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> The romance of steam., Those were the days...
Shangas
post Sep 27 2008, 01:05 PM
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Steamships and steam locomotives are fascinating machines. I've been on one of both, although only on a small scale, but even then, it was a lot of fun. There's a lot of charm and fun in them, I think, and it's a pity that they've been swept away into nothing more than novelties in the 21st century. What must it have been like to ride the rails or the rolling seas with a contraption of metal which was run by nothing more than a fire and vapourised water.



A train at Euston Station, London, England. April, 1928.

I love the sound of steam-trains, and the smells of the smoke and the steam and the noise. I had a chance to ride on Puffing Billy as a child. It's part of a steam railway line here in Victoria, Australia and Puffing Billy is the main steam-engine. The train runs through the countryside and it's a lot of fun. Runs all year and does different services all the time. Sometimes its just sightseeing, other times they hook up a galley and dining-cars and you can have a nice, steam-driven luncheon-ride through the forests.



Puffing Billy doing a sightseeing run. As you can see, people aren't scared of hanging out of the carriage windows, even if the train is going over a bridge. I didn't have the nerve to lean out of the train when I was on it, though!

This post has been edited by Shangas: Sep 27 2008, 01:07 PM


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gregoryagogo
post Sep 27 2008, 03:03 PM
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They're so sexy and powerful!!


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Flapper Girl
post Sep 28 2008, 06:28 PM
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In doing research on freight trains a few years back, I was told that a locomotive could pull as many as fifty freight cars behind it. I found that amazing. It had to be a mighty powerful engine. I remember steam locomotives going by my house as a kid and they are something I've never forgotten - such wonderful memories of sight and sound. The flag men used hand held lanterns at the railroad crossings after dark and I remember them coming to plow the tracks after snow storms. Oh how I yearn for that scene from childhood.

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hvickery
post Sep 28 2008, 10:58 PM
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QUOTE(Flapper Girl @ Sep 28 2008, 01:28 PM) *
In doing research on freight trains a few years back, I was told that a locomotive could pull as many as fifty freight cars behind it. I found that amazing. It had to be a mighty powerful engine. I remember steam locomotives going by my house as a kid and they are something I've never forgotten - such wonderful memories of sight and sound. The flag men used hand held lanterns at the railroad crossings after dark and I remember them coming to plow the tracks after snow storms. Oh how I yearn for that scene from childhood.


By the time I was a kid in the early or mid 1950s, there was only one steam powered train traveling through my town which was located on the Illinois Central tracks and the Chicago to Indianapolis line of tne New York Central. The train was a passenger train, the James Whitcomb Reilly (I hope I spelled that right because the gobble uns will get me if I don't watch out). I remember my dad taking me to the tracks on several occasions to watch that train, and the Green Diamond and Panama Limited coming down the tracks. I liked the Reilly best, though, because of the steam engine.


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Roseman
post Sep 28 2008, 11:46 PM
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Ah hvickery, I could have very well been on one of those trains. But maybe not the steam one, probably more like the deisel. While working for Uncle Sam, I was stationed in Peoria and traveled home to NC via Chicago to Washington to NC and the best I remember it was the New York Central that got me to Washington. Some 33 hours on the train riding in a passenger car with no money to buy food. I used every penny I had to buy my ticket, but I was homesick and wanted to go home for a while. That was in 1956.

Not only where the trains impressive in their size and scope, the train stations were collossal and had me in awe with their size and grandeaur. They are beautiful pieces of architecture art and all of the great ones should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

If you want to take a photographic historical tour of trains and etc. here's one of the better sites I've found for that. Great pictures of trains and passenger cars. The Frisco Lines

Today's trains are still an impressive sight and here's a scene from down east in our state of NC. I guess you could call this 'West Coast meets East Coast'. An Union Pacific unit leading a CSX out of Hamlet. Get your speakers ready and hear the sounds.
Train

Don...

This post has been edited by Roseman: Sep 29 2008, 12:13 AM
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hvickery
post Sep 29 2008, 02:09 AM
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QUOTE(Roseman @ Sep 28 2008, 06:46 PM) *
Ah hvickery, I could have very well been on one of those trains. But maybe not the steam one, probably more like the deisel. While working for Uncle Sam, I was stationed in Peoria and traveled home to NC via Chicago to Washington to NC and the best I remember it was the New York Central that got me to Washington. Some 33 hours on the train riding in a passenger car with no money to buy food. I used every penny I had to buy my ticket, but I was homesick and wanted to go home for a while. That was in 1956.

Not only where the trains impressive in their size and scope, the train stations were collossal and had me in awe with their size and grandeaur. They are beautiful pieces of architecture art and all of the great ones should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

If you want to take a photographic historical tour of trains and etc. here's one of the better sites I've found for that. Great pictures of trains and passenger cars. The Frisco Lines

Today's trains are still an impressive sight and here's a scene from down east in our state of NC. I guess you could call this 'West Coast meets East Coast'. An Union Pacific unit leading a CSX out of Hamlet. Get your speakers ready and hear the sounds.
Train

Don...


Great stuff there. I love the later streamlined steam engines on the Frisco Line site. They remind me of something out of Flash Gordon.

We lived about five blocks or so from the IC/NYC tracks, and the sound of the trains whistling and passing in the night is still a comforting sound. About twenty-five years ago, we lived in an apartment across the street from another railroad. It's amazing how you get used to the noise and can just sleep right through it. Now I live maybe a mile from a railroad. I love hearing the whistles (or are they horns?) at night. It reminds me of when I was a kid.

When my dad was growing up during the Great Depression he lived about a block from the tracks. One advantage of those steam trains that will be missing from any future hard times was many local families could heat their homes by picking up the coal that fell off the tenders as the firemen on the trains shoveled it out. The kids used to walk alongside the track picking up whatever stray lumps they could find.


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Shangas
post Sep 29 2008, 07:53 AM
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The sound of steam-whistles from ships and trains are scary, haunting and fun to listen to. They could not be made by any other contraption or machine. The moment you hear them, you know what they are. I'm surprised how far those whistles and horns can be heard, too.


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victrolajazz
post Sep 30 2008, 04:30 AM
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QUOTE(Shangas @ Sep 27 2008, 08:05 AM) *
run by nothing more than a fire and vapourised water.

There's lots of power in that combination!

Eddie the Collector
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victrolajazz
post Sep 30 2008, 04:40 AM
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QUOTE(Shangas @ Sep 27 2008, 08:05 AM) *
run by nothing more than a fire and vapourised water.

There's loads of power in that combination! Used very successfully in the 1920's, not by Stanley, but by Doble. Jay Leno has a 1925 Doble steamer originally owned by Howard Hughes--it has a 200 CI four-cylinder engine that produces 150 HP at 1,000 RPM and 1,500 lbs./ft. of torque from standstill. It has an axle ratio of 1.5 to 1 and could go zero to 100 to 10 seconds, turning about 1,200 RPM. It used a super-heater that solved the start-up problem--it could be started from cold in 30 seconds. Wish that technology could be adapted to modern use--electric cars are wimpy and silent and still seem to be plagued with all the disadvantages present in 1903.

Eddie the Collector

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Shangas
post Sep 30 2008, 05:05 AM
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Steam-powered cars could return to...'fashion'...I suppose. With petrol prices climbing, people might start looking to the past for alternate fuel sources. Who knows, one day, cars that operated like these two...





...might make a comeback on the roads.

(1906 & 1922 Stanley steamers).

If steam-cars returned to the roads, well, you wouldn't have to worry about petrol. Just collect the water, fill up the tank, start up the car and off you go.

---

Hey Eddie, your mention of Jay Leno made me want to post this picture:



Jay Leno driving a Stanley steamer.

This post has been edited by Shangas: Sep 30 2008, 05:09 AM


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victrolajazz
post Sep 30 2008, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE(Shangas @ Sep 30 2008, 12:05 AM) *

Jay Leno driving a Stanley steamer.

Wonderful pictures! Thanks! I know we're not supposed to envy, but I'll have to admit a bit of the stuff for Leno's collection! He has the means to pursue his hobby and he has certainly obtained priceless examples from our favorite era.

Our club used to have "rambles" back in the '70s and 80's--I'll never forget a member who brought a Stanley Steamer--that thing would huff and puff up hills in Cameron Park that would leave the gasoline-powered cars gasping, and it was always shrouded in a vapor of steam.

Eddie the Collector
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Roseman
post Sep 30 2008, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE(victrolajazz @ Sep 30 2008, 11:15 AM) *
...a Stanley Steamer--that thing would huff and puff up hills in Cameron Park that would leave the gasoline-powered cars gasping, and it was always shrouded in a vapor of steam.

And with this mans incredible invention, could we see a return to steam-powered cars?

Salt Water Fuel


Don...

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Shangas
post Oct 13 2008, 10:11 AM
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Water is almost free and there's a near-endless supply of it. I think it would be a good thing that car-manufacturers returned to the manufacture of steam-powered cars over petroleum powered cars.


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Terry
post Oct 14 2008, 12:48 AM
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QUOTE (Shangas @ Oct 13 2008, 05:11 AM) *
Water is almost free and there's a near-endless supply of it. I think it would be a good thing that car-manufacturers returned to the manufacture of steam-powered cars over petroleum powered cars.

LOL, if only......but...... because the efficiency of an external combustion steam engine is so very much lower than an internal combustion gasoline engine, a LOT more petroleum fuel would end up being used.

Then of course there is the pollution factor.............

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_engine

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dotmargrave
post Oct 15 2008, 05:54 PM
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QUOTE (Shangas @ Sep 27 2008, 02:05 PM) *
Steamships and steam locomotives are fascinating machines. I've been on one of both, although only on a small scale, but even then, it was a lot of fun. There's a lot of charm and fun in them, I think, and it's a pity that they've been swept away into nothing more than novelties in the 21st century. What must it have been like to ride the rails or the rolling seas with a contraption of metal which was run by nothing more than a fire and vapourised water.



A train at Euston Station, London, England. April, 1928. rolleyes.gif biggrin.gif

I love the sound of steam-trains, and the smells of the smoke and the steam and the noise. I had a chance to ride on Puffing Billy as a child. It's part of a steam railway line here in Victoria, Australia and Puffing Billy is the main steam-engine. The train runs through the countryside and it's a lot of fun. Runs all year and does different services all the time. Sometimes its just sightseeing, other times they hook up a galley and dining-cars and you can have a nice, steam-driven luncheon-ride through the forests.



Puffing Billy doing a sightseeing run. As you can see, people aren't scared of hanging out of the carriage windows, even if the train is going over a bridge. I didn't have the nerve to lean out of the train when I was on it, though!

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