Live Steam and diesel model railroading in a rideable large scale. Discover Live Steam is the top web site for buying and selling steam and diesel equipment, finding a supplier, playing our railroad trivia contest, entering our live steam photo contest, locating a live steam railroad club or track anywhere in the world.  We feature articles on model and full size railroading.



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Live Steam & Diesel Model Railroading

© May, 1998-April, 2014 all rights reserved. This material may not be republished or rewritten without permission. on the web since 1998   



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Huge selection of train gifts & DVD's. Easy online ordering.

Join Us for our next 2014 Regional Convention

May 16-18, 2014
Hesston Steam Museum
Hesston, Indiana

All live steamers/dieselers and those new to the hobby are welcome to attend.

The Editor's Desk

Old Wives' Tale
or Fact ?

A popular cocktail of the 40s, the "High Ball" was named after a railroad term

   Possible upcoming "Old Wives Tales"

  • Cold water boils faster than hot water.

  • Casey Jones while speeding to make up lost time crashed but stayed with his train so he could apply the brakes until the very end saving many lives.

  • Adding cold water to a hot boiler will make it explode.

  • The vortex from a passing train can suck a person onto the tracks.

  • A coin placed on the tracks up against the locomotive wheel will keep it from moving.

Do you have any "Old Wives' Tale" questions you need answered? We might add them to the list.
email me




Survey Department

Here is our next survey... What 7.5" scale do you model in 1.5, 1.6 or beyond?


Other surveys

Locomotive Census

Card-Order for Riding Scales

 see other survey results


Satisfaction Survey for battery and gasoline locomotives

If you purchased a locomotive (not steam) in the past 36 months, I want to hear from you.

If you're happy or even if you're not happy with your locomotive, I want to hear about it.  I'll ask you questions like:

  • Was the manufacturer easy to reach?

  • Did your locomotive arrive on time?

  • Did you have problems with it?

  • Was it worth the money?

Email me to request your "Satisfaction Survey" now (in the text of your email type the word "survey".   This survey covers completed, ready-to-run locos only.  No kits or "home built" units please.



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Railroading Articles


Issue 206

A Riveting Article
or how to set rivets without going crazy

by Adam C. Madlinger

One of the more common techniques required when building models of the steam and early diesel era is riveting, or "setting” rivets. The railroads loved rivets, and for good reason: rivets are stronger than bolts in applications where high shear forces exist; that is, forces perpendicular to the shaft that tend to cut, or shear, the fastener in half. Even today, rivets are still used in industrial applications, especially in aviation.

Indeed, we are very fortunate in the hobby that rivets are still commonly used, as there are several vendors available to supply the perfect size rivets for our applications, as well as tools that make installing rivets relatively easy. Moreover, there are even products readily available that look exactly like rivets but work like nails, a great feature when trying to simulate a riveted look when it is not necessary, or perhaps not desired, to actually rivet the components together.

read entire article

Up Coming Articles:

Constructing a Diamond Junction
By Laurence Johnson

We need articles.
Send yours in today
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Recent Articles

Send in an article.  It's not hard to write about something you know.  This is not my web site, It's your web site! Contribute to your site. Give something back to the hobby. 
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Check out

Buy & Sell

For Sale
pages for great

USED Equipment
Unfinished Projects

Upcoming Events

Apr 25-27

Mill Creek Central

First Run Meet

Coshocton, Ohio

Apr 26-27

Riverside Live Steamers

Spring Meet

Riverside, California

May 2-4

Pioneer Valley Live Steamers

Steam Up

Southwick, Massachusetts

May 9-11

Train Mountain

Spring Awakening (Work Week Preceding)

Chiloquin, Oregon

May 16-18

Hesston Steam Museum

Regional Convention

Hesston, Indiana

May 16-18

Long Island Live Steamers

LILS Spring Meet

Brookhaven, New York

May 18

 Waushakum Live Steamers

Spring Steam Up

Holliston, Massachusetts

May 22-26

Houston Area Live Steamers

HALS/SWLS Memorial Day Weekend Meet

Hockley, Harris County, Texas

May 23-26

Los Angeles Live Steamers

Annual Spring Meet

Los Angeles, CA

May 30- Jun 1

Train Mountain

Narrow Gauge Meet  (Work Week Preceding)

Chiloquin, Oregon




More Calendar

More Live Steam RR events, check our
2014 / 2015 Calendar

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What's New?

Use this space to promote your new product or the next big thing in this hobby.
Send in your "
What's New" product or news today.

Little Engines Northern

Little Engines re-introduces the “original” 1-1/2” scale Northern.

After many years of work rebuilding and retooling patterns along with some major design changes, Little Engines is proud to once again offer their original 1-1/2” scale locomotive, the ALCO (formerly Old) Northern.

Designed by the team of Seymour Johnson (Goleta Valley Railroad) and Martin Lewis (Little Engines) from a period of 1947 to 1951, the big Northern is a representation of the early UP 800 class built by ALCO. The model lends itself to many other versions that ALCO built. Some of the major changes include:

  • more prototypically correct drivers

  • 1-piece link girders

  • individual driver axle boxes

  • a completely new swing link lead truck, which was designed by Dennis Riches, patterned courtesy of Chuck Hackett (1-1/2” scale UP 844 built by Dennis)

  • digitally cleaned and enhanced drawings as well as some new CAD drawings.

More improvements will come over time such as patterns for parts made from bar stock, i.e. valve gear rods. Changes and modifications also include the ability to build this locomotive as a heavy ALCO Hudson and can be adapted to build a heavy Pacific.

After near 4 years of work, Georgetown & Western 1690 (pictured here) built by craftsman Paul Keiser of Round Rock, Texas is the first locomotive built from all the new tooling and design changes and, to our knowledge, the first ALCO Northern completed in more than 25 years.

For more information on this truly magnificent locomotive visit Little Engines.

Little Engines Open House

Little Engines will be hosting an open house Friday and Saturday night April 11 & 12 for those wishing to stop by after Cabin Fever.

Times are from 4PM to 8 PM both nights Come visit the warehouse and browse the 100's of parts and accessories. Located in Lancaster PA. Call 732-239-9960 for more info.

Friday night at 6PM there will be pizza and ice cream no charge, first come first serve basis...if you plan to stop by drop me a PM or email so I get an idea on food to order. Looking forward to seeing you. Mike, Little Engines.


Use this "What's New" space to promote your new product or the next big thing in this hobby.
E-mail me your "What's New" product or news today.




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