First, by way of introduction, please kindly know that I am neither a Novice nor a Newcomer to Live-Steam Modelling and Railroading. I have been "Hooked" on Railroading, especially Steam Locomotives, since "Knee-High". Raised in the Denver, Colorado, Region, I bore witness to the sad demise of the modern Steam Locomotive, mostly on the CB&Q Mainline northeast of Denver, and the unrelenting onset of the Diesel-Era-- beginning in the late 1940's, and into the 1960's.
Like many other young boys, I dabbled with both Lionel and H-O gauge 'Electric-Trains' for a short while. Those interests were permanently altered in 1958. That year, at age 12-- I had my very first incredible "Hands-On" Introduction to 3/4-Inch Scale x 3-1/2-Inch Gauge "Live-Steam Locomotives", by a wonderful 72 year-young Gentleman, a retired Union Pacific RR Loco Engineer in Denver, Mr. Arthur Wegner, and he became a very dear friend. Over the next several years, Arthur also became my most gracious and generous "Great Mentor" in the realm of "Live-Steamers" and in the "grittier" true aspects of Railroading. By 1960, I was actively building an LBSC "Tich" (in Art's Shop--), and also became the youngest Member of the Rocky Mountain Live Steamers Club, a casual regional group of only eight (or so--) Members of the RMLS. I also joined the BLS in 1960, with Harry L. Dixon, Secretary, which became the BLS Pacific Coast Division. By 1963, I also had joined the BLS East Coast Division, with Edgar Kruckeberg, Secretary. Many years later, in 1987, while a Member and 'Track Superintendent' of the Colorado Live Steamers Club (when their track was located at Kassler, CO--), I then became a Member of the IBLS Mid-West Division, with Ralph Tucker, Secretary. Today, it is a bit disconcerting to find myself as the sole-surviving, yet quite proud, living Member of the old Rocky Mountain Live-Steamers--!
As the years went by, I became less of an 'Active' Live-Steamer in the "Riding-Scales", while I was transformed into a "Full-Scale Career-Railroader". However, I am very proud to have accumulated several years of "Direct-Operating Experience" with Steam Locomotives in almost every Scale and Gauge (Gauge No. 1, 3-1/2 inch Gauge, 4-3/4 inch and 7-1/2 inch Gauges, 15-Inch Ga., 24-Inch Ga., and 36-Inch Ga., as well as Standard-Gauge--). My major Career was as a Locomotive Engineer, working mostly out of Denver, CO, on the Rio Grande from 1969 to 1987, and later on Amtrak from 1991 to 2004. I Retired in December 2004, and have since greatly enjoyed living in Delta, CO, fairly close to "The Heart of Narrow-Gauge Country". This is 'Home' where these days, I greatly enjoy 'Tinkering' with, 'Bashing & Building', and as frequently as possible 'Steaming' my 1:20 Scale x 1.75 inch Gauge Live-Steam Locomotives. Two or three 'Pilgrimages' per year are also made to visit with close friends, and ride the extraordinary & incomparable narrow-gauge steam trains of the "Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Ry" between Chama, NM, and Antonito, CO.
- Ken Scheer, Delta, CO -- 9 Jan 2018