
Great photos Eric. I for one am looking forward to taking in the Lake Itassca show this coming year. Nicholas is looking forward to that also, he really is looking forward to pulling the throttle on your little locomotive. But we will most likely do that after show hours, as I don't believe Nicholas needs to share the responsibilty of pulling others around behind him. It is okay for him to run his 1/2 scale Terning 65hp Case, but I'm always within reach if need be. But for him to run a little locomotive....well, we will wait a few more years before I will bestowe that responsibility onto him at a show setting.

Anyway, great photos....keep em comin!

Lawrence
 
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