Victor Shattock Basement Railroad

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From Kenneth Shattock, 29 March 2013:

Even though you have probably seen these sample photos before, forget the locomotives for a bit and check out the scenery instead.. Most all of THAT was scratch-built from raw materials. The bridges, trestle, switches, signals, telephone poles, fences, tunnels, et al.

When do you find the time to do that while trying to build locomotives, hold a steady job, raise a family and so forth. I was taught as a young boy how to build the telephone poles out of dowels using beads for insulators. Carpet thread was used for the wires as it had a natural "droop" to it between poles.

The electro-magnets for the semaphore signals were handmade also. 22 ga copper wire wound around a 16d or 20d nail, usually. All kinds of ideas when you're short of money or supplies.


Fact Sheet


Oakland, California

  • Location: 1877- 38th Avenue, corner of Foothill Blvd; Fruitvale District—Oakland…
  • Total trackage: Approx. 400 feet.
  • Scale and Track Gauge: ½ inch scale; 1/24th full size; 2 ½ inch gauge. (Known in the United Kingdom officially as “Gauge Three”)
  • Fuel: Denatured Alcohol (wood alcohol) (Known in the United Kingdom officially as “Methylated Spirits”)
  • Burner Method: Vaporizing Burner of Vic Shattock’s personal design.
  • Boiler construction: Standard fire-tube boiler construction (all copper) using staybolts, Asbestos boiler lagging, and other accessories.
  • Boiler pressure (operating): 85 to 100 psi …
  • Feed Water: Axle-driven pumps; Horizontal feed water pump, steam operated.
  • Lubrication: Steam cylinder oil via Mechanical Lubricator
  • Direction of travel: Standard johnson bar in the cab on engineer’s side.
  • Throttle control: Manual… Throttle handle extended just a little thru the cab roof.
  • Radio Control: NO… Not available…
  • Locomotives:
    • TWO (2) 2-8-2 “Mikados” : # 3217 and # 3254
    • TWO (2) 4-6-2 “Pacifics”  : # 2422 I and # 2422 II (# I built in 1929)
    • ONE (1) 2-8-0 “Consolidation” # 2753
    • ONE (1) 0-6-0 “SP Switch Engine” # 1207 (Stolen from basement in 1946)
  • Rolling Stock:
    • Twenty-two (22) freight cars of various types.
    • One (1) Central Pacific “Harriman-style” Chair Car (coach)
  • One Turntable: SP 110-foot common standard (55 inches long) containing 2500 rivets.
  • Three tunnels
  • One ballast deck trestle
  • One steel girder bridge
  • Two signal bridges
  • Three two-track stub end yards
  • Twelve turnouts plus One double-slip switch
  • Roundhouse with Five(5) stalls and electrically operated turntable.
  • One water column standpipe (operational)
  • One water tank with spout in Roundhouse (operational)
  • Fully automatic block signal system

Notable Guests and other visitors:

  • Various Southern Pacific Officers
  • Various Southern Pacific Division Managers
  • Al Kalmbach, Publisher, Model Railroader
  • Linn Westcott, Editor, Model Railroader
  • Bill Walthers, The Walthers Company
  • John Allen, Gorre & Daphetid RR, Monterey, CA.
  • Eddie “Rochester” Anderson (Jack Benny Show)
  • Walt Disney
  • Dick Bagley, Publisher, The Miniature Locomotive
  • Whit Towers, Editor, NMRA Bulletin
  • Bob Bast, NMRA
  • Various civic, school district, and other community leaders
  • News Media (various)
  • Movietone News
  • Lloyd Combs, Professional film maker…
  • Ray Maker, Amusement Park Train builder
  • Billy Jones, Los Gatos
  • Louis McDermott, Overfair Railway builder
  • Charles “Budge” Garbett, local oldtime modelmaker
  • Rollin J. Lobaugh, Model Railroad Manufacturer
  • Jack Collier, Jack Collier’s “Toys for Men”, Oakland.
  • Walter I. Brown, founding member, Eastbay Model Engineers Society
  • Plus hundreds and hundreds of other visitors.

All railroad locomotives, rolling stock and accessories totally “scratchbuilt” from raw materials in Victor Shattock’s workshop… No kits of any kind were used…

Notable Events:

In the 1940’s , Victor Shattock and his friend and fellow club member, Walter Brown, were National Co-Chairmen of the NMRA’s “Live Steam Standards Committee” …

Victor Shattock was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad for thirty-six years ! (1923—1959) Within the railroad’s maintenance of way department (Western Division) he was the “Water Service Foreman” (railroad plumbing//HVAC), responsible for anything on the railroad having to do with plumbing, HVAC, tinsmithing, train and ferryboat fueling, and so forth. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance-of-Way Employees (BMWE) and was Secretary—Treasurer of Subordinate Lodge #407 at West Oakland. He was also Division Grievance Chairman and Asst.Chairman of the Pacific Federation.