Big changes at Staver Locomotive for Spring Steamup

By June 28, 2018Uncategorized

My name is Karl, and together with my wife Jenn, we have been building all the trackwork at Staver Locomotive since taking over for Tim Miller about 5 years ago.

For those who don’t know, Staver Locomotive is a very large and getting larger live steam railroad in a 16000 sqft restored industrial machine shop in NW Portland, Oregon. We have started on a large scale reworking of the railroad,

and Larry (owner) has given permission to post some details and pictures of the work we have undertaken.

At Staver’s, we try hard to build as much of the railroad in house as possible, including machining of all turnout frogs and points, and laser cutting of all kinds of support tooling, fixtures, and helpful aids of construction. Larry

has a complete machine shop, including CNC mill, laser cutter, and 3D printing. My duties involve working with Larry to invent, design, and construct everything we need to build the railroad. My wife Jenn welds and fabricates

the turnouts and associated parts. Then we both spend many hours like a well oiled machine installing our handiwork.

One new process, is that we design all our trackwork and turnouts using real railroad principles and design techniques. Using Templot 2 software, Larry and I are redesigning the railroad and printing out templates on

a plotter from which to shape curve easements(transition curves), and switch work including diamond crossovers and tandem curve turnouts.


The railroad as of early December at the Holiday steam up had about 700 ft running length indoors, and a couple hundred feet outdoor. The steam ups have become large enough that traffic on the original single track railroad had become

difficult to accommodate. So we have torn out completely, approx. 350ft of the mainline track, and associated yards, bridges, and sidings. Also, a significant amount of work is being done on the outdoor infrastructure in preparation for doubling the size of the railroad

over the next year. This all started with a desire to add a diamond crossover before the entrance to what we call the narrow gauge yards. Somehow this quickly turned into double tracking a previously single track section of mainline. which then led to…350ft of torn up railroad.

Progress has been steady, and this post is started with pictures of work completed in December, we are much farther along now, and over the next week or so I should be able to =bring you all up to date as I prep and post pictures.


Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the Spring Steam Up.


Here is a few pics of how we got started on this project. Starting with the our first diamond crossover.


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