Huron Valley Live Steamers

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First Run

James "JJ" Gould wrote 30 August 2017:

As promised, I ran my train on the new layout on my birthday! Two trips in each direction, over a mile and quarter. The bugs were so bad at 7pm I had to stop. Tomorrow is another day. :-)


Dave Bell wrote July 2017:

I am helping Jim Gould build a track in Ann Arbor. Remnants from the Huron Valley Live Steam club.
I have only recently been involved in the reconstituting of the club. We dug the old track out of the ground, literally, after twenty years of no use. Still in fine shape. We are combining the former club track with track owned by Jim Gould and putting it in place on his land. It had been at Dominos Farms, headquarters of Dominos Pizza. After the company became a publicly traded company, the risk managers said no more trains without a huge liability policy. That was well beyond the means of a small club. So for all intents and purposes, the club ceased to function. Jim Gould was involved from day one.

James "JJ" Gould wrote 31 July 2017:

I am the one building a new 7-1/2 inch gauge track on my farm just north of Ann Arbor. Dave Bell has been my #1 main helper and we are making progress, but not as much as we'd like with all the hot weather and rain. This is really not as easy as HO gauge! lol !
We are hoping to be able to run light trains around the whole track sometime in late Aug or early Sept.
I have 3 live steam locomotives and 3 battery-electric locomotives that will run on this track. Dave has a heavy battery-electric and is looking to buy and rebuild a Shay steamer that one of our other members owns. Our HVLS club members have several steamers and gas or battery locomotives.
I have been a member of IBLS since about early 1970's. Ralph Tucker and Austin Barr were friends that I saw quite often at meets in IL and FL back years ago. I used to recruit new members for Ralph and still have a few patches and sign up cards. Last word I had was that IBLS was disbanded years ago. Happy to know that is wrong.
Thanks for your interest,
Jim Gould (aka JJ)

James Gould track

James Gould wrote 20 August 2017:

Hi Gang, and all friends of the HVLS.
Well, as of 7pm today, we have a railroad to run on! Still have dirt to move and leveling and ballast to do but I was able to run my Plum Cove and a couple cars around the track in both directions without derailing.
This is our 4th year of working on building our club RR back into a usable track. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears have been required to get here, but now we are near the end of the tunnel. Of course there will be a lot of continuing effort to really bring it up to a safe condition for riders and party time.
The embankments are solid enough for very light locos and rolling stock but not for any steamers over about 200 Lbs. The next thing needing work is the unloading ramp. It is very crude and simple but effective for light equipment.
Google Earth satellite image of Huron Valley Live Steamer's track at James "JJ" Gould's property.