Paul Brien

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Posted by Pontiac Guy on Chaski.org, 26 April 2012:

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 passed away in 2009.

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