A review of Starting in Steam – An Introduction to Live-steam Model Railroading By Scott E. McDonald, Carl Weaver and staff


SitG Bok CoverThere are an extraordinary number of publications – from the 1830s to the present day – that describe the use of steam for propulsion ranging from traction engines to steamboats; from factory engines to railroad trains. Newly introduced to the prospective live-steamer is this easily read primer on small-scale live steam locomotives. The book neatly fills the void of information necessary for a prospective entry-level steam locomotive engineer. David Cole, Editor of Steam in the Garden, eloquently describes the thoughts behind their new book…


“…It soon became clear that while our segment of the hobby was growing, many considering entering small-scale live steaming were trepidatious about our little fire belchers. What was needed, we realized, was a guide book for getting started

[in] live steam model railroading. Two of the magazine’s most prolific authors stepped up to the challenge and provided us with the benefit of their decades of experience in the hobby.”


In their latest offering, the prospective hobbyist is presented with over 45 descriptive photos within the 138 pages of the 5-1/2″ × 8-1/2″ book. There are 10 chapters that introduce the reader to all of the major topics a lives steamer is likely to encounter. They range from identification, safety, tools, lubrication, fuels, and firing the locos to what you would need to build an outdoor track. There even is a glossary. The author’s biographies are included and prove to be interesting of their own accord. Each chapter is readily understandable, clear in content, and will give you all the information necessary to get you started.

If you have ever seen a G-scale steam locomotive in motion, be it at a model engineering show or a track meet, and wondered just what it would take for you to be part of the activity, this is the book you need to launch you into the fascinating hobby of live steam railroading!

Available in both paperback and digital versions on Steam in the Garden’s website at www.steamup.com, the book retails for $9.95 (shipping extra) and the digital version is $5.95. You can also order by phone at (607) 642-8119. Check it out! Neil Knopf


Published by:

Steam in the Garden, LLC

P.O. Box 719

Pacifica, CA 94044-0719