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Steam & Excursion > Here are a few Live Steam engines


Date: 11/13/04 17:03
Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: frosty

My dad and I have been in the live steam hobby for the past 15 years. (I am 20 and a junior in college) He and I have built three 1.5" scale live steam engines. The gauge is 7.5"
This engine was started in 1991. The castings came from Railroad Supply and she started out as an 0-4-0. In 2000 I designed and added a lead truck to help lead her through switches and curves w/o derailing and converted her into a 2-4-0. In 2002 a larger tender was constructed to replace the slope back tender. This was done so we could carry more water and coal. Over the winter of 2002/03 a baffel was added in the firebox to increase the lenght of travel the flames of the fire, to increase efficienty, and to get a cleaner burn. We have pulled 9 cars (each car is about 5 feet long and about 75 lbs) up a 2.5" grade w/ curves.
She was finished in May of 1996 so she is numbered 596.

here are some stats:
Height: 22"
Lenght: engine and tender: about 7 feet
Width: 16"
Weight: engine: about 220 lbs.
Weight: engine and tender: about 300 lbs
tractive effort at draw bar: about 65 lbs
Bore x Stroke: 1.625" x 3.000"
Driver dia. 6"
Fuel: coal
Water in tender: about 9 gallons
Water in boiler at running level: 2 gallons




Date: 11/13/04 17:13
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: frosty

Here is the second engine that my dad and I built. She was started in late fall 1996 and was finished in May 1999. She is an ex-Railroad Supply 2-8-2 Mikado.
After she was finished, we had to re-adjust the spring rigging to balance the weight correctly. I also ended up re-making the side rods and a lot of the valve gear parts after some of the aluminum castings broke. (we bought left over castings at a cheaper price just after Railroad Supply stopped supplying the Mikado so we figured these castings were not the best anyways)
In the summer of 1999 I build a homemade steam powered electric generator. I built my own fan and used a small 12-volt electric motor and connected the two with a drive shaft and I can generate 6.5 Volts at 1.1 amp.
Over the winter of 2002/03 my dad re-tubed the boiler. The original tubes were steel rolled into steel tube sheets and they were leaking in the firebox end and I tried re-rolling them, but since I am not a professional machinest, they only sealed for a short time afterwards. So during my first year here at Michigan Tech, my dad re-tubed the boiler with type-K copper tubes. Also a baffel was added inside the firebox.
This engine has pulled 31 cars up a 2.5% grade w/ curves.
She is numbered 1555 because I was 15 and my dad was 55 when she was finished.


here are some stats:
Height: 24"
Lenght: engine and tender: about 11 feet
Width: 18"
Weight: engine: about 900 lbs.
Weight: engine and tender: about 1100 lbs
tractive effort at draw bar: about 285 lbs
Bore x Stroke: 2.375" x 4.000"
Driver dia. 8.375"
Fuel: coal
Water in tender: about 15 gallons
Water in boiler at running level: 8.3 gallons




Date: 11/13/04 17:22
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: frosty

This is the third engine that my dad and I have built. She was started in Sept. 2000 and finished in May 2001. (Yes we built her in 9 months)
She is build from the castings for an Allen Models 10-Wheeler.

When building her, we didnt like the idea of having the Stephenson Valve gear because that would mean getting under the engine to adjust the timing of the valves. We wanted to have the Walcherts' valve gear. My dad had a book called "Steam Locomotive Valve Gears" and it had formulas for making the different parts for the different valve gears. I used those formulas to figure out the lengths and sizes of the parts for the Walcherts' valve gear for this engine and I drew my own blue prints and machined the parts. And it actually worked the first time we tried the engine on air!!

Out of our three engines, this engine ran the best on her maiden run. All we had to do was to add more wieght to the lead truck so it would track better.

Over the winter of 2002-03 a baffel was added to the firebox and in 2004 the ashpan was re-made so it is stronger and it has a larger volume so we wont burn out our grates as easily.

She is built in memory of my grandfather, Howard Alton Frost, who loved steam engines, the color red and he was born in 1908.

here are some stats:
Height: 24"
Lenght: engine and tender: about 8.5 feet
Width: 16"
Weight: engine: about 350 lbs.
Weight: engine and tender: about 500 lbs
tractive effort at draw bar: about 120 lbs
Bore x Stroke: 2.00" x 3.25"
Driver dia. 8.375"
Fuel: coal, and propane (when it is really dry)
Water in tender: about 9 gallons
Water in boiler at running level: 5 gallons

(That is me in the pic)




Date: 11/13/04 17:26
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: frosty

This pic is from May 2002 and my dad and I are double-heading (that is a lot of fun). This is for my cousin's son's birthday party. (He turned 5 and he loves steam trains).
My dad and I were double heading to make sure we could stop easily on the downhill grades (some of them are 3%) and also to make sure we had enough traction to get up the hills since the tracks were wet from an overnight rain.

All our engines have three ways to get water into the boiler: a handpump and 2 injectors.

I hope you like the pictures.
Jeff




Date: 11/13/04 18:53
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: grande473

Excellent work! How would you like to build a 15-inch gauge engine? There are some people who would like to see a steamer on the City Park Railroad in Pueblo, CO.



Date: 11/13/04 19:34
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: nycman

Frosty, where do you run? Have you ever been to Chiloquin, OR? Ever run across Harold K. Vollrath, reknowned RR photographer who has a steamer of the same scale as yours?



Date: 11/13/04 19:41
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: frosty

We run in Michigan. Our shop is in Traverse City, MI but we only have about 70 feet of back and forth track because our backyard is small and quite hilly. We load our engines onto a trailer and go to the White Creek Railroad which is near Cedar Springs, MI (north of Grand Rapids on US-131)
Unfortunately I have have not run into Harold K. Vollrath. I have seen quite a few of his pictures in Modeltec (dont know if that magazine is still around) and in Live Steam, which is published in Traverse City.
We have not made it out to Train Mountain yet. I have seen a lot of pictures and a couple of tapes of it and I want to go out there when I have the free time.

And for Grande473, we haven't build a 15"-gauge and our shop isnt big enough to handle things that big, but my dad and I have been working on a 15"-gauge Atlantic steamer that runs at the Clinch Park Zoo in Traverse City zoo. They are also a lot of fun. :-)

Jeff



Date: 11/13/04 20:19
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: livesteamer

Hey guys,

I run in Kansas City and Kay Vollrath is a member of our little group. We run on a private track just south of Kansas City near Pleasant Hill. I run a 2-6-0 Camelback that is a modified Mercer kit.

Marty Harrison
MP 208.1 on the UP's Sedalia Sub




Date: 11/13/04 23:02
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: xtra1188w

I used to "hang" out with live steam people. These guys were very gracious and let some of us "wanna be's" hang out with them at their respective tracks. I would have liked to have been one of them, but I had/have neither the aptitude to build and maintain a loco myself, nor the wherewithal to pay someone else to do it for me. I haven't been to a live steam meet for several years now, but there used to be several excellent 1,1/2 inch scale, 7,3/4 gauge tracks in Texas, and there still is from what I'm told.
In this picture from 1978, is John Enders. John scratchbuilt several engines in his own shop at home. John was an excellent machinist and a mighty fine man. This engine in this image, was his primary operating engine at meets. It was an accurate 1,1/2 inch scale model of an SP 4-4-2. John always kept his locos in tip top shape and she steamed as easy and as good as she looked.

Con




Date: 11/14/04 09:12
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: livesteamer

I learned to run live steamers running a 12" gauge Ottaway engine. I didn't own the engine but Charlie George took the time to teach an willing student--that was 20 years ago. Then,
I hung around Seymour Johnson's Goleta Valley for a couple of years before I was able to purchase my first steamer. (I have very little machining skills.) Lots of clubs and private tracks need and want new members with or without an engine. Building and maintaining a large scale outdoor railroad is labor intensive and we do all the work with hand tools. Trains need crew members when hauling the general public. And, there is almost always someone at the track who wants to take a break running his/her engine. Go get involved--what a great fraternity!!!

Marty Harrison
MP 208.1 on the UP's Sedalia Sub



Date: 11/14/04 09:46
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: IC_2024

Jeff, thanks for sharing your passion and congratulations on your nice work. Not many people can say they've built a live steamer, let alone three of them! It's also nice that you can share that with your dad.
I saw an article on live steam in MI in "Model RR'ing Planner." Do you know those guys?
Apparently, the fellow's a retired GTW railroader and got his engine from Huckleberry Village(?).
My sister makes her home in Portage. Someday, when I'm visiting I'll have to make the rounds in your steam friendly state. Would really like to see the 1225 at Owosso.




Date: 11/17/04 00:14
Re: Here are a few Live Steam engines
Author: choochoocharlie

Thank you all for sharing all those live steam photos. Brings back some great memories of the Goleta Valley Live Steamers (Seymore Johnson's) and the LA Live Steamers. I enjoyed some fun times with those groups and have some photos of them too. Will post some photos once I get the program I am working on finished. All of the work that went into these fine engines pays off when you can see them run. And for the owners, when they can actually fire them up and run them.

C.C.Chas.



Date: 11/18/04 18:01
My favorite live steam engine...
Author: OnTrackEd

Large...but still live steam...
I'm sure many have seen a 1-1/2" scale version of this at their clubs.

Taken at Traintown--Sonoma, California
April, 1999

Locomotive was rebuilt the next year.

-Ed Kelley





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