Robert Day

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Robert A. Day was president of the Miniature Locomotive Corporation, publisher of The Miniature Locomotive magazine.

Santa Monica Coast Lines RR

by Dick Bagley

The Miniature Locomotive, May-June 1953

Pictured here is the man we have to thank for our "The Miniature Locomotive" magazine, Bob Day. The serious, yet happy looking brakeman, riding on the car next to the engine is his son Teddy. This photo was taken along the right of way of the Santa Monica Coast Lines at Bob's home in Brentwood. Photo by Ed Carroll. From "The Miniature Locomotive", May-June 1953.

When this picture was taken, Bob Day hadn't the slightest idea that it would some day appear on our cover. In fact none of us had at the time. We had steamed the engine to entertain some visiting Live Steamers, as often happens, and one of them, Ed Carroll, made this dandy photo.

The scene is on Bob's Santa Monica Coast Lines R.R. at his home in Brentwood which is in West L.A. Being in the hill tops it overlooks the entire Santa Monica Bay. Bob is shwon running the engine and son Teddy is his brakeman. They have just topped the 2% grade which is about 200 feet long and runs through the yard in front of the home.

Someday we'll tell you all about this 1 inch scale railroad, complete with pictures, if you're interested.

For now, perhaps you'd like some of the pertinent details concerning the engine. It is a Hudson type built to the scale of 1 inch to the foot. Track gauge is 4-3/4 inch. The locomotive is operating condition weighs about 250 pounds. Total length of engine and tender is eight feet. Tractive effort is 37.9 pounds, translated into more understandable figures, this means that the loco will pull three tons of train.

Plans for the loco were scaled from N.Y.C. drawings printed in the 1941 Locomotive Cyclopedia and photos of the engine. Although a few liberties were taken for practical reasons, it is a faithful replica. For example; you will notice a water pump on the side of the engine just ahead of the fire-box. Also don't be fooled by that air tank under the running board. it is actually the whistle (in diguise--B'Gosh!).

Cylinders are 1-11/16 inch bore by 2-1/4 inch stroke. The boiler is built entirely of copper and silver soldered. Steam pressure is 100 pounds and the two pops are set at 110 and 120 pounds. The tender tank is perhaps one of the most remarkable features. You will appreciate this if you have ever tried to soft solder a tank and understand the difficulty to avoid warping the thin sheets. This tank is made of sheet brass. Two thicknesses were used, 1/16 inch and 1/8 inch. The entire tank is silver soldered together and not one bolt or rivet was used. Capacity is eight gallons of water. The loco boiler in operating condition holds six gallons of water.

You can go ahead now, Bob. Pull up into the station and we'll see you again some other day.

1 inch scale Hudson


Pioneer Mill Railroad

The North American Live Steamer, Volume 1, Number 9, 1956

The following photographs are of the rolling stock of the Pioneer Mill Railroad of West Los Angeles, Californai, owned and operated by Robert A. Day. These fine little engines and cars were brought to Los Angeles from the island of MAUI, Territory of Hawaii and completely rebuit for Mr. Day's estate railroad in 1954-55. The original flat cars which carried raw sugar cane from the cane fields to the rolling mills were rebuilt into gondolas and a caboose. There will be another car yet to be completed that will be designed to resemble a stock car. A.R. Sutch is credited with building the caboose and gongolas, using the trucks from the old sugar cane cars. Total length of trackage about two thousand feet. Gauge of track, thirty inches. Photographs by Richard B. Jackson.

Charles S. Chovil

Ed: Sadly, the two locomotives were burned up in the 1961 Bel Air fires.

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