Junior S. P.

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This article appeared in the "Southern Pacific Bulletin", March 1936.

SouthernPacificBulletin March1936.jpg

Junior S. P.

Oakland Employee Builds Miniature Railroad That Operates by Steam

In the basement of his home in Oakland, Cal., Victor T. Shattock, pumper at Oakland Pier, operates a complete miniature railroad, all units of which have been constructed by himself and members of his family. His daughter, Miss Elsie, is the yardmistress.

Victor T. Shattock, pumper at Oakland Pier, and for many years water service repairman on Western Division, cannot remember the time when he was not interested in machinery. As a small boy he was deeply absorbed in anything of a mechanical nature, and for thirty years his hobby has been the construction of power models.

In recent years Shattock has limited his model building to railroad equipment, and in the basement of his home in Oakland, California, he has set up a complete railroad unit--"Southern Pacific, Junior"--which probably equals any similar model in the country, in point of exactness, skill in construction, and interest in operation.

"S. P., Jr." is built to Southern Pacific standards throughout. There is more than 350 feet of trackage, including ballasted main line and second track, sidings and spurs. There are signal bridges, semaphores, light signals, standard and combination switches, telegraph line, tunnels, embankments, ballast deck trestle bridge, station buildings, fencing, tool houses, hand cars, trainmen, sectionmen, and in fact every item that goes to make up a railroad even to the inevitable hobo.

Formerly Shattock made his tracks from wire, but since model railroad building has become so popular in this country, he succeeded in interesting a manufacturer in making a miniature rail which is true to scale of S. P. 130 pound steel. his tracks are now composed of this material, and is laid in accordance with standard practices.

"S. P., Jr." is strictly a freight line, although its builder is now planning the construction of several modern passenger cars. Altogether the road has 20 pieces of rolling equipment, including three locomotives, flat, box, tank, refrigerator, stock and gondola cars, as well as cabooses and maintenance cars.

The outstanding items are the three steam locomotives which operate under their own power. Wood alcohol is burned in special vaporizing burners and the boilers carry steam pressure of 60 pounds. Feed water is pumped into the boiler while under steam by means of axle driven or hand operated pumps.

Mr. Shattock with his 43-inch locomotive which operates by steam and is built to standard scale of a Pacific Type engine.

The largest locomotive, 43 inches long and 7-7/8 inches high, is No. 2422 of the new standard Pacific Type. Locomotive 2753 is a consolidation (is fitted with Baker valve gear) otherwise is typical of our freight engines. The third is a switch engine, No. 1207. All of them operate by steam and are built to a scale of 1/2 inch to the foot. With few changes necessary to make their operation convenient and practical to miniature conditions, they conform exactly to the original locomotives.

Another feature of "S. P., Jr." is the 54-inch electrically operated turntable, a duplicate of the company's 110-foot standard table.

Shattock has exhibited his miniature railroad on numerous occasions. At one of the California Agricultural College picnics held annually at Davis, Calif., the entire railroad was set up in a large tent and operated throughout the day. it was estimated that more than 10,000 persons saw the display that day. One of his locomotives was exhibited as the California State fair, and several items of his equipment have been on display in department stores.

His new location in Oakland, at 1877 38th Ave., where he has a large basement, offers the first opportunity he has had for space in which to construct a complete railroad unit. An enthusiastic addict of his hobby, he is constantly working on changes and additions, and is now planning suitable backgrounds and scenic atmosphere for his railroad.

A native of England, Shattock went to Canada in 1912. he served with the Canadian forces in France during the World War and when discharged came to the United States. he has been with Southern Pacific for more than twelve years. His six children, the oldest now 26, have all taken active interest in the hobby and have helped their father construct the equipment and track layout. Miss Elsie, the youngest, is now general yardmistress of "S. P., Jr."

In addition to the pleasure derived from the construction and operation of his little railroad, Shattock states it has gained for him a host of friends. Also he and his two boys, now married, received a good training in mechanics. The mechanical perfection necessary in successful construction of these models can be well understood after watching the 50-pound locomotive speeding along over the frogs and switches dragging a string of cars weighing five to fifteen pounds each, with little chance of derailment either from poor track conditions or faulty equipment.