My 3.5 in. live steamer is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Drum Driver
Since they were asking for more pictures I thought I'd do my part...This is my live steamer...Its on display at our club now....I have about 140ft. of elevated track complete and plan on attempting to build a turntable at each end if I get around to it!


Thanks for posting the photos. Can you tell me more about your engine? Looks like it's a British prototype. What do you fire it with? Are you the builder?

I also notice you're in Shirleysburg, that's right next to my favorite narrow gauge line. (The East Broad Top, for those of you who aren't familiar with Shirleysburg...)


Drum Driver
It is a British side tanker and the builder is Steve McDonald from Maryland..he can be found on He has built a 7.5in that can be seen on the site (now is sold) and is currently building a big boy!..This guy AMAZED me..he was paralized in a motorcycle accident and was a machinist..he found a book on the steamer with plans and thought "I can make this"..that got him hooked..The day I went to buy the engine he was taking a transmission out of a van from underneath..He took a refrigerator cart, added wheelchair wheels straps himself in, and works on cars ect. NOTHING slows this guy down!...He does more than most able bodied people!!..I highly respect this guy!. The 7.5 was awesome...I can't wait to see the big boy. On my engine he built a ride on cart from a desk chair that straddles the track. But after a fast trip on it, he was afraid he'd fall from the elevated track and not be able to catch he started the 7.5. His wife, daughter and him take it to the club track and meets on weekends.
Anyways the steamer is fired by propane. It was originaly made as coal, but he thought feeding it with a tablespoon was a hassle...LOL. It has an onboard water pump and whistle, pressure rated for 90lbs...and used to be Maryland registered for the boiler..I painted it a few years ago and plan on doing it again soon.
And the East Broad Top turns the wye below my house..As a kid I rode my bike there and hid it in the weeds and watched the train. They'd ask me to ride but I didn't go at first. But months later I rode the train all day,all 6 trips.
My girlfriend took me last August on my B-day to ride it and I told her ,"Ya know I must have rode this thing over 100 times and this is the first time I ever paid!"...LOL


Registered Member
Staff member
In one word "Awesome", thanks for sharing your photos with us. Got any more? :D

Cheers Willis


Drum Driver
Can you provide me with the exact URL to the photo - there's a lot of stuff on this site, and I'd prefer not to have to wade through it all! ;)

If you click the link he is on the first page you see...scroll down and its titled "Stephen MacDonald with a full load" you can also click the "Info on Member's engines" just above the photos and click on the "10 wheeler" its the second one. And for those who love Chessie check out the one on "Member's engines" "diesels" at the bottom!! WOW!!

And I'll add more of my steamer soon along with the riding car...Thanks for the compliments and looking!

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