2-8-8-8-2 Triplex Locomotives

In the previous vid post there appears a very large loco. I thought this was a Big Boy but am now of the opinion it may be a Triplex owned by Larry Anderson.

Baldwin Locomotive Works built three 2-8-8-8-2 locomotives for the Erie Railroad between 1914 and 1916. One, #5014, was named “Matt H. Shay”. These engines rarely made a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour. The Erie Railroad scrapped their Triplexes in 1929, 1931, and 1933. One 2-8-8-8-4 was also built, for the Virginian Railway as # 700 in 1916. This was class XA, so named due to the experimental nature of the locomotive. The 2-8-8-8-4 was highly unsuccessful because of only making a maximum speed of 3–5 miles per hour and high maintenance costs. The XA was sent back to Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1920 to be converted to a 2-8-8-0 and a 2-8-2. These two engines were up in service until 1953. Neither of the two engines were preserved.

This is what one of the originals looked like:



This is a model of a Triplex made by MTH:



This vid is a ride behind Larry Anderson’s Triplex bur alas does not show the loco:

Another visit to Train Mountain in Chiloquin near Klamath Falls in Oregon

Our club is very proud to have (Life Member) Bill Shepherd. In addition to being one of our members Bill is a big cog in the operations at Train Mountain. He built the cabin he lives in during the summer at Train Mountain on property he owns in the middle of their huge property. Bill even has tracks to his front door!! There are over 37 real miles of track at Train Mountain.

There are quite a few vids of Train Mountain. I recently found this one which I particularly like because it shows the huge variety of seven and a half inch gauge locos. It also shows the large number of railroads that the locos represent. And, as the vid shows not all seven and a half inch gauge locos are the same size. At the end of the vid are shots of a magnificent 4-8-8-4 Big Boy. I’ve watched the movie three times already!!!!!

If you want to check on the other posts about Train Mountain go here  or here or here.

Gene Parsons – Caspar CA. resident, Musician, Inventor and Craftsman

First let me give a quote from Wiki:

“Gene Victor Parsons is an American drummer, banjo player, guitarist, singer-songwriter, and innovative engineer, best known for his work with The Byrds from 1968 to 1972. Parsons has also released solo albums and played in bands including Nashville West, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Parsons Green. Parsons is credited with inventing the B-Bender (also known as the StringBender) along with Clarence White and the device is often referred to as the Parsons/White B-Bender, a trademarked name”

Now watch this vid:

To see just how talented Gene is have a look at these photos taken when Club Members Santa Cruz Frank Smith and Ben Sochacki visited Gene. The loco was TOTALLY built by Gene.

Ben aboard Gene's hand built 10 wheeler - Gene beside him

Ben aboard Gene’s hand built 10 wheeler – Gene beside him

Now you can see how beautiful the 10 wheeler really is

Now you can see how beautiful the 10 wheeler really is

Is that Santa Cruz Frank offering advice?

Is that Santa Cruz Frank offering advice?

Getting a sense of the size of Train Mountain – the world’s largest 7 1/2 inch railroad at Chiloquin in Oregon

Whilst in bed watching the lack of stars through the skylight last evening it struck me that the vid I posted in the previous blog didn’t really give credit to the vastness of Train Mountain. A brief prod on the keyboard and the Internet coughed up two vids that tell the “size” story.

The first vid is a drones eye view taken by Aaron Bentsen of 7idea Productions.

I have been lucky enough on my visits to ride to the four corners of Train Mountain. My ride lasted three hours and I didn’t see it all. This vid condenses a four hour vid into eighteen minutes. Hold onto your seat ‘cos you hurtle around the bends and come to abrupt stops at the signals. Whilst it may not look like it I promise you you are NOT going over the same track twice.

Wonder how big a replica Z scale layout of Train Mountain wouild be????? Hmmmmm!

2018 Tri-annual train meet at Train Mountain – the largest 7 1/2 inch railroad in the world

Our club is very proud to have (Life Member) Bill Shepherd. Since we moved into our present premises he has been a tower of strength doing construction and electrical installation. In addition to being one of our members Bill is a big cog in the operations at Train Mountain. He built the cabin he lives in during the summer at Train Mountain on property he owns in the middle of their huge property. Bill even has tracks to his front door!!

Last summer Bill was intimately involved with the organization of Train Mountains Tri-annual. Here’s the intro to the vid:

Tucked away in a tiny forest town off a highway in southern Oregon is an amazing place for train fans and live steam enthusiast alike. Located in Chiloquin, OR, a town about 30 minutes north of Klamath Falls, OR, Train Mountain is home to over 30 miles of 7 1/2 inch gauge live steam track, making it the largest in the world! Every three years, they hold the tri-annual meet where people from all over the world come out to bring their equipment or just ride the trains. This video serves as just a fraction of what there is to see there and are some of the highlights of the 2018 Tri-Annual!

Here’s the vid. The vid is long – 34 minutes. If you want to ride the rails go to the 14 minute mark. If you just want to see the grand parade of trains go to the 19 minute mark.

Just a weather note – it gets REAL  hot there!!!!

Train Ride in Howarth Park, Santa Rosa

This blog is another blog inspired by a heads up from a visitor to our (G Scale)  layout – The Mendocino Model Railroad & Navigation Company here in Fort Bragg. I am frequently asked if I have visited this or that layout/train ride. I’d say I score on about 33% of those brought to my attention. On this one I struck out. Santa Rosa isn’t that far away from Fort Bragg or Kentfield in Marin where we used to live. Alas, I’d never heard of the Howarth Park Railway.

The railway has 2,000 foot of 7 1/2 inch track. Old engine #74 was replaced in in 2016 by a  new engine #3924. Both are replicas of an 1863 C.P. Huntington steam engine. Nearly a half-century of ferrying passengers had taken its toll on old No. 74, which missed work days because of age-related maintenance issues and difficulty finding parts. The new locomotive has a modern 4-cylinder engine and amenities, including plush seating for the engineer!

The new engine is a beauty and cost $220,000.

Howarth Park locomotive

Howarth Park locomotive

Whilst I haven’t taken a ride in person I have ridden the ride in this vid:

I’ve added a visit to my bucket list.


A Visit to Riverside Live Steamers – A ride behind a 71/2″ Gauge Big Boy, 4-8-8-4 loco

On my visit “down south” earlier this year my guide, club member Bill Shepherd, arranged for us to visit Riverside Live Steamers (RLS). Anyone who is in the vicinity of Hunter Park on the second or fourth Sunday of the month and doesn’t visit is a twit. Why? Read on.

Bill explained the history of Riverside Live Steamers and its locale en route there. Because I am a geriatric with a failing memory not too much sank in. Fortunately for me the RLS website saved my bacon:

Back in the 1950’s, Joe Hunter, a well known Riverside industrialist, realized that steam locomotives were disappearing from the railroads that passed through Riverside. Knowing that future generations would not know the excitement of seeing, smelling and hearing the sounds of steam locomotives, he had a vision. Why not duplicate a steam train in miniature?

Setting aside 40 acres that surrounded his industrial complex, Mr. Hunter had a 4,300 foot railroad built at the corner of Iowa and Columbia avenues. While the railroad was being constructed, a locomotive and three cars were built. Steam up facilities were installed at the rear of the metal building now occupied by Familian Pipe & Supply.

Trains were operated on a sporadic basis with no set schedule. Ultimately, the property was donated to the City of Riverside, and was named Hunter Park. When Mr. Hunter died, the city had an unusual problem. They had a park because of the railroad, but no one to maintain or operate the train. A group of interested railroad enthusiasts in Riverside led by Dr. John Creighton undertook negotiations with the city to assure that the 7.5 inch gauge railroad would not be neglected. In 1965, the City Council officially turned over to the fledgling Riverside Live Steamers, the responsibility for maintaining and operating the train. In 1966, RLS was incorporated under the laws of the State of California.

During the past forty-six years, RLS has greatly expanded the original railroad to more than 10,000 feet of track, built three buildings and the station. With the cooperation of the city, six additional cars were built in 1972. Approximately 18,000-20,000 passengers ride the trains each year. The city owned equipment is greatly supplemented by privately owned locomotives and cars. Many times, three to four trains will be in operation.

With the exception of major items, like a new boiler, all of the equipment and trackage is maintained at minimal expense to the city. All of this requires thousands of volunteer man hours, but our members have stepped forward for forty-three years to keep the facility in top shape. RLS is pleased to offer thousands of people an opportunity to see, hear, and smell what steam locomotion is all about. We like to think Mr. Hunter would be very proud of our accomplishments during the past forty-six years.

While RLS does not have a club motto, it could easily be ” Hunter Park, where you can enjoy miles of smiles.”

Here’s the track plan:


When Bill and I arrived Bill immediately headed for the steam up area where he had a bunch of friends. I took the time to snap a few pics:

[Double click on one photos to set the slideshow in motion]

Bill and I accepted an invitation to “hop aboard” the Big Boy ……. and I was in heaven!!!!!!!

There are quite a few vids of RLS. I have chosen this one because it shows the Big Boy in a double header with a Southern Pacific Daylight.

Great visit. Thank you Bill.

Joshua Tree & Southern 7 ½ inch Division – Visit of Joe Cooper and his wife, Ginny

In a previous blog I put up some pictures of the Joshua Tree & Southern 7 ½ inch Division. The pics in this earlier blog were taken by life member Dill Shepherd. Bill is a member of the Joshua Tree & Southern and very, very active in the construction thereof. Club Member Joe Cooper and his wife Ginny until very, very recently lived in LA.  LA isn’t too far from Joshua Tree and Bill invited Joe and his wife to visit. Visit they did and Ginny took these pictures:

Great photos Ginny – Thank you