Steam in the Garden Steam Up 2006

I was lucky to be able to attend on the Saturday of the three-day steam up hosted by Ron Brown, editor and publisher of Steam in the Garden magazine.  Ron and his Faithful Assistant, Marie, are wonderful people and their annual event attracts steam enthusiasts from far and wide.  It's an opportunity to see a great variety of engines in steam (many of them unique creations) as well as the chance to see old friends, make new ones, and even to place faces to names you've known through communication over the Internet.  It was a drizzly day but the rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the group, though there was a premium placed on dry storage space beneath the tents.  In addition to Ron's double-tracked main line (one track being dual-gauge) there was a second portable track set up with another two circuits, and there was continuous action on both all afternoon. 

There was too much going on to take it all in, but below is a representative sampling of what I was able to photograph.  Thanks to Mike Bickford and Peter Foley for their help in identifying the items below.  My aplogies in advance if I've failed to indentify or incorrectly identified anything.
 When we arrived, Ken Roach's Roundhouse Argyll was running on the main line with a pair of Innisfail Tramway coaches from Tootle Engineering in Australia.
Harvey Campbell's vintage Tom Cooper "Aileen" running light on the portable circuit.
Larry Herget's scratch-built coal-fired "Ruby" conversion.  It ran nicely and reminded me that there's nothing like the smell of coal!
Rob Kuhlman's 32mm Mamod (much modified) with a pair of open wagons bashed from O scale vehicles.  The Mamod is fitted with an exhaust regulator which has tamed it and makes it a nice runner at scale slow speeds.
I took advantage of a lull in traffic during the lunch break to run "Aberfoyle" and some Irish stock.  Neil Ramsay's Swilly coach rightly attracted much attenttion and favorable comment.
Rob's Mamod took the opportunity to parade on the main line as well.
A rare sight--Peter Foley's Cuckoo's Nest "Katie."  It's a simple oscillator with very small cylinders which barely waggle.  The steam ports must be very close on the port faces!  There was one batch of these built in the US from parts acquired from Archangel (in the late eighties? early nineties?)  It ran wonderfully.  The coach is a vintage Archangel GVT open 3rd.
An Accucraft Mogul on the high iron.  Great looks, good performance, and a nice chuff.
Another bashed Ruby, this time turned into a very nice Forney by Harvey Campbell.  Note the brass boiler wrapper used to eliminate the straight-boiler look of the stock Ruby.  Ruby has a reputation for running indifferently, but this one had only been run once or twice and performed very well.  The train is also Harvey's work.

An alcohol-fired Accucraft 4-8-4 "Daylight" gets a tweak on the throttle.  You could hear the chuff of this engine on the far side of the track.

Yet another bashed Ruby, built by Jeff Young and based on the Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway in Canada, as is the train it's pulling.  The marvellous coaches are built from parts of Bachmann trolleys and New Bright Disney coaches, the box car was built by Eric Lloyd.  The locomotive was featured in Garden Railways a while ago.  The photo doesn't do justice to the real rivets, added painstakingly one at a time.  Jeff has a Web page on his H & LoB modelling at

  Bill Burgess' scratchbuilt NGG16 Garratt parked in the sidings after its run--which I missed :-( .  It's based on a pair of modified Roundhouse SR&RL #24 chassis.

  Lucky for me, I was able to see Bill run his K1 Garratt.  It ambled along smoothly not caring at all about the rain (unlike the photographer).  This engine was scratch built except for the Roundhouse cylinders.

  Ken Roach recently rescued this Aster NYC Hudson from exile in somebody's display case and converted it to propane burning with an aftermarket gas control valve.  It's now doing what it was meant to do all along--look beautiful and run flawlessly at the head of a long passenger train.
 The rain was coming down rather steadily as we prepared to take our leave, but the action carried on regardless.  We stayed long enough to watch Rob Kuhlman's Super Excelsior (with after market cylinders from  Milton Locomotive Works ) carry on despite the weather.  Note the last wagon, which is a pair of LGB Feldbahn cars bashed onto a 32mm gauge chassis.