I have just come across this web site and have a story to tell concerning H0 and 00 gauge live steam locos.
Way back in 1976 a freind showed me a brass model of a steam loco which he had just purchase for what seemed a high price.
I commented that it was an electric loco disguised as a steam loco.
He said that it was not possible to make a live steam loco that small and none were available.
Being an engineer I said I will make you a 00 gauge live steam loco as it seemed a simple job.
As a hobby I designed and made three prototypes.
They were all gas fired with the boiler in its proper position and the gas tank and burner in the tender.
The first was a single cylinder direct drive. This worked reasonably well but had very poor low speed performance.
The next was a single cylinder gear drive to the axle. This was very succesful and would run well at modest speeds.
The third was a twin cylinder gear drive with a N gauge electric motor in the tender which controlled the steam valve via a cable.
The wheels were insulated hence using the usual controller the electric motor could stop start the loco and make it reverse.
The single cylinder geared loco proved the simplest and best option.
My friend was delighted and ran his loco on his table top layout with some success.
Soon I had many enthusiasts asking to buy a live steam 00 gauge loco and I set up a cottage industry making them and over a period of six years some 180 locos were made and sold.
Clubs were formed in USA and Australia where these locos were run ar exhibitions creating great interest.
Sadly I did not have the time to keep a tight control on the production and defective locos started to come back for refunds.
I then decided to close the business.
I was approached by Hornby but they decided against a gasfired loco and wanted an electrically heated version which would not work on the 12V system in use.
I ran my locos on live TV for Blue Peter and it performed well starting stopping and pulling a few carriages.
The Hornby live steam locos are excellent and full of electronics which had not been invented in 1967.
However they lack the involvement of firing up raising steam and cleaning up after