Choo Choo

At one time, this was the fastest mode of travel on the planet.

That picture appeals to me for some reason, probably because I spent many years running the Call of Cthulhu role playing game.  The original rules are set in the 1920’s, when personal automobiles were first becoming widespread but there were few roads between cities.  If you needed to travel any significant distance by land at something faster than a walking pace, you had to buy a train ticket.

Old technology though this is, for some reason people nowadays assume that outdated tech was simple.

Not hardly!

Flying_Scotsman_locomotive,_cross-section_(WBoR_14ed)

(Click pic for bigger version, picture source.)

 

UPDATE:  Many thanks to Ritchie for supplying us with an account of the good hard work needed to get a steam locomotive ready to move.

9 Responses to “Choo Choo”

  1. knirirr says:

    Do you have many preserved steam railways in the US? I would have thought there might have been quite a few western ones.

    • David Adair says:

      The Durango / Silverton and the Cumbres / Toltec railways in Colorado are powered by steam locomotives. They are very scenic lines in the mountains.

  2. James Rummel says:

    “Do you have many preserved steam railways in the US?”

    More than anyone could easily count. There are 12 railway museums in my newly home state of Texas alone, while the North American continent boasts at least 324! (Although not all of them feature steam locomotives.)

    http://www.railmuseums.com/namerica/TEXAS/

    Anyone interested in railway history would do well to check out the following link. It leads to a website which lists railway museums. Although hardly an exhaustive accounting, it is very valuable for the enthusiast.

    http://www.railmuseums.com/

    It appears that 20 museums in the UK are mentioned. Something tells me there are more hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

  3. knirirr says:

    Thanks. I’d not heard of quite a few of those UK ones, yet there’s one I know of which I could not spot on the list. There are indeed probably more to be found.
    That large number in the US shouldn’t be surprising given the role of the railway in US history.

  4. Siergen says:

    The last couple years a steam train has been visiting Manassas VA for their railway festival. If it comes again next year I might book one of their excursions: http://visitmanassas.org/event/class-j-611-steam-engine-excursions/?instance_id=

  5. Sam L. says:

    http://denverandriogranderailroad.com/ Old line, working toward having steamers.

  6. Ritchie says:

    Some time ago, I stumbled over an account of booting a full sized steam locomotive from stone cold. The short of it is, it takes a full shift.

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