Interesting links

Below are some web pages that we have found to be of interest to many in the live steam hobby. Please send any additions or corrections to steamup -at- steam-events -dot- org.

A very nice park train in the Los Gatos (San Jose) area.
Certainly one of the best railroad museums in the United States, the CSRM also runs two railways — the Sacramento Southern and the Sierra Railroad. The former is based right there in Old Sacramento alongside the museum; the latter is in the Sierra foothills in Jamestown. At the museum, the dioramas of California-oriented steam engines are powerful; at the railroads, real steam powers both lines. The Railtown 1897 shops are something to behold and the equipment has been in many movies and TV shows (“Petticoat Junction”).
A sibling to Model Railroader and Trains, this magazine is the ultimate source in outdoor railroading in North America. Plenty of how-to columns and though there is only one regular feature devoted to live steam, many writers for the magazine (Vance Bass, Kevin Strong, Jack Verducci) are all live steamers, as is the magazine’s editor, Marc Horovitz (see his personal site below).
Known as G1MRA (pronounced gim-rah), this British group has a somewhat misleading name: few of its members use electric trains and it is an almost exclusively live-steam group. For those of us on the Left Side of the Pond, the rationale for joining G1MRA is to receive the group’s quarterly Newsletter and Journal, a 48- to 60-page magazine-sized affair with contributions from members worldwide. Even if you’re not into British-profile railroading, so many good techniques are discussed in these pages that it is really worth the investment to join.
One-and-a-half-inch scale railroad group in the Berkeley hills, the group has a small 45mm ground-level track.
Extensive web site provides technical information, photos, frequently asked questions, classifieds and community information about live steaming in gauges two feet and under.
Located in Nevada City, California, the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is dedicated to the preservation of local transportation history and artifacts from the narrow gauge railroad era. Visitors are offered a docent-led historical tour of the museum, rail yard, and restoration shop.
A club that has no rules, no officers and no dues, PCLS coordinates the opening of backyard Gauge 1 railroads in the greater San Francisco Bay Area for live steaming throughout the pleasant months.
The live-steam park railroad of the Berkeley hills, Redwood Valley supports 15-inch gauge equipment. There are four locomotives and a full set of gondola rolling stock with seats. The basis of the railroad was an engine – The Cricket – built by Oakland mechanical engineer Erich Thompson in his garage in the 1940s. The Cricket was a 12-inch gauge locomotive and proved to be impractical for a park railroad (only one adult per seat), so Thompson and his cronies recreated the railroad in 15-inches and built up new locomotives and rolling stock (The Cricket was sold to the Folsom Valley Railway). Thompson died in 1995 but his memory lives on not only in the equipment at RVRY, but in a whole group of live-steam enthusiasts throughout the West, who bring their locomotives to Berkeley’s Tilden Park every June for a gathering and anniversary run.
This is a wonderful site that takes you on a tour of Dwight Ennis’ truly great garden railroad (steam-powered, natch) in Silicon Valley (just over the hill from the real Santa Cruz Lumber Co., whose history Dwight doesn’t neglect). Not only does Dwight give you pictures of his layout, but he explains the origins of many features (be sure to visit Mick-elangelo Falls).
The personal site of the editor of Garden Railways magazine, Marc Horovitz. In-depth monthly reviews of various small scale live steam locomotives — with archives dating back to 2000 — as well as an on-line store for the sale of videos, books, plans and used live steam locomotives.
Frequently asked questions about small scale live steaming, with the answers provided by Vance Bass, longtime hobbyist and columnist in Garden Railways magazine. If you’ve got a question, the FAQ has got the answer.
The garden railway club in Medford; many of its members come to the Summer Steamup (it’s just a quick run down Interstate 5). Open in the the second and fourth Sundays of every month in the spring, summer and fall in the Medford Railroad Park, the club has an outdoor layout that includes lots of track and plenty of buildings.
This almost 26-year-old magazine that devotes itself entirely to the hobby of small-scale live steaming got a new ownership group, editor and web site in 2011, following the untimely passing of its founder and editor, Ron Brown. The site includes not only web-exclusive material, but stories from the print magazine dating back to the early days and pages from the earliest issues that are now out of print. Also: an area to buy and sell locomotives and rolling stock, the greatest grouping of small-scale live steam videos on the Internet and a forum for discussing the hobby.
The transportation system from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco — 19-inch gauge live steam locomotives — have been preserved on a 3200-acre ranch in Santa Cruz County. The railroad is a cooperative venture between volunteers and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The railroad is open to visitors on volunteer days and by appointment. Steam locomotive excursions along the one-mile railroad are rare.
Longtime National Summer Steamup organizer and Steam in the Garden advertising manager tells about his 30-year history in small-scale live steam.