The Los Angeles Live Steamers Membership Information and FAQ

[ Back ]

lals logo Los Angeles Live Steamers
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2156, Toluca Lake, CA 91610


About the Los Angeles Live Steamer (LALS) Railroad Club

The LALS railroad club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of the public interest and education in the equipment and operation of a railroad. Individual skills of members are cultivated in the railroad hobby through the actual layout and construction of roadbeds, trackage, signal systems, and member constructed and operated rolling stock. Operations skills are developed through train operation, hauling the public, and night runs.

Ideas and techniques in the hobby are developed through the exchange of ideas, equipment construction methods, and concepts not only among LALS members but also with members of other clubs at "meets" held throughout the nation. (In May, 1995 LALS sponsored and held and INTERNATIONAL MEET at its facility.) You will find that LALS members have a deep and gratifying interest in the hobby.

LALS has operated in Griffith Park since 1956. Among live steamer organizations world wide it is known as a Premier Facility. It has over 7000 feet of track in 7-1/2 inch gauge, plus trackage in 3-1/2 inch and 4-3/4 inch gauges. The club is permitted to haul the public free on Sundays as you have probably noticed.

LALS encourages family participation in club activities. However, it must be remembered that we are an operating railroad in miniature scale where safety for both children and adults is most important. Even though we are located in a park, the facility is not a play ground. Touring the facility must be prearranged for safety considerations.

The following questions are asked frequently:

  1. Do I have to own a locomotive to join LALS?

    NO. Most applicants do not own any rolling stock. One reason for joining is to learn about such equipment and develop a preference, then build or procure what you desire. Commercially manufactured equipment is available (also in kit form), and used equipment becomes available when members upgrade.

  2. How much does a locomotive cost?

    Prices vary greatly depending on kind and complexity, and may range from $1,000 to $20,000 or more.

  3. What powers a locomotive?

    There are three basic types of locomotives based on power source: Electric (battery powered), steam (oil, coal or propane fired) and Diesel (usually gasoline powered, but sometimes powered by batteries).

  4. How much does it cost to join?

    An application form accompanied with a check in the amount of $150 ($100 initiation fee and $50 annual dues) is currently required along with an interview by the Membership Committee. You must appear before the Board of Directors for final approval at a regular monthly meeting of the Board.

    Minimum age is 18 years. However, junior memberships (ages 14 to 18 years) are available to family members of regular active members. (Cost $20.)

  5. Are there any additional requirements for becoming a permanent member?

    YES. First of all you must have an interest and a commitment in the live steam hobby. At LALS a new member is required to serve 24 hours of work at the club facility - a minimum of 4 hours per day - to become acquainted with "just what it takes to run a railroad." Also, six hours service on trains as a conductor, while hauling the public, is required. To work the trains, a member must be a qualified conductor. These requirements must be accomplished within your first 6 months as a provisional member.

  6. How may I become a conductor?

    A "Safety and Operating Rules" booklet is included in your new members packet. Study this booklet diligently, as a conductor is required to know safety precautions, while whistle signals, hand signals, and the operating signal system, etc. A review class with an accompanying quiz will be held at least once a month to verify qualifications and confer conductor ratings.

  7. Who may I call to obtain further membership information?

    Jack Goudie - (818) 784-6094

  8. Where may I learn more about the live steam hobby?

    There are two excellent magazines available at model railroad hobby shops. These are: Modeltec and Live Steam Magazine.

  9. How do I obtain an application?

    Membership application blanks are available from the station master at the public station on Sunday or from the Membership Chairman (see paragraph 7 above).

[ Back ]

© 1999-2002 George Schreyer
Created Feb 6, 2000
Last Updated September 21, 2002