First page of the Operation Sessions archive.

[MLC] Big overhaul of the Shay locomotive

Posted by Gerd on Friday, 7 January 2022 with 1 Comment

Hello folks,

welcome in 2022 and I wish you all the best and more important health for the new year. Stay safe and enjoy your hobby.

In the past weeks and month, I spend a huge overhaul to my Shay-locomotive, which were not yet shown here on the blog. Meanwhile, the loco is back in service and performs great, as shown in the latest video.

Finally, I’ll show you some of the repairs I did along with some improvements. Let’s start with the new eccentrics I made to use ball bearings. This rebuild was actually done some while ago.

I noticed some slack in the eccentrics as the eccentric rings start to wear out. I ordered some ball bearings and made new eccentric-discs. I was able to find some workshop-drawings with important measurements.

Fortunately, I could reuse the eccentric rings by boring them out for the OD of the ball bearings. I left a small flange on the inside, which will hold the rings on top of the bearings. Once installed, they can’t move to the outside and will support each other in the center.

Additional, I made new cross heads from bronze. The original parts also show some wear and to avoid future damage, I simply made a new set. This reduced some more slack from the steam engine.

On some parts, I can’t exactly tell which material I made them from, so some parts might have worn due to bad material parings. Anyhow, if the overhauled engine will work for another 10 years, I’ll be happy for now.

Let’s move on to the next issues. The lubricator didn’t work fine the last runs so I spend some improvements here as well. I rebuild the drive from friction bearings to a ratchet drive which works more reliable. But here were some more issues to be eliminated like missing valve-balls and O-rings.

And when a lubricator doesn’t work for a longer period, it’s a good idea to check the cylinders. You may guess, they were dry as dessert and the piston rings in bad condition. So I took some PTFE and made a new set of piston rings.

Next surprise came up when I checked the valve chests and valve stem. The stem showed massive corrosion, probably they were made from regular steel instead of stainless. I replaced them with stainless parts and started reassembling. And as I went along…

… I found some more potential for improvements. The steam brake also caused issues with lots of leaks. I spend new seals and piston rings as well. A new improvement is a displacement lubricator for the brake valve and cylinder. This will help sealing the valve and the force of the brake system.

In parallel, I replaced some other broken parts and spend the final touches of my 1:7.2 scale rebuild. I re-arranged some pipes, lowered the cylinder cover in front of the cab, enlarged the front window on the fireman-side and re-shaped the diamond stack to a more Shay-like design. Last step was to replace the cab ladders from 1-step to 2-step ladders.

Now I look forward to a new season on 5”-gauge and especially to a new project in this scale which will start this spring here on my blog. Stay tuned for a new masterpiece to be born.


[MLC] Cold winter steam

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 23 December 2021 with 1 Comment

Hi folks,

yesterday, I made a trip to the club layout to run the last steam trains in 2021 together with Jonas. We had -3°C so the steam plums were great.

Unfortunately, the lubrictaor in my Shay still causes trouble, so I had to stop running earlier as expected. I tried but was not able to fix the issues in place, actually, I found some more weak points.

So at the end of the day, I loaded the Shay in to the car and brought her home into my workshop for overhaul. Beside the lubricator issues, I expect leaky piston rings, so there’ll be a long list with repairs over winter time including some upgrades here and there.

Anyhow, I which you all a Merry Christmas season, keep save and healthy and I which all the best for the next year. Enjoy your hobby and we’ll see us.

Cheers, Gerd

[MLC] Moody Lumber operation session

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 22 September 2020 with 1 Comment

Hello folks, a few days ago, I made use of the good weather and spend an afternoon at the club layout to dun my Moody Lumber Co. trains. My friend Jonas also joined and decided to steam up my Forney. So, this went up to be the first time in more than 4 years, that […]

[MLC] Flatcars part 2

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 23 June 2020 (Comments Closed)

Hi folks, within the last days, I finished the upgrade on all flatcars. In between, I spend a day at the club layout in Karlsruhe to run a short freight train with Shay #2. Together with a good friend, we made point-to-point operation on single track with halfway passing siding and time table. It was […]

[MLC] A day on Shay – Operating the Sisyphos-Logging-Branch

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 4 June 2020 (Comments Closed)

It’s finally complete. This might be the longest and most complex video so far. I hope you’ll enjoy ; -)

[MLC] First operation of Forney #2 after overhaul

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 with 4 Comments

Hello folks, after finishing the overhaul maintenance on the Forney, the next goal was a test run with some heavy train loads to check if the new-made smoke box door as well as the new seals are improving the performance of the loco. The best opportunity was given by the nearby “Dampflokfreunde Karlsruhe”. The track […]

[MLC] Running on our club layout

Posted by Gerd on Sunday, 8 September 2019 with 2 Comments

Hello followers, this week, I like to share the photos from the August operation session on our club layout. I ran my whole 1:7.2 scaled log train and had a great day. Most time, I was the only “show train” running on the inner loop, so I was able to enjoy very slow speed running […]

[MLC] Zürich “Tüffenwies” 2018

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 (Comments Closed)

Hello, with a one week delay, I’m happy to show you my latest videos from our 2018-trip to Zürich in Switzerland. As each year, the Swiss Dampf-Modell-Club holds a 4-day meet around the Ascension day. We had a great time there and meet a lot of friends and enjoyed the very nice layout which is […]

[MLC] 5″-gauge season 2018 got started

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 1 May 2018 with 1 Comment

Hello, last week, in I started into the 5″-gauge live steam season 2018. In preparation, I made a new cart for loading the loco. I got a scissor lift table and spend some modification to make is fit the large steam locos. As before, the locos are rolled up from the workshop on a wooden […]

[MLC] Forney steam up with issues

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 (Comments Closed)

Good morning, end of august, I visited our live steam club layout. Since I had a few operation sessions with the Shay this year, I decided to run the Forney this time. At least, I struggled with some injector issues and after four laps, I had to pull the fire, since I was not able […]