Golden Gate Live Steamers

Continuous Dedication to Live Steaming & Model Engineering Since 1936

This photo was taken at the MODEL ENGINEERING SHOW 3-day event sponsored by the Golden Gate Live Steamers in the Oakland Auditorium in May 1955.  The gentleman in the photo is the late GGLS member Larry Duggan who operated the booth/"Sample" Stand to interested spectators in the live steam hobby.  It displayed 3/4" locomotive castings & prints and magazine exhibits such as The Model Engineer, Model Craftsman, the Miniature Locomotive and of course the club's official newsletter The CallBoy!

Larry Duggan was the originator of The CallBoy many years ago and he worked for the Santa Fe Railroad at the Superintendent's office.

Special thanks to Ken Shattock for this photograph and description!

From Ken Shattock, who has been affliated with the Golden Gate Live Steamers longer than anybody, he wanted to share the above photo of his late grandfather and himself.

"Taken at the old GGLS outdoor track at Redwood Regional Park, Oackland, California, the year is 1949 and there are still only three rails laid on the mainline right-of-way instead of four.  The fourth rail will be added BEFORE September 2, 1950.

If you look closely, you can see Ken's trains that he had on disply on the firing-up bay."

Historical Articles and Documents of Interest:

History of the Golden Gate Live Steamers - A brief tribute the the founders and the early years of the club.

 Golden Gate Live Steamers Track - A five page article written by Victor T. Shattock from Model Engineer dated August 9, 1951 which describes the early history of the club.  Submitted by Bruce Anderson.

STEAM TRAINS IN THE PARK - The story of the community partnership between the Golden Gate Live Steamers, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company and the East Bay Regional Park District.

Popular Science article - A five page article in Popular Science magazine that talks about the club in 1951.

GGLS Round House Build article - A seven page article in the December 1991 issue of Modeltec magazine that talks about the building of the current GGLS roundhouse at the club facility.

 Train Heaven - A 3 page article in the July 14, 1992 of The Monclarion newspaper

written by Linda Aube-Bernarano and submitted by Bruce Anderson on the impressions of the club in 1992.

Erich Thomsen & Redwood Valley Railway article - A fourteen page article (13.4 mb) in the August 1985 issue of Modeltec magazine titled Master Railroad Builder: Chapter 6 - Narrow Gauge - Tonnage & Revenue that talks about Erich Thomsen and the Redwood Valley Railway.

 GGLS 50th Anniversary Celebration - A four page article (5.197 mb) from the May 1986 issue of Modeltec magazine titled Golden Gate Live Steamers celebrate 50th ANNIVERSARY by Bob Cherry about the 50th Anniversary celebration at the Golden Gate Live Steamers facility.

 Past Presidents of GGLS - A list of past presidents of the Golden Gate Live Steamers starting in 1936.  It will be updated as time permits.

Stan James' 75th Anniversary issue

A previous 'History' of the Golden Gate Live Steamers was published in 1996.  It covered the years 1936 to 1996 and was compiled by myself, using such information as was available at that time, mostly from old copies of the CallBoy, and the memories of those members who were present near the time of its founding.

Since then Ken Shattock, grandson of our founder, made a number of corrections and additions to that history, based on this personal knowledge and published it on the club's web site, where it can be found.

All of this historic knowledge has been incorporated into this history, together with coverage of some of the many projects that have been undertaken in recent years.  The format of this 'History' has changed too, with more pictures interspersed with the text to create a sense of moving around the track while reading its history.

This version is aimed at both new members, who could never have known the early pioneers and those more knowledgeable.  As well as those members of the public who have little knowledge of railroad engines, beyond the spectacle they can display.

Because of the varied nature of the probable readers, no attempt has been made to go into the more technical aspects of railroad engine design and construction.  Instead I have given some basic design features, such as the wheel arrangement and the type of drive system by which an engine can be identified.  Using these one can look at one of the models on display and say "That's a Pacific or perhaps "That's an Atlantic".  Then along comes another engine that somehow looks rather odd, compared to the others you've seen and be able to say "That's a Shay".

On the other hand, if you are a spectator and really want to get more information, ask any of the club members who might be standing nearby and I am sure that he or she will be only too willing to help you.  You can then go even further and join the Club.  Just ask a member for an enrollment form, fill it in and you are on your way to enjoying a fascinating hobby (and you don't have to have an engine to join).  There are plenty of members who would be only too happy to help you on your way.

Stan James

Read the Stan James' 75th Anniversary issue

Sacramento Live Steamers 40th Anniversary

A report on the visit to the Sacramento Live Steamers during their 40th Anniversary celebration on May 17-19, 2013.  This can be downloaded here 

Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved.