7+-NGM-logo The

7-Plus-NGM Digest August 2000

Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2000 14:04:41 -0400
From: Joe

Subject: Re: Adirondack LS


Thanks for responding to my begging plea to visit ALS. Unfortunately, we departed on the trip a lot sooner than expected. In fact we were on the road within a few hours of my posting. We got as far north as Richmondville, and spent two days recuperating from a very hectic few weeks around this place. My father passed away July 18th after a long, long illness, and we were stuck with loads of company, plus taking care of all the details. The trip was one sorely needed.

Anyway, by the time we got to the lake (above Richmondville), we'd had it with traveling, and the two days of rain put a stop to further adventures in the car. I checked the map and decided Saratoga Springs was at least a 2-hr drive (round trip), and with the bad weather, I'd wait till later to burden you folks. We have a good friend in Duanesburg, about 40-minutes south of you, and will be visiting again later this year.

Who am I?? I just turned 50 a few weeks back, and am currently retired from running a 1-man engineering consulting business. I live in Pennsylvania (for the last 21-years), about 30-miles south of Corning, NY. I've been a model railroader for as long as I can remember, and have been working in Sn3 since the mid-1970's. I'm currently working on a large layout in the basement that will probably never be finished, mostly due to it's size.

I was lucky enough to land my first job out of college in Montrose, Colorado, and spent many years tracking the history of the Rio Grande Southern. Like so many others, I model it.

Live steam has always fascinated me, and now I see many are doing it in narrow gauge. Jeff Smith out in Colorado first got my wheels seriously spinning with his C-21 in 1 1/2" scale. Now that I've got a bit more time, and hopefully some extra $$$'s, I may actually take the plunge. I just can't make my mind up about doing it in 1 1/2" or 2 1/2". I will definitely focus on narrow gauge.

Space? I have more than I can use. Right now I have about 60-acres, but both neighbors have approached me about buying them out. One fellow is very reasonable, but the other is asking an arm and a leg. If it all turns out, I will end up with about 330-acres of great railroading acreage. We do cherish our seclusion.

Right now I've been trying to get up to visit either the Finger Lakes club and or you folks at ALS. I sorely need an education in track building, along with a good primer on where to get the little necessities for car building, etc...

Well, I've used up enough of your time. If you've got any other questions, drop me a reply. In the mean time, I've printed out your kind letter, and will give you a call next time I'm heading up your way. Certainly, I've got to give you more lead time!

Joe Fuss

Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2000 14:52:29 -0400
From: "Bruce"

Subject: Re: Adirondack LS

Where in PA? I am building my private track right now (30 or so miles southand a few miles west of Binghamton, NY.) and would be willing to let you use a shovel in return for some information. (just kidding) I'd like to get to know some more local livesteamers as I too live in an area far from club tracks. Take a look at the construction area on my web page. I am posting a monthly "as I go" decription of the building of the Springville and Southern RR. I also know of a few others in the area interested in livesteam. Give me a hollar.

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

Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 08:00:08 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Adirondack LS

Caught your note just as I head out the door for another day workiing for that cheapskate , Sr. Provensio Bono (Pro Bono if you are slow). More ;later/

Put ALS high on your list, another reason being our beloved Vice President Dick Hosmer magical machinist, switch and track builder. Sn3er and all around good guy. Even though he is aPE. Son Bob, also ALS, has moved a tad closer to ypu outside of Binghamton and is madly trying to fill his rural property with 7+ track.

More later. Write if the spirit moves. Off to see Pro.

Cam B

Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 11:30:35 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sharon Deckard

Subject: Re: Adirondack LS


"cheapskate , Sr. Provensio Bono (Pro Bono if you are slow)".

Evidently we all work for the same boss.


Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 18:00:48 EDT
From: nashnash@aol.com

Subject: Re: Shay

Here is a large scale shay for 7 1/2" gauge made in New Zealand.

http://sites.netscape.net/ikonengnz/TRAINS.HTML (Site no longer available - added by the moderator on november 21, 2002)

John Nicholson

Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 20:37:49 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Adirondack LS

No pension. No chance for advancement. And, I'm sure, no medical coverage.

I always tell myself that "You're getting too old for this sort of nonsense." then you go ahead and do it anyway. If i haven't learned not to do damnfool, physically demanding things with this old body after today, there is no hope.

Gotta go rest now. Just got a phone call from that west coast ng icon, Bro. Van Wingen. As surragate for all you folks who wanted to come to see ALS, we expect him for a few magic moments next Sunday afternoon. Let's wait to see how he will be impressed.
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 17:41:20 +0100
From: hubert@wetekamp.de
Subject: Re: Digest Number 94

Hi Cam,

Gotta go rest now. Just got a phone call from that west coast ng icon, Bro. Van Wingen. As surragate for all you folks who wanted to come to see ALS, we expect him for a few magic moments next Sunday afternoon. Let's wait to see how he will be impressed.

glad to hear, that Rudy is well and alive. Say hello from me to hem, when he comes on sunday afternoon.

From today, there are only 17 days remaining 'til I my departure to Los Angeles.

Hope, to see many of you at Train Mountain.


Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2000 05:50:26 -0000
From: Smallhand@aol.com

Subject: Need a source

Where can I find pillar blocks with a 1/2" bore?

Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2000 07:33:00 -0400
From: "Bruce"

Subject: Re: Need a source

Pillar blocks or PILLOW blocks? Explain what it is you need in more detail please.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 01:01:27 EDT
From: Smallhand@aol.com

Subject: Re: Need a source

Pardon the misspelling "Pillow-block-bearing." I'm going to use a pillow block suspension like the ones used in the Lettiere "Box Cab Diesel"(9 & 10/1998 Live Steam) and the Banana Junction (3/87 Live Steam) articles. Both used automotive valve springs and long bolts. I used 3/4" bore, pillow blocks for the engine. But I've acquired wheels with 1/2" axles and if possible, I would like to use them as is. If not, I could turn a sleeve to make up the difference.

Ray Hill

Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 07:48:16 -0400
From: "Bruce"

Subject: Re: Need a source

If you have the tools and machines handy I would make sleeves. This would give you a heavier duty bearing. If you still want to buy new pillow blocks then you have many choices. 1/2" pillow blocks are a standard item available thru any bearing house like Kaman Industrial Supply. They are avaiable thru MSC supply (around $30.00 each for standard duty) or McMaster-carr. Somemay be avaiable at lawn and garden machinery repair shops. Hope this helps.

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

Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 16:36:42 EDT
From: Smallhand@aol.com

Subject: Re: Need a source

Bruce Thanks for the help, I"ll try machining the sleeves.

Ray Hill

Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 16:21:18 -0700
From: "Dave Cormie"

Subject: Re: Need a source

Rather than going to all the trouble of machining the sleeves just pick up four bronze or oillite berrings and mark and drill them where the set screws need to be and use slightly longer set screws in your pillow block bearings. They work fine as a sleeve and are made in the size you need. They are about a buck each locally.

Email at:

Web Page at:

Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 00:53:47 EDT
From: Smallhand@aol.com

Subject: Re: Need a source

Thanks for the great suggestion of using bronze bearing, I'll start my search tomorrow.

R. Hill

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 10:26:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: drgw50tc@webtv.net

Subject: wheel set gauge

Mornin all, I have just machined a bunch of NG wheels to these dementions. The backs are straight across{ no hub or boss}. The over all width or thickness is 1 in. The flange is .156 wide and .187 high with the typical 10 degree taper on the flange and 2 1/2 degree taper on the tread with a .125 radius between the flange and tread. My question to all is where does the actual " wheel gauge" start? Is it where the tread meets the radius or where the radius ends at the flange. This situation leaves one with a + or - of .250 [.125x2]. I have been working off the GoldenGate Live Steamers drawing. It appears that the drawing indicates that the "wheel gauge" labeled C starts at the top or end of the flange and is .062 less than the "track gauge" or 7.437 for left coast 7 1/2. I do my steaming on the right coast so I'm 7 1/4, so the shoulders on my axils could be either 6.938 or 6.6875. I was thinkin maybe just subtract the .062 as the GGLS did which would make the shoulders at 6.875. So gang wudya think? I have a few bucks to spend today so any and all 2 cents worth would be greatly apprecieated by yours truly and or track gang.
Tanx again take care

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 10:50:00 -0400
From: "Buesing, Don"

Subject: RE: wheel set gauge

I've pondered the same when machining wheels. I've concluded there is no 'wheel gauge', only 'track gauge' and 'back to back' dimensions. The 'check gauge' comes about on its own as a result of the first two and proper flange/tread dimensions. I am by no stretch an expert on this stuff, so if I'm out in left field, someone please let me know.

The way I see it, if you have the proper dimensions and shapes on your wheel's running surface and the back to back is appropriate for your track gauge, it all should work fine. It does for me.....so far.


Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 08:28:16 -0700
From: "James Hoback"

Subject: Re: wheel set gauge

TC and Don,

Take a look at http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/rvrytrain/stds.gif if you have not already done so. Although the standards are for 15" narrow gauge, the drawings will show you where the illusive gauge line is in relation to the tread and flange.

You are right about the back to back and flange width being most important. Wheel gauge will follow if the B to B and flange width are correct.


Jim Hoback
Tuolumne, CA, U.S.A.
12" gauge railroad

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 11:33:49 -0400
From: "Rich D."

Subject: Re: wheel set gauge

The Wheel Gage is 1/16" narrower than the track gage for 7-1/2(1/4) and measured just at the outer edge of the flange fillet radius.
Rich D.

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 10:08:07 -0600
From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Re: wheel set gauge

Hi TC:

I can't be sure how the clubs measure it, but full-size the "gauging point" is where the flange fillet meets the tread. I suspect that some people gauge over the flanges (it's easier to measure), which would explain why they feel the track gauge needs to be 1/16" wide for good rolling. The main thing is that your "check gauge", from the back of one flange to the outside of the other, is compatable with the tracks you will be running on. The only critical point on any railroad is that the wheel flanges won't "pick the point" of a frog because they are too widely spaced for the guard rail to pull them away from it. Full-size or model, when you are running down straight track, the flanges shouldn't touch the rail. The only time the flanges touch the rail is on curves, and you'll hear it.

Here's what I would recommend. Make a card or hardboard template, of 2 wheels with your wheel profile, clamped to a piece of 1x2, set at 7-1/4" at the gauging point. Then take it and see how it fits at the point of the frog on the switches you'll be running through. If the guard rail will keep the flange from picking the point, and the "back to back" inside the flanges doesn't "squeeze" the guard rail and the point wing rail together, you're set. If it does one or the other, adjust the gauge until you arrive at that condition. When you get there, measure your shoulder dimension. And then tell the rest of us what it is :-)

Mike Decker

Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 16:55:34 +0100
From: "Hubert Wetekamp"

Subject: Badge

Hello all,

I think, it would be great, if we can identify each other, when we are on meetings.

So, I created an basic-badge, which can easily modified using an sticker or business-card-software.

Check out and download the basic-file under Visit my 3" scale railroad

Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 11:25:39 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: Badge

Nice idea Hubert, but not everyone in 7+ models in Narrow Gauge. Besides, isn't there a magazine with that name?


Date: 19 Aug 2000 22:02:01 -0000
From: 7-plus-NGM@egroups.com

Subject: Reminder - Backyard Vacation of Hubert, The moderat...

We would like to remind you of this upcoming event.

Backyard Vacation of Hubert, The moderator of this group

Date: Monday, August 21, 2000
Time: All Day

Starting on august 21, I will arrive in Los Angeles and travel together with Rudy van Wingen and another friend of him to Train Mountain

Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 21:34:34 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: Reminder - Backyard Vacation of Hubert, The moderat...


If you need an interim moderator let me know, I already moderate two groups on egroups and I'd be happy to fill in for you.


Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 18:54:46 -0700
From: "Turner Family"

Subject: Re: Reminder - Backyard Vacation of Hubert, The moderat...

OK, don't leave us hanging. What are they? I also moderate a few groups; lnrr, SER-NMRA, GeorgiaNGers.


Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 23:22:48 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: Reminder - Backyard Vacation of Hubert, The moderat...

PVLS - Pioneer Valley Live Steamers

CheshireParty - non-train group

I also run www.largetrains.com

Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 08:20:26 -0000
From: "Hubert Wetekamp"

Subject: Re: Badge

Hi Stan,

--- In 7-plus-NGM@egroups.com, Stan Zdonick wrote:
> Nice idea Hubert, but not everyone in 7+ models in Narrow Gauge.

Please remember, the name of this group is 7-Plus-NarrowGaugeModeller and the focus is on narrow gauge on 7+ track.

> Besides,isn't there a magazine with that name?

Yes, there "WAS" a magazine "7+ Narrow Gauger", published by our member Robert Williams from Texas.

But recently, he changed the name to "7+ Railroader".

The logo is used, as written on the badge-file and the web-sites, with permission of the 7+ Railroader.


BTW, I think, the list will run without me for that 3.5 weeks without major problems.

Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 09:06:57
From: Ian McKinley

Subject: Re: Re: Badge

I think that Hubert's design is very good, easy to read and says it all. With regards to your concern that not every one in this group models in narrow gauge?????? This is the 7-plus NGM(Narrow Gauge Modeler) That is what this group is. We are happy to have others here but we are narrow gaugers and that is how we want to be known. Please see the list description on the members sign-up page at eroups, I have copied it below for your reference.

Ian McKinley


The 7+ Narrow Gauge Modelers group should bring all narrow gauge friends together, wich run their backyard models on 7.25" track-gauge or wider.
5" gaugers are also welcome, but the focus should be on 2.5" scale or bigger.

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 09:30:15 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: OK Re: Badge

Boy, do I wish email had an un-send function! I noticed the reference to the magazine after I sent the email, one minute too late.

I DO know what this group is for, my primary interest in 7+ models is two foot (600mm) prototypes. My comment was simply an effort to include the folks on the list that model standard gauge prototypes. That's it, I didn't mean to stir up any emotions. I guess I should have explained my point a little better.

If someone were to produce a badge small enough to go on an engineers cap, I would be interested.

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 10:43:58 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Welder

I'm about to start building stuff for 7.25" gauge and one thing I'm missing is a welder. I've never used one but I understand MIG welding is easier to learn. It also looks like it can handle what I might need to create frames and perhaps bodies. I won't be using it for much else so I don't want to spend too much. I also don't want to get something too cheap to handle the load.

I'm looking for some recommendations from anyone with experience weldiing with a "home" unit. An old friend of mine used to swear by Daytone MIG products for welding frames and car bodies. (Real Cars, not trains.)

I would appreciate any help that is offered.


Stan Zdonick
Large Trains On-Line

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 12:23:04 EDT
From: DFWSVW@aol.com

Subject: Re: Welder

You indicate this will be a new experience for you. It might be a good idea to check into a local community college or technical school and see if you could take a short course in welding. The reason I suggest this, is to get a bit of experience and learning under someone who is knowledgeable on the various welding processes. You will then be able to make a better decision on which welder you would like. Even if you are not able to take a short course do have a long conversation with people at a good welding supply house. Several members in our club do have MIG welders and they like them and do excellent work with them. The concern that a friend of mine has, who is what I would consider talent as a welding engineer, is that many MIG welders havelimitations with penetration when dealing with heavy sections. Sheet metal and other thin sections present little problems but unless the welder has sufficient power you may have a superficially good looking weld but under a strong shock or stress the pieces may separate due to insufficient penetration of weld into the base sections.

Doug from Seattle

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 10:20:54 -0700
From: Don Dickens

Subject: Re: Welder

Dougs advice is very wise. I am compelled to add that I think at least 50% of the success of a weld is based on the preparation of the joint and jigging sufficient to prevent distortion. All of this must happen before you even turn on the welder. I consider a hand held grinder as important as the welder, also a good welding bench and a whole bunch of vice grips.

Retirement means 6 Saturdays a week.
D. W. Dickens BA, MSEd, JSI, DMA, RNG

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 19:52:51 -0000
From: "Robert Dobrowolski"

Subject: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10 Info needed

I notice on the NJLS website that the Adirondack Live Steamers are scheduled to have their Fall Meet on September 8-10. As a member of the NJLS, am I allowed to attend? I would probably only be there one day. The 9th or the 10th. If I can attend, how do I get directions to the club?

Thanks, Bob Dobrowolski

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 20:54:49 -0400
From: Arno Martens

Subject: Re: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10 Info needed

Don Buesing will probably reply.
I cannot speak for that club and I usually fish for an invitation from someone there but if you are being invited to visit, ask Raritan Ron (Henderson), in your own club, for directions.

;->) Arno Martens, Toronto

Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 17:50:28 -0000
From: "Hubert Wetekamp"

Subject: Goose in the states arrived

Hello all,

thanks to Rudy, I can post this message.

After a 12 hour flight I arrived safely in Los Angeles and survived the first night.

Now, the RV is loaded up, and in some minutes we will leave San Marino heading northward for Train Mountain.

Hope to see some of you somewhere.

Hubert The Goose
Your Moderator

Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 14:51:35 -0500
From: "Mudhen"

Subject: Re: Goose in the states arrived

Herbert, I know Rudy is very proud of his cooking skills, but watch it if he asks you if you'd like to try something "really different" for dinner when you're near Donner Pass...

Mark Petersen
Camp Creek Railroaders
Omaha. NE

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 02:53:52 -0000
From: "Bill Oberpriller"

Subject: Re: Welder

If you are not familiar with the various welding process'. I strongly suggest that you get a demonstration of both MIG and TIG welding before you spend your money. Although a TIG setup is more expensive, the results are very rewarding compared to MIG. TIG gives you the advantage of being able to weld a wider variety of metals including aluminium and stainless steel. Welding thin metals using silicon bronze rod is a breeze since the filler rod melts at a lower temp than the base metal. I place the TIG welder in the same class as the lathe and milling machine for fabricating model RR equipment.
Grizzly has a TIG setup which includes everything except the argon tank. A good and useful piece of equipment is an asset not an expense. Sooner or later all model RR equipment will either be given away, thrown away, or hopefully sold. Spend what ever it takes to make things someone else will want to buy.

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 08:30:30 -0400
From: "Buesing, Don"

Subject: RE: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10 I nfo needed

You are allowed/encouraged to attend our meet. If it had not been for the NJLS club, there would not be an ALS. Our incentive to organize is a direct result of attending a meet at your club. It is a great personal pleasure to have the ability to reciprocate!

Directions to ALS

1/ travel north on I-87 to exit 15 (3rd Saratoga Springs exit, 30 miles north of Albany),at top of ramp turn right on Rt 50 north

2/ travel 1/4 mile to next traffic light, turn right on Weible Ave

3/ travel another 1/4 mile to next traffic light, turn left on Louden Rd

4/ travel about 3 1/2 miles on Louden to 'Now and Then Antique Shop' on right. (it will be at end of fairly long straight section of road with large FOR SALE sign in field on left)

5/ in front of the antique shop, slow to a stop and look for small red arrows with ALS printed on them. Follow these little arrows to track.

Have a safe trip!

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 09:42:52 -0400
From: "Buesing, Don"

Subject: RE: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10

To all 7-plus NGMers,

I just sent out a personal invitation with directions to Bob in New Jersey, now here's one for everybody else.

Our meet policy is to invite live steamers/large scale railroaders and their families via the hobby press such as 'Live Steam' and 'Modeltec' magazines in order to reach the focus group we intend. This discussion group certainly applies.

Basically.....if you hear about us, your invited. Receiving a personal invitation from "somebody" is not necessary!

What we don't like to do is invite the general public via newspapers and the general model railroad press. We seem to have quite a crowd of intensely interested people (you guys/gals and families)without it. If the directions below are not sufficient from your location, please let me know. If you plan to bring equipment to run, great! Just let me know so that I may send you a copy of our meet rules.

If you need more information such as motels, on-club camping, things for the family to do, etc, please let me know.

This year's fall meet is September 8, 9, 10. If you want to arrive Thursday night (the 7th)to unload or set up camp, please do. We'll be waiting for you on Thursday from mid-afternoon until about 9pm. If you arrive after that and want to sleep in your camper or tent, have at it. Just don't wake up anyone else. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be available from Friday morning through Sunday noonish. Our night running usually goes into the wee hours, we ask that whistles be used only for emergencies after dark. You can't see them, but our neighbors can hear us.

Heard about us? Come and see what were up to now!
(hints...1/the entire Western Division is now in service!.....2/Gold Spike Saturday morning....3/we'll be aligning our grade stakes on the 2000 ft Hudson Division next)

Don Buesing
ALS Prez

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 09:47:34 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: RE: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10

Thanks for the invite. I believe a contingent from my club, Pioneer Valley Live Steamers, will be attending your meet.

Stan Zdonick
Large Trains On-Line

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 10:28:01 -0400
From: "Buesing, Don"

Subject: RE: RE: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8- 10

Stan, here's the ALS rules. They seem like a lot to remember, but it's mostly common sense stuff. The only part that gets more attention is train speed. With our blind turns, grades, tall bridges, tunnels, etc, we like to see everyone running at what we think is a reasonable pace. Most of our track is euipped with mile posts placed at 88' intervals. At the desired 5mph a post will go by every ten seconds. We don't care if your at 4mph, or 6, or maybe even 7. Last I checked, no one had cruise control installed on their engine. But after that someone's attention is likely. The first couple of times around keep track of how long it takes to pass a post and mentally note your speed. Your natural perception is now calibrated and will keep everyone happy the rest of the weekend.

To save you the time when you and your PLS contingent arrive, copy and fill out the engineer's registration before hand. Also, bring the filled out engineers quiz. Please don't think we're paranoid or something (at least I hope we're not!) but we like to know EVERYONE who runs...understands the rules. Our track can be challenging, we don't want to mix your safe running with someone who has an attitude about this stuff.

Have a safe trip!

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 10:27:55 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10

Small addenda alteration on directions posted by Don:

Northway Exit #15 is key. When exiting from either north or south one hits stoplights on Route %0, which I guess is Weible Ave. Turn right at light if coming from south (you are all alert enuf to do the opposite if coming from the north)
THEN look for a one way street sign after passing a NYS DOTransportation yard before you get to a McDonalds. Turn right past a mall (K -Mart and Hannafords) to another traffic light then straight accross (when green) and you are on Louden Road. This keeps you out of the worst traffic. Cemetary on right. Target store on left. Note 4.1 miles on odometer from this stoplight to the road into ALS at the antique shop. Go slow; rally twisty road for the last couple of miles.

And yes ALS bears the genetic code of the Jersey LSers. with early cloning of retiring Jersey types being part of the ALS Founding Fathers.

Get to meet Don's father Hank whose back acrage was aquired to place our track. Hank was a fireman for the Erie Railroad. On a harbor tugboat. He has a hilarious story on the one time he was called to fire a steam engine.

Cam Brown

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 10:51:56 -0400
From: "Buesing, Don"

Subject: RE: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10

Cam, I usually try to avoid first time directions that include the "ONE WAY" shortcut as I presume people will eventually be going home. The way I previously describe is just a bit more complicated/congested, but it is doable from both directions.

If you don't believe me, just ask the tour bus driver that pulled up to the antique shop last weekend looking for the Northway. Seems that after lunch at that McDonald's you mention, he loaded up the bus and wrongly exited to the one way shortcut. He decided to ask directions when he was 3 1/2 miles down our country road. The driver had an additional problem on his hands when his lady passengers tried to unload to visit the shop, and the gentleman wanted to inspect my T as I was about to leave. I guess he would have been at his wit's end if they followed me the short distance to the track!


Date: 23 Aug 2000 22:02:02 -0000
From: 7-plus-NGM@egroups.com

Subject: Reminder - IBLS-Meeting at Train Mountain

We would like to remind you of this upcoming event.

IBLS-Meeting at Train Mountain

Date: Friday, August 25, 2000
Time: All Day

IBLS-Meeting at Train Mountain
Your moderator Hubert is together with Rudy van Wingen there.

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 18:16:04 -0500
From: Mike Boucher

Subject: Re: Reminder - IBLS-Meeting at Train Mountain

Hi there,

And if you're on the right coast (as opposed to the left), you can try Waushakum (Holliston, MA) on the same date. Heck, we'll be there all weekend!



Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 19:36:37 -0400
From: Arno Martens

Subject: Re: Re: Reminder - IBLS-Meeting at Train Mountain

See you there on Saturday.

Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 06:31:00 -0700
From: Greg & Susan Robinson

Subject: Train Mountain


For those of you going to Train Mountain, please stop by and say hello to Greg. He and our buddy, Paul, will be there all weekend and will have a table, displaying GSQ. Hope everyone has a safe trip and a great time!

Greg & Susan Robinson
The Grand Scales Quarterly [Journal for 12" gauge & larger RR's]
P.O. Box 8953
Red Bluff, CA 96080 USA
fax 530-527-0420
e-mail: mainline@sunset.net
[Subscriptions: $20 /yr US, $25 /yr International]

Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 10:53:25 EDT
From: Mt14l@aol.com

Subject: Re: Train Mountain

Seeing your post reminds me I've still NEVER received Issue #10. Probably out of print by now. Hope you've received my renewal.......
Dave Sherron
P.O. Box 6396
Scarborough ME 04070

Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 20:46:13 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10

Any offers on the steamboat? C

Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2000 08:11:36 -0700
From: Greg & Susan Robinson

Subject: Re: Digest Number 110

Hi Dave,

I still have copies left. I will drop another issue in the mail. And yes, we did receive your renewal. Thank you for your continued support of GSQ. We appreciate it! Susan

Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 07:54:01 -0400
From: "Buesing, Don"

Subject: RE: Adirondack Live Steamer Meet on September 8-10

I keep hearing of dangling carrots.....I think it will be time to move it one of these years.....I've been getting some complaints.

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 07:43:37 -0700
From: "farside"

Subject: wisdom & help

I am looking at buiding a backyard railway, AND BOY AM I LOST.
Heres the quandry. I have 8 kids and not a lot of dispossable income. I love trains :} .
I have riden on 1.5 scale trains on 7.5 track. But they seem awfully small to ride on and somewhat unstable. I have seen pictures of 2.5 scale on 7.5 tracks but to me that would seem to even be more unstable.
12 inch at 3 inch scale looks nice but what radius is OK

I want to build something simple, real simple. I am good at scrounging up stuff, I just cant figure which way to go. I dont have the capitial to buy a premade system.
Any ideas and thought would be great.
What scale?
What size trach gauge?
How tight can it turn?
Plans for a small engine?
Etc, etc, etc,?

Thanks to anyone who replies.
Dave Rhoton

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 11:27:16 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: wisdom & help

We run 7.25" here in MA and it's pretty darn stable. If you're worried about that I'd suggest you model industrial 18" or 24" prototypes. Some of them used really wide tires 3" to 3.5". This along with proper springing and well laid track should provide all the stability you'll need.

I don't have a lot of cash so I'll be building around these guidelines as well. Some of the industrial engines are as simple as a sheet metal body over plate frames. Alan Keef is a good example of this class and they build engines in gauges from 10.5" up to 36". That's probably what I'm going to build ... someday. There are no plans available for an Alan Keef, yet.

I would suggest you find the nearest club and join. You will get more help and advice from your fellow club members. Plus they can give you hands-on experience.

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 10:21:55 -0700
From: "Orrin B. Iseminger"

Subject: Re: wisdom & help

Dave --

Try to get to a big layout and scope out the full range of what's available to you. Then decide for yourself if 7-1/2" is stable and what fits your budget.

IMHO, 7-1/2" is plenty stable. Furthermore, if you're on a tight budget, your best bet would be a "goose" powered by a Briggs or Kohler gasoline engine. Your design can be one-of-a-kind freelance and you won't have to worry about whether it's true to a prototype.

I just came back from Train Mountain's IBLS 2000 Meet and rode all kinds of trains. IMHO, the people who had a goose enjoyed themselves just as much as those with "counted rivet" exact scale steam models.
Furthermore, some of them were built with no specialized machine tools. A hack saw, drill press, and welder will be all you really need. Your raw materials can be junked riding mowers and various scrap parts picked up for 15-cents a pound at your local salvage yard.

My $0.02.

Good luck.


Orrin B. Iseminger
Colton, Washington, USA

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 13:01:16 -0700
From: "Orrin B. Iseminger"

Subject: IBLS 2000 at Train Mountain (long)

IBLS 2000 at Train Mountain

I just got back from a two week stay at Train Mountain and would like to share some of my experiences and observations. Here goes.

First of all, I enjoyed TM immensely. I volunteered fifteen days of my labor and at times worked like a slave while laying track and spreading ballast in the hot sun; however, I feel amply rewarded. It's an experience I'll never forget.

TM provides a limited number of free sites in their Blue Caboose campground. Annual membership in the TM Museum costs $25, but if someone stays there just one night they are ahead of the game. There are RV hookups and for tent campers the lawn is green and beautiful. The towering pine trees offer just the right combination of sun and shade. Over-the-Hill and the "serpentine" tracks lie adjacently, so the campers have a "ring side seat."

A number of people spend the entire summer camping at TM, so there are plenty of folks to meet and show you the ropes. There are a few who live in the nearby community and volunteer their labor and skills the year around, such as, Art Crisp, TM Track Superintendent, and Sellar Nugent, all-round electrical wizard.

Quentin Breen, TM owner is a very gracious host. He provides the capital investment and infrastructure and the member volunteers provide the labor. IMHO, it is a fair and generous arrangement.

The present TM trackage is something like twenty miles. This includes the switchyards. The actual mileage through the woods is something like eleven miles. The eventual goal is to have *seventy* miles of track! It won't be any too much. TM has the potential to be the Mecca of 7-1/2-inch railroaders. The soon-to-be-built roundhouse will have 72 stalls. Construction is yet to be begun, but each and every stall has already been leased!

That's enough background. Now, on to IBLS 2000.

Something like 125 (give or take) volunteers helped things run smoothly. Quentin and his "executive officer," Mark Flitton, did a great job of organizing them. In spite of 200, or so, locomotives and 800, or more, people being in attendance, things worked very well.

The highlight of the weekend was the group photograph of all engines and trains in attendance. All were to assemble in the main switchyard at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning so that Joe Rice of "Live Steam" could take a picture of ONE MILE of 7-1/2 gauge trains! I thought "no way" can all that rolling stock get off the turntable and steaming bays on time; however, we miraculously had them all (about 200 engines and their trains, about half of which were steamers) in position by 11:00 a.m. Next time, we'll know how to have it all done by "H" hour. BTW, yours truly the one who ran the switches at the yard entrance.

After the photo shoot, Quentin and his "show train" led the grand parade past the Central Station. What a great photo-op that was!

One could write a book on all that took place, but in a sensible use of bandwidth, there isn't room, here. However, I must add a couple more things.

One of the nicest locomotives was a beautiful Shay shipped all the way from New Zealand! I'm told that was regauged from 7-1/4" to 7-1/2" just for the occasion. Likewise, folks from the Northeastern US regauged their whole trains just for IBLS 2000.

Chuck Hackett had to be the most popular guy at the whole event. He certainly enjoys that big beautiful Northern #844 of his! His continual grin says so. One rarely saw 844 sitting in the steaming bay. Chuck had it out on the track almost all the time.

I also got to meet George Potter and to see his Baldwin. When I asked George if it was a "real steamer," he replied, "That's an understatement!"

I don't want to offend others on the list by not mentioning their names or engines, but necessity dictates I don't. In all likelihood, the final list of attendees will be posted on the TM Web site. I took nearly 200 photographs, some of which turned out well in spite there being so much of black locomotives hidden in deep shadow. I hope to post some of them on my Web site.

The real reward of my two week stay was getting to meet dozens of wonderful people. The engines and trains were nice, but the people will be the big draw to get me to go back, some day. I hope all of you go there, too.
You'll like it.

Orrin B. Iseminger
Colton, Washington, USA

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 15:54:55 -0500
From: "Mudhen"

Subject: Re: IBLS 2000 at Train Mountain (long)

That sounds like our Chuck. The more cars he has to pull, the more he likes it. I can't wait to his and Whit Johnson's photos.

Mark Petersen
Camp Creek Railroaders
Omaha, NE

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 22:44:34 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: wisdom & help

Jim's Live Steam has two simple projects that you can build to get started. One is a boxcab engine, one of our club members built one. The other is a gondola.


Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 11:01:32 -0600
From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Re: wisdom & help

Hi Dave:

I'm building a 7-1/2" gauge, 4-wheeled, locomotive using the top deck off of a 10HP riding mower, mounted on a welded chassis with 6-7/8" dia. wheels and outside bearings. The axles run in 1" bore pillow blocks, with the rear ones bolted solid to the frame and the front ones hung on springs for equalization. The mower I have has a variable speed belt drive to a forward-reverse box, which then chain drove the rear wheels. I'll go from the direction box to a jack-shaft (for speed reduction and power) inside the top part of the mower, mounted on flange bearings. From there, a chain goes down to the rear axle, with one more to the front axle. With the rear axle mounted solid you don't have to worry about chain tighteners or how much the driver weighs. The brakes will use the pedal on the mower, with its parking brake latch. The only connections between the mower and chassis that

So far, I haven't designed a body for the loco. At first, it will look like somebody riding their mower around the track :-) The mower deck is about 22" wide, but I don't consider that it will be unstable, since most of the weight of the loco is down in the frame and steel wheels. Over in England, they run cars and locos that are tall enough to ride inside of on 7-1/4" gauge track.

At this point, the only expensive part is the wheels. Since I don't have a lathe big enough to turn that size wheel, I bought them from Real Trains, out in Calif. They are their 2-1/2" scale hubbed wheels. I picked them both for size, and the wider tread to compensate for rough track and sharp curves (but they ain't cheap). The rest of the drive parts (chain, sprockets, bearings) came from the Surplus Center in Lincoln, Neb., and one of our conductors gave me the old lawnmower.

I'm planning 20' radius curves as a minimum, with a 2% grade leaving the terminal at the garage. I don't know how much load it will pull out of that hole yet, but I'll find out. Once I get out of the terminal, the line will be more level. I'll follow the contours to keep the grade within reason.

I have a partly done AutoCad drawing of the loco. When I prove the design, I can publish/post it.

I hope this helps your decision making.

Mike Decker
Hot Springs, SD

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 22:27:12 -0000
From: "Chris Allan"

Subject: Hydraulic Fluid Recommendations please.

Hi List!

I am needing to top off a RMI gas hydraulic locomotive, and am wondering if I can use the Mobil stuff available at Rutland, and if so, what viscosity? I am trying to avoid buying large quantities, and the Mobil stuff is available in 1 gallon jugs.

Thanks in advance,
Chris Allan

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 18:54:46 EDT
From: cptboatman@aol.com

Subject: Re: Reminder - Bitter Creek Western, Arroyo Grande

Dumb question, where is bitter creek?

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 19:04:36 -0400
From: Arno Martens

Subject: Re: Re: Reminder - Bitter Creek Western, Arroyo Grande

How about Arroyo Grande.

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 19:30:54 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: wisdom & help

Did you take the blade off the mower? If mulching blade, it may have helped keeping the ballast clean.

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 16:51:30 -0700
From: Greg & Susan Robinson

Subject: Re: Digest Number 114


Here's a message from an avid 15" gauger and perhaps the foremost proponent of the larger "Grand Scales" (12" and larger).

> . . . not a lot of dispossable income.

No matter what size of train you build, this hobby costs more than stamp collecting. Unhappily, I have to admit that 7 1/2" gauge is hands down the most economical gauge.
There are manufacturers that build in enough quantity that the labor costs are spread out much more. It is also true that a 3" scale model, being three dimensional, has not twice the mass, but eight times the mass of a 1.5" scale model. (But that mass is part of the fun! -- the knuckle couplers go "Ka-CHUNK", instead of "clink-tink").
And it is also true that the near future will be seeing improvements in the availability of Grand Scale equipment.

> I have riden on 1.5 scale trains on 7.5 track. But they seem awfully small to ride on and somewhat unstable.

Compared to 40" wide, 5" scale gondola the smaller equipment does feel small, and the engineer on the steamer might get a back ache from leaning over, but 7.5" gauge equipment is VERY stable. Sitting on a standard 1.5" scale gondola riding car on level track, if you start leaning over you will likely fall out of the car before the car comes off the track. Some of the very tall, non-scale equipment can tip over, but you almost have to be TRYING.

> 12 inch at 3 inch scale looks nice

FYI, much existing 12" gauge equipment was originally from amusement parks and is hard to pin down as to exact scale. Often 12" gauge is either 2 1/2" scale of standard gauge or 4" scale of narrow gauge. Jim Hoback has a fantastic 4" layout that is for sale. http://www.mlode.com/~jdmd/train.htm

> but what radius is OK

Depends on the equipment. If you are going to be running short cars with a four wheel diesel you could go around corners. Steamers require more room.

> I want to build something simple, real simple. I am good at scrounging up stuff, I just cant figure which way to go. I dont have the capitial to buy a premade system.

As others have mentioned, building a little industrial diesel or a Galloping Goose is a great way to start out.

> Any ideas and thought would be great.
> What scale?

If you decided to go with a larger gauge, 4" or 5" scale would give you nice big equipment, since you'd be modeling narrow gauge.

> What size track gauge?

15" is the most popular gauge above 7 1/2". 12" and 16" come next. [Note: one of the major expenses of any gauge, and especially grand scale is the rail itself.] You may want to consider what gauges are being run by any of the other railroads in your area. Perhaps volunteering at a local RR would eventually get you an invite to run on a larger layout (but you may need to really "prove yourself" and put in your dues first . . . this hobby is measured in years not weeks!)

> How tight can it turn?

The tightest turn on the 15" gauge, 5" scale Redwood Valley Railway is the "highline" up to the shop (not used on the ride). It is 59' radius. Erich Thomsen's standards called for 50' bare minimum radius on the sidings and 65' on mainlines. You could get MUCH tighter if you weren't running steam. They have their 5" scale standards listed on their web site. http://hometown.aol.com/rvrytrain/index.html

> Plans for a small engine?

For the appearance of the body and overall size, using plans from model railroad magazines or from the Underground Railway Press is a good start. As far as the drive train goes, you may want to find someone who has built a similar engine and find out what did or did not work for them.

If you want to look at some sites that will really stir your imagination on the Grand Scales, go to our website listed below and check out the links page. You'll be surprised at how many RR's are bigger than 7 1/2" (and the ones listed are just the tip of the iceberg!)

Feel free to contact me off-list if you have any questions. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I'd be more than glad to help in any way I can.

All the Best,

Greg & Susan Robinson
The Grand Scales Quarterly [Journal for 12" gauge & larger RR's]
P.O. Box 8953
Red Bluff, CA 96080 USA
fax 530-527-0420
e-mail: mainline@sunset.net
[Subscriptions: $20 /yr US, $25 /yr International]

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 19:12:12 -0600
From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Re: wisdom & help

Hee Hee, as a matter of fact, the conductor had already trashed the mowing deck, all I got was the wheeled chassis.