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Highballing with the Richmond Hill Live Steamers!

Click on each image for a closer look!

Highball is not only the name of a famous mixed alcoholic drink but, in the world of railways, is defined as "a signal to start a train, given with the hand or with a lamp" and also as a "signal for a train to move at full speed". Engineers operating their trains at full speed were often described as "highballing" the train. Early railway signals consisted of a ball pulled up and down a pole to provide an engineer clearance to proceed. A ball high on the pole was clearance to proceed at full speed.

There are two large miniature railway clubs in the greater Toronto area. Members of both have contributed significantly to the development of the miniature railway in Roundhouse Park. One of these clubs, the Richmond Hill Live Steamers, operate an extensive railway in beautiful pine woods just north of Toronto. In the video below, we are treated to a steam-powered engine being highballed around their recently expanded trackage result in a trip over 6 minutes long which shows off their environment very nicely.

Note that neither they nor we travel at such speed when we are carrying the riding public. We limit ourselves to 10 miles per hour at those times.

Posting by Russ Milland; Video by Ron Melvin of the Richmond Hill Live Steamers; Photos above by Russ Milland

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