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Are You Old Enough to Remember This?
Lens: SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm Camera: K-50 ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: 1/45s Aperture: F11 
Posted By: Dewman, 02-17-2016, 11:54 AM

I can remember well the sound and smell of the hissing steam.

Last edited by Dewman; 03-30-2016 at 02:55 PM.
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02-17-2016, 12:14 PM   #2
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I'm not old enough to remember that when it was common... but I've seen some in person. The one still operating at Dollywood in Tennessee is a beauty! We just rode it a couple months ago! It was the complete experience, with the smells as you said, and the ashes flying around as the train went...
02-17-2016, 12:24 PM   #3
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Steam trains were normal when I was a child. Diesel and electric trains are just not the same and now they weld the track, trains are hardly worth bothering with.
02-17-2016, 12:37 PM   #4
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I was totally flabbergasted at the leaf springs on this beast! I don't see how they could actually provide much dampening effect, they're so short and stout! The shear mass alone of this locomotive is staggering and it's relatively small compared to some of the monsters that used to ply the rails! A bygone era but what a glorious one it was!

02-17-2016, 01:37 PM   #5
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ha ha I was 'run over' by a steam train when I was a kid in central Alberta 1947- we hid in the culvert lol great thrill
02-17-2016, 01:56 PM   #6
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Tip: There is an ongoing argument over whether UV filters and such are really needed as lens protectors. I'm not going to weigh in on the general case, but in the specific case of taking a picture while leaning out the window of a train pulled by a steam engine, I'd highly recommend using one. A pair of cheap glasses to protect your wetware lenses are useful in this case, too.
02-17-2016, 02:40 PM   #7
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When I started work in 1965, I travelled on a train drawn by a steam engine. Even better, the carriages were platform cars (as one sees in American westerns) so one could ride outside and be hit by flying cinders.

And for Aussies, yes, this was in Sydney. The Richmond line hadn't been electrified back then.

Last weekend I took some pix of the only working Garrett loco in Oz - down at the Canberra rail museum.
02-17-2016, 03:55 PM   #8
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Beginning in the spring of 2016 the Western Maryland scenic railroad will be using a 2-6-6-2 Mallet which will most likely be the largest steam locomotive in operation in the world,they had been using a 2-8-0 consolidation being referred to as mountain thunder and if you ever stood along the western Maryland rail trail as it passed by you would know why.The 2-6-6-2 should be awesome and at 217 tons of weight i guess it takes some heavy duty springs.

02-17-2016, 04:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
I don't see how they could actually provide much dampening effect, they're so short and stout!
Total travel in the springs shouldn't be more than twice the maximum difference in height between two sections of track. They have to be stout to handle the weight of the locomotive without bottoming out and for every movement in one direction the springs rebound almost the same distance in the other direction, so the vertical movement of the locomotive gets amplified and reverberates for a few cycles afterwards. Shock absorbers (or dampers as the English properly call them) weren't very advanced when steam locomotives ruled the land.
QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
It was the complete experience, with the smells as you said, and the ashes flying around as the train went
As it turns out the Black Hills Central Railroad burns used motor oil instead of coal because a) it burns hotter and cleaner and b) no cinders to start fires.
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02-17-2016, 04:19 PM   #10
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Yes, I'm definitely old enough.
02-17-2016, 04:21 PM   #11
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I've ridden an excursion coach behind the Union Pacific Big Boy (a 4-8-8-4 monster IIRC), it was (is) some amazing machinery...

02-17-2016, 04:24 PM   #12
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Nice pic. I'm 69 and can - just barely - remember these guys smoking through Mt. Vernon, IL in the early '50s.

02-17-2016, 06:11 PM   #13
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Definitely not old enough but seen them in action! They truly are a sight to see!
02-17-2016, 10:07 PM   #14

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Mt Rainier Scenic Railway in Elbe, WA
Closest live steam rail experience I could find for my 5-year old (now 15!?)
a 1929 2-4-2 Alco, running on recycled engine oil.

No cinders from that stuff
Fun day
Shot with my istDS and the kit zoom

I think steam engines are living breathing organisms, you can see them work, diesel and electric just move, with no signs of life, no souls
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Last edited by K-Three; 02-17-2016 at 10:14 PM.
02-18-2016, 03:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-Three Quote

I think steam engines are living breathing organisms, you can see them work, diesel and electric just move, with no signs of life, no souls
Well, for geographic reasons, you haven't seen many former Soviet diesel locomotives (e.g. types M62 or TE109). Those roaring, ear-deafening machines will certainly show you that there's life in them.

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