2009W. 71st St., Prairie Village, Kan.
Page 34 of the Jan.-Feb. 1961 issue of the Iron-Men Album has a letter from Mr. J. W. Hendricks describing his locomotive and stating that he never heard of a miniature locomotive with air brakes.
Wagner and Son of Plainfield, III., have built several locomotives with single cylinder air pumps. The Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works of Wisconsin Dells, Wis. have built at least three locomotives of 15 inch gauge with two cylinder air pumps. These locomotives have air brakes on the drivers, but I do not know as to the tender. No train air brakes however. To the best of my knowledge, both concerns are still in production.
Many years ago there was another builder of miniature locomotives with air brakes. I have even heard that trains built by this concern had air brakes on the entire train, but have nothing definite on this. Herschell -Spillman Co. of North Tonawanda, New York. A successor company is still building amusement devices and diesel trains.
Most miniature locomotives of a size suitable for amusement park service have no brakes of any kind. Friction is greater than one might expect, in spite of the greater use of roller or ball bearings. I speak of locomotives built commercially for amusement park use, not scale models.
I have photos of over 100 miniature steam locomotives and am interested in buying or trading pictures. I have some photos of Sandley and Wagner engines, which show the air pumps. However, I do not have a photograph of any Herschell-Spillman engine, other than the illustration in the Jan. 1939 Railroad Stories. This view shows the air pump. There have been two other views of this engine in Railroad Magazine, but they showed the other side of the locomotive. I would especially like to have photographs and post cards of any type of little locomotive used in the park service.
If you wish, I can supply you with pictures of park size locomotives with no brakes, hand brakes, steam brakes or air brakes. I never heard of any vacuum brakes on an American miniature.