Bill Van Brocklin
Bill Van Brocklin Jr. was a prolific live steam locomotive builder. Perhaps he is best known for his steam pump designs.
- 1 Photo Journal
- 2 Two "FireQueens"
- 3 Locomotive List
- 4 Locomotive Photos
- 4.1 Loco 1
- 4.2 Loco 2
- 4.3 Loco 3
- 4.4 Loco 4
- 4.5 Loco 5
- 4.6 Loco 6
- 4.7 Loco 7
- 4.8 Loco 8
- 4.9 Loco 9
- 4.10 Loco 10
- 4.11 Loco 11
- 4.12 Loco 12
- 4.13 Loco 13
- 4.14 Loco 14
- 4.15 Loco 15
- 4.16 Loco 16
- 4.17 Loco 17
- 4.18 Loco 18
- 4.19 Loco 19
- 4.20 Loco 20
- 4.21 Loco 21
- 4.22 Loco 22
- 4.23 Loco 23
- 4.24 Loco 24
- 4.25 Loco 25
- 4.26 Loco 26
- 4.27 Loco 27
- 4.28 Loco 28
- 4.29 Loco 29
- 4.30 Loco 30
- 4.31 Loco 31
- 4.32 Loco 32
- 4.33 Loco 33
- 4.34 Loco 34
- 4.35 Loco 35
- 4.36 Loco 36
- 4.37 Loco 37
- 4.38 Loco 38 to 41
- 5 Steam Pump
- 6 Coles Feedback
- 7 Obituary
- 8 See Also
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 External Links
The cover photo of the July-August 1950 edition of The Live Steamer features a detailed view of the well known 3/4 inch scale Boston & Maine Atlantic type locomotive built by William (Bill) Van Brocklin Jr of Roslindale, Mass., and it is shown with the builder at the 1949 N.E.L.S. annual Live Steam Meet at Danvers. This is Bill's second locomotive.
Shot taken at the Danvers MA track around 1947 with Bill Van Brocklin himself as engineer. Pat Fahey notes that the loco was rebuilt twice; 4 ½” boiler, Baker gear. Photo taken from Purinton’s Live Steam of Years Gone By, pg. 100. This is Bill's second locomotive, and the first built in 3/4 inch scale.
IBLS 1972 Meet at Pioneer Valley Live Steamers. In the center, kneeling & looking at the camera is Bill Van Brocklin with his beautiful 4-4-0 named "Fire Queen." It ran like a watch, as all his engines. To the left of Bill is Paul Ealsons Pacific 6870. The gent without a hat is the late Frank Dreshler from Whitestone, NY. Behind Bill Van Brocklin is Keith Muldowney form New Jersey Live Steamers. In the white sweater with his back to the camera is Ben Nixon talking to the late Jim Maxheimer.
A beautiful Illinois Central 4-4-0 "Fire Queen" built by Bill Van Brocklin and owned by Elmer Roth as of 1995. It feaures a coal fired copper boiler, 2 injectors, 2 cyl. steam water pump, 2 injectors, mech. oiler, whistle,hand pump and hydraulic brakes on the tender. She was rebuilt in 1995 by Elmer. Photo by James W. Leggett. From TrainNet.org.
Bill Van Brocklin at the last Waushakum Live Steamers meet held at the old track location. The 1996 meet was the last and final meet at Norfolk Street track site. Courtesy of Patrick Fahey.
William Van Brocklin, Jr engine house at Waushakum Live Steamers. Photo by Arthur Butler, from collection of Patrick Fahey.
No. 17 - This very dark photo was published as part of a classified on the Discover Live Steam webpage. Has an axle and duplex pump with injector. Copper tender and boiler, piston valves, Baker gear.
Bill Van Brocklin's No 17 taken at the Norfolk Street track of the Waushakum Live Steamers by Pat Fahey.
Bill Van Brocklin at Pioneer Valley Live Steamers, May 1970. Photo by Arthur Butler.
Pat Fahey wrote, 3 July 2017:
- I was just up on the IBLS website, and I would like to make a correction. The correction is this, dealing with Bill Van Brocklin and "FireQueen". Bill did have two locomotives named "FireQueen".
- The first being his inch and half scale Number 11, a 4-4-0 which you show a photo of on the website. The second locomotive to be named "FireQueen" is a locomotive I once owned which is Number 20. Number 20 was built to 3/4 inch scale and was a 4-8-0 Camelback, this is only one of two 4-8-0's that Bill built.
- I am attaching photo's of number 20 as built, with Stevenson valve gear, and rebuilt with Southern valve gear when I owned the locomotive.
- I found a nice clear shot, taken by Bill Van Brocklin showing the plate on number 20.
Patrick Fahey of the Waushakum Live Steamers provided scans of Bill's locomotive list.
Patrick Fahey wrote, 12 July 2017:
- For the past three days, I have been working on a project, for the IBLS, and for my records. OK what I have for you, are photos of 35 of 37 locomotives that Bill Van Brocklin Built. The photos were taken from Bill's own records. These photos were hanging in his cellar machine shop, at Pine St in Dover, Mass.
- After Bill passed away in 2000, the club acquired most of his equipment, notebooks, etc. These photos have not seen the light of day in a long while. The photos were buried for safe keeping in our meeting room, known as the Hilton (at Waushakum Live Steamers).
Bill Van Brocklin's No. 1 is a 4-6-4 Hudson in O-Scale, 1-1/4 inch gauge, started in 1940 and completed in 1943. The photo is missing from the Waushakum Live Steamers collection.
Bill Van Brocklin's No. 2 started in 1944 and completed 1946. Photo taken at Waushakum Live Steamers, Holliston, Mass.
No. 2 - The cover photo of the July-August 1950 edition of The Live Steamer features a detailed view of the well known 3/4 inch scale Boston & Maine Atlantic type locomotive built by William (Bill) Van Brocklin Jr of Roslindale, Mass., and it is shown with the builder at the 1949 N.E.L.S. annual Live Steam Meet at Danvers.
Bill Van Brocklin's No 6 started in 1956 and completed 1957. It is a 4-4-0 in O-Scale, 1-1/4 inch gauge. The photo is missing from the Waushakum Live Steamers collection.
No. 8 - Bill Van Brocklin at Carl Purinton's track at Boxford Mass., about 1960.
Bill Van Brocklin with his Locomotive No 17. Photo taken at the Norfolk Street track of the Waushakum Live Steamers, Holliston, Mass, by Pat Fahey.
No. 31 - Bill Van Brocklin's 31st locomotive. Shot taken at Waushakum on 26 June 2016, and placed on the ¾” Facebook page by Mike Boucher. Baker valve gear, 5 ¼” boiler. Owned by Joe Cordelle of Waushakum LS, MA as of 2016. According to Pat Fahey’s roster, this one used the wheels and frames of Van Brocklin’s 4-4-2 #22, which had been completed in 1982.
Loco 38 to 41
One of Bill Van Brocklin's steam pumps was listed on eBay in December 2013. Here is the description, along with photos.
- This little pump will scale properly in both 1" or a smaller 1.5" scale engine. Steam bore is 13/16" and water bore is 1/2". Stroke is approximately 1-1/8".
Advertisement found in The North American Live Steamer, March 1956
Advertisement found in The North American Live Steamer, 1957
From the Coles Power Models 25h Anniversary Catalog:
- Bill Van Brocklin, Jr., of Mass., writes: October, 1952:
- Very pleased with last order. I tried the whistle on "Jimper", my 3.5 inch gauge Atlantic, and it worked swell although high pitched like an English one. This was at Carl Purinton's at Marblehead. All the boys like it. The "Truscale" valve is very well made.
From The Waushakum Journal, September 2000
- Billie Van Brocklin passed away recently and Waushakum Live Steamers lost a loyal and long time member. Billie built over forty good running miniature locomotives that make their owners happy every time they take them out to run. He also helped many members to get their locomotives running right. He was an important part of the club and will be missed by all who knew him.
- Van Brocklin Mechanical Lubricator
- Injectors - A Blessing or a Curse?
- Automatic Cylinder Cocks
- A Window Water Gauge
- Cab Operated Cylinder Cocks
- Union Nuts & Fittings
- "Handy Gadgets", Construction article for dual check valves, The Miniature Locomotive, Jan-Feb 1953, page 26
- Van Brocklin Mechanical Lubricator, The North American Live Steamer, Vol 1 No 5, 1956
- "Album: Trio of Locomotive Builders", George C. Handley, Alfred Jungenize and Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, June 1977
- "Fabricate Cylinders", William S. Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, September 1977
- "Fabricate Axleboxes", William S. Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, June 1978
- "Get Positive Oil Feed with a Hydro-Force Lubricator", William S. Van Brocklin, Jr, Live Steam Magazine, November 1978
- "Wheel Quartering Fixture", William Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, December 1986
- "Water Gauge Location", William S. Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, July 1988
- "One-piece Firebox Loco Boiler: Design Simplicity", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, January 1990
- "Checking Your Wheel Load", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, February 1990
- "Simple Stop Valve", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, February 1991
- "Use of a Trammel in Valve Setting", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, July 1991
- "Slip Eccentric Valve Gear Drive for Small Locomotives", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, April 1992
- "Automatic Cylinder Drains", William Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, July-April 1993
- "Building a Small Oscillator for Marine or Other Uses", William Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, January-February 1995
- "Building a Small Oscillator for Marine or Other Uses: Errata", William Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, May-June 1995
- "Notes on Steam Distribution Part 1; From The Locomotive (Apr-Sept 1949)", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, July-August 2001
- "Notes on Steam Distribution Part 2; From The Locomotive (Apr-Sept 1949)", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, September-October 2001
- "Notes on Steam Distribution Part 3; From The Locomotive (Apr-Sept 1949)", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, November-December 2001
- "Notes on Steam Distribution Part 4; From The Locomotive (Apr-Sept 1949)", Bill Van Brocklin, Live Steam Magazine, January-February 2002
- Van Brocklin simplex and duplex pump castings, Friends Models
- Bill Shields redesign on the Van Brocklin duplex pumps
- Construction photos of 3/4" Van Brocklin pumps
- Additional information on Bill Shield's Van Brocklin pump heads
- Machining Van Brocklin pumps
- "Some thoughts on building a pump" (PDF), Tom Artzberger, GGLS
- "VanBrocklin Duplex pump", Chaski.org