Why Live Steam?

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by FWLR » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:26 am

Well my little two pennies worth is... I like both, Having the RH Billy off Peter is fantastic and also the three little battery locos I have are too. I just love running all of them when I can on my little line, I run the battery ones at a steady speed and run my Billy at speeds to suit the battery ones on the line, so I can have 4 locos running at once, all be it with the help from Anne lol.

I just love being outdoors and having a play with them, after all, thats all we really are doing isn’t it, enjoying what we all love to do and that is running 16mm.

My older Brother looked down on me when I said I was going to build a 16mm garden line, he builds and runs the really big stuff and most of his club look down on 16millers has the poor relation, ( Not so poor with the cost of some live steam ) but who cares what one runs and how one runs them.

I hope this forum doesn’t go down the same road has other model railway forums and get snobby with what we run...just go out and enjoy people...

I do.......... :thumbright: :thumbright: :thumbright:
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:


https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by Keith S » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:08 am

I was originally drawn to garden railways because of the steam engines. I come from a family of railway modellers, but thought the gene had skipped me until I saw a Roundhouse locomotive on Youtube. What was I doing watching railway videos on YouTube? Well, OK, I suppose I liked railways a little, but I certainly never considered having a model railway.

I have always loved steam engines, though. Ships are romantic but you can't really see the engines. Traction engines are interesting but awkward to play with in a realistic environment. Railway engines are convenient to run and they look nice. That's the reason I became interested in 16mm railways.

My rolling stock and scenery, when I get some, is all ancillary to the steam engine, which to me is the star of the show.

I do have an appreciation for the other types of models too. For me though, it's all about the steam engines.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:59 pm

invicta280 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:52 pm
tom_tom_go wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:30 pm
This thread is getting a bit repetitive can we just accept we all like doing different things.
Do you think so? I think it has been a very interesting and lively discussion.
Maybe we all suspected that garden rail folk were a tolerant bunch who accept that one approach is not necessarily better than another, but it's nice to see it confirmed. If this thread had been on some other model rail fora it would've been pistols at dawn by now.
Yes, I thought that too.
It's a rare opportunity for me to engage in a discussion of this sort. Interesting to get a balace of views. I'd have expected a few more live steam enthusiasts to chnip in, but maybe they feel what needs to be said has already been said.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:05 pm

FWLR wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:26 am
Well my little two pennies worth is... I like both, Having the RH Billy off Peter is fantastic and also the three little battery locos I have are too. I just love running all of them when I can on my little line, I run the battery ones at a steady speed and run my Billy at speeds to suit the battery ones on the line, so I can have 4 locos running at once, all be it with the help from Anne lol.

I just love being outdoors and having a play with them, after all, thats all we really are doing isn’t it, enjoying what we all love to do and that is running 16mm.

My older Brother looked down on me when I said I was going to build a 16mm garden line, he builds and runs the really big stuff and most of his club look down on 16millers has the poor relation, ( Not so poor with the cost of some live steam ) but who cares what one runs and how one runs them.

I hope this forum doesn’t go down the same road has other model railway forums and get snobby with what we run...just go out and enjoy people...

I do.......... :thumbright: :thumbright: :thumbright:
Quite so Rod.
I suppose I feel I don't really belong anywhere. I don't really fit in with the G Scale community as I model UK outline using batteries and I don't really fit into the 16mm community as I primarily run steam outline battery locos.

As has been said, I would probably have been lynched by now on any other forum - though no doubt there are some who are already swinging their noose for me.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by tom_tom_go » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:31 pm

Any scale, any gauge...

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by IrishPeter » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:37 pm

Not in this corner, Rik. I work in a profession where strong opinions, and strong characters are not infrequently encountered, and where there is a good degree of healthy individualism, so the fact that folks do the same thing - build garden railways, but in different ways - live steam, battery, track power, 32mm/45mm/2.5" - seems right and natural. In a way, I fled to the Garden gauges because I find its lack of a rigid orthodoxy refreshing after dealing with some of the rivet counting OO types who sort of constitute themselves as an informal Gestapo to put you right on every thing you don't do their way. Hobbies are hobbies and although we all engage in the same hobby I would guess we all want slightly different things out of it. I am a bit of an oddity myself in that I am interested in early petrol and diesel locos. I also suffer from Calthropitis, and an interest in operations. Others but the emphasis on the garden not the railway; still others like the model engineering aspects, others are kit-bashers. Great! I have learned a heck of a lot from the all sorts and conditions of Garden Railway folks we have here on the board.

Cheers,
Peter in Va
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:06 pm

Keith S wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:08 am
I was originally drawn to garden railways because of the steam engines. I come from a family of railway modellers, but thought the gene had skipped me until I saw a Roundhouse locomotive on Youtube. What was I doing watching railway videos on YouTube? Well, OK, I suppose I liked railways a little, but I certainly never considered having a model railway.

I have always loved steam engines, though. Ships are romantic but you can't really see the engines. Traction engines are interesting but awkward to play with in a realistic environment. Railway engines are convenient to run and they look nice. That's the reason I became interested in 16mm railways.

My rolling stock and scenery, when I get some, is all ancillary to the steam engine, which to me is the star of the show.

I do have an appreciation for the other types of models too. For me though, it's all about the steam engines.
Hi Keith
That's something I have now come to appreciate which, until I started this thread, I had not even considered - ie that their love of live steam is the prime motivating factor for many garden railway modellers. I know it's bleedin' obvious, but sometimes I don't see what's staring me in the face!

I wonder if we are more nostalgic for steam in the uk than other parts of the world? Certainly we have far more preserved steam railways than anywhere else - or is that just a legacy of Beeching - ie we have more opportunities? Or is it because the little old uk is the cradle of the industrial revolution?

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:16 pm

IrishPeter wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:37 pm
Not in this corner, Rik. I work in a profession where strong opinions, and strong characters are not infrequently encountered, and where there is a good degree of healthy individualism, so the fact that folks do the same thing - build garden railways, but in different ways - live steam, battery, track power, 32mm/45mm/2.5" - seems right and natural. In a way, I fled to the Garden gauges because I find its lack of a rigid orthodoxy refreshing after dealing with some of the rivet counting OO types who sort of constitute themselves as an informal Gestapo to put you right on every thing you don't do their way. Hobbies are hobbies and although we all engage in the same hobby I would guess we all want slightly different things out of it. I am a bit of an oddity myself in that I am interested in early petrol and diesel locos. I also suffer from Calthropitis, and an interest in operations. Others but the emphasis on the garden not the railway; still others like the model engineering aspects, others are kit-bashers. Great! I have learned a heck of a lot from the all sorts and conditions of Garden Railway folks we have here on the board.

Cheers,
Peter in Va
Hi Peter
That's very reassuring. Maybe we are all ploughing our own little furrows in our own ways - we are all individuals.

I must also confess to being a Calthrop fan - hence my L&M coach bashes. Not had the courage to tackle a Kitson - yet!

Rik
PS what happened to Calvanism and Latitudinarianism - did they not survive the edit?
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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by IrishPeter » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:36 am

ge_rik wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:16 pm
Hi Peter
That's very reassuring. Maybe we are all ploughing our own little furrows in our own ways - we are all individuals.

I must also confess to being a Calthrop fan - hence my L&M coach bashes. Not had the courage to tackle a Kitson - yet!

Rik
PS what happened to Calvanism and Latitudinarianism - did they not survive the edit?
No, they did not. I thought it was taking my fondness for obscure references a bit too far. My parish is in a university city, and a fair few of my congregation are connected with the education sector somehow either through the charter school system, or the University of Virginia, so I have gotten rather spoilt in that regard. I can usually make fairly obscure references and be sure a majority of the congregation get it.

Calthropitis is what propels the Coverdale Light Project, as does having a certain fondness I have for the NER. In truth, though, I am from GCR territory south of the River Humber. I must admit to a certain temptation to try and imagine what Sam Fay and J. G. Robinson would have done with Calthrop's ideas, but the Cleethorpes, Mablethorpe, and Skegness Light Railway (The Landladies' Line/Seagull Express) does not appeal quite as much as Coverdale - yet! I am quite certain Sir Sam and JG would have tried to out Calthrop Calthrop, as the GCR had a liking for big equipment - such as the Barnums and the 40T bogie coal wagons, and innovative ideas such as power signalling. The one thing that has stopped me so far is that in the GCR and the GNR tended to co-operate with the MS&L's London trains travelling down the GNR main from Retford until the extension opened. The coastal route would have been a GCR tentacle down into GNR territory, which would have upset the balance, though it could have been built as a joint line.

Cheers,
Peter in Va
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by FWLR » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:22 am

ge_rik wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:16 pm
IrishPeter wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:37 pm
Not in this corner, Rik. I fled to the Garden gauges because I find its lack of a rigid orthodoxy refreshing after dealing with some of the rivet counting OO types who sort of constitute themselves as an informal Gestapo to put you right on every thing you don't do their way. Hobbies are hobbies and although we all engage in the same hobby I would guess we all want slightly different things out of it.....................Others put the emphasis on the garden not the railway; still others like the model engineering aspects, others are kit-bashers. Great! I have learned a heck of a lot from the all sorts and conditions of Garden Railway folks we have here on the board.

Cheers,
Peter in Va

Not in this corner either Rik.

It’s the same with the N Gauge brigade, when I started my journey into model railways.

I love my garden line and I have found lots more genuine people who are willing to give support no matter what you run.
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:


https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:41 am

I think as Tom has suggested that this discussion has probably run its course, but I'll leave you with something to ponder over.

Would Slomo have been invented if it hadn't been for steam outline battery locos?
On the surface, that might sound like an entirely theoretical question - but hear me out.

Terry Robinson (Mr Slomo) lives just outside Sydney and is a member of GRASS (the Garden Railway Addicts of Sutherland Shire) - http://www.trainweb.org/grass/ . This small group of GR enthusiasts visit each others' garden railways and run trains every two weeks or so. The majority of its members run battery powered locos (steam and diesel outline) but a couple also run live steam locos - Terry being one of them.

At their running sessions, Terry's live steam locos run alongside battery locos - eg see this video from 2013 - https://youtu.be/fvzPdvxQFgc (Terry's Billy is at 2m 40s). I can't help wondering if this is what prompted Terry to develop Slomo - so he could get the same sort of control and slow running from his locos as the battery locos.

Incidentally, Terry also has added microchip controlled water pumps to his tender locos so their boilers get automatically topped-up when they are running low. The circuitry was developed by another of the GRASS members. How do I know all this? I am an honorary member of GRASS - the lengths I have to go to to find like-minded battery powered garden railway modellers.......! :? :lol:

I think this just goes to show though what an inclusive community we are - that there is a symbiotic relationship between all branches of our hobby, and how willing we are to share our expertise (and also our anxieties and confusion).

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this discussion (so far - there may be more). I've found it really interesting and enlightening. I honestly feel I now have a lot more understanding of and respect for those of you who prefer live steam to other forms of motive power.

Rik
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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by tom_tom_go » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:43 am

Cannot resist saying this despite wanting to end the topic...

My Roundhouse locos are perfectly capable of running at scale speeds providing they have a sufficient load to pull.

The SSP Slomo is making up for the fact that locos in this scale do not weigh much compared to the real thing so there is hardly much inertia. Even locos in 5" can rocket along light engine as their power outweighs their weight.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by FWLR » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:55 am

This as been a brilliant thread Rik, thank you for starting it. It shows to me at least that ther is a place for all forms of garden railways. :thumbright: :thumbright:
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:


https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by Keith S » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:56 pm

ge_rik wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:06 pm
I wonder if we are more nostalgic for steam in the uk than other parts of the world? Certainly we have far more preserved steam railways than anywhere else - or is that just a legacy of Beeching - ie we have more opportunities? Or is it because the little old uk is the cradle of the industrial revolution?

Rik
I have often thought it's both, although I'm not sure how much an awareness of the industrial revolution specifically propels the enthusiasm of the average British citizen. It may be a chicken/egg phenomenon, whereby the average Briton sees steam locomotives, if only incidentally, more often than, say, a Canadian, therefore is more aware of them in general. And as a result of that, more likely to notice and appreciate them, even if they lack any specific nostalgia for them. There is enough population density in Britain to sustain a "critical mass" of enthusiasm, especially among young people.

In Canada, we have very few preserved steam locomotives. This is due to three things. One is, the relatively small and spread-out population of our country doesn't provide the concentration of enthusiasts that are necessary to support the kind of donation-driven preservation enterprise that would be necessary to restore and maintain a large obsolete machine. The second is, our railway network is more-or-less a great East/West corridor with a few little branches that either connect south to the American network, or north to isolated little villages in the great unpopulated wilderness. When these little branches are abandoned, they typically have no infrastructure or population base to support any tourism. Third, the main lines are owned by large corporations whose lawyers and executives have successfully pursued an agressive "no steam" policy. One of those companies, the Canadian Pacific, actually OWNS a road-worthy Hudson-style locomotive with a current certificate, which is prohibited from operating by their own no-steam policy. With respect to other types of steam, there are a few reciprocating steamships in preservation, which suffer from a lack of qualified engineering officers to operate them. Traction engines are sometimes seen at harvest festivals and such, notably there is the "Milton steam fair" that is attended by a fair number of preserved traction engines, but again that is in a part of Canada that is probably the most populous, and compared to a British example, it is still a very small fair. I suppose you could divide for the sake of argument, any population into those who those who have seen a steam engine and those who have not. You could then further divide that segment who have seen one into those who found it interesting enough to develop an enthusiasm and those who did not. In Britain, almost everyone has seen one. In Canada, only those who are old enough to remember them from the "steam era", plus perhaps the children of enthusiasts, or those who live near the rare one that is in preservation, have seen one.

A better example might be the United States, there is more population and a greater number of "branch lines" that actually go between places one might actually want to visit. There is therefore a higher percentage per capita of people who might wish to go the the effort of going to see a steam engine, and any engine that does come out in public stands a greater chance of being seen by someone who is excited by it. There are therefore more steam engines, and actually a few preserved branch-lines and narrow-gauge lines in oreservation. Still nothing like the number there were in Britain.

Finally, Britain had the great Barry scrapyard, which served as a choke-point in the demolition of the country's steam fleet. Scrapping was delayed long enough for an enthusiasm base to develop. In North America, we chopped them up with great diligence and enthusiasm, so that by the time anyone felt nostalgic about them, there were hardly any left over!

As for myself, 16mm models also appeal to me because my family is British, therefore the scenery and atmosphere of that style of garden railway appeals to me aesthetically. I love gardening, and I love parochial little villages with ancient, slightly crumbling infrastructure and buildings, and I love steam engines. So the British style of garden railway modelling is very compelling to me. I am a Canadian in the old sense of the word, that is, a "British North American", and as such, I seek cultural touchstones from the home nation. Possibly this is partly why I love steam engines.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:12 pm

Wow, Keith. That's a really interesting and compelling analysis. It sounds like geography as well as history are important determining factors for preservation.

One reason why there were so many supposedly uneconomic branch lines in the the uk is related to the way in which they were initiated and financed. Unlike other countries, railways in the uk evolved in the 1800s by competitive private endeavour rather than through centralised national planning. As a consequence, there was a considerable amount of duplication and redundancy. Probably why there's more opportunity here than elsewhere. As you say, combine that with Barry and you have the right sort of infrastructure for preservation.

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