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7-Plus-NGM Digest February 2003

Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2003 14:26:45 -0700
From: "Barry Bridges"

Subject: Re: Re: A question on Propane Conversion

I think I will take your advice...( DON"T DO IT...)
How'bout oil firing...?
Where can I find out info on this alternative...?
Since I am in AZ, cold weather is not an issue.
Thank you,

Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2003 08:43:19 -0800
From: "Boyd Butler"

Subject: Oil Firing

Ha, Rudy now since you brought up oil firing,by the way which like you say is the best all around fuel and aren't far away help the fellow out.
Well anyway Barry, there are lots of fellows out there who oil fire and know a lot about it,one is Dennis Weaver at Kitsap Live Steamers,another Rich Uhln in Colorado,Rudy has done a lot also and am sure that one can help you out. By the way Rudy and I are friends.
Boyd Butler

Date: Sun, 02 Feb 2003 21:50:41 -0000
From: "dmmcomo "

Subject: Re: A question on Propane Conversion

Barry -

I am primarily a dirt burner (coal) myself and most of my oil firing experience is in operating and asking other oil burners.

I only built one oil fired locomotive and that used an atomizer. I had it rigged with a blower cutoff attached to the throttle so that as soon as the locomotive was up to minimum speed it cut off the blower. That made the locomotive sound a lot more like a coal burner when it was running; nice sharp "CHUFFS" instead of a contiuous roar with little weak chugs stuck in.

The only drawback was that you had to be careful not to jerk the throttle open or you would cut off the blower before you had a steady exhaust draft established. Embarrassing, to say the least, but it did tend to teach good throttle handling.

If I ever build another oil burner, I intend to build a "pot" burner that will act more like coal and allow you to hear yourself think when sitting in the yard without the loud blower/atomizer roar so common to many model oil burners.

If you are interested in my pot burner design, email me off chat.

Rudy van Wingen
Como Roundhouse Products.

Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 07:40:59 EST
From: bgwmoxie@aol.com

Subject: Re: Oil Firing

My locomotive is fired on propane...
The theory is with the bottle up side down it will draw off the liquid first.
Its is stowed in a work caboose.
I have yet to experience any serious problems;
However, I can attest to the fact that if draft becomes to great with propnae it can cause the flame to be sucked out and then when enough gas fills the firebox and reignites its almost as though someone stuck a shot gun between your thighes and pulled the trigger....YIKES....
On average how much diesel/Fuel Oil is consumed, when running a 2.5" 2-6-0?
How does one press up the Fuel Oil, atomization and how does the burner sit in the firebox?
Do you need a arch for the firebox to redirect the flame to the back of the firebox?

So many question about....Fuel Oil....

Chris Sylvester

Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 18:01:50 -0000
From: "dmmcomo "

Subject: Re: Oil Firing

Chris Sylvester -

I am sending you (offlline) a copy of a message I sent to someone else, but it does not address your question about fuel oil consumption.

That is a very subjective question that is not possible to answer in any reasonable way becaus of the variables such as cylinder volume, locomotive size and weight, size a weight of trains being hauled, type of terrain, operator skill (does the operator run "hooked up" or full gear, type and volatility of fuel (diesel vs old crankcase oil).

As you can see, a very complicated situation...

Rudy van Wingen
Como Roundhouse Products

Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 17:12:06 EST
From: crpnut@cs.com

Subject: chains and boomers

Sorry to change the subject out of the clear blue, but a week or so there was an question about some chains or boomers and an e-mail address to some RC Truck web page that supposed to have something in that order. Can any one send that address again I lost it at some time or other.
Thanks Charles Robbins

Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 21:08:08 -0600
From: "Phillip and Sherry Bell"

Subject: Re: Oil Firing

I also fire my 1 1/2 mogol on propane. I've converted a CLOE, a 1 consolidation and built a 1" mogol to run on propane. On cool days I need to draw out of 2- 35# bottles to keep from freezing up. ( I draw vapor, bottles upright) I can run about 2 hard hours on a bottle. The mogol and consolidation burners are un-modified home water heater burners running on 4 to 5 lbs of propane pressure. The CLOE burner is a style used in fish fry and turkey fryer grills, a cast iron type. All of the burners have a baffel or 'deflector' mounted above but just below the first row of tubes. this forces the fire to take a longer path aginst the sides and thru the tubes. In place of the ash pan I put a plate with the same area of air intake as the area if the tubes. I've never 'pulled' the fire out by opening the throttle too quick. You do need to keep a draft at all times or the fire will come out from under the ash pan. ( the path of least resistance).
The hoses i use between the engine, tender and gondola are the type with a steel braid on the outside. These alond with safety chains should provide plenty of strength incase of a coupler pullapart or derailment. All other lines and fittings are compression type. No hose barbs or slip conections.
As for setting fires along the right of way, when ther is a fire danger during the dry Texas summers, propane engines are allowed where coal and oil burners are not.
I'll be happy to answer any other questiones.
Phillip Bell

Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 19:07:55 +0100
From: "Hubert Wetekamp"

Subject: Re: chains and boomers

Hi Charles and all,

I keep nearly every mail in our message-archive under http://www.7-plus-ngm.org/archives.htm.
From that page, you can switch to the different months and search the file.

Moderator of the 7-plus-ngm - mailing list

Date: Wed, 05 Feb 2003 10:34:03 -0800
From: James Hoback

Subject: Re: chains and boomers


Jim Hoback
Sonora Short Line Ry.
Sonora, CA, U.S.A.

Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 04:49:56 -0000
From: "dmmcomo "

Subject: Re: Oil Firing

Chris Sylvester -

I am curious. Just what is your reasoning in dtawing off liquid propane rather than the gas. What advantage(s) do you think you gain from doing so?

At what point does the liguid become a gas? At the regulator? At the nozzle in the burner?

What happens when the bottle empties of liguid and you are getting a gas/liquid mix?

Rudy van Wingen
Como Roundhouse Products

Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 12:38:36 -0700
From: "Chuck Hoelzen"

Subject: Re: Re: Oil Firing

By pulling liquid propane you can take a small volume of liquid and run it into a pre-heater. The problem is getting enough heat into the liquid to boil it. In winter, as you boil off gas by pulling off the top the heat must come from the bottle. By heating a small volume of liquid in the feed line by steam or radiated heat from the boiler the heat to vaporize the gas is not being taken from the tank.

As a tank cools off it's pressure drops and you cant generate gas to feed the burner.

One advantage of heating the gas in a feed line over heating the tank, as was shown in a posting on this thread, can cause an over-pressure. In the line you can only boil a small amount of liquid if you overheat the line. The overheated bubble is just a bubble of warm gas. The bubble expands back to the tank and can't cause a dangerous over-pressure. Any gass warmer than the liquid in the tank just re-condenses and transfers little heat from the feed line.

Think about a gasoline stove where you force liquid gas into a "gas generator" at 200 to 400F where it is boiled.
It is the shame idea.

Passing the fuel feed line through a heat exchanger in a water tank may be a solution. I would keep the volume of liquid gass to a minimum in the heat exchanger!

If your injector isn't heating your feed water tank too much, you may simply be able to run a propane feed line through the feed water tank.

Just be careful with liquid gas with a boiling point below room temperature. (disclaimer)


Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 20:54:57 -0800
From: "Daniel F. Morris"

Subject: Amateur Radio (off subject)

Many Live Steamers I have met over the years are also Amateur Radio Operators. I have posted a site for our local repeater group and will post the address for those interested? 73's (means "best wishes")


Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 07:43:55 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Re: Re: Oil Firing

I have used a small refrigeration condenser coil as an evaporator for liquid propane. This would work very nicely in the tender tank. Also if you use high pressure automatic shut off disconnects between cars, you do not have a problem with a broken propane lines from your tank car supply to your engine in case of a derailment. This type of disconnect can be made up form high pressure hydraulic disconnects. If you get the correct type they will take pressures of up to 4000 psi. This is far above the psi of a Propane line. Some years ago in one of my model magazines (maybe Live Steam or Modeltech), there was a very good construction article on building a propane tank car. The other thing I do not understand from the references here is that someone said that Propane freezes in the winter time. Butane does but not Propane. I serviced Farm Grain Dryers for sever years for a short line Ag machinery manufacture and these dryers worked fine in the winter time running on Propane with a liquid draw pipe and with an evaporator in the dryer to get the gas to the burner.
Also if you think about it many Rural homes in the colder climates are heated by large Propane tanks. If Propane were to freeze up in cold weather this could not be done.


Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 09:21:08 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Re: Re: Oil Firing

Never ever heat a Propane tank. There have been many disasters with folks who heated Propane tanks in the winter expanding the liquid and popping the over-pressure valve, thinking for some reason they had to do this to get the pressure they needed. Death in explosions and bad fires are the result of this. If you have a newly filled Propane tank and raise the temperature of the tank less than 25 degrees you will pop the over-pressure valve and have liquid Propane all over the place. If it is a fire that is raising the temperature, you have instant explosion and anything with in several hundred feet will be gone if the tank is of any size at all. A train derailment in a town near my home town caused a bunch of Propane tank cars to go up and half of the small town was gone. One of the tanks from a tank car in this derailment was found 3 miles away. Check this out for your self. The town was Crescent City, Illinois. Propane is not something just to play with. You need to know what you are doing and make a safe unite to use it. If the system is set up and working as it is made to do you will get the needed pressure to fire any type of burner with out the trying to heat a Propane tank. Using liquid draw and an evaporator is the way to do it.


Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 09:39:11 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Re: Amateur Radio (off subject)

There are a number of live steamers in the Champaign, Monticello, and Decatur, Illinois area that are ham radio operators. We also have a special event station here at the Monticello Railway Museum on Railroad days in the fall of the year. The repeaters here are on 146.925 MHz and 442.725 MHz with tones 103.5 at Monticello. If you want to see Live Steam at its best come to MRM and watch the Steam Pile Drive work, or watch our Live Steam 30 ton Brown Hoist crane work. We are now also rebuilding a 2-8-0 steam engine, having taking it all apart and doing it from the ground up. New tires have been made for the drivers and a new boiler is being made to have a working pressure of 200 psi. This engine will be fired with oil. As it was in the beginning it was coal hand fired.
We have set a first steam up date in the year 2007, but if all goes very well it may be sooner.

Thomas N9GIJ

Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 12:00:46 -0800

From: "Boyd Butler"

Subject: Propane

I thank Thomas for his comments on the subject as am not an expert on it but do see a lot of it at Train Mountain every year. The subject of propane cars, those with the propane tank not part of the engine or fire source, worries me in the event of a derailment,parting of the feed hose, what is the thought on that Thomas,a chain or cable slightly shorter than the hose but connected to it in such a way that it would not allow the hose to part? Each end connected to the vehicle that the hose is connected to? Or what? Hmm? Other than the things that you brought up and would like to see published in possibly the Train Mountain Gazette about drawing off liquid and then heating it away from the tank method as it sounds very safe to me.
Boyd Butler

Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003 21:47:39 -0000
From: "Ron "

Subject: Re: Propane-breakaway couplers?

Has anyone ever used or tried breakaway couplers? I have them on my oxy/acetylene tanks in the event that a line is pulled to hard and they will just pop off and seal. If you look at the pressure in a full cylinder of oxy at 2,000 psi and it seals, my thought would be that it would work for propane.

Any ideas?


Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003 17:18:01 -0700
From: "Chuck Hoelzen"

Subject: Re: Re: Propane-breakaway couplers?

Standard hudraulic couplers used on a 3 point tractor hydraulic connection should work well. Just mount the female connector on a rigid portion of the car frame and engine and connect with 3/8" 3000psi hydraulic hose.

More than once I have popped the hydraulic hoses from the 3 point of the tractor. Only a small volume of porpane would be lost! GREAT IDEA!


Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2003 10:19:02 EST
From: USN1861@aol.com

Subject: Propane Novel or not so Novel Idea

OK, I start with this disclaimer:


But in the International Steam Boat Society there was a discussion about using the chilling effect of the gas movement to advantage by placing the propane tank in the condenser. This would give the an added kick to the vacuum and keep the tank warm.

I have fired my steam boat with propane for four years without incident. I use a thermo couple system from BASCO that shuts off the gas in the event of a blow out. I check the system every time I use it, because I am aware of the danger it could pose. The primary steam loco on the LaPorte County Steam Society 7.5 inch gauge is a 4-6-0 fired by propane, as I mentioned earlier.

Is it a danger, sure, but its a manageable one. Coal spontanteously combusts too. I have hauled it in ships for several years and we take gas readings every four hours. This was following an explosion aboard a steamer where the gas built up back into the engine room and did great damage and injury.

Robb Thomas
Walkerton, IN

Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2003 06:42:39 -0800
From: "Boyd Butler"

Subject: Propane Couplers

Well one would want something that was compatible with the temp and gases of propane and all couplers are not designed to handle every type of media. The way to find out would be to go to the manufacture and ask them,they might work in the short term and not in the long term under all conditions, the space shuttle o rings come to mind along those lines. If someone comes up with an approved type with the manufactures approval I would see no problem using them though and think it would be better than the way they are doing now.
Boyd Butler

Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2003 08:54:54 -0700
From: "Barry Bridges"

Subject: Re: Propane questions

That you for this discussion and response to my question about firing with propane.
There is a lot of info (experience and wisdom) in this group and I thank you all the for your ideas.
At this point, I will stay with coal and hold off with any other conversion.
After all coal does have the "ritual" of firing up. As I mentioned to a friend yesterday; it is our 'Ceremony of fire and life' (or at least, that is what I can tell my wife to explain why I am at the MLS Club for so many hours).
And as far as ceremonies go, it's not too bad....!!!


Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 23:00:48 -0000
From: "Mark Cobbeldick "

Subject: Infrared Control of Crossing Signals

The other day I purchased a wireless driveway alert device at a local home improvement store. Living out in the country, it is nice to know when someone is coming down the driveway.

There have been units of this type on the market (IE: DakotaAlert, Driveway Alert, etc.) for several years, but have always been a bit pricey. Now these devices are being manufactured in China, and carry a much nicer price tag of $9.95 (US).

This unit uses a Passive Infrared Detector to sense when a warm object is passing, and a wireless transmitter/receiver for signaling. A single 9-volt battery powers the transmitter. The receiver can be powered by three C-cells or via a 4.5-volt 'wall-wart' style power supply.

These units are considered a "Part-15" low-power device by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and are not required to be licensed. (I don't know what Industry Canada's licensing regulations are on these type devices.) The frequency used is 434.0 MHz, and although the frequency is in the amateur radio band, due to the low output power level should not cause any grief for those folks unless you are next door to a Ham who is active on this frequency band.

The thought occurred to me that there might be automatic crossing signal applications for our hobby with this device. You would simply take the five volt DC output signal (used for LED's and a piezoelectric sonalert) and use that to drive a small relay (either solid state or mechanical), which could in-turn be used to control crossing signals. I have seen reports of various hobbyists using garage door openers for crossing signal control.

The maximum effective range of these units is about 400 feet (120 metres). There is no transmitter power control on the unit to decrease the range of the transmitter, but if you shorten the length of the antenna, this will effectively shorten the range of the device. Ditto on the receiver. If you shorten the length of the antenna, the reception range will also decrease. Being a simple wire antenna, simply coiling-up or snip some length off of the antenna.

Mark Cobbeldick
Monroe, VA

Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 18:15:49 -0500
From: "Bruce Mowbray"

Subject: Re: Infrared Control of Crossing Signals

What ere the chinese counterparts called and where can they be obtained?

Bruce Mowbray
TMB Manufacturing and Locomotive Works
1 1/2" Scale & 2 1/2" Scale (Narrow Gauge) Live Steamer

Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 23:28:49 -0000
From: "dmmcomo "

Subject: Re: Propane Novel or not so Novel Idea

Robb Thomas -

Every boat owner I have ever known has been scared to death of putting Propane containers on board due the the fact that propane is heavier than air and in the event of a leak (even a fire blow out) the gas would pool in the bottom of the hull.

I believe that in CA at least, it is against the law to have anything but CNG aboard for that reason....

As for coal being explosive, yes, that is true, but in the small quantities that we use it and the relatively small containers it is carried in (tenders, hopper cars), any build up of coal dust or methane gas is so miniscule that the risk is virtually non-existent.

Rudy van Wingen
Como Roundhouse Products

Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 23:35:06 -0000
From: "dmmcomo "

Subject: Re: Coal "firing up" Ceremony...

Barry -

That is also a good excuse when your wife asks you why your face and hands are black as the ace of spades and your clothes the same....maybe not the best excuse, but it works for me!

I too love the "Ceremony" at JT&S; a good cuppa coffee steaming on the running board, the smell of the coal smoke, and the first wisps of steam as the sun rises over the nearby peaks...sheer delight!

Rudy van Wingen
JT&S RR CLub & Museum

Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 14:26:53 -0000
From: "Mark Cobbeldick "

Subject: Re: Infrared Control of Crossing Signals

Hi Bruce,
The two units I purchased were marketed under the "Driveway Patrol" name, and they were purchased from Lowes.

I am sure Home Depot and other home improvement/building supply stores should carry them.

I have even seen this brand sold on late-night TV via a 800 telephone number.

Mark Cobbeldick

Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 09:42:11 -0800
From: "Daniel F. Morris"

Subject: Photographer's Rights-Railfans Should Read This!

From Tom Hayden:

In light of the recent unpleasantness from overzealous citizens experienced by fellow photographers, here's a basic explanation of your rights as a photographer and how to handle yourself if confronted while engaged in your hobby.

Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 09:45:14 -0800
From: "Daniel F. Morris"

Subject: Photographer's Rights

Since the list stripped the word doc. those interested just need to send their address and I'll send it along.

Dan Morris

Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 17:15:27 EST
From: crpnut@cs.com

Subject: Re: Photographer's Rights

Yes please send the photographer's rights. Thanks Charles Robbins

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 09:28:46 -0800
From: "Michael Lavrich"

Subject: Re: Photographer's Rights

Hi Dan,

Please send me the list of photographers rights.

Last year I obtained a copy of January 1942 TRAINS magazine. It was interesting that about the only note our entry into WW II was an matter-of-fact editorial telling railfans and photographers to be careful.
There seemed to be much less hysteria in a much more serious situation.


Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 16:53:27 EST
From: w8604@aol.com

Subject: Re: Photographer's Rights

Please send the photographers rights to me as well.

Sam Shull

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 23:26:40 +0000
From: "Roy Stevens"

Subject: Re: Photographer's Rights-Railfans Should Read This!

I'd like to see it, but why don't you upload the file to the group's file area? Or cut and paste it to an email?

Roy Stevens

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 00:16:19 -0400
From: "Oliver T."

Subject: Re: Firing with Propane...


Re firing with propane, you might want to check out the 'Steam-Tech' Yahoo! group, as they just discussed this very subject not that long ago.

Their summation was DON'T DO IT!

Oliver T.

Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 13:08:15 EST
From: douglasandcj@aol.com

Subject: Re: Photographer's Rights

I'd like a copy of the photographers rights also if you can e-mail me direct.


Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 15:23:43 +0100
From: "Hubert Wetekamp"

Subject: Speeder update

Hello all,

I just put online the newest version of my speeder-page.

You can find it under http://www.7-plus-ngm.org/pcr/speedere.htm

Greetings from Germany


Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 14:45:33 -0000
From: "Michael Staats "

Subject: Re: Speeder update


Very nice piece of work. I will put a link on my speeder page as soon as I make an update on the site. I am building a NG speeder in 12" to 1' usable on tracks from 600 to 760mm I hope to have it finished during the sommer...

regards from the Netherlands

Michael Staats
webmaster of www.draisine.tk

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 13:07:08 EST
From: Smallhand@aol.com

Subject: Re: Speeder update

If you moved the 24V motor to the end and mount it vertically, would you then have more space for the engine/alternator/battery?

Ray Hill

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 21:27:01 -0000
From: "Hubert Wetekamp "

Subject: Re: Speeder update

Hello Ray,

sorry, no! I had thought over the position for the electric-motor really early, but the inside-length is so, that the gas-engine and the batteries will fill it out. The alternator should go under the tank-section of the gas-engine.

What my problem is, that the 24 Volt motor is so long, that it will go under the gas-engine, and so I have to raise this engine higher as thought. And that will be the big problem, because the top of the tank will be direct under the roof.

During the past hours I was thinking over, how I can construct a support for the gas-engine and the alternator, and I hope, the solution in my mind will work out.

For the batteries, their is enough space over the 24 Volt motor.

I'll keep you informed, how it will go.

Greetings from Germany

Your moderator

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 17:26:40 -0600
From: "Curtis Hustace"

Subject: Engineer Hats

Dear List

Does anyone know where you can get the traditional Engineer Hat? I want a plain one without patches or logos on it.

Thx in advance.


Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 00:46:46 +0100
From: "Michael Staats"

Subject: Re: Re: Speeder update

Hello Hubert and List,

I put a link to Huberts pagen on my site. Pls. check my site to learn more about speeders in Europe and to see my homebuild speeder in 12"to 1' grow..



Michael Staats
the Netherlands

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 21:17:42 EST
From: excalibur5776@aol.com

Subject: Re: Engineer Hats

Curtis: Most hobby shop have cap without anything on them, or you can look at Walthers catalog and find them in there.
Mike Looney

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 21:15:49 -0600
From: "Mudhen"

Subject: Viruses - Off topic

Anybody else experiencing a jump in the number of viruses that their system has started to catch lately? I rarely encountered any until about two weeks ago. Since then Norton has stopped almost a dozen tries (all were Klez), and all were from yahoo e-mail accounts from people I've never heard of.

Mark Petersen
St. Charles, IL

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 22:37:29 -0500
From: Dwayne Miller

Subject: Re: Viruses - Off topic

Well, my system is scanned every day for every known virus, using two differant AV program, yet the other day I got a message from myself that had a virus attached. That shocked me, I dont keep an address book to prevent the spread of viruses that I do get. So, besides my AV programs reporting clean, I still felt this was impossible... and it was.

Seems someone is spoofing return email addresses, got one the other day from president@whitehouse.gov, I have serious doubts that that system was infected. And I also got one from a -owner@yahoogroups.com account. Which, as far as I know is impossible to send email from, esp as I am one of the moderators for that group!

Its possible to tell if you read the headers, orginating IP/domain will tell you where it truely came from, its normally the LAST IP/Domain listed in the header under Received: header.

Its been a hard winter for viruses, just keep plugging, scan and update your system on a regular basis, you will weather the storm.

Dwayne Miller

Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 08:22:33 -0500
From: "mikell"

Subject: Re: Engineer Hats

Try http://www.railroadcatalog.com/

it's near my cabin


Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 09:08:59 -0600
From: "Bill Laird"

Subject: Re: Engineer Hats


If you live near a city with a Harbor Freight store, they carry the traditional Engineer Hat as a Welding Hat. You can also find the Welding/Engineer Hat in their catalog.

Bill Laird
Canyon Lake, Texas

Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 09:20:08 -0600
From: "Curtis Hustace"

Subject: Re: Engineer Hats

Thx everyone for your help!


Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 23:10:41 -0000
From: "msgreen55 "

Subject: Florida visit

I am hoping to visit from England to Florida (usual Disney stuff for my son - aged 5 now) in October 2004. I know it is a little way off but wondered what 71/4 & 71/3 etc lines there may be to visit. My own small private line is a little unusual with a gauge of 9.5".
Many thanks
Martin Green.

Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 17:18:19 -0800
From: "Howard Springer"

Subject: Re: Florida visit

Martin - - Check out Florida Live Steamers. I don't find them in Live Steam Magazine, but I know they're there. If you don't get any other suggestions, send me an e-mail direct, and I'll do a more extensive search. October / 04 is pretty far in the future for any specific programming just now.
I have three different friends in this area (Pacific Northwest) with 9.5" gauge tracks, so you're not alone.
Howard Springer (Near Seattle)

Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 21:06:16 -0500
From: Arno Martens

Subject: Re: Florida visit

Start here http://www.livesteaming.com/clubs/clubs.html

Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 15:37:06 EST
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Florida visit

For Martin Green:

Forgive answer through group. What's your individual e-mail as well as snail mail address.

The mid Winter Mee3t of the Florida Live Steamers is this week with much activity centered on the Largo Central RR starting Wed. or so. All of the movers and shakers of FLS will be there so, if you get me the address particulars back by e-mail, I'll sprinkle your request about.

And what is this 7 1/3' gauge, spread 7 1/4"? Down here in the south, and most places elsewhere in your erstwhile colonies, syeamers run on 7 1/2" gauge the commonly accepted wisdom being that 50-60 years ago, someone misread a fraction. Being from the now freezing north, my poorly received suggestion is that the guys down here are subconciosly modeling, in 1 1'2" scale, many of the poorly interconnected 5' gauge railrods in the Confederate States. Or , maybe. the Russian.

Cam Brown

Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 17:56:13 -0000
From: "rjkplans "

Subject: couplers

Can anyone tell me where to find engineering drawings for a rail car coupler?

Drawings must be out there somewhere since several companies sell them, and some persons have expressed questions concerning materials selection. Also most of the original foundaries have gone bankrupt so who got the engineering files.

So I know they can be purchased complete, but how can one go about making one of his own.

My particular interest is in a type "E" from 1945 with a 6"x8" shank, N. M. & SC C.o 24532-J. (National Malleable "went away" in the 1960"s already)

I got the 10-A contour dimensions from Section 10-917 of the Car Builder's Cyclopedia.
And lots of outline drawings.

Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 08:40:40 -0800
From: "Boyd Butler"

Subject: Couplers

You might check the Maxwell collection as he made and had drawings of narrow gauge items I don't have the list so I don't know what is what. And if its narrow gauge you might check to see if someone like Dave Skagen has them as he makes couplers.
Boyd Butler

Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 10:48:24 -0700

From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Re: couplers

I just bought the 1922 Locomotive Cyclopedia on CD from it has all the specs for the type "D" coupler, the predecessor of the type "E". If you just want to model it, there is plenty of information there.


Mike Decker

Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 11:24:10 -0800
From: "Richard & Denise Killen"

Subject: Re: couplers

Thanks, I just got my copy of that CD also.
Now I know one place to look further.

Regards, RK

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 07:08:45 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Re: Couplers

Ref: Narrow Gauge Items.
Do you have a url or an e-mail address for the Maxwell collection or for Dave Skagen.


Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 06:56:03 -0800
From: Allen Lee Dobney

Subject: Re: Couplers - Maxwell Collection Website

Here is the URL for the Maxwell Collection website.



Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 06:35:21 -0800
From: "Richard & Denise Killen"

Subject: Re: Couplers

Maxwell collection:
nothing on couplers, neat site though.

Dave Skagen, no e-mail,
(I can't elaborate but he's out there in the Seattle area Shelton WA to be exact.)
You might try Garry Housden at garhouse@aol.com
So far I have not been able to establish any contact with Skagen, even by snail mail.

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 14:25:53 EST
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Couplers

If someone will prod my errant memory. in stuff up north I have a plan of a 3/4 size coupler from SR&RL 2 footer file. Also a bunxch of the Maxwell drawings I bought from him back in the '40s and 50's.

Also if someonw does contact , or establish contact with him, does he have patterns for the 3 3/4"scale castings needed to build the family of Baldwin NG engines like his #24 and Maxt #7 and her sisters from the too many years ago Young article in Live Steam. Someone told me at the Largo FLS meet this week that the Street patterns were lost in the Power Models fire and suggested Dave as a possible other source. Then there were the Pine Tree Plantation set that may have been offered by ? Sciavo in New Jersey for awhile.

Cam Brown

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 11:33:21 -0800
From: "Richard & Denise Killen"

Subject: Re: Couplers

Thanks for the reply.
I would be interested to find coupler information from Maxwell, I couldn't seem to find any on the website. Pls. keep me "in the loop."


Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 23:13:47 -0000
From: "msgreen55 "

Subject: Florida visit

Many thanks for the responses.

I would be very interested in any info on 9.5" gauge lines ANY WHERE in the states - quite rare in the UK.

My email should hopefully now be up and running again.

Martin Green

Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 13:31:22 -0800
From: "Boyd Butler"

Subject: 9.5" Gauge

Wenatchee Wa. has a 9" gauge maybe its just a little over cant remember but its in a park there and they just shopped there steam engine so it wont be operating this year. Its a simple loop or dog bone as I remember. It was built by a fellow there and run in his orchard then donated to this group that operates it for the public.
Boyd Butler

Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 15:15:33 -0500
From: "don@locoparts.net"

Subject: Collets Wanted

Help! Does anyone have any BALAS (later owned I think by Sandvic) C2 collets in fractional sizes they wish to part with? They are no longer made and the dickens to find...at least in fractional sizes. I know where there 'bout 1000 of them in number sizes if anyone is interested, but I can't use them.


don orr

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 19:23:50 -0600
From: "Phillip and Sherry Bell"

Subject: Awards Committee


I'm looking for a couple of people to serve on the awards committee this year. It's a small job that takes very little time in doing. The spring award is for the CT Sumerall/Iron Horse award awarded to a club member. The fall award is the Les Burford award given to anybody that promotes the hobby. We will announce for nominations in the news letter in March and April, otherwise the committee can choose whomever they choose.
Thanks for considering the position,

Phillip Bell

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 04:21:31 -0000
From: "Mark Cobbeldick "

Subject: New rail construction questions from a newbie...

I am hoping the readership of this list can help me with some engineering and practices on new rail construction.

I don't know of any "hobby level" engineering reference guide other than Railway Supply Company's "Engineering Handbook for Recreational Railroaders", which I have a copy of. A very handy and informative document. But geared more for the 7-1/4 & 7-1/2 inch gauge crowd. (My interest is 24-inch gauge.)

So I have been looking through the various reference documents I could find on the Internet. It is a real eye opener to see all of the work that goes into construction of a Standard Gauge (4'-8 1/2" gauge) mainline railway. Some of it is the track itself. But a good bit of it is the preparation of the ground under the track.

My questions are about scaling all of this down to the gauges we use for this hobby (IE: 15 to 24-inch gauge). What are the important things to retain? And what are not.

- What size gravel is the most common?
- How thick of a layer should be under the CrossTies for proper drainage?

Cross Ties:
- What is a good size? (4x4, 4x6, 6x7, etc.)
- What is the correct interval to space Cross Ties?
- Is using pressure treated lumber OK to use?

Securing the rail to the Cross Ties:
- Spikes vs. Bolts. Which is better?

Rail Sizes:
Nick D'Amore wrote an interesting article in Issue #1 of the Two Footers newsletter (March/April 2002): "A Common Gauge, but not scale...". Written about the scale of rolling stock, it also gave information about different rail weights.

- For common hobby use, which is the best to use?
- What is the easiest to acquire?

Mark Cobbeldick
Monroe, VA

Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000 21:59:02 -0700
From: "farside"

Subject: Re: Awards Committee

I have never done it before, But as always I would be glad to assist in any way I can
David Rhoton
See our new website with secure online ordering and 100S of pictures
3461 S 5225 W
Cedar City Ut 84720
fax orders to 435-586-0580

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 21:30:21 -0800
From: Ken Burns

Subject: Re: New rail construction questions from a newbie...

I can only suggest you begin with a good base. The key to good track work will be a good sub grade. Following cutting your grade, be sure to properly compact the sub grade soils. This more than anything will give you a stable base from which you can begin your track laying. Moisture condition your sub grade soils to optimum moisture or slightly above, 1% to 2% over optimum, then compact with a mechanical compactor such as a Bomag vibratory sheeps foot compactor. You will be able to rent one the proper size for your job. After compaction of sub grade soils then place approximately 6 inches of 3/4" Class 2 Aggregate Base rock. Moisture condition to optimum or slightly above and compact. You will now have a stable base to place ballast rock (different than the base rock). You can place weed cloth on the soil sub grade following compaction for weed control.
I do soils inspection on construction sites for a living, so I am completely familar with this process.
Good luck with your project,
Ken Burns

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 21:48:53 -0800
From: Peter Moseley

Subject: Re: New rail construction questions from a newbie...


How do I know when I've got "optimum moisture or slightly above"?
What's optimum in this case?

Peter Moseley

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 22:16:11 -0800
From: Ken Burns

Subject: Re: New rail construction questions from a newbie...

Pete - All,
That depends on your soil. To test, take a small amount of your wetted soil and squeeze it in your hand. You want the soil to "just" adhere to itself. So you add water slowly. If you happen to have a Senior Engineeing Technican with a nuclear density gage, such as myself, its easy!Normal soils, dirt, some clay will need about 10% to 12% moisture. Sand the same. Heavy clay a bit less, 8% to 10%. Class 2 aggregate base usually 6% to 8%.
Dry soil will NOT compact. Wet soil will also not compact, but if left to "dry back" it can be compacted. If you do use a sheeps foot compactor, the tines (feet) on the compactor will "walk out" of the soil you are compacting, that is they will leave progressively samller divets in the soil as the soils becomes compact.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 16:28:48 -0000

From: "Mark Cobbeldick "

Subject: Re: New rail construction questions from a newbie...

Hi everyone,
Thank you for the comments and information. (I received several private e-mail replies too.)

I had not considered the moisture content of the soil prior to compaction.

...then compact with a mechanical compactor such as a Bomag vibratory sheeps foot compactor. You will be able to rent one the proper size for your job.

Would a vibrating paving roller be as effective as a sheeps foot compactor if not a little bit better? The reason I ask is I live 1-mile down a privately maintained gravel road, and will have someone on the property doing road maintenance during the summer. One of their pieces of equipment is a vibrating roller. He could easily do the first section of the right-of-way while in-site (after hours) for a small fee and a six-pack. ;o)

Also, I was a bit tired late last night when I wrote the original posting. One item I totally forgot to mention was the subject of Tie Plates. Are they necessary?

All information is greatly appreciated. I can run heavy earthmoving equipment, weld, woodwork, and operate metal machining tools. I work in the two-way radio business, and am a bit handy with electronics, but building something on this scale is new to me.

Mark Cobbeldick
Monroe, VA

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 09:33:30 -0800
From: "Boyd Butler"

Subject: Track

One might order the video on laying track at Train Mountain,there are a lot of tips in it,check with your local clubs,good drainage,among other things are needed.
Boyd Butler

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:01:02 -0800
From: Peter Moseley

Subject: Re: New rail construction questions from a newbie...

Thanks Ken. I needed your advice when I put in my 1" on a poor subgrade. It has caused years of trouble....


Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 02:38:03 -0000
From: "wslcochoochoo "

Subject: WSLCo #15

I'm looking for a copy of the original boiler drawings from Lima for Westside Lumber Co.'s #15. If anyone knows where I might find them I'd appreciate it.


Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 18:58:21 -0800
From: James Hoback

Subject: Re: WSLCo #15

Have you checked with the CA State Railroad Museum in Sacramento? I have heard they have a lot of Shay plans. One of the engineers at Fish Camp is building a model of #15. He said he has a complete set of plans (I seem to recall) for #15. I think he got his set from Dan Ranger of Roaring Camp the last I knew.

Jim Hoback
Sonora Short Line Ry.
Sonora, CA, U.S.A.

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 20:59:20 -0800
From: Ken Burns

Subject: Re: Re: New rail construction questions from a newbie...

Yes, the vibratory roller will do the job nicely.....and darn near free to boot!!
Ken Burns

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 23:18:18 -0800
From: Geoff Kail

Subject: Re: WSLCo #15

Ihave got most of the drawings from CA RR Museum , but they don't have the boiler. I'll check with Dan Ranger and see if he's got a set.

Thank You

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 06:15:29 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Re: WSLCo #15

Check the library of Congress.
They have a lot of this type of info.
We here at MRM got a complete set of drawings for the locomotive we are restoring from them.

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 07:28:36 EST
From: dlvisconti4853@aol.com

Subject: Herschell Spillman Steam Locomotive

Does anyone have drawings, photos, parts or leads for Herschell Spillman 4-4-0 amusement park steam locomotives?

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 06:33:35 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Fw: Fw: New rail construction questions from a newbie...

Here is a message I got from my son, who is a Rail Road Civil Engineer, schooled at the University of Illinois Civil Engineering School. He was the last student of Dr Hay, head of the RR Civil Engineer Department, to go through his Rail Road Civil Engineering course. He currently works as a Civil Engineer for a consulting firm in Decatur, Illinois.


I suppose that depends on whether he is building a scale railroad with 24" gauge or whether he is building a 24" narrow gauge railroad (like the Maine 2 footers). If he's doing the latter, he ought to contact the SR&RL people in Maine who are reconstructing some of the 2ft gauge lines as a tourist operation/museum. Many narrow gauge lines were ballasted with cinders - or nothing at all (just dirt). Half a foot of pit run gravel would be fine and 3/4" white rock (like MRM uses) would make it look like the New York Central mainline. Ties were 7x5 or 8x6 and just shorter than SG ties. D&RGW, C&TS, and probably D&S use 8"x6"x6'-6"ties. A 24" gauge line could probably just cut SG ties in half.

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 06:02:13 -0800 (PST)
From: Mark Cobbeldick

Subject: Grading

Hi Ken,

Yep, I will have this guy on the property this summer. He does really good work. When we purchased the property in 2001, I had him cut/grade/gravel two roads into the property. One to the house and one to where my workshop will be.

In the mean time, I need to finish cutting trees in the route of the right-of-way, and go rent a small bulldozer to clear the underbrush and stumps prior to his visit in summer.

Just in Central Virginia right now it is very icy and the ground is covered with six inches of snow. Impeading my tree cutting progress, but the puppy and his owner are having fun playing in the snow. :o)

Mark C.

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 07:37:41 -0800
From: George Potter

Subject: Re: WSLCo #15

Hi Goeff,

You might try George Kadelak for help (his email is shayloco@netnitco.net) He may be able to help directly, or pass you to someone who can. (He is listed as "Technical Research Lima Records" on the shaylocomotives.com website)

George Potter
Placerville, California
(and one of those working on Diamond & Caldor Shay #4)

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:52:35 EST
From: gfp420@aol.com

Subject: Re:WSL #15 Boiler Plans

The Allen County (OH) Historical Society ended up with the Lima blue prints. I'm not sure of the process to get drawings, but I believe they have a web page, for starters, anyway. The folks at California, who are great to work with -- I got some Kelley Island Lime and Transport Shay drawings from them.

George in Baltimore