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Model Railroading > Six Decade's old Stolen Locomotive Mystery


Date: 11/23/12 20:09
Six Decade's old Stolen Locomotive Mystery
Author: KeyRouteKen

In April-1946, someone opened a window and entered the basement workshop of Live Steam pioneer Vic Shattock in Oakland, CA. They decided to steal his small, 1/2-inch scale, Southern Pacific switch engine # 1207. It was equipped with Baker valve gear and had been recently worked over by Vic and would pull like the mischief.

Footprints in the garden indicated the thief(s) climbed over a neighbor's fence. The police and Vic suspected two teenagers from the local Junior High school who used to hang around the basement a lot because of wanting to see the trains run.

To this very day, the case is still open with the Oakland Police Department. I have a written copy of the investigative report.

The locomotive has never been seen again anywhere !! There are those who believe strongly that the thieves may have suddenly "dumped" the engine realizing they had a "hot item" on their hands. As Vic's craftsmanship would have been recognized by many. Some believe the engine may have even been dumped in San Francisco Bay!
A sad ending to a little engine that brought joy to Vic and his many visitors for a long number of years.

I wanted to tell this tale and share a photo of little SP 1207. Thanks.

Ken Shattock




Date: 11/24/12 06:56
Re: Six Decade's old Stolen Locomotive Mystery
Author: NGotwalt

Ken I enjoy your posts, and I'm sorry that neat little engine was never seen again. I have a question and others might have asked already, how long did it take your Grandfather to build an average locomotive? I mean from the time it was just a hunk of metal waiting to be built until it was fully tested and working? Did he ever have to "rebuild" any locomotives?

Cheers,
Nick



Date: 11/24/12 10:13
Re: Six Decade's old Stolen Locomotive Mystery
Author: KeyRouteKen

NGotwalt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ken I enjoy your posts, and I'm sorry that neat
> little engine was never seen again. I have a
> question and others might have asked already, how
> long did it take your Grandfather to build an
> average locomotive? I mean from the time it was
> just a hunk of metal waiting to be built until it
> was fully tested and working? Did he ever have to
> "rebuild" any locomotives?
>
> Cheers,
> Nick

Hi Nick-- Depending on the TYPE and SIZE of locomotive, Vic told people that it would take him some 1500--3000 hours of "spare time" to build from the ground up. This is awesome considering the fact that he built approx twenty engines for himself and did the majority of work on ten others for club members.
He didn't have to "rebuild" any that I know of; however, when I was about SIX years old, he built me a stationary engine (horizontal) with dual cylinders and a big flywheel. It had a vertical steam boiler for operating the engine. The boiler had a glass gauge, a pressure gauge, a whistle, a blower for providing draft. The cylinders came off of an old locomotive that he must have taken apart at some point.
Some years later, he added a Stuart # 7 vertical stationary engine to the display which was mounted to a cast iron base which in turn was mounted to a hardwood display board.
SIXTY years after receiving this present from my Grandpa, I still have it here at home!!

KRK



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