Adirondack Live Steamers, Inc.

A Brief History

By Bruce M. Rauch

            The idea of a live steam club in SaratogaCounty, NY was first conceived by Don Buesing.  The first organizational meetings of what was to become Adirondack Live Steamers, Inc. (ALS) were held in 1983.  ALS was incorporated in New York as a not for profit corporation in 1984.  In 1995 the IRS granted ALS tax exemption under section 501(c)3 as an educational organization..  Donations to the club are now tax deductible for both federal and state purposes.


            In 1983 the new club received the generous donation of 6+- acres of land from Don’s father, Henry Buesing.  An additional 9+- acres was purchased from Mr. Buesing in 1995.  The purchase of 24+- acres from another neighbor, Charlie Pelloch, has brought us to the 39+- acre property we enjoy today.  The property is a live steam model railroader’s dream, containing hills, valleys, streams, ponds, fields, woods, developed areas and “wilderness”.


            Upon receipt of the first acreage in 1983, work began to build the railroad.  The donation of labor and materials from the members, friends and other organizations allowed the construction of the first complete loop of track to continue virtually nonstop.  A “golden spike” ceremony was held on November 14, 1987 amidst snow flurries.  ALS was now a viable live steam club with its own track and basic service facilities.


            In 1993 the first major track expansion, the Mountain Division, was completed.  The main line of the second major expansion, the Western Division, was completed in 2000.  ALS now had almost a full mile of mainline track traversing many types of bridges, long trestles, cuts, and two long tunnels.  Numerous sidings and yard tracks were in place or soon to be added.


            Many buildings are found at ALS including:

·       Depot/clubhouse – this building originally completed in 1987 has received two major additions and renovations over the years.  It now contains a large meeting room, large kitchen with pantry, three restrooms (including one that is handicap accessible), shower room, and a soon to be completed library.

·       Engine house – this sturdy building provides twenty storage tracks for locomotives.

·       Car barn – sixteen forty foot tracks provide plenty of car storage.

·       Several individual track side storage buildings for locomotives and cars.

·       Tool house and steel garage to help us keep up with all the maintenance.

·       An original crossing shanty from the D & H.

 Membership has continued to grow from 23 in 1983 to around 250 today. Our members cover the whole spectrum; from the member who is working at the club several days each week to the member who we see once a year; from the machinist who builds a live steam locomotive from scratch, to the person who sits on the bench and watches the action. All are welcome.

 ALS now has an active calendar. During the year we host two major meets, two family days, two prototype operation days, school field trips, membership day, a winter banquet, and a blow down meet to bring the season to a close in October.

 ALS is a very active club of diverse membership. 



  1. Reply

    Hey there,

    I am a videographer based in Saratoga Springs, NY.

    Circa 2000, I visited Adirondack Steamers, courtesy of Mr. Frank Pierson for my “Railroading” Merit Badge with the Boy Scouts.

    I am interested in making a short video documentary including interviews about Adirondack Steamers over the next few months.

    Here is my 2019 Show Reel:
    Youtube Channel with additional videos:

    Let me know who to speak to regarding this project idea.


    -Alexander Spinelli
    Eagle Scout

  2. Ralph DeSorbo


    I would like to visit the locomotive site within Saratoga County. Can you provide driving directions from Northway Exit #15 via email, please? If not, a road map would certainly help. that information Thanks you very much. I have been referred by one of your members, Chuck Currey.

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