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Model Train Categories
Live Steam Trains & Model Railroads
Model Train Categories
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.
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
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