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    • February 23, 2018 3:50 PM EST
    • Couple more pictures of progress:


      Jenn interrupted, I stopped Jenn for a quick picture of her work. I'm very lucky to be able to happily work with my wife.

      Picture of the far inside loop with all track removed.


      There are numerous removable bridges. This one will need rebuilding to accommodate 3 tracks. Some others will be converted to draw bridges for easy access.
      You can see the bridge on the table in the upper left.


      Opposite view of basically the same shot. My good camera went south on me, so I apologize for the phone pictures and the lens flair.


      Jenns says we must leave for work now!


      More to come...



    • February 23, 2018 2:41 PM EST
    • I just sat down to edit a few more pictures to post. However, I will answer some questions for you first.

      Staver Locomotive is a private railroad owned by Larry Staver. Larry is fortunate enough to have the resources to build whatever railroad he would like, fortunately for those of us into G scale live steam, he likes them too.
      Larry's family has a long history with live steam, including mostly ride on and some larger than G scale models, I think #3 ga but don't remember exactly. Larry, however, prefers 1/32nd scale.

      The railroad was originally built as a 1/32nd scale railroad, and although hes not real excited about it, Larry has decided to build the indoor railroad to accommodate up to 7/8 scale on the mainline, and one yard with enough
      track spacing for storage and steamup of larger models of smaller prototypes. Indoor mainline tack separation is 8" (21ft), adjacent mainline tracks are also 8".  He has nothing against the other scales,
      he loves all trains... but1/32nd is his chosen modelling scale. Where the mainline is not currently 8", it will be by next fall. The outdoor railroad will have more prototypical track spacing.

      We are building the railroad much like a real railroad where there are restrictions  based on the needs of the terrain and railroad use. There are plans for a separate narrow gauge railroad outside.

      The railroad is private and does not have any specific affiliation with clubs.

      It is primarily, and was designed as, a live steam railroad with no electric power provided to the track or insulation between rails.

      Battery power is allowed on occasion but not during steamups.

      There are three steamups each year. The Fall steamup in September, The "Holiday Train Event" before Christmas, and the Spring Steamup.

      Lately, a group approached Larry about using the railroad for operations. So now we have a first Tuesday operations every month. Primarily battery powered but a couple steamers show up. One of the group
      mapped the railroad and created names and signs, and they run an actual operations session each month. With the railroad torn up, operations have been point to point. We have used the group as work
      trains to deliver loads of ties while Jenn and I build track. Pretty fun really.

      The Holiday Train Event is for a fund raising effort for a local school, The Seattle steamers typically show up and help Larry, Jenn, and I run steamers for the crowd.

      The Fall and Spring steamups are open to anyone with a steamer or interest. Sign up fees are inexpensive, and Larry treats you to free steamup supplies, catered meals, free beer and drinks, and three days
      of awesome steaming. Also, Jenn and I are kept on hand for emergency track or locomotive repair. And I always seem to be on the run during steamups making custom fittings, adapters, and repair parts.

      In August of 2019, the garden railway convention comes to Portland, and some of the event will be at Stavers. He wants the railroad to be in top form for this event, so we are stepping up railroad building.


      The Track:

      The track is 3/8" x 1/8" steel strip. We install expansion joints in the trackwork about every hundred feet or so, sometimes just where I think the stresses will accumulate. The ties press onto the rail so tight that
      we need special tools to install them. Once installed, they lock the track and it will not change shape. Much of the original railroad was built without pre bending the rail. We now pre bend all rail in a custom
      made rail bender. We roll 12 foot lengths of rail until it matches the transition and radius curves we need, then install it on the railroad.



      Larry has a well equipped machine shop, and we use either manual or CNC machines to make the points and frogs. I am constantly refining our process to reduce the time it takes to make switches. For standard,
      #7 turnouts I have designed and built jigs using our in house laser, and Jenn can whip them out now if I can keep up with frog production. In the fall, I taught Jenn how to run the CNC mill, and she made enough points
      for about 40 turnouts. I set up a fixture I built on the manual mill and made 40 sets of closure rails. We're running out of some frog angles and will soon have to set up for production of frogs again. We use Templot to
      generate curviform turnouts and are preparing to produce a series of curved tandem turnouts for a curved ladder yard. Templot can create proper geometry for turnouts using our non scale 1/8" rail. The math is daunting
      trying to make up for the extra 1/32" rail width on our own. Although it's doable because I did it before Templot...Templot has made scratchbuilding turnouts much less work.



      We rip fir stock into strips, then load the strips into a custom machine a talented guy made for Larry 15 years ago. This machine has three blades, and cuts the slots and separates
      the ties in one stroke approximately ten per stroke of the table. The table is designed such that there is a minor variation in length for each tie cut. There are approx. 83 ties per foot, so we must make lots of ties.
      Once cut, we dip hundreds in a tank of stain and then place them on a screen to dry for a couple days.

      Jenn makes ties for the turnouts by hand... well, using another custom machine that allows us to slide a router across a tie at any angle. This is the most time consuming part of production, and now that the switches can
      be made to a known standard instead of custom in place, we can use Templot generated DXF files to cut ties for switches...maybe. Larry and I are discussing the use of a cnc router to speed the process up.


      Jenn welds all the rail and turnouts together using a TIG welder. We use a micro chop saw with a cutoff wheel to clean the edges of the track joints before welding. The joints are so tight, Jenn can weld them together without filler rod,
      creating a very smooth and strong joint. Also, with TIG welders there is a method of use that allows us to use it as a sort of spot welder to tack things together before final welding. We rarely have to cut anything apart and rework,
      although it does happen on occasion.

      I would be happy to answer any other questions.

      Will post some pictures at some point of the tools we use like the railbender and tie machine.



      Happy Steaming.

      Got to go work on the railroad


    • February 23, 2018 1:55 PM EST
    • Nice, but it still doesn't answer;

      Can you explain more of the general philosophy, is it a club, do people join? Are there dues? Newsletter?

    • February 23, 2018 1:26 PM EST

    • February 23, 2018 12:58 PM EST
    • My guess is TIG welding for aluminum rails. Looks like no track power (judging from the metal connecting the points), is it all steam power or do you allow battery too?

      Can you explain more of the general philosophy, is it a club, do people join? Are there dues? Newsletter?


      Thanks, looks great.




    • February 23, 2018 8:26 AM EST
    • That is a very impressive layout, too bad it is so far away from Portland Maine!


      Are you using steel strips for rails?  It sounds like you are slotting them into ties. Can you share some of those details? Jigs for making the ties?

    • February 21, 2018 3:32 PM EST
    • Had a few more minutes so here is a couple more pictures.


      My wife Jenn in about six layers of clothes, it gets very cold at Stavers. Here she is setting up the alignment to the existing track for Tig welding into place



      Crossover installed in its new location



      New alignment for the mainline, which will now be double track for a few hundred more feet.



      Now we must go to Stavers and finish a critical part of the road from outside into the main building.





    • February 21, 2018 2:11 PM EST
    • Hi John:


      Still learning this forum. I chose attach picture and it went to my hard drive. That is not how I post. I have a server to store my photos on, so I needed to link to the photos instead. After I attached the photo, it posted to the board instead of returning to post editing.


      I linked the pictures from my server during edit, and you should see them now...





    • February 21, 2018 2:06 PM EST


      Karl, when you joined the forum,you were given space in The Freight Shed for picture storage. Load your pics there, then open them and copy the location to insert into your posts.

      I was able to open your pic, but it was a small thumbnail size.

      Normal size 800 pixels wide.

    • February 21, 2018 1:56 PM EST
    • Hi Everyone:


      This is my second post and first to the live steam forum. My name is Karl, and together with my wife Jenn, we have been building all the trackwork at Staver Locomotive since taking over for Tim Miller about 5 years ago.

      For those who don't know, Staver Locomotive is a very large and getting larger live steam railroad in a 16000 sqft restored industrial machine shop in NW Portland, Oregon. We have started on a large scale reworking of the railroad,

      and Larry (owner) has given permission to post some details and pictures of the work we have undertaken.

      At Staver's, we try hard to build as much of the railroad in house as possible, including machining of all turnout frogs and points, and laser cutting of all kinds of support tooling, fixtures, and helpful aids of construction. Larry

      has a complete machine shop, including CNC mill, laser cutter, and 3D printing. My duties involve working with Larry to invent, design, and construct everything we need to build the railroad. My wife Jenn welds and fabricates

      the turnouts and associated parts. Then we both spend many hours like a well oiled machine installing our handiwork.

      One new process, is that we design all our trackwork and turnouts using real railroad principles and design techniques. Using Templot 2 software, Larry and I are redesigning the railroad and printing out templates on

      a plotter from which to shape curve easements(transition curves), and switch work including diamond crossovers and tandem curve turnouts.


      The railroad as of early December at the Holiday steam up had about 700 ft running length indoors, and a couple hundred feet outdoor. The steam ups have become large enough that traffic on the original single track railroad had become

      difficult to accommodate. So we have torn out completely, approx. 350ft of the mainline track, and associated yards, bridges, and sidings. Also, a significant amount of work is being done on the outdoor infrastructure in preparation for doubling the size of the railroad

      over the next year. This all started with a desire to add a diamond crossover before the entrance to what we call the narrow gauge yards. Somehow this quickly turned into double tracking a previously single track section of mainline. which then led to...350ft of torn up railroad.

      Progress has been steady, and this post is started with pictures of work completed in December, we are much farther along now, and over the next week or so I should be able to =bring you all up to date as I prep and post pictures.


      Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the Spring Steam Up.


      Here is a few pics of how we got started on this project. Starting with the our first diamond crossover.



      Jenn installs the ties. The must be custom cut on and interesting gadget that allows us to route 1/8" slots through the ties at any angle.



      And finally, the location it will be installed


      I will post more updates as I have time. We are getting ready right now to fight the snow storm and head down to Stavers

      to finish some more mainline.





    • February 21, 2018 9:24 AM EST
    • A fellow YouTuber who is one of our regular visitors to the Scranton Steamup posted his visit video from Saturday on YouTube. He got some great coverage so here is his view of the steamup.


    • February 16, 2018 1:30 PM EST
    • Need to keep an eye on Saturday's forecast I don't want to be coming over the Port Jervis mountain in a blizzard ever again :o

    • February 9, 2018 9:01 PM EST
    • That looks great!  It sure looks right with the LGB coaches running on your neat little railway.  Well done!

    • February 9, 2018 6:12 PM EST

    • February 9, 2018 12:22 PM EST
    • Added some Regner lanterns to my RH Billy. Front one is lighted with a bulb, powered by a 9volt battery mounted in a holder under the cab and a toggle switch mounted in the cab floor. Rear one isnt lighted yet. I plan to get a center off SPDT toggle so I can manualy flip between the front or rear lantern. Wire the front is a piece of stiff Teflon wire bent to look like a conduit. The loco itself is the ground side of the circuit. The Aussie look is out for now, the Austrian look is where I ended up going. O&K builders plates and square numbers(sort of like the ones on the LGB Stainz) are on the order books of Narrow Planet. I went with the nice round O&K builders plates with red and black inlay finish. I want to get the vacuum pipes for the front and rear as well. Working on a center buffer to mount above the LGB loop couplers. The Roundhouse goodies have to wait till I have room on my credit card to place that order.

    • February 4, 2018 10:32 AM EST
    • Just wanted to update the built log.  Billy continues to get smoother and smoother, gear noise from the Slomo gets quieter with use and oiling them with a heavy oil.  I will be adding a chuff pipe at some point, this really helps cover up the slight noise at higher speeds.  I can also just loosen the single grub screw on the axle chain sprocket and run without the Slomo doing anything.  The Regner lanterns and mounting brackets are on thier way from the UK and I will be getting a few extra items from Roundhouse soon as well.   I can highly recommend the kits from Roundhouse to those wanting a really nice live steamer and want to save a bit off the cost of a RTR one, as well as not having to wait as long for a batch to be built.   You also gain the intimate knowledge how to take your engine apart for when adjustments are needed.    


    • February 3, 2018 8:29 AM EST
    • Boiler is quite large, the "lagging" area is actually the outer shield for the pot boiler, ducting the head around the boiler and venting out up near the domes. A variation of the Weldon fire box used on most pot boilers.  The bottom of the boiler has a porkypine array of brass rods that stick out into the flame bath to assist in heating.  Works well as she doesn't seem to run out of steam, even with the cylinders running in a blurr of motion.  Will take some more pics when I get home later this afternoon.  Its an utterly simple engine by todays standards.   She was made by Jerry Hyde in 1989 in a batch of 102 that he made.  Came with RC and lights right from him.   Compared to an Accucraft Shay its very crude, but also really quaint.  One of the few commercialy made live steamers from the USA.   The Cricket and the Creekside Forge and Foundry Baldwin(would love to find one of these) being a couple of the others made commercially here.  Hyde Out Mountain Live Steam is still around, has a website.  But nothing on it about the Shay or the Live Diesels he made in the past.  But I have old Garden Railways magazines from the pre Kalambach era that have the ads for the Shay and Live Diesels.  Mike the Aspie

    • February 3, 2018 8:10 AM EST
    • Very interesting.  Looks like it could have a large boiler?  Is that all cosmetics or is a lot of that area under the "lagging" used? 

      Would it be possible to take some more pictures from other angles?  Hard to see all the detail of the engine and drive train.


      Thanks for sharing.

    • February 2, 2018 3:33 PM EST
    • My wife got her own engine to run at steam ups yesterday.  An old Hyde Out Mountain Shay.  I converted her from Sterno to alcohol firing using a flame pad for soldering copper plumbing pipe.  Jim Sanders(weebee loco works)showed me this trick as he had converted a couple of his Sterno fired engines the same way.  I put 4 layers of the padding in the belly fire pan and filled with alcohol to near the top. With the boiler filled to near the top of the sight glass, she ran for nearly 30 min till the fuel ran out, ending with the water near the halfway point on the glass.  The side slung lubricator is unsightly, going to get with Jim about replacing it with a Roundhouse one mounted in the cab door way or relocating the stock one to somewhere better looking.  Cylinders, reversing block and safety look to be Mamod items or clones of them.  But unlike most Mamods, she runs really well, a slobbery puss with oil and water flinging off the crankshaft, but smooth and controlable with the RC set up that is installed, along with working lights front and rear.  She is serial number 18 out of 102 produced(I am told).  Trucks are heavy cast metal and sprung.  She has Kayee couplers installed.   Can't wait for my railway to thaw out so I can run on the rails outdoors.   Now my wife needs some small logging cars, either LGB or Hartland as the engines scale is around that size.  Mike and Michele T