- Paul Brien from Nashville, TN was definitely a mentor to most of us who grew up in the South. He was an exquisite machinist and boiler maker, and built many different types of engines. He loved not only steam locomotives, but also hit-and-miss models, and also the atmospheric (sterling cycle) engines. He would show or tell you how to do a particular operation and always made it sound very easy. He built probably 5 or 6 steam locomotives over his lifetime, in addition to all the hit-and-miss, stationary engines, etc... and all steamed well and performed well when he was done with them.
- He was also a Charter member of the Mid-South Live Steamers, which was founded in 1966, and was a great inspiration to everyone in the early years. The first steam locomotive that I ever ran was his 4-4-0, which was based on the 'backyard rails' 4-4-0. It used those castings, but Paul modified the locomotive extensively to make a better performing and better tracking locomotive. The thing had that coke-bottle boiler on it, and was painted red at the time. It was an excellent steamer, and was the locomotive that many people cut their teeth on.
Paul Brien's builders plate on an 0-6-0 switcher he built in 1970. Bob Gray of Mississippi owns the locomotive.
Paul Brien of Nashville, Tennesse, loosened up his recently completed [Miller Backyard Railroad]] steam locomotive which, despite its oversimplification, has proven to be a dependable performer. it is coal-fired. At the Mid South Live Steamers 16h Annual Spring Meet, May 6-8, 1983.
Paul passed away in 2009.