Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. Oct 18th, 2017, 11:09am
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Post reply
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   Model Railroading
   Live Steam and Ride on Scales
   Post reply ( Re: Getting into Live Steam )
A Username and Password are REQUIRED to Post.

If you are seeing this, you are either not logged in or your browser is not honoring the username and password cookie.
 
Username:
Password:
Post reply
Subject:
Message icon:
Add YABBC tags:
Message:

Photo Attachments require Netscape 4 or greater or IE5 or greater
Disable Smilies:

Check this if you'll be adding code (or don't like smileys).

shortcuts (IE and NS6 only): hit alt+s to send, alt+p to preview, or alt+r to reset


Topic Summary
Posted by: roberticus01 Posted on: Sep 18th, 2017, 10:25pm
Hi.  I am interested in getting into live steam railroading, but as I am 16, don't have much time between school and homework.  Hypothetically (in the future), could I hire a company to install track on my property?  I know of many people who did it by themselves and would like go if I could, but it is too much work for me at this point in time.  Thanks in advance.
 
~Rob
Posted by: tomc Posted on: Sep 23rd, 2017, 7:41am
Hi Rob,  welcome to the forum.
 
Sure you can find people that will build for cash.  Save all your pennies as it isnt cheap.
 
Tom C.
Posted by: moose_the_caboose Posted on: Oct 7th, 2017, 10:33pm
on Sep 18th, 2017, 10:25pm, roberticus01 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hi.  I am interested in getting into live steam railroading, but as I am 16, don't have much time between school and homework.  Hypothetically (in the future), could I hire a company to install track on my property?  I know of many people who did it by themselves and would like go if I could, but it is too much work for me at this point in time.  Thanks in advance.
 
~Rob

 
Hi Rob,
 
As Tomc mentioned, this is an expensive hobby to say the least.  It is also a very rewarding hobby that excepts the accomplishments of people who build their equipment.  What matters most is that the equipment run well, not that it is necessarily detailed.  To that end, the following advice:
 
1. Complete your studies - you are going to need every bit of your analytical mind and mechanical experience.  Working on the engine of your car will seem as child's play n you begin working to build a live steam locomotive.
 
2.  Once your studies are complete, join a live steam club and ask if some one will mentor you.  With the right mentor, you will work hard, put in a lot of hours, get dirty and learn things not found in books.  Experience is everything whether it is machining replacement parts to doing track work.  It is a complete system, you can't have one without the other.  When you travel to the various live steam railroads, take a moment and see how their track guys do it.  Track work even in this scale is generally hot, back-breaking work.
 
3.  Save your money!  Devise a financial plan and stick with it.  An old friend of mine told me how he was instructed to pay for his locomotive by his mentor.  The instructions?  Simple, each night, he was to take all the change out of his pockets and place them in a 1 gallon pickle jar.  When the jar was full, he would have enough to start.  In this hobby, steam locomotives can run anywhere from $6000 to over $200,000.  Do not buy a used locomotive without expert help, let your mentor guide you.  "Pretty" doesn't mean reliable running.  
 
4.  Work with your mentor on each step of the building process, DO NOT CHEAT OR TAKE SHORTCUTS!  Machine tools are dangerous in the wrong hands!  Each process takes careful planning and execution, not understanding this has turned more promising castings into useless junk for the scrap bin than you would ever guess.  Take your time!  Most projects can take 5 years or more, so be patient and you will be rewarded.
 
5.  I mentioned joining a live steam club.  Put your dues in with them, everybody there has something to teach you...and it's not always about the trains.
 
 
moose
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Oct 8th, 2017, 12:47am
Amen to all the Moose said.
 
What should be obvious in what he said I will say very simply:  If you want instant or short term satisfaction and gratifaction in what you do, this is not the hobby for you.  All these things Moose said are necessary and take time and determination to see them through.  The hobby will consume a lot of time and a lot of money.  
 
Having said all that, I am not trying to talk you out of it.  There are few things in life that are as satisfying on a long term scale as being able to point to and use something you have built or been a part of building.