Lee Wright

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Lee Wright, 1942-2009


"If it ain't steel, it ain't real".

Lee's Trains website

On 18 August 2013 Mark C. Gregor announced that the "Lee's Trains" website had been restored by Mike Folkenroth. It is available here:


Wandering Locomotive Book

Lee Wright and Lee's Trains - An IBLS Wandering Locomotive Book - 14 June 2013


I first learned of Lee Wright in 2000 while searching the Internet for ideas on constructing a 1.5 inch scale diesel locomotive. I found Lee's website and was immediately fascinated by his construction methodology. His locomotives looked as solid as a Sherman tank.
I wrote to Lee with questions, and not only did he reply, but he took the time to sketch a drawing and sent to me.
After Lee's death the “Lee's Trains” website disappeared. Luckily most of it was preserved on Archive.org. A few of the photos are missing, but the information preserved in this document is priceless. His work is worthy of preserving for future generations of live steamers.
Daris A Nevil
14 July 2013

Painting Tips

Formula-409, green

Painting being one of the most important parts of the job has to be planned into the total picture of construction. All the parts were primed almost as soon as possible. Steel will rust almost over night. Tip is to use green Formula-409 to clean the parts as soon as they are completed. Rinse them in water, dry them off and paint them with primer. Even the oil in your skin will leave a rusty finger print in steel.

Tidbits from Chaski

From ccvstmr:

Lee was a fantastic model locomotive and car builder. He was never satisfied with the noise a gas powered engine made, and was one of the early users of electric transmission. I have no idea how many times he re-engined even his electric locos until he got the performance he was looking for. His rolling stock...works of art down to the finest detail. If something wasn't commercially available, he developed the means to produce those parts as well.

Mattaniah Jahn writes

Lee Wright used the B&S Etek's when he re-powered his road diesels. He held them out to be good motors. See http://www.robotmarketplace.com/store/Search.aspx?SearchTerms=ETK-ETEKR
Lee's website showed that he used u joints, power shafts, and belts to transmit power from the motor up in the body down to the trucks.

Bill Gardei writes:

One of the finest craftsmen I ever knew was the late Lee Wright. He had a slogan on his website that said. "If it aint steel - it aint real". I always thought he meant it. He informed me that the slogan was only "tongue in cheek". It was a joke. For even Lee didn't always abide by the rule.
But man did he ever create some incredible rolling stock and locomotives! To him looks was everything. He surprised me one day by congratulating me in an E-mail message on completing my coil car. Despite being a master craftsman he was also quite a gentleman. Here's to you, Lee.

Daryl Metcalf wrote on Facebook:

I miss Lee Wright, I spent many hours with him talking. He was always willing to share how he did things on his projects.


Mark C. Gregor wrote on Yahoo LiveDiesel, September 2014:

The late Lee Wright constructed my SD-60 locomotive in 1997 which was the first type of this series in the 1/8 scale hobby. Lee then built a second SD-60 in Union Pacific livery as shown below. That was Lee’s fifth locomotive construction project. The original electric motors as well as the “Dart”control and relays were removed and replaced by Lee several years later. These locomotives now have the 36 volt E-Teck permanent magnet type motors, with Sevcon Electronic Control and the Phoenix Sound System.
One small change that I made was replacing the four original long hood and nose headlights as well as the two ditch lights with an excellent product from Flashers R Us. These higher intensity lights afford a greater range of sight when operating the equipment at night. If you enjoy night operations, Dave Barfield’s products are top of the line and well worth the effort to replace the original equipment.
Lee Wright's 5th locomotive project is this SD60 in Union Pacific colors. Photo by Mark C Gregor.


The following appeared on DiscoverLiveSteam.com, January 2021:

We have this #8 switch frog that was made by Lee Wright and he used as a pattern to build more.



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