Category Archives: CKH Plans

A PDF (digital) copy of the plan book now available

You can now get a PDF (digital) copy of the CK Holliday Plans Engine Study Book in addition to the hard copy. This is a 1:1 PDF copy of the 2nd printing of the plan book, with no printing restrictions or watermarks. The PDF book is immediately available for download once you complete the purchase. You can get it right here.

On another note, I just now noticed that while you can leave comments, they do not show anymore. Sorry about that, this isn’t intentional and I’ll look into it.

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the real deal

Drawings of the real steam locomotives are hard to come by. They are usually old, or have been lost, or incomplete, inaccurate, or over simplified. Whatever drawings that exist are usually guarded and “proprietary”, so there’s very little luck that you can get your hands on a complete set without knowing someone on the inside.

Perhaps a big attraction to the CK Holliday Plan Book is that you canĀ get your hands on a fairly complete set of plans, based on a very popular engine, made in the same style as the “real deal” drawings.

So, once a complete set is up for grabs, I think it’s a pretty big deal, and I definitely want to let you know about it. This is a complete set of the Promontory locomotives. They are made available because these drawings were produced with public funds to construct the full-size replicas. So, indeed, this set is the real deal.

The full size replica of Jupiter… it has a similar Victorian American feel to a certain little engine, doesn’t it?…

You can head over to the International Brotherhood of Live Steamers’ page to download your own copy. It comes in two parts, covering a staggering 786 sheets! In comparison, the CK Holliday Plan Book has about 100 sheets but some of them are text. And of course, that’s without the tender. (According to me, my Holliday model had about 3500 parts with 676 of them unique—again, without tender).

Sheet 104 of 786

PS: The coding for the sim 1.0.2 update was 100% Unfortunately, during the update some bugs were introduced and prevented the sim from building/compiling, so it’s going to be a bit of a tedious work bug hunting/fixing some dependencies. But, yes. the good news is that the coding of new features is done and we’re almost ready to release the update!

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up close with the ck holliday in fullerton

Last month, the CK Holliday made a very special appearance at the 2016 Fullerton Railroad Day. It was a momentous occasion because it was the engine’s first public appearance in quite a few years.

2016-04-30 09.36.09-me

Why the disappearance for so long? The Holliday recently underwent an extensive refurbishment at the Hillcrest Shop in Reedley, California. The engine received a new boiler, new plumbing and appliances, and many more improvements and changes. Indeed, she’s the “newest” that she’s ever been, since 1955 when she was “actually new”! This is truly an exciting moment for the engine.

Trivial rumors might also suggest that Pixar’s CEO John Lasseter had some say in the direction of the refurb, given that he’s an avid train fan and the Hillcrest Shop did work for him before.

Join me as I survey the engine up close and personal, and talk to the DRR crew. I also make some before-and-after comparisons to get an idea of what kind of work was done on the refurb (… and it’s indeed very extensive!)

In a later update, I’ll post a selection of pictures I find interesting. For now, enjoy the video…

…and this bonus picture (I had to do it!)

A picture of the CK Holliday cab with the Engine Study Plan Book (Author for scale)

A picture of the CK Holliday cab with the Engine Study Plan Book (Author for scale)


Filed under CK Holliday build, CKH Plans, Steam Engine Simulator

45: tender frame

I bet you didn’t think you’d see another CK Holliday build update! There’s so much going now on this blog between the virtual build, the simulator, and the Haunted Mansion. But, I thought I’d go ahead and post some pictures to show what I have so far for the long-waited Holliday tender.

2015-03-13 16_37_36-SolidWorks Premium 2012 x64 Edition - [1.1001_chassis _]

There are just four steel beams supporting the tender “tank” above. Can you tell which end is the front? Yes, there’s a difference!

2015-03-13 16_38_10-SolidWorks Premium 2012 x64 Edition - [1.1001_chassis _]

The trucks are detailed with their springs and pockets and saddles.

2015-03-13 16_38_46-SolidWorks Premium 2012 x64 Edition - [1.1001_chassis]

And of course the “Disneyland Railroad” and “Lovsted, Seattle” stamping!

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Plan Books nearly sold out!


It’s been a long time since my last update. Not much has been going on. The tender is still on the drawing board, and there’s been some progress on the Haunted Mansion facade set. In fact, I actually redrafted that set.

You should know that both Regular and Special Edition of the CK Holliday Plan Book are nearly sold out. So, if you’ve been putting it off, get it now before they’re gone. Reprinting of the plan book is not being planned at this time.

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new item: the ck holliday colorized poster

I’d like to introduce a new item: the CK Holliday colorized poster, showing three views of the engine in her 1955 colors along with text of the engine’s history, statistics. It also label the major (or what I find interesting on the engine) components with extensive description.

The drawings and text comes directly from the Plan Book. The poster will be priced much less than the book, so this will allow many more people to get a taste of the detail in the book.

Click on the small picture to see a larger version.

poster1_watermarked preview_large




And of course, the real poster does not have watermarking.

The poster will be available on for $35 plus S&H starting sometime next week. I will also be selling them for $30 at the coming Sacramento train show, and as usual, I’ll be there to sign them too!

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San Diego show update

The San Diego show is off to a great start! We’ve met lots of fans and talked with Michael Broggie from Carolwood!

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the plan book special is now available for order!

The Plan Book Special Edition is printed on heavyweight paper and darker drawing lines. It comes shrink wrapped and has newly designed front and back covers, also on hard, heavyweight paper.

Earlier I had said that the Special Edition is hardcover. It’s not like textbook hardcover, but more like very stiff paper.

Here are some pictures comparing the thickness of the regular vs. special edition, and of the back cover. A preview of the inside has been posted earlier.



The Special Edition is now available for purchase at for $134 plus shipping and handling.

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san diego and sacramento train shows!! (and the finished cab head)

GOOD NEWS! and whiskeybeforebreakfast will be showing and selling at the San Diego and Sacramento “Greatest Hobby In The World” Train Show in February!!!


Come meet your favorite author of the CK Holliday Engine Plan! HAVE YOUR BOOKS SIGNED!!!

We will also sell the Plan Book at a very special discounted show price of $79!! This special discount can’t be found anywhere else!!!!


Exclamation Points!!!!

Also, Plan Book Special Edition will be available at a special introductory price of $84! By Grabthar’s hammer, WHAT A SAVINGS!!!

There’s more! Steve Degaetano’s No. 5 Ward Kimball book, From Plantation to Theme Park, will also be available at an incredible $20 only! Not only that, the books will be specially signed by author and illustrator!


And finally, the CK Holliday Model will be ON DISPLAY!! Come see the actual model in person! If you really like it, you can order the CK Holliday Model Kit right at the show!!! And, you guessed it, it’ll be at a discounted show price!! (TBA soon). There will also be a sample of the kit for you to look at!

So special!!

Spent all your cash at the Indian Casino?? No problem!! We can take CREDIT CARDS!!!


So, whacha waiting for?! Better start running now to San Diego or Sacramento! Pack up your wife/husband/lover because you’re going to go see (and buy!) the best CK Holliday Plan Book and Model kit in the WORLD!!!!!!

San Diego:
February 9-10
Del Mar County Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd
Del Mar, CA 92014

February 23-24
California Exposition & State Fair (CAL-EXPO)
1600 Exposition Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95852

Oh also the cab head’s done:


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ck holliday study plan now available at carolwood pacific!

In addition to buying the Plan Book directly from, you can now purchase a copy from the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society!


When buying from their store, CPHS will get a portion of the profit. It’s a great way to give back to a society that has worked so hard to preserve Walt’s legacy, such as restoring the Retlaw I Combine Car.

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