Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society

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The Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society was founded in 1948.

1953

Club News

by A. E. Herbert

368 Prince's Highway

Rockdale, N.S.W., Australia

The Miniature Locomotive, September-October 1953

I have now received my second copy of our magazine. Will you please accept my congratulations on a very fine publication. Every success is our sincere desire.

I wish I could get the earlier issues, as I would like to construct an "electric generator" for my engine. I have shown my edition to my "mates" at the Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society they all think it's "the goods" and I would not be surprised if you had a few more subscriptions from here.

I have enclosed some photos of my "Mikado" American Loco, and of the club track. The dimensions of the engine are as follows, 5 inch gauge, 2-8-2, Cylinders 3/4 inch bore, 2-1/2 inch stroke. Boiler 1/8 inch steel plate, welded, with 6 inch combustion chambers and 1/2 inch tubes, two 1 inch superheater tubes (as preached by the old master himself, L.B.S.C.) Fire box 9-1/2 inch by 7-1/2 inch O.D. driving wheels 4-1/2 inch diameter (as they were the only size I could get at the time.) Bogies 2-1/2 inch diameter.

As our coal is rather dirty and leaves plenty of ash I have had to dispense with the "ash pan" for this season.

It was necessary for me to fit a baffle plate under the grate to stop cold air from going straight through the tubes. This plate is 1-1/4 inch wide, and is welded to the foundation ring, the grate rests on this at the back end, and a "pull out" pin on the cab end. The grate can now be dropped very quickly if need be. However, after a long day's run, I keep the engine going till only 20 pounds shows on the gauge. I then blow her down and leave the rest of the fire in to "dry her out."

I have constructed a track out of 7/8 inch by 7/16 inch black mild steel in 12 foot lengths, welded to sleepers made from the same steel sapced 18 inches apart. These in turn are screwed to wooden sleepers 2 by 1 by 12 inch hardwood resting on the ground. As no ballast was used, I have had trouble with the track sagging on the clay soil. Next time I would use 1 by 1/2 inch steel as I would then have a stronger track, able to carry the heavy loads. The track has been donated to the above mentioned society. It is in the form of an oval 70 foot in diameter with 75 foot straights.

On one side it is raised 2 feet in the straight run, and I have toted 18 children and adults on the three tracks, and have had no trouble with this load, even when starting from the bottom of grade. I am now building two new engines for the 5 inch gauge track, one similar to Walt Disney's and a Southern Pacific type which will be slightly larger than the Mikado.

Would any of your readers who are operators of Live Steam Railroads, care to correspond with me and exchange photos and club news? I am a lone hand on American railroad practice in Sydney.

The most popular gauges here are 2-1/2 inch and 3-1/2 inch gauges, of which our club has 450 foot of elevated track as shown in the photo, and we are building about 950 feet in addition (wish it was for 5 inch gauge).

Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society's track. The trestle accommodates 2-1/2 inch and 3-1/2 inch gauges and the track on the ground is 5 inch gauge (the British standard for 1 inch scale)

1954

Miniature Railroading in Australia

by A.E. Herbert

Birmingham St., Alexandria, N.S.W., Australia

The Miniature Locomotive, July-August 1954

I have now received my second copy of our new magazine. Will you please accept my congratulations on a very fine publication; I wish it every success.

Ted Herbert and his American type Mike. The fireman looks a bit unusual, but happy.

I wish I could get the earlier issues, as I would like to construct an electric generator for my engine. I have shown my editions to my Mates at the Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society and they all think it's "the goods" and I would not be surprised if you had a few more subscriptions from here.

I have enclosed some photos of my Mikado American Loco and of the club track. The dimensions of the engine are as follows:

  • 5 inch gauge
  • 2-8-2, Cylinders 1-3/4 inch bore
  • 2-1/2 inch stroke
  • boiler 18 inch steel plate, welded with 6 inch combustion chamber
  • 1/2 inch tubes
  • Two 1 inch Superheater tubes (as per the old master himself, L.B.S.C.)
  • Firebox 9-1/2 inch by 7-1/2 inch O.D.
  • Driving wheels 4-1/2 inch diameter (as these were the only size I could get at the time.)
  • Bogies 2-1/2 inch diameter

As our coal is rather dirty and leaves plenty of ash I have had to dispense with the ash pan for this reason. it was necessary for me to fit a baffle plate under the grate to stop cold air going straight through the tubes. This plate is 1-1/2 inch wide, and is welded to the foundation ring. The grate rests on this at the back end and a pull out pin on the cab end. The grate can now be dropped very quickly if need be. However, after a long day's run I keep the engine going till only 20 pounds show on the gauge. I then blow her down and leave the rest of the fire in to dry her out.

A busy time on the club track at the Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society.

I have constructed a track out of 7/8 inch by 7/16 inch black mild steel in 12 foot lengths, welded to sleepers made form the same steel, spaced 18 inches apart. These in turn are screwed to hardwood 2 inch by 1 inch by 12 inch resting on the ground. As no ballast was used, I have had trouble with the track sagging on the clay soil. Next time I would use 1 inch by 1/2 inch steel as I would then have a stronger track, able to carry the heavy loads. The track has been donated to the afore mentioned society. It is in the form of an oval 70 feet diameter with 75 foot straights.

On one side it rises 2 feet in the straight run, and I have toted 18 children and adults on the 3 tracks, and have had no trouble with this load, even when starting from the bottom of the grade.

I am now building two new engines for the 5 inch gauge track, one similar to Walt Disney's and a Southern Pacific type which will be slightly larger than the Mikado.

Would any of your readers who are operators of Live Steam Railroads care to correspond with me? We could exchange photos and club news, as I am a lone hand on American railroad practice in Sydney.

The most popular gauges here are 2-1/2 inch and 3-1/2 inch of which our club have 450 feet of elevated track as shown in the photo, and we are building about 950 feet in addition (wish it was for 5 inch gauge).

Well, I guess I will have to go and stoke her up now.

Thanking you for the trouble you have gone to in publishing the best ever for Live Steamers.


by A.E. Herbert

Sydney, N.S.W., Australia

The Miniature Locomotive, November-December 1954

The Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society officially opened its new 925 foot track on October 9, 1954, after nearly two years' work by the members. The track is built to take 2-1/2 inch and 3-1/2 inch engines only, being elevated nearly 5 feet high on the lower end. Grades of 1 in 70 have to be met with on the return track. The following engines were in attendance:

  • Ross Sryles, 2-1/2 inch 4-6-0
  • Alan McKeller, 2-1/2 inch 4-6-0
  • John Hurst, 2-1/2 inch 4.6.2
  • Brian Hurst, 2-1/2 inch 4-Cylinder "Princess", 2-1/2 inch "Dyak", 2-6-0
  • John Austin 3-1/2 inch 4-6-2, C-38 class
  • Cecil Gunning 3-1/2 inch 4-6-2 American Type
  • Steve Tradale, 3-1/2 inch 4-4-2 Maisie
  • Bob Bowman, 3-1/2 inch 4-6-0, C-36 class
  • Ted Herbert, 5 inch 2-8-2 American Type
  • George Floyd with his "Rainhill" which can pull its driver at a surprising speed

All engines had steam up and were running at 2:30 p.m. until tea time when the fires were banked on the bigger jobs. The smaller engines were cooled off, ready for cleaning tubes for the evening run, which continued till 10:30.

The total number of paying passengers carried was 1,480, of which the 5 inch gauge 2-8-2 carried 783 passengers. Approximately 2,000 people visited the grounds during the day. A charge of 2/-- for adults and 6d. for children, also 6d. per passenger for rides, together with money earned from the sale of afternoon tea and hot dogs amounted to nearly 180 Pounds (approximately $400). This money will be spent on a building at the grounds containing rest rooms and a storeroom for tools and other gear. Usually all proceeds from rides are given to charity.

Bob bowman comes down to Sydney for all big running days from his sheep station 300 miles out west. Rod Brown also comes 120 miles from Maitland on these occasions. It was interesting to note that Ross Styles' 2-1/2 inch gauge 2-6-0 with a narrow fine box, 1-1/4 inch by 6 inch, was kept going for 10 hours without once cleaning the tubes or fire. Thanks to our "Brown Coal Brickettes" this is now a common-place happening. About one hour on ordinary coal would be enough for these small engines. Everyone agreed that night running was the most spectacular, and as soon as we can have the electric light system connected to the city supply we hope to have many night runs during the summer months.

No accidents occurred during the day and all engines gave a very good performance with no more trouble than lubricator failures which can usually be made to work again with a bit of wangling. Next time I will try Vic Shattock's system as this has been proved on one engine over here and has never had a failure of any kind in over eight years of running. All the members of the club attended at some time during the day to lend a hand either to drive their engines or help keep passengers in line or other numerous duties. Thanks also go to those ladies who helped with the sale of afternoon tea and did a grand job in organizing the canteen.

1956

Harry Townsend in Sydney, Australia, driving an American type locomotive with 1/8 inch sttel boiler. Cylinders are 1-3/4 by 2-1/2 inch. Drivers are 4-1/2 inch. There are two 1 inch ID Superheaters, twelve 1/2 inch ID tubes and a 6 inch combustion chamber.

The North American Live Steamer, Volume 1 Number 8

Enclosed is a photo of my 5 inch gauge 2-8-2 pulling a load of 22 children at our club in Sydney in October, 1954. The tracks are 5 inches on the ground, 2-1/2 inch and 3-1/2 inch on the trestle. I have another Southern Pacific type engine well on the way. This is a 4-8-2 type, and has an electrically welded steel boiler with a 7 inch long combustion changer 4.1 inch ID Steel Super Heater tubes and 14-1/2 inch ID steel flues.

The engine in the photo is being driven by Harry Townsend, who himself has made a few engines and is a better fireman than I. This engine is capable of pulling loads like this continuously for the whole day and night when we have our "special days". Only the bottom row of tubes get blocked but this does not affect the steaming.

I have run the engine up to four times without having to clean the tubes, and put this down to the fact that steel instead of copper is used for the boiler, also I always use combustion chambers which allow the gasses to burn properly before entering the tubes. The Super Header flues cannot be properly cleaned with a brush on one side of each flue, yet they have never yet blocked up, and have not been renewed after ten years of use. Maybe our coal is pretty good, but I don't think this is so, as it gives off plenty of gassy flames and leaves a lot of ash.

A. E. Herbert
368 Princes Highway
Rockdale, N.S.W.
Australia

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