View Full Version : Watch this video and see if you have time to build and run one much less pay for it.

07-29-2012, 04:13 PM
These should eat up all your spare time and money.


loose nut
07-29-2012, 04:19 PM
Great video, for some reason I have to go watch The Magnificent Seven now.

John Stevenson
07-29-2012, 04:33 PM
Brings a new meaning to "American Express ?"

J Tiers
07-29-2012, 04:34 PM
They are kinda cool, and I DO like Shay's and Climax's.

But after all the work of building one, you get to run it around on a track...... OK, that's what it is for, but I can't help thinking I'd feel a bit silly.......

Y'know, they kinda still are toys, even if you build them yourself.

I guess it just isn't for me.

07-29-2012, 04:40 PM
Higher res version here:


Dr Stan
07-29-2012, 04:45 PM
Cool video. Reminds one that there are still people who can build things. :)

The Artful Bodger
07-29-2012, 05:16 PM
Someone should tell the Chinese about these, then folks like me could run one!:D

07-29-2012, 06:32 PM
The engine at 3.0mins (the one with all side axle drive and vertical pistons) looks fantastic.


07-29-2012, 06:50 PM
Amazing! I'd love to see them in person.

07-29-2012, 06:59 PM
Excellent video. I usually dislike backing music, but this was well crafted, with shots edited to match the changes in the music. I really enjoyed it. I think, for those guys, it's time and money very well spent, even if there's none of either left at the end.

07-29-2012, 07:36 PM
I'm going to have to head over to the Waushakum Live Steam club meeting on the weekend of August 24-26 and get some video. It won't as good as that, but about as good as we see here in New England.


07-29-2012, 08:36 PM
Wow that was cool. I didn't know such things existed!!!! I wonder if there is a club like that around me....I'm going to have to investigate


07-29-2012, 10:43 PM
MrSleepy, I liked the the locomotive with the vertical engine too. It looked interesting and I bet it was hard to build. About 10 years ago my brother-in-law gave me two boxes of parts to build a steam locomotive without plans. I never have been able to figure out what model steam locomotive it is so the boxes are just sitting in the pole barn waiting. It's probably only about 3 to 4 feet long, locomotive and tender together. He knows I like steam so he sent the video, he also knows I still have the parts.

07-29-2012, 10:49 PM
I was most impressed by the layout. What a treat for the builders to have access to that track! Better than going round and round in your backyard.

Mr Fixit
07-30-2012, 12:45 AM
What a great video. Here in Oregon we have a place that has a setup like that and you can get rides in the summer time. Have a couple of friends that have gone but I haven't made it yet. Here is a link to there site. http://trainmountain.org/
Mr fixit for the family

07-30-2012, 02:03 AM
Karl has an incredibly patient and accommodating family! :)

07-30-2012, 03:08 AM
Thanks for posting this. A quick Google search shows that they are only about 4 miles from me. Guess I'll have to take in their next public event in November. Just going to look and admire the workmanship as I don't need another project, the garage is already over full of projects that need work.


07-30-2012, 09:05 AM
I would have preferred to just listen to the music of the engines, at least for PART of the video... I am impressed by all the rolling stock they have; building the engine would be fun but building all that rolling stock would be tedious work, I think.

07-30-2012, 09:56 AM
Most of the gear in the video is 2.5" to the foot scale, there's a few pieces of 1.5" scale. I built and operate a 1.5" 3 truck Shay, here's a fairly recent shot:


The 2.5" scale Shay in the video is an "Ulin Shay" made from castings available from Rich Ulin (Broomfield, CO?). I can't name the first guy operating the Shay but Rich appears later on the #70. IIRC the Ulin Shay will come in about 1000# and 8' long, my littler Shay is about 500# and 6.5' long.

Building an engine like this is a little like building a series of smaller projects, it's really the only way to approach it in my opinion. For me I made the engine bit first so I'd have something to run, then I made the trucks (quite tedious as you're making 12 wheels, 6 axles, etc.). Other bits as you go: axle pump, hand pump, etc. As you go consider each sub-unit a mini-project and feel good on completion. That way you have a sense of progress and can keep moving.

Mine took a fair amout of work over 3 years with a 1 year hiatus in the middle of it. I didn't start off knowing much about trains (some of it wrong) and so had to learn a lot while I was building. I ended up shopping out the boiler (some places you have to for certification) and buying some detail pieces (lubricator, savety valves, globe valves, injector) but think I can still say that I built it.

If you do consider making a loco try looking on discoverlivesteam.com for a club near you and have a visit on a publ;ic day. Ask plenty of questions, most of the guys there with a live steam loco either made or maintain it and so they can give you a fair idea of the effort required. In my opinion the effort isn't that great and if you've built a few stationary engines a loco is well within reach.

(My next project is a 2.5" scale of the RGS #1 - the first work truck of the series later to be known as the "Galloping Goose").

Forrest Addy
07-30-2012, 03:39 PM
There's a Shay (the side engine one MrSleepy was asking about) on static display in Shelton about 40 miles from my house. It is'nt a large loco. It was buit for narrow gage and steeper then usual grades for logging.

Barbara's dad was on the board of the Mid-Continent Railroad a museum in NWisconsin. One of the retirees there told me a diesel loco could haul the same load (drag he called it) for 1/5 the fuel and 1/5 the maintence of a steam loco. That's a pretty hard obstacle for nostalgia to beat.

In the meantime we got old farts in kerchiefs, pillow ticking hats, and baggy sweatshirts who haul tons of toys to these narrow gage meets so they can fire them off and run them on actual track to haul platoons of squealing grandlings around a closed course. Gotta love it. There's a few things in life that don't have to be right, sensible, and rational and live steam is certainly one of them.

michigan doug
07-30-2012, 06:42 PM
Compelling. I really really don't need another hobby right now.

If I make anything steam, I have to hook it to a generator so I have some "legitimate" use for it.

Finest regards,


07-30-2012, 07:00 PM
I built and operate a 1.5" 3 truck Shay, here's a fairly recent shot:

Wow, that's amazing Russ! :)

Mad Scientist
07-30-2012, 11:06 PM
Great video Ive always loved steam engines. Ive been to this place a few years ago. It is a nice set up with over a mile of both 7.5 and 5.75 track. It was basically for member only, but if you are not a complete jerk and are obviously interested in their toys you can take a look around and maybe even go for a ride.

Next weekend I will be taking my car to a car show at a slightly different train museum. At this one the member play with restoring full size trains. This one like the little ones was also hand built. Last year was its first time out with five mile of track to run on.



07-31-2012, 01:24 AM
National Park service, Promontory Point, Utah books volunteers for each summer's reinactments of the Golden Spike ceremonies of the completion of first cross country rails. If'n your're up to it, you can sign on to help maintain, polish, oil, inspect, cut and load firewood for these two replica engines, the Jupitor and the 109. Built in Anaheim, Ca., tit for tat. Wife and grandkids can join in, if in 1800's attire.
http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p86/Guido_album/Golden20Spike20National20Historic20Site20Promontor y20Utah.jpg


07-31-2012, 01:48 AM
I ran into a guy in northern Calif with one of these 8 foot beauties in the bed of his pickup. He was on his way to a regional meet near the Oregon border. We chatted and he recommended that I visit their club at Tilden Park in the Berkley hills. Free rides on Sundays

The club web site: http://www.goldengatelivesteamers.org/

I dropped in and was quite impressed by the setup. During a tour of the clubhouse I admired the pictures of members past and present on the walls. One was labeled with the name "Tubal Cain". Sound familiar?


07-31-2012, 06:22 AM
The UK has lots of full size steam railways but not so many scale ones...we are fortunate to have a fully working light railway close to us..


The engines are real beauties , but they are all run on propane..


loose nut
07-31-2012, 07:52 AM
I'm old enough to remember when steam engines were used to haul working trains around and not just curiosities.

oil mac
07-31-2012, 03:50 PM
Wow! Karld I thought i had died and gone to heaven, Awesome workmanship & dedication, Brings back memories of the balmy mid 1950/s When three times a day, the big British Railways austerity pattern (Wartime design from an American pattern, Some were actually ex USA imports) used to leave the marshalling yard with enormous long coal trains for Falklands Junction Ayr, Happy days

07-31-2012, 07:23 PM
What else can one say except "amazing Work"!!
Beautifull video,, thanks for posting this, much appreciated!!