Jack’s fantastic scratch build

How could I not publish this? Big thanks to Jack for sending it in. It put a huge a smile on my face. I’ve heard of scratch building before, but never junk building. Loved it!

“”Hi Al

I have been enjoying your site for more then a year now and its wonderful.

I thought you may like my kit bashed locomotive. Actually its a junk bashed locomotive. The boiler is 55 gallon drum, the drivers are bicycle rims with the centers welded in, the front wheels are off a go kart, the domes are mixing bowls, the headlight is a house light with a car bulb – yes it has high and low beam, the boiler head is a skillet, the bell came of a sunken yacht, the whistle works off a scuba tank in the tender, it has smoke and choo choo.

The sound is from four speakers and a radio detuned so you get static, then the speakers are turned off and on by a cam and switch on a drive wheel, works well. The cab will hold four kids and the tender holds the engineer and six more kids. Because it has rubber tires I can drive it down the street, took it to McDonalds drive thru once. It has a 8 hp motor and a lawn mower transmission. The entire locomotive took 9 months to build, its my baby. It celebrated its 20th birthday this month. Little neighbor kids who rode in it are now bringing their kids over for a ride.

Oh yea I gets of adults asking for rides also. Keep up the great work with the web site.

Jack, Jupiter, Florida”



“Hi Al, not done much on my South Wales layout lately, been concentrating on my 009 layout.

Thanks for all the tips this year and just to remind you of South Wales, here is a mixed goods train climbing to Bryncoch.


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

And if you missed the silly Christmas/ New Year offer, that’s here. Thank you for all the comments on it, and all the seasonal good wishes too.

That’s all this time folks, keep ’em coming.



33 Responses to Jack’s fantastic scratch build

  1. Steve Hudacko says:

    Jack. That was amazing. I would love to have a ride on your train.
    Alan I have one complaint it was to short. I would like to see more of your layout
    Steve from Toms River

  2. Alan roberts says:

    Jack, what a fantastic loco you have there, I would love to see the faces of the McDonalds staff at the drive thru.
    Brilliant, Alan UK

  3. steve says:

    Love it Jack
    has me thinking how I could do the same with an old garden tractor , I’ll watch for your train next time I’m in Flordia
    Steve , from W .Pa

  4. kevin says:

    Thomas the tank engine has nothing on you brother, what beautiful work of art contributing to model railroading…….Great job!!!!!

  5. Tom says:

    Possibly my favorite blog of this year. Thank you Jack and Alan for great work.

  6. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    Jack: Your engine is extraordinary!!!! I can imagine the looks on the faces of the
    little kids when they see that. And the local police as well.
    Alan: If your 009 is as good as your present layout it must be fantastic.

    Thanx men

    Fitz (from almost Philly)

  7. Chuck Bartunek says:

    What a great build of the Cannonball II,would like to see more of both articles ,thanks for sharing

  8. David Steuerwald says:

    looks great. I’ll bet the McDonalds staff where shocked

  9. Mike Pettruzzelli says:


  10. Bill Andritsch says:

    Oh that is a sweet train, I would love to see more construction details if possible. I have many of the needed components to build a similar one for my grandkids and would they ever like driving it in the local parades.

  11. Ken Goldenberg says:

    Jack that is fantastic! It’s so good I thought you bought it from an amusement company until I read your post. You must have built it well to last 20 years! Nice

  12. Ken Goldenberg says:

    Great layout Alan, your scenery is fantastic. Post more!

  13. Frank Mucciolo says:

    Your not just one of the run of the mill guys Jack, you must have some kind of engineering skills to have built such a nice looking engine and tender. You did explain a lot of what you used in material but what about the cab & the control of both trucks to make her run. You did a great job, no more needs to be said.

  14. Nathan Perreira says:

    Thanks Jack, for sharing your photos of your engine it looks like you had a great time creating it and you did such a great job on it. I bet there was a lot of happy faces waiting in line for a ride.

  15. ARNIE STEINER says:

    Jack, that’s an amazing accomplishment of “loco” bashing a beautiful resemblance to the historic 4-4-0 American steamer. And to make it even more apropos, it’s named after the CP Railroad’s “Jupiter” of 1869 and you built and operate it in “Jupiter” Florida. WOW!

    Have you considered seeking to patent it and see if a manufacturer would buy rights o produce and market it to the public?

    Great Job!!

  16. ARNIE STEINER says:

    Hi Alan — A wonderful the layout video. Would like to see more of it. What scale are you running” You’ve done a nice job of weathering the loco and rolling stock. Love the bass and depth of the chuffing. Is it onboard sound or post-edited audio?

    Keep up the great work!

    And thanks to you Al for these two enjoyable posts by Alan and Jack.


  17. paul Otway says:

    i love that train.

  18. Rob McCrain says:

    Having your own ridIng train would be wonderful. Alan please let us see more, what we could see was wonderful. Rob McCrain

  19. Ian Mc Donald says:

    that is a great scratch build it really would make people stop and look. nice layout need to see more.

  20. wow wotta great build the Loco is
    I always wanted to build somethng like that too!!
    I wanna ride……!!
    stjohn in long beach calif

  21. kevin says:

    It looks better built than most American cars!!!!!!!!

  22. Austin Wilson says:

    WOW, that is awesome Jack. That is so neat.

    Awesome video Alan, thanks for sharing, more please.

    Austin, Eastern Canada.

  23. Robin Hallam says:

    like to see more layout. your corner detail looks interesting.

  24. Brian Rockey says:

    That’s a truly amazing loco Jack!
    Lovely layout Alan, very realistic.
    Best regards to all
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  25. Chris Munson says:

    THAT is just fantastic! I’ll be moving my wife’s car out of the garage as soon as I get back from the junk yard………….

  26. Allan Clarke says:

    I am stook fur words

  27. Beautiful locomotive, Jack. many thanks for sharing. You make it seem like it was easy to make, but I’ll bet it took a long time and terrific planning to get it so perfect. Beautiful paint job too. Love Alan’s layout and the sound on the video was awesome. All it needed was smoke to make it indistinguishable from the real thing.

  28. Anton Bruce says:

    I can only imagine the faces on the kids in the McDonald’s play area when you came through with that loco. I would bet you were immediately swamped by kids!!

    That loco is just so darn cool it’s amazing!

  29. Will in NM says:

    Jack, When I read your description of your home-built locomotive, I was expecting to see something like the kids from the old “Our Gang” comedies would have put together. I am totally impressed by how great and professional your engine turned out. You are a true craftsman!

    Alan, Great video! I really liked the sound effects the second time when I watched with my headphones on.

  30. Stephen Dean says:

    What a great piece of junk. I love junk like that. Very well made.

  31. Dean says:

    Jack!!! Any chance of you sharing a video or two of your J&StL creation… I am certain we would all enjoy seeing it in operation

  32. Erick says:

    Look Great.!! I always wanted to put a railroad outside but never got around to it.

  33. Great work on both parts. However, Jack I want one! LOL

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