- This story starts back in the 1930's when the New England Live Steamers in Danvers, Massachusetts and club activities were in its infancy. Norm Steele, an engineer on the Old Colony division later taken over by the New Haven R.R., started building miniature Live Steam locomotives to scale from 1/2 inch scale into 3/4 inch scale, of which he built and sold many. One went far west to Colorado to a gentleman by the name of Arthur Wegner, an engineer on one of the railroads in that area. Norm built two in 1 inch scale and, as the photo below shows, built one in 1.5 inch scale to 7-1/4 inch gauge. Norm built these locomotives from scratch and used no prints of any type. He used scrap box material and came up with very well proportioned locomotives. The picture shows Norm sitting on the 711 talking to Walter Kleinfelder of the New Jersey Live Steamers club back in the 1960's. This is one of the first engines in 7-1/4 inch gauge to run at the Pioneer Valley Live Steamers club and has an interesting background. Using no prints of any kind this Atlantic has 10 inch drivers with a 10 inch copper boiler. The cylinders came from an old Stanley steamer and were modified for a locomotive. It has Southern valve gear which was his favorite gear and the pump shown on the side came from the same Stanley steamer and was converted into an air pump. At that time we know of no other 4-4-2 type locomotive that had the pulling power that the 711 had. This engine is now close to 20 years old and its present owner is Pete Whitman, past president of the Pioneer Valley Live Steamers club. Norm passed away in the late 1960's just as he was eligible for retirement.
Pat Fahey wrote, 25 January 2020:
- When Joe Cardelle when down to meet Pete Whitman, to buy his 1 inch scale 2-8-2 Mikado, Joe saw Norman Steele's No 11 Atlantic sitting in Pete's garage, the smokebox was rotten out, it needed work, etc.
- Joe asked me if I knew anything about the locomotive, but all I had were just a few photos of it at PVLS.
- Well after Joe got the 1 inch scale Mikado back under steam, he asked Pete about the Atlantic. Well, Joe offered a price, and brought the locomotive, it took about a year for Joe to get the locomotive back under steam.
Joe Cordelle wrote, 28 January 2020:
- I don't have any drawings. Norman scratch built it from Locomobile parts. He probably didn't even have any drawings. I had to re-tube the boiler.