IBLS Journal 1936

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BLS Summer Meet

The BLS Summer Meet was held on 7 June 1936 at Oxford, Maine.

West Coast Activity

Meanwhile, out on the West Coast of the United States, within the geographical area of California in particular, there was not very much Live Steam activity going on as on the East Coast.

However, one particular individual stands out among all, as the "guiding light" for all live steamers everywhere. That individual was Victor Tom Shattock, a long time employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad, at the company's large classification yards and shops in West Oakland, Calif.

Vic Shattock's 2 1/2-inch gauge STEAM railroad filled the basement of his Oakland, California Victorian home where alcohol fired Southern Pacific 4-6-2s, 2-8-2s, a consolidation and an 0-6-0 switcher pulled a full compliment of 1/2" scale freight cars about an oval track--to the delight of visitors, fellow model-rails, and even SP brass! The oval mainline connected to a small yard complete with an electrically operated 110' turntable, working water tank and a steaming bay. Mr. Shattock's railroad hosted foreign locomotives from time to time and even boasted a connection with another one of the pioneers of model railroading: It's brass rail was custom made by O scale legend Rollin Lobaugh.

Vic Shattock entertained thousands of visitors over an almost thirty year period. Live steam enthusiasts, railfans, civic groups, railroad officers and employees, churches, schools, scouts, fraternal organizations,

And various convention delegates such as from the NMRA in 1947. Hollywood celebrities too. The list is endless. Many news media organizations got word of what Vic Shattock had in his basement and they wanted to see his layout and write stories about it. Thousands of people have had model trains running in their house-however, the idea of STEAM engines pulling strings of cars around a scenic railroad was completely unheard of.

Many visitors wanted to learn how to build locomotives like Vic and how to get started on the right foot to do just that. They asked many repeat questions. They wanted to know if "kits" were available. The questions got so numerous and the visitors kept increasing, that Vic and two close friends decided to form a Club and dispense this information in an easier format. The result was the formation of the Golden Gate Live Steamers, in Vic's basement, in 1936.