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Live Steam Trains & Model Railroads

Live steam locomotives are models that operate by steam under pressure, produced by heating water in a boiler. Live steam model trains are usually larger scales that allow people to ride on them. These model trains are often found at amusement parks, tourist attractions, carnivals, and similar locations. Hobbyists may also have their own private live steam trains.

Live steam trains differ from garden railroads in size. Garden railroads are usually built in G scale, which ranges from 1:24 to 1:29 model scale. Live steam trains, on the other hand, are larger, typically 1:8 model scale. Live steam hobbyists often build their own model railroads from scratch, taking years to complete a private railway. Purchasing live steam trains that are already built can be very costly, from a few thousand for used equipment to over $100,000 for a complete brand new train.

One of the most famous live steam model railroads was located in Walt Disney's backyard. The animator and film producer had a fascination with trains. Helped by studio staff, Disney constructed a half mile 1:8 live steam train layout in his backyard in 1949. This train inspired Disney to include a narrow gauge steam train in his Disneyland amusement park in Anaheim, California.


Quick Facts

  • Some of the first model trains produced in the 1800s ran on live steam. These model trains were toy sized and were designed to run on the floor. They were abandoned in favor of clockworks due to the puddles of water they left behind
  • The world's largest live steam model railroad is Train Mountain, located near Chiloquin, Oregon
  • Founded in 1987 by Quentin Breen, Train Mountain includes 36 miles of 7.5 gauge track on 2,205 acres of pine forest. Train Mountain is now owned by the Train Mountain Institute

Recommended Items at Auction

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Stuart Models Gas Powered Steam Engine Set
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Stuart Models Gas Powered Steam Engine Set
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $600- $1,200
$707 Bids
Vintage Weeden Steam Engine
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Vintage Weeden Steam Engine
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$152 Bids
Box w/ assorted steam engine parts
Feb 27, 9:00 AM EST
Box w/ assorted steam engine parts
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Ship Vertical Steam Engine
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Ship Vertical Steam Engine
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
Steam Engine Accessories
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Steam Engine Accessories
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
Group Lot of Steam Engine Accessories
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Group Lot of Steam Engine Accessories
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$101 Bid
Lot of 2 Vintage Steam Engine Accessories
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 Vintage Steam Engine Accessories
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
Weeden No. 648 Electric Steam Engine
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Weeden No. 648 Electric Steam Engine
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$101 Bid
Weeden No. 670 Electric Steam Engine
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Weeden No. 670 Electric Steam Engine
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
Jensen No. 35 Electric Steam Engine
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Jensen No. 35 Electric Steam Engine
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
Jensen No. 60 Steam Engine
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Jensen No. 60 Steam Engine
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
Jensen No. 29 Electric Steam Engine
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Jensen No. 29 Electric Steam Engine
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$101 Bid
Lot of 2 Vertical Electric Steam Engines
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 Vertical Electric Steam Engines
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
Wilesco Steam Engine Set D-12
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Wilesco Steam Engine Set D-12
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
WORKING MODEL STEAM ENGINES
Mar 04, 6:00 PM EST
WORKING MODEL STEAM ENGINES
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
WEEDEN STEAM ENGINE
Mar 04, 6:00 PM EST
WEEDEN STEAM ENGINE
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
WEEDEN LIVE STEAM, STEAM ROLLER.
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
WEEDEN LIVE STEAM, STEAM ROLLER.
by William Smith Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Vintage Tin Floor Steam Engine and Tender
Feb 29, 5:00 PM EST
Vintage Tin Floor Steam Engine and Tender
by Railroad Super Galaxy
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
Clang-Clang Large Scale Steam Engine
Feb 29, 5:00 PM EST
Clang-Clang Large Scale Steam Engine
by Railroad Super Galaxy
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
Ideal Large Scale Steam Engines
Feb 29, 5:00 PM EST
Ideal Large Scale Steam Engines
by Railroad Super Galaxy
Est: $25- $50
$50 Bids
Weeden No. 666 Electric Steam Engine
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Weeden No. 666 Electric Steam Engine
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$100 Bids
Vintage EP Live Steam Engine
Feb 29, 5:00 PM EST
Vintage EP Live Steam Engine
by Railroad Super Galaxy
Est: $75- $125
$350 Bids
Group Lot of Steam Engine Accessories
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Group Lot of Steam Engine Accessories
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Live Steam Trains & Model Railroads


Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Railroad Super Galaxy

Railroad Super Galaxy

Potteries Auctions

Potteries Auctions

Atlee Raber Auctioneer

Atlee Raber Auctioneer