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BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive

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Joe Offer 21 May 20 - 08:54 PM
Joe Offer 08 May 20 - 04:15 AM
Joe Offer 08 May 20 - 04:04 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 05 May 20 - 12:06 PM
Waddon Pete 05 May 20 - 08:14 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 03 May 20 - 05:04 AM
Gallus Moll 02 May 20 - 06:05 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 30 Apr 20 - 07:27 PM
Raedwulf 30 Apr 20 - 03:13 PM
Raedwulf 30 Apr 20 - 11:32 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 30 Apr 20 - 03:45 AM
DaveRo 30 Apr 20 - 03:08 AM
Raedwulf 30 Apr 20 - 02:16 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 26 Apr 20 - 03:52 AM
BobL 26 Apr 20 - 03:41 AM
Joe Offer 25 Apr 20 - 03:29 PM
DaveRo 25 Apr 20 - 01:16 PM
Joe Offer 25 Apr 20 - 06:52 AM
Raedwulf 22 Apr 20 - 03:25 PM
Rusty Dobro 22 Apr 20 - 01:05 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 21 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM
Barb'ry 20 Apr 20 - 05:48 PM
Mr Red 20 Apr 20 - 12:09 PM
Peter the Squeezer 20 Apr 20 - 07:45 AM
Jim Martin 20 Apr 20 - 04:55 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 19 Apr 20 - 04:04 PM
Raedwulf 19 Apr 20 - 09:52 AM
punkfolkrocker 18 Apr 20 - 11:36 AM
Jim Martin 18 Apr 20 - 04:28 AM
Joe Offer 17 Apr 20 - 02:52 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 17 Apr 20 - 02:22 PM
Bonzo3legs 17 Apr 20 - 01:16 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 17 Apr 20 - 03:32 AM
Joe Offer 16 Apr 20 - 06:48 PM
DaveRo 16 Apr 20 - 05:18 PM
Bonzo3legs 16 Apr 20 - 04:46 PM
Joe Offer 16 Apr 20 - 04:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Apr 20 - 01:30 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 16 Apr 20 - 01:20 PM
gillymor 16 Apr 20 - 10:05 AM
Mr Red 15 Apr 20 - 05:29 AM
Mr Red 15 Apr 20 - 04:23 AM
Joe Offer 14 Apr 20 - 09:25 PM
robomatic 22 Dec 19 - 06:29 PM
Raedwulf 22 Dec 19 - 04:48 AM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 19 - 09:36 PM
Raedwulf 20 Dec 19 - 02:24 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 20 - 08:54 PM

A fascinating video of British steam engines.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 May 20 - 04:15 AM

Here's a rather dramatic video about the Pennsylvania Railroad S-! Duplex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-0-Ex6LH2g

Here's the Wikipedia article on this locomotive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Railroad_class_S1. Only one of these locomotives was built.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 May 20 - 04:04 AM

Here's a very interesting streamlined German locomotive. Don't know if I'd call it beautiful, but it sure is interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKNzTSjF9A8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRB_Class_01.10

From Wikipedia: The Deutsche Reichsbahn Class 01.10 was a series of express steam locomotives. Developed at the end of the 1930s it was part of the standard locomotive programme (Einheitsdampflokomotiven). Modernized in the 1950s, the class lasted almost until the end of steam operation at the West German Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB).


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 05 May 20 - 12:06 PM

I first saw "City of Truro in 1957 when I was three, having been taken to Shrewsbury station to see her come through on a railtour to The Festiniog Railway. I still remember clearly the sight of her outside cranks and coupling rods as she slowed and stopped at the platform.

Interestingly she was in a non-standard (but authentic) livery as the lining was doubled, two sets one inside the other. There was an article about it by J N Maskeleyne somewhere.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 05 May 20 - 08:14 AM

Can I suggest "City of Truro" a locomotive here in the UK. A wonderful engine. She visited a preserved railway near us one year. That was special as my dad used to live by the GWR in his youth and can remember seeing her thundering through his local station.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 03 May 20 - 05:04 AM

They have adverts out for the Jacobite, I think they are hoping to get up and running before the end of the summer.

We went on it two years ago as part of our tip north to visit the outer Hebrides. They were using a Black Five loco that day. Locos are usually provided from the preserved ones at Carnforth.

My last post in this thread had escaped from the Mudcat Tavern thread for some unexplained reason!

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 02 May 20 - 06:05 PM

Apologies for not reading through all the posts (many were incomprehensible to me!) But i would like to propose The Jacobite steam train and the West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig as being memorable, scenically amazing. It only runs in summer months (probably not this year due to Covid-19?) and it includes the Glenfinnan Viaduct, as seen in one of the Harry Potter movies.
I am sure someone more knowledgeable than I am can describe the steam engine and refurbished old carriages.
Put it on your bucket list!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 30 Apr 20 - 07:27 PM

The Black Belt Caterpillar Wrestler looks at his watch, which is set to British Summer Time, waits for a lull in the singing session and launches into "The First of May".


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 30 Apr 20 - 03:13 PM

And I'm going to now do something I told Joe (I think) that I never ever do.

100!

What an utterly pointless bloody post, eh? But I've been here nearly 20 year, now. Cut me some slack! ;)
    Joe finds such posts to be oddly entertaining... -Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 30 Apr 20 - 11:32 AM

Indeed, chaps. One of the things that I also noticed was that heating & cooling i.e. cylinder condensation and re-evaporation is the major efficiency problem in simple engines, hence compounding - each cylinder now works within a narrower temperature band, so less energy is wasted on the heating & cooling.

Oh, and one way round the "bigger cylinder" problem is split your Low Pressure cylinder. There were a number of triple designs with 4 cylinders i.e. two LPC's (doubles with 3 as well). In fact, large liners such as the Olympics often favoured them, because if you stick one half of your LPC at one end & the other at the other, you get a better balanced engine & a lot less vibration. Got to look after the passengers...

And another random fact - what did for the reciprocating engine was the steam turbine, of course. HMS Dreadnought, which broke the mould in so many ways & became a generic word for modern battleships, was the first major warship to be powered by turbines, rather than triples. She was still coal-fired, mind you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 30 Apr 20 - 03:45 AM

Don't forget that the first steam engines (ignoring Hero' primiitive steam turbine of Roman days) were condensing engines. Steam entered a cooled cylinder and the piston was sucked down as the steam turned back to water.

In simple and compound engines the "cut-off" determines how far the piston moves purely from the steam pressure direct from the boiler and how much of the piston stroke is using the power of that amount is steam to expand, reducing pressure as it does so.

Compounding moves it on to another cylinder to use the expansion further. The ratio of cylinder sizes has a big effect on the efficiency, bearing in mind that a variation in cut-off will affect this as well.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: DaveRo
Date: 30 Apr 20 - 03:08 AM

"one comment I can find about quin's is that they took up too much space that might otherwise be profitably used for e.g. cargo! "
Presumably because the cylinders get bigger as the pressure gets lower.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 30 Apr 20 - 02:16 AM

Joe - compound engines, as with any engines, or any engineering if it comes to that, are a matter of efficiency. As I daresay you already know, the vast majority of loco's were simple, not compound; even if they're double-injection, they're still simple, because the steam only works once. For a loco, superheating provided much the same benefits as compounding at lower cost & easier maintenance. Mallets seem to have remained popular into the 50's but aside from them...

Triple-expansion was first used in the SS Aberdeen in 1881 & after that seems to have become fairly standard fairly quickly. There were even quadruple-expansion engines. I can't find a heck of a lot about them, but it seems their principle benefit was more oomph from the same space, so might be used if there was limited space for machinery. The first seems to been installed in a ship called the Suez in 1887. I can only presume they were more expensive to build & maintain, otherwise they would have been more widely used (although it seems P&O used them widely; apparently 80% of their tonnage from 1906-15 was quad-powered!).

And if you're thinking "quintuple?", yes, there were, but they seem not to have been successful. Oddly enough, whilst quad seems to have given more oomph from the same space, the one comment I can find about quin's is that they took up too much space that might otherwise be profitably used for e.g. cargo! And last random fact - apparently all 2,700 Liberty ships built in the US during WWII were triples, because the entirety of steam turbine production was reserved for military ships.

On the subject of pic's, Joe, wiki has multiple pages on steam / compound engines. There's a pretty good shot of a Bavarian compound on their Compound Engine page.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 03:52 AM

There was much experimentation with compound set ups. Most used either two high pressure and two low pressure or two high pressure and one low pressure. The latter was use by Webb on the LNWR. He had the two sizes driving different axles with different valve gears and no coupling rods. In certain circumstances this could lead to the two sets of driving wheels turning in opposite directions!
There were also several other experimental types, such as one that had two different cylinders in tandem driving a single piston rod, ones with one high pressure cylinder on one side of the loco and a single low pressure one on the other. Then there were other schemes that drove two axles with the cylinders placed between them, indirect drives that drove another shaft that was in turn connected to the wheels etc.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: BobL
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 03:41 AM

AH, the old Midland Compounds! Used to see them (or their LMS developments to be precise) at Bedford station in my schooldays, usually double-heading expresses. I always felt there was a sort of understated elegance about them, although "beautiful" would be stretching it. Sadly, by the time the steam preservation movement got under way, they'd all gone bar one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Apr 20 - 03:29 PM

Ah, compound. That was the word I was looking for. It was the usual configuration on steamships, but took up too much space for common use on locomotives. Interesting to see that there were a few locomotives with compound steam engines. I'd like to see better photos than what Wikipedia offers.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: DaveRo
Date: 25 Apr 20 - 01:16 PM

These multiple-expansion steam locomotives are known as compound locomotives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Apr 20 - 06:52 AM

Somewhere, I got into a discussion with somebody about how many cylinders does a steam locomotive have. The other person said only two, but I wondered. A common configuration for a steamship is three cylinders of decreasing size that use the steam three times.

What I found out about steam locomotives, is that the usual configuration for a locomotive with one set of drive wheels (like a 4-8-4) is two cylinders, but the those pistons are double-acting or two-stroke, with a power stroke in each direction. Steam is injected alternately into the front and the back of the cylinder. While the cylinder is exhausting steam in one direction, it is being injected with steam in the other.

An articulated locomotive (e.g., a 4-8-8-4 like the Big Boy) is like two locomotives with a single boiler and two sets of driving wheels - and two cylinders driving each set of drivers. The drivers swivel to allow the locomotive to go around curves.

I've heard of other configurations, notably locomotives that have a third cylinder in the middle underneath the boiler, but that sort of configuration is rare.

In the U.S., Shay Locomotives were used for logging. They had vertical cylinders on only one side of the locomotive, and those cylinders moved a crankshaft that powered the driver wheels through gears - producing lots of torque at very low speed to the locomotives could handle steeper grades. Shays originally had two cylinders, but later Shays had three - these are absolutely fascinating locomotives. They don't fall in the "beautiful" class, but they sure are fun to see in action. I saw an operating Shay at a tourist railroad south of Yosemite in the Spring of 2019. I took my kids for a ride on that railroad way back in about 1978.

The "steam locomotive" entry in Wikipedia is fascinating, and will no doubt become even more interesting as time goes on:

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 22 Apr 20 - 03:25 PM

In addition there is always the question of livery. There are some beautiful paint jobs out there and some very sombre ones.

Now, that is a very interesting point, caterpillar, even if it was perhaps not quite what you meant! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we are told. But what does the eye behold? Does it see the surface, the paint job? Does it see a little deeper & look at the visible lines of engine? Does it see deeper still, and consider what the purpose of the engine was, or whether it was a success or a failure? And is success & failure considered in purely engineering terms, purely financial terms?

Each to their own, I guess. And answers on a postcard, to be dispatched by the next passing steam loco, since no-one's spoken up for the Deltics… ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 22 Apr 20 - 01:05 PM

No-one seems to have proposed Mr Bulleid's exquisitely beautiful Q1 class 0-6-0's......


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 21 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM

Collet was requested to prepare a streamlined version of the King and Castle, something that he was not interested in, so he sent someone out for a pack of plasticine and smeared it over some desk paperweight models, saying build that then.

The covers over the motion were removed first because of access problems and the rest later. The King always kept its wedge shaped cab front and I have a photo, taken by my father, of it standing in Shrewsbury station when I was about three years old on one of our trainspotting days out.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Barb'ry
Date: 20 Apr 20 - 05:48 PM

Andy and I went on the Union of South Africa from Settle to Carlisle a couple of years ago and if we ever get through this confinement thing, we are doing a steam trip from Bristol to Weymouth but don't know which loco will be used yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Apr 20 - 12:09 PM

6014 King Henry VII - Hmmm, not exactly ugly but an attempt.

No 5005 Manorbier Castle better picture, same thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 20 Apr 20 - 07:45 AM

The GWR fitted "streamlining" to 6014 King Henry VII, which looked terrible. Supposedly, it was done at the insistence of the GWR board, and Collett (the designer) did not approve of it. No 5005 Manorbier Castle was treated in a similar fashion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Jim Martin
Date: 20 Apr 20 - 04:55 AM

5AT Advanced Technology Steam Locomotive project also worth looking at.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 04:04 PM

In addition there is always the question of livery. There are some beautiful paint jobs out there and some very somber ones.

Take a look at the South Eastern & Chatham Wainwright D in The national collection in York. This was obviously in the days when labour was cheap. A few years later the livery changed to plain grey with white lettering.

It's certainly challenging to model!

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 09:52 AM

Have to agree, with Joe, Dave. They may have been called "Uglies", but that's not an ugly engine. Saddle tanks certainly are a bit different in looks but, I think, they do also have a charm of their own... :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 11:36 AM

Haven't read this thread, the title caught my eye;
reminding me that I went to a photography exhibition in Bristol back in the 1980s
for O. Winston Link..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._Winston_Link


I was so captivated, I immediately bought the very expensive Coffee table photo book,
out of that months food money..

Starvation diets were easier to cope with in my 20s...


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Jim Martin
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 04:28 AM

21st Cent modifications - the Advanced Steam Traction Trust site is well worth a gander.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 02:52 PM

Here's a good selection of Streamline locomotives:


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 02:22 PM

I am still undecided about the various front re-designs that were made to the PRR T1. The front was made squarer and the portholes done away with, and also the valances changed so that the cylinders were partly exposed.
It is difficult to see from the linked to photo but the livery was a very dark green.
There has been a discussion about them on the papermodellers forum. I am thinking about designing one for one of my model kits and eliminating errors in the original Micromodel version.

The S looks more the pure art deco style to me.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 01:16 PM

However, if Mallard (long retired) was updated to 21st century specifications, I dare say it could push the record out of reach!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 03:32 AM

I came across what must be the earliest example of streamlining a locomotive the other day. Apparently one of the first locos for Brunel's broad gauge was fitted with sheets of metal resembling a boat's prow back in 1835.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 06:48 PM

Oh, it may be Ugly, Dave, but it sure is cool. And Bonzo, I agree with you about the Mallard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: DaveRo
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 05:18 PM

This is ugly.

Actually I think it does look ugly pulling a few mismatched coaches on this branch line - it's obviously a shunting engine. So would an A4 Pacific. This one is more appropriate and pleasing to my eye.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 04:46 PM

They should leave Mallard's record alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 04:38 PM

The locomotive Mr. Red linked to, is a Pennsylvania Railroad Class T1. 50 of them were built in 1945-46. There are none remaining, but a replica is under construction - attempting to copy the success of the LNER Tornado. I wouldn't call the streamline design of the T1 exactly ugly. It's a nice attempt, but it doesn't quite work.

It certainly isn't as pleasing to the eye as the streamline version of the New York Central Hudson (no examples in existence - all were scrapped), or the very modest but tasteful streamlining of the Southern Pacific 4449.

Of locomotives still in existence, I think I'm most in love with the Norfolk & Western Class J, No. 611, that I saw at the Southern Railway shops in Spencer, North Carolina.

I think I remember seeing the Mallard when Bill Sables took me to the railway museum in York in 2002, but my memory is a bit foggy on that. It certainly is a beautiful locomotive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 01:30 PM

Mr Red - ugly? That thing is amazing! What lines!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 01:20 PM

Mr Red,
Could it be the PRR S class? It came before the T1, which a group is now trying to build a new one of, in order to challenge for Mallard's record.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: gillymor
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 10:05 AM

When I was a kid I took a ride on an old logging train, West Virginia's Cass Scenic Railroad with my Dad. I remember the stunning mountain vistas and the cinders in my egg salad sandwich.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 05:29 AM

is this the ugliest?

I can't find a pic of a streamliner that I remember from pictures. It was of an American loco, with demi-spherical front end with strips emanating from the surface-centre light (ish) in a V to run the length. And a cylindrical skirt down from there and a semi-cylindrical length with straight sides. The Duchess of Hamilton LMS (UK) attempt is the nearest I can find to illustrate it.

Maybe it was an artists impression of modern (1930s?) US technology.

Anyone recognise my description?


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 04:23 AM

Mallard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 09:25 PM

Sherman Hill across the Great Divide is the highest point on the Transcontinental Railroad, 8,247 ft. It's between Cheyenne and Laramie. I went over Sherman Hill on US 30 in the summer of 2019, but I think I have to go back to study this place. This hill is what forced the Union Pacific to build the mighty locomotives, the Challenger and Big Boy of the 1940s. Colorado may talk of their "fourteeners" (mountains over 14.000 feet), but for railroad, Sherman Hill is the ultimate.

Here's one video, of the UP 3985 Challenger on Sherman Hill:

Here's the UP 4014 Big Boy on Sherman Hill in 2015 - but it's being towed:

But for me, the ultimate was this, when the Big Boy AND UP 844 went over Sherman Hill under their own power in 2019:

It just doesn't get better than this.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: robomatic
Date: 22 Dec 19 - 06:29 PM

Interesting train facts. I remember a snatch of H.L. Mencken writing about the difference between American and English usage: I found this quote:

On higher levels the language of the Americans is more decorous, but even there it is a genuinely living speech, taking in loan-words with vast hospitality and incessantly manufacturing neologisms of its own. The argot of sport enriches it almost daily. It runs to brilliantly vivid tropes. It is disdainful of grammatical pruderies. In the face of a new situation the American shows a far greater linguistic resourcefulness and daring than the Englishman. Movie is obviously better than cinema, just as cow-catcher is better than plough and job-holder is better than public-servant. The English seldom devise anything as pungent as rubber-neck, ticket-scalper, lame-duck, pork-barrel, boot-legger or steam-roller (in its political sense). Such exhilarating novelties are produced in the United States every day, and large numbers of them come into universal use, and gradually take on literary dignity. They are opposed violently, but they prevail. The visiting Englishman finds them very difficult. They puzzle him even more than do American peculiarities of pronunciation.

I quote this because I grew up with the term cow-catcher and it never occurred to me to parse out its obvious meaning and simultaneous humor. While I respect Mencken's writing I don't agree with his conclusion that Americans have a superior ability in making up new words and phrases.

On a more somber note, when I was a lot newer to Anchorage we had some heavy snow winters and the Anchorage-Fairbanks run was catching (and killing) many moose who were using the cleared railroad paths as a way to expedite their journeys through the snow. For a time there were daily tallies of up to 80 moose taken out by one run of the train. For whatever reason, diesels do not seem to have been served with cow-catchers, and it is doubtful they would have been harmless to the moose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 22 Dec 19 - 04:48 AM

Thinking about it, there's a few things that help make some countries loco's distinctive (or in the case of the UK, the complete lack of any of them!). I can't think of a German engine that doesn't have those very distinctive plates at the front (they're Smoke Deflectors, intended to lift smoke away from the front of the engine & improve visibility for the driver). UK engines did also use them, but they weren't as standardised, prominent, or universal (plenty of classes never had them).

On US loco's there are a few things, and again, these are just things that have stuck in my mind - I'm no sort of expert on US steam. One is that every engine I can think of has a very large & prominent central headlight, much more obvious than on European models. Another, is the pilot (cow-catcher), rarely seen on UK trains. A lot of US engines also seem to have quite distinctive cabs - longer than European cabs & with the roof extended slightly backwards. Finally, on earlier US engines there is, of course, the very distinctive coffee pot stack. This is actually a spark arrestor, apparently, as many early US loco's burnt wood rather than coal. This meant they produced & ejected far more embers, with a consequent higher risk of trackside fires. As more & more engines were designed for coal, those chimneys disappeared.

I think you're probably also right about the cleaner lines of UK engines, Joe; German ones seem to carry a bit more, though not, perhaps, as much as US. As for that gubbins at the front of 556, I can't find anything definitive, but I'd guess, this being an Alaskan engine, that it's some kind of heating device for the snowplough / front of the train. There certainly seems to be some pipe-work going forward & down behind the plough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 19 - 09:36 PM

Yeah, I wonder why there's such a difference in appearance between American and British steam locomotives. I think that most European steam locomotives have an appearance closer to U.S. locomotives. I think maybe the big difference is that UK steam locomotives often have huge drive wheels - since they're not climbing mountains and plowing through snowdrifts, they can be built for speed instead of torque. Or at last that's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it.
Here's a Deutsche Reichsbahn locomotive that was very common in East Germany. I imagine this is the model I saw as I rode the bus to work in Berlin in 1972-73, and as I took the Berlin duty train through the railroad yard in Magdeburg before entering West Germany. The German and UK locomotives have fairly clean lines, while the U.S. locomotives have all sorts of exterior plumbing. There's some fascinating plumbing on the front of the Anchorage locomotive that robomatic linked to - I wonder what it's for. I can't quite remember that locomotive, but I must have seen it - I've spent about three weeks in downtown Anchorage, spaced over two trips there.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 20 Dec 19 - 02:24 PM

That is a handsome engine, Robo. Very definitely American; I don't quite know why, though I'm sure someone can put it in technical terms; but you'd never look at it and think it was anything other than American. Well, I wouldn't anyway.

Jim - indeed! Yes, I knew it. Amazing bit of technology, wasn't it? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Dec 19 - 07:33 PM

In downtown Anchorage on the Park Strip is a static display of Engine 556. I'm going to copy/paste a paragraph from Anchorage Parks & Rec.:

Engine 556 was a steam locomotive built in 1943 for wartime service. Outnumbering other war-time railroad engines, they were simple to maintain with the close clearance required for the narrow bridges and tunnels on European railroads. They were stripped down for war action, and acquired the nickname"Gypsy Rose Lee" locomotives after the famous burlesque dancer. Instead of being shipped to Europe, twelve of these locomotives were sent to Alaska by the U.S. Army to become Alaska Railroad Class 550. All twelve locomotives saw service over the 460 miles of the Alaska Railroad. For 13 years, No. 556 hauled passengers and freight from Seward through Anchorage and on to Fairbanks. In 1959, No. 556 was taken out of storage and moved to its present location, where it has been an educational display and object of play for three generations of Anchorage youngsters. Of the thousands of USRA Consolidation Type locomotives originally built for war service, only three remain in North America, and only this one is publicly owned.

It is a handsome steam locomotive with tender in basic black and fulfills my childhood image of everything a classic steamer should be. There are many Anchoragites who share my feelings about her. A couple of years ago some kid tagged her with ugly graffiti. Within a few weeks some volunteer had cleaned her up on his own. She awaits some public expenditure to make her safe for public access.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 14 Dec 19 - 01:08 PM

I didn't know about Lancashire Day, thanks Robin.

It's 18 years since I made that day trip and hope to go again next year - and better still if I bump into some Morris dancing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 14 Dec 19 - 12:49 PM

We can hear the locos arriving at Rawtenstall from our house when the wind is in the right direction.

Also, for the past few years, we have performed up and down the line with Wrigley Head Morris Men on the occasion of the weekend closest to Lancashire day.

If there is an interesting visiting loco I usually go down to take a few photos (and frequently run into Dave Howard from the Tinkers doing the same thing).

Robin


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