Seely A. Randall
5186 Fern Street
The Miniature Locomotive, July-August 1954
I am an ardent steam fan first and last. I have built nine steam engines, a two cylinder reversing steam engine and a 1/4 inch scale Hudson. It was two-thirds finished and got sort of tired of it when I found out how small it was, so I gave it away. Then I started on a 1-1/2 inch scale Hudson. This is the fifth summer it has been running, and what a good time I am having with it. I am sending you a picture of it with my nine-year old grandson sitting in the engine seat. The cab floor is 1 inch above the rails.
We sit in the tender with our feet on the floor. I made it that way so I wouldn't have to straddle the tender, or sit side ways. This engine has cylinders of 2-3/4 inch bore and 3-1/2 inch stroke. The wheels are 10 inch. The boiler shell was a 10-inch pipe, the fire box sheets are 1/4 inch sheet steel. The grate is made of 5/8 inch by 1 inch steel bars. The fire box inside is 11 inches by 17 inches. This engine steams very good.
I have two cars seven foot long and 16 inches wide and a caboose five feet long which was ordered by my younger grandson. When he was about four years old he said, "Grandpa, make me a caboose and make it red." So I did what any grandpa would do; I made it!
This engine has pulled 27 children and myself. I had a child on my lap and they rode sitting on the tender and each other's laps and standing up, but it pulled them anyway.
I made the patterns for the cylinders and wheels. I had them cast and did all the machining myself. The boiler is arc-welded by the same man. I have an injector and a hand pump. The safety valve pops at 120 pounds. This is a nice engine and not hard to get acquainted with.
I have 500 feet of track. My track has 2x4's, 16 inches long. The rails are 1/2 inch square steel. A 1/8 inch by 5/8 inch piece of steel with a hole drilled in each end is welded every 12 inches to the rail, then nailed to the ties. All of my family run this engine. This includes two grandsons and two granddaughters, all under nine years old.