I have not had a chance to run mine yet. I don't have a track yet and there are no other tracks around here that are big enough for it to run on. I have one on paper but there are on going negotiations with the Minister of Lands and Forests that must be resolved first before construction can start.
A couple of fellows from our local club and I are building a large portable track. When that's finished, we will be having a steam-up at my place and I will be able to run it then, hopefully in the next 2 weeks.
At this point in the game, I'd be just as happy if you took video of it and made choo choo noises in the background. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
I hope you're bringing it to Sacramento.
Just a tip, once you've finished your portable track, you can use corporate garages and warehouses to set it up indoors during winter weekends, since those spaces aren't used over the weekend. Also, suggest to museums, railcompanies and other institutions, that they might enjoy your live-steam track! This is based on Stockholm Livesteamers experience. In winter, this is how we get to run. In summer, we mainly visit member's own home layouts.
I would get crazy though, having a RTR S2 just sitting there... ;-) Seriously, Aster engines get collected (unrun) as much as run. Wich is good testament to Aster looks, but really sad in my view as a livesteamer.
Posted By Pauli on 06/16/2008 8:17 AM
Seriously, Aster engines get collected (unrun) as much as run. Wich is good testament to Aster looks, but really sad in my view as a livesteamer.
Get it running!!!!
I recently re-visited an old acquaintance in Berlin who collects Aster locomotives. I first met him in 1983 - he still has locos from before that date in their glass cases - unrun. Nothing he has bought since then has been steamed either.
As you say, a very great pity - their little hearts are meant to run on steam, not dust.
Personally, Dan and Tac, you are right about having to use the engines, but I must say that if it werent for those people who collect and have the engine as mantel clocks, we all would not have the opportunity to once in a while ccome across some unused or very little used engines.Recently I bought an Aster Western Maryland Shay (RTR) in pristine condition. Never used, with the original box, tools, etc. and I am very happy. Right now, I do not have a track ready, so I rather have them on display than on their boxes.
There are some down sides to a vintage engine that has not seen steam service. First and foremost could be "dry out" rings, gaskets and lines. Secondly, defective parts that were never bench tested and not longer available. While it's great to come across the pristine shelf queen, I'd rather have a used engine that has been well cared for.
It’s interesting, in North America most people want that “Shelf Queen” that has never been run. In England and more than likely Europe the buyer wants to see it run and as Charles says will go for an engine that has been used and looked after. They will not touch an engine that has not been run. Before everyone says they know people that have the opposite attitude I am just speaking for most buyers as seen by this Aster Dealer.
A few years ago I bought an Aster K4 that had never been run. The owner built it from a kit and put it on a shelf and left it there under plexiglass. I bought it from the owner's estate.
When I tried to steam it up, steam came out from every fitting. It seems that the builder, since he was not going to run it, failed to put any packing caulk on any fitting or gasket.
I had to disassemble the whole engine, boiler and cylinders and rebuild it all over using the proper sealers. It was a real learning experience. I was lucky that the manuals were included with the engine along with lots of spare parts.
It runs fine now. ( I did get a good deal on the price,though).
Speaking of "across the pond," Andrew was good enough to have offered an Aster GS4 that was in excellent operating condition. Here is another difference in the purchasing process via Aster vs. others. The engine was sent out for a "fine tune" and thorough inspection to ensure it was not only up to Aster standards but as good as new. There was nothing to do once it got here but to enjoy a fine Aster running at optimal conditions. That speaks well for Aster and it's dealers: excellent product and service.
As to used and new I guess it has to do with collector vs. operator.
Maybe the reason so few old Asters locomotives become available is that many owners believe in being buried with their locomotives believing they will carry them safely into the next world. Those who do not steam their Aster locomotive but keep it on their mantel are particularly devout and further believe only a pure virgin locomotive (never touched by man, steam oil, fire or dust) can successfully make the long journey into the next world and reach paradise. The more virgin locomtoives one is buried with the deeper one is carried into paradise and the more virgins they will recieve to keep happily steaming in paradise.
I'm told this is just a small part of the mystique and mysticism that surrounds Aster locomotives.
And I am posting a photo of my RTR S2 engine, No. 246 out of 257. This photo was taken by Pete Comley, which I ask him to check it out before shipping, just to be sure that everything is ok. Somebody post before that there were some RTR locos that were damage in shipping.