Steam School 2021

Jerry Christiansen

Mega Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Hi everyone,

Steam School 2021 is ON! In other words, Steam School 2021 will happen!

People that had their name on the list to attend the 2020 Steam School should be getting notification from Tom H soon. Tom's letter will describe how things will be handled.

For several years we have had steam engines belted up to Prony Brakes so graduates of Steam School or new engineers can practice firing under load. We plan to offer the same experience this year.

In 2019, the Port Huron crew offered people the opportunity to check off several items on the 'punch list' in preparation to take the test. The Port Huron crew has offered to provide that service again this year.

Information about the Minnesota Historical Boiler License can be found here.

Here is the list of items needed to check-off before taking the exam:

1) Bring boiler up to operating pressure from cold start
2) Maintain boiler water level using both types of feeding devices
3) Monitor boiler water level with tri-cocks
4) Test safety valve manually while under pressure
5) Blow-down boiler, Including sight glass
6) Prepare boiler for inspection, Ultrasonic and Hydrostatic
7) Belt Engine up to pulley
8) Operate engine on level, uphill, and downhill terrain
9) Perform shutdown of engine (Emergency)
10) Drain and clean boiler for storage

We can't guarantee that every person will get to check off every item. We will be able to provide opportunity to check off several of them.

If you are a graduate that needs experience, let us know so we can get you on the list.
One way to let us know is to post here. Or, you can send me a PM

If you are a Rollag engineer that is willing to be part of this, let us know so we can be sure we have enough steam engines for the folks that are interested.

Jerry Christiansen


WMSTR Lifetime Members
WMSTR Lifetime Member
I'll be one of/the folk(s) bringing the Port out to play on Steam School weekend, Lord willing and the river don't rise...

As engines go, the Port is pretty simple and straightforward. If we're intentional and industrious about it, I believe it's possible to get through most of the checklist in one day, even accounting for the mid-day need to have the engine steamed up and available for new school attendees to lever on for a bit.

I dunno who might show up, how industrious they might feel, or what they've got left on their list, but as one granted stewardship of one of the show's engine's I feel a responsibility to be accommodating and helpful in terms of affording others opportunities to gain experience and exposure.

I also want to respect the process and ensure that people actually -do- the items on the list. It's helpful to have some idea in advance what people need to get checked off, so as to use the time of the occasion to best advantage. If there are folks that want to try doing a full pull on the checklist, Saturday would probably best starting on the early side and probably running well past beer-30, but I have some flexibility with regard to real life and could probably stay late Sunday too, if folks were seriously interested. Lots of people can come past and poop the pop valve or blow down the glass, but the more time-intensive tasks like start-up, clean-out, etc. deserve some closer and more personal instruction. I'd like to try to limit those activities to perhaps two or three persons, depending.

Please (Please!) say so in advance if you'd like to get some of these items taken care of. Sanders and I are desirous of help in looking after the Port and operating it during the show. Consider this an invitation to interview for a place on the crew.


Mega Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
If anyone ( students past or present) want some run time I'm planning on making smoke Friday before steam school.

Darren Gunderson

20 Minneapolis #8702 Crew
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Minneapolis 8702 crew will be working on the engine the Thursday before and plan to run some on Friday. If there are students that want some time I am sure we can arrange something if we know there is interest.


Mega Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Just a little update. There were some engines moving around last weekend with a few more getting put together. Looks like there are going to be quite a few engines out and running for steam school ( probably more than shown at most steam shows) I've heard roughly 10+ engines not counting the sawmill or miniatures so there's lots of opportunities to get some hands on.
Looking forward to seeing everyone

M Kirschenman

Intermediate Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Just a comment – I’ve been corresponding with several railroad museums around the country to collect information on the original configuration of our model WLG Plymouth locomotive (AKA) “The Dingy”. Turns out it a quite rare model with only one other non-operable one in existence. More on that later.

What’s worth passing on for this part of the forum is that two of the groups, the San Luis Obispo Railroad museum and the Fort Wayne Indiana Railroad museum had several members each attend Steam School at WMSTR in the past and the wanted to let us know what a fantastic experience it was for them and that it was absolutely worth the trip, despite the long travel distance for them.