Bill Van Brocklin

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Bill Van Brocklin Jr. was a prolific live steam locomotive builder. Perhaps he is best known for his steam pump designs.

Photo Journal

Two "FireQueens"

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.

Locomotive List

Patrick Fahey of the Waushakum Live Steamers provided scans of Bill's locomotive list.

Bill Van Brocklin loco History Page 1.jpg
Bill Van Brocklin loco History Page 2.jpg
Bill Van Brocklin loco History Page 3.jpg

Locomotive Photos

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).

Loco 1

Loco 2

Loco 3

Loco 4

Loco 5

Loco 6

Loco 7

Loco 8

Loco 9

Loco 10

Loco 11

Loco 12

Loco 13

Loco 14

Loco 15

Loco 16

Loco 17

Loco 18

Loco 19

Loco 20

Loco 21

Loco 22

Loco 23

Loco 24

Loco 25

Loco 26

Loco 27

Loco 28

Loco 29

Loco 30

Loco 31

Loco 32

Loco 33

Loco 34

Loco 35

Loco 36

Loco 37

Loco 38 to 41

Steam Pump

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".

Coles Feedback

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.

See Also


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