Behind the Scenes at Kosters

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dnevil
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Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by dnevil » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:34 pm

Bill Koster has just completed an e-book detailing the equipment built at his company, Koster's Miniature Railroad Supplies, over a period of 12 years. Bill was a prolific builder and (still is) a promoter of the live steam hobby. The e-book can be downloaded from the IBLS website:

http://ibls.org/mediawiki/index.php?tit ... es#History

Happy steaming!
Daris
Daris Nevil
IBLS Secretary
North American Region
http://www.ibls.org

chooch
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by chooch » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:34 pm

Thank you Daril for a great post here.
I can remember in the early 70`s on high rise Cold Winter construction taping under my hard hat visor the words "diesel trucks" to help carry me on to save money to buy a pair. Jeez. Those were Long Cold days but I finally got them. And you know, they`re still sitting under the bench unused. :oops:
chooch

hwboivin3
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by hwboivin3 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:00 pm

Chooch,

Don't feel bad.

I have a set also sitting under my bench for the last 30+yrs!

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hollahan
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by hollahan » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:24 pm

Do you have good traction motors from Koster? I could be persuaded to take them off your hands if you don't want them...

Jon

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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by hwboivin3 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:38 pm

The motors I had were in my opinion.....junk. They were not even close to what's available now.

I gave them away yrs ago.

But I'm not sure where they came from.

chooch
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by chooch » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:41 pm

Jon,
You probably know a Lot of us have gone to Scooter motors now. With smaller Diesel locos "some" guys even use scooter controllers though I haven`t heard of to many.

I don`t think Bill K has anything left to speak of from what he said. He sold everything to the new people that bought his house And trains. Plans, drawings, whatever. I just asked if any five " were still around--nothing.
chooch

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110HLW
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by 110HLW » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:54 pm

I also have 2 sets of Koster truck castings under the workbench. Someday they will replace the Miller Backyard Railroad trucks that are still rolling along under 2 of my cars. By the way, I own the realistically weathered gondola in the photo as well as a weathered Koster built hopper car. A couple of years ago I sold a Koster gp40 to a guy in Iowa. Bill made his trains to last!!!

Corey

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Solar1953
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by Solar1953 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:36 pm

I have always been rather curious as to the young ladies who posed with the equipment in the catalogs. Were they Daughters, Nieces, Friends,??? Always made the catalogs VERY pleasing to the eye!

chooch
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by chooch » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:01 pm

Corey,
Good Grief!!! I meant to reply a long time ago. If I could age as slow as I write--Ha, Dream On :lol: especially about the old Miller trucks. All my parts came after Miller, from Bethlehem Models. I still use at least four pair of Diesel trucks, freight trucks and some couplers just to fill in on front of locos. I still have a full set of Steam engine plans and castings, many other plans and parts from early 70`s. My first diesel switcher is built from the plans is still in use though Not with the Friction drive. That might be used for a Speeder. Very simple system and Very good for kids.
That stuff was, is still darn good.

Yes, Bill Koster did make his cars And locos to last. Darn good to scale and Detail. I have one of his gondolas too.
chooch
110HLW wrote:I also have 2 sets of Koster truck castings under the workbench. Someday they will replace the Miller Backyard Railroad trucks that are still rolling along under 2 of my cars. By the way, I own the realistically weathered gondola in the photo as well as a weathered Koster built hopper car. A couple of years ago I sold a Koster gp40 to a guy in Iowa. Bill made his trains to last!!!

Corey

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hollahan
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by hollahan » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:03 pm

I worked for Koster in the late '70s. The young ladies were from local churches and schools and mostly did office and shipping work, but in rare cases were sent into the shop to help with construction or outside to help with trackwork.

Jon

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Harlock
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by Harlock » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:37 pm

What a pleasant surprise that read was.

It was a good reminder of how much more complicated speed controllers were before electronic speed control. Using gangs of diodes to drop the voltage in steps. The speed control for my new speeder easily fits into the palm of my hand, including the heat sinks. Since it uses regen braking most of the energy goes back into the battery and motor rather than out as heat.

Also fascinating is the progression from very simple to very detailed prototypes, beginning with that little 4 wheel switcher and ending with steam outlines and big diesel locomotives, all while still using simple manufacturing techniques and minimal equipment.

In addition to being nice eye candy, the ladies demonstrated how beefy everything was built, you could lay across the large passenger coaches without fear of denting thin sheet metal.

from the description of his motor arrangements, it occurs to me that a lot of his engines were insanely overpowered. You would never have to worry about pulling anything.

--M
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
Contributing Editor, Live Steam Magazine
Webmaster, Allen Models of Nevada

chooch
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Re: Behind the Scenes at Kosters

Post by chooch » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:06 pm

Harlock,
If you look at this all the way you can read about Koster`s Mountain railroad. Doesn`t show well the real grades and curves but I`ll tell you it is scary. This Was kOSTER`S home and railroad now for sale in No. Carolina. Worth the read.
chooch
http://discoverlivesteam.com/discoverfo ... /index.htm

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