He Builds Steam Locomotives To Scale
Live steam train engines big enough to sit on and control are Wayne Godshall’s passion. The professional machinist has more than 40 years in a business that lets him do what he loves best, building live steam trains to scale. He estimates he has worked on well over 365 engines and scratch-built more than 60 locomotives over the years.
    “You can’t make a living building trains, so we do all kinds of work,” says Godshall. “We have 5 full-time employees and fully computerized equipment. We had one of the first CNCs. If I can’t do it in-house, I have friends who can.”
    It’s friends who got him into the business. Already a machinist, Godshall had started on a kit locomotive but needed to do boiler work. He didn’t know how, but was told a man named Joe Mastrorocco did.
    “Joe took me under his wing, and within a 2-year time span, I completely scratch-built a locomotive with the exception of the steam gauge,” says Godshall.
    He makes boilers for the train engines he makes and sells. Tested at up to 300 psi, they normally operate at only 125 psi. Many of them today are for his own locomotive design, a scale steam locomotive called a Pennsylvania R.R. Consolidation. Known by its designation H-10 2-8-0, it is 9 ft. long, 16 in. wide and 22 in. tall. The coal-burning steamer weighs in at 850 lbs. It has proven to be a popular design.
    “It does everything you want from a model locomotive in terms of pulling power and braking,” he says. “It’s not too big. One man can operate it, tend it, track it and rerail it if it derails. You just sit on the tender and do everything from there.”
    While providing a look back at an old technology, Godshall uses the latest technologies in producing them, such as water jet-cut steel and CNC machining. A unique steam-over-hydraulic disc brake system provides strong braking power.
    The H-10 Consolidations can sell for $29,000 unfinished, but ready to run. “At that stage, it is in primer,” he says. “Just add water to the bladder in the tender and oil, build a fire, and it will run. It comes with handrails and a headlight, but there are a lot of details to add.”
    Fully detailed, painted, wired and complete can bring the price to around $40,000 or more.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Godshall’s Custom Machining & Live Steam, 4614 Valley Rd., Shermans Dale, Penn. 17090 (ph 717 215-7776; godshallworks@embarqmail.com; www.godshallscustommachining.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1