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The fabled #1- Vertical Boilered Geared Locomotive, A full sized Kitbash

June 10, 2008

A fully functional kit bashing project, using REAL steam locomotive parts, and a Stanley Steam Automobile engine, mounted vertically (as opposed to being bathed in an oil pan in the car) this wood-fired locomotive is as down and dirty simple as a steam locomotive can get, and the “One Spot” as it’s called is the working classroom that has taught dozens of people how to operate a steam locomotive. As of Saturday afternoon, Included amongst those hallowed few is our fledgling fireman, Scott, another member of the Hillcret and Watoke, and Yours truly, the Author of Interacting With Miniature Railroading.

This fantastic locomotive was built by the steam nuts at the Glennwood South Park & Pacific located “somewhere” in the Santa Cruz Mountains back in the 1970’s.

This is Jay, The Engineer who helped build the #1 way back when, he taught me (not in the picture) how to run the #1.

The #1 is a 15″ gauge locomotive with more history in it’s parts alone than most full-sized locomotives.

It Includes:

-The Reversing Lever is the oil firing valve from a SP Cabforward Mallet

-The Gong is from a Key System Street Car (*Might be from San Francisco& San Jose Motor car too)

–  The Throttle Lever is from a Climax Geared Locomotive.

-The Brake lever is from a Short line steam locomotive.

-The Whistle is from a Norwegian Railways Steamer. It’s the best sounding whistle on the railroad!

-The Boiler is from an industrial plant in Colorado

-The Oil lubricator is from a DRGW steam locomotive.

The Labeled Backhead of the #1

1. Steam driven hammer for the bell gong

2. Oil lubricators for the gong

3. Stanley Automobile (Steam) engine 

4. Throttle lever from Climax locomotive

5. Reverser is actually oil feed lever from SP cab-forward mallet, AC class.

6. Water check valve

7. Brake lever (steam driven, not air pressure)

8.  Water level glass

9. Blower

10. Steam Pressure gauge (pop-valve set at 150 psi)

11. Whole pipe assembly of water injection system, small lever is water injector, non-visible red valve is water supply injector.

12. Clean-out plug for boiler

13. Small supply of wood stowed in wood pile, built as part of water tank

14. Fully-operational handbrake system.

15. Hole for water tank. (A cushy leather seat fits like a cork atop the hole.

16. Water tank drain valve.

17. Gong from SF&SJ electric interurban, shrouded in steam.

18. “pop” Safety Valve, set at 150 psi.


This closeup of the Stanley Steam Automobile Engine shows it’s unique vertical mounting, and the scratchbuilt drain cocks built out of the copper tubing you see snaking out of the cylinders. This locomotive is designed like a horizontal two cylinder Hiesler, but instead of a drive-shaft connecting the wheels, it’s directly geared to the axle of the first wheel, and is chain driven to power all four wheels of this 0-4-0T.

The black box in front of the engine is for the Sand supply.


This beautifully functional 15″ gauge, 5″ scale, vertical boilered masterpiece is reflective of California’s rich logging history, and somewhat representative of their down and dirty designs they implemented to drag logs out of the woods. This locomotive is also able to be hooked up to a steam-driven sawmill, specially designed with the #1 so it can cut its own wood supply!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 11, 2008 7:26 am

    For more information about Stanley Steamer engines have a look at this web site, regards, Jeff

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