Railroad Supply Corporation
Railroad Supply Corporation has been serving the Live Steam Hobby since 1970 when the Company was founded by Chet Peterson and a number of live-steamers dedicated to the hobby. The first locomotive developed was the Central Pacific No. 173 4-4-0, the locomotive that Walt Disney has called “the most beautifully proportioned locomotive ever built.” Walt must have been correct about the CP-173 because it is the most popular of our locomotive kits and has been built by live steamers throughout the world and United States.
The second steam locomotive developed was the B&O 0-4-0 which has been so popular with table top modelers. The 0-4-0 has proven very popular with live steamers who want a smaller locomotive able to operate on short radii and where space is limited. Our Baldwin 2-6-0 was developed to meet the need for a larger, branch line locomotive and uses many parts common with the 0-4-0. To further expand the choices for live steamers, we introduced the 2-8-0 Consolidation back in the mid to late 1980’s. This locomotive also uses many part common with both the 0-4-0 and the 2-6-0.
Design of the USRA Heavy Mikado 2-8-2 was begun in 1981 to offer a powerful, larger locomotive for the hobby. It was our first locomotive in 1.6” scale for 7 ½ gauge track. The first design prototype was completed in 1983 and has accumulated several years of highly satisfactory running. It is now running in Michigan and the first production prototype is running at several tracks in Southern California and adjacent states. Today the USRA Mikado has all new pattern boards and molds along with tooling to better serve the hobby. In addition we are looking to expand the family to the USRA 2-10-2 and 4-8-2 using a lot of the same parts as the USRA Heavy Mikado 2-8-2.
Along with steam locomotives, Railroad Supply offers a line of “Diesel” locomotives, including the SD-35, GP-40, F-7 A & B and the smaller GE-25 Ton Industrial Switcher, all with a smooth dependable electric system with sound. Units can be RC or hand held remotes with working air brakes and many diesel detail parts to choose from. Additionally, a wide selection of cars, accessories, track materials and other parts are offered to round out the complete requirements for a fully operational railroad in 7 1/2“ or 7 1/4” gauge. Railroad Supply is continuing development and refinement of existing and new products with the objective of being able to offer the widest selection of parts and products available for the Live Steam Hobby.
Railroad Supply Corporation advertisement from Live Steam Magazine, February 1984.
- RRSC is still operating. It's just my dad (Mike). He spends many hours in the shop machining. I offered to help him out when I can. I'm still working on our new catalog which will have our rolling stock and diesel detail parts. I am in the process of making all new pattern boards for the Heavy Mikado. If you need to get in touch with Mike best time to get him is in the evening and on weekends. If you still have no luck feel free to e mail me (Stephen) at email@example.com . I'll do my best to help you out. I work for a railroad as a train dispatcher so I have to check my emails through-out my shift.
From the Railroad Supply Corporation catalog:
- The first locomotive developed was the Central Pacific No. 173 4-4-0. the locomotive that Walt Disney has called "the most beautifully proportioned locomotive ever built." Walt must have been correct about the CP-173 because it is the most popular of our locomotive kits and has been built by live steamers throughout the world as well as in the United States.
- My first view of the CP-173 was when Chet (Peterson) had it on the road on what I think was a demonstration/sales trip. This was in Wimberley, Texas, at Hank Blossom's track in about 1973. He had the CP-173 and two or three fiberglass Pullmans.
The original CP-173 built by Railroad Supply Corporation still resides in Wimberley, Texas (as of July 2016).
Bob Hornsby commented via email, 13 July 2016:
- This is the original Railroad Supply 4-4-0, but not the original paint. The locomotive had just come from my shop after being repainted to a somewhat different scheme. It is the property of Nick Edwards. The exhaust pipe was also modified to a straight pipe inside the diamond stack. Here are some photos.
Nick Edwards posing with his Railroad Supply Corporation CP-173, the first ever built.
Stephen McClure emailed the following information, 13 February 2016:
- I wanted to give you some information on RRSC and if you would like to add it to our blog on the IBLS site. We still are working very hard to bring back the heavy mikado and we are almost there. Most of the major parts we have completed. Drive wheels, Journal boxes, Pilot bracket, Cylinder Block, Crosshead, Fulcrums, Rear Cradle, and Side frames along with other parts. At the pattern shop we have the Front and Rear tender sill, Pilot Wheels, Pilot Beam.
UP Passenger Cars
Railroad Supply Corporation original master duplication mold to make a 1-1/2 inch scale front coupler pocket from the old RRSC Burbank, see Catalog #9 on page E-10. Pour special liquid plastic into mold, let harden, and pop out of the mold to create a pattern that mounts to wood board. Put 10 to 12 of these on a board and that is how a sand pattern is made to produce castings at foundry. Listed on eBay February 2015.
This is the original 1-1/2 inch scale National Pyle headlight molds from Railroad Supply Corporation of Burbank, California. Included are 6 molds consisting of Main body, side marker, reflector, lens holder, latch and the headlight bracket. These are the same molds that were used to make the National Pyle headlight shown in Catalog #9 on page E5 listed as part# 8007. Includes the original master pattern for the lens holder. Listed on eBay February 2016.
1-1/2 inch scale live steam blow down valve sand patterns and lost wax handle mold. The sand patterns are from the original Railroad Supply Corporation, Burbank, California, that went out of business and sold many of the assets back in the 1990's. Includes 3 sand pattern boards that make the blow down valve or 3-way valve body. All of these patterns were used to make the blow downs that are listed in the Railroad Supply Catalog #9 on page E-4. Includes the two original master shop drawings that were used to machine either the right or left side blow down valves or the 3-way valve.
A Visit to Railroad Supply Corporation, 1984
- 4-4-0 and 0-4-0 Advertisement
- GE 25 Ton Switcher Advertisement
- RSC Brochure, front page
- RSC Brochure, page 2
- RSC Brochure, page 3
- RSC Brochure, page 4
- Official website
- Official Facebook page
- "Railroad Supply 2-6-0", Chaski.org
- "Railroad Supply Springtime Pullman Sale",Chaski.org
- "Railroad Supply History", Chaski.org
- "RR Supply Caboose Marker Kit", Chaski.org