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Challenge for Pictures in a Series: Motif or Concept Call for Trains, Stations and Railway Gear!

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
This is the Iron Horse that opened up continents!


I have not many of these but I am fascinated by their power, their use by princes and presidents, in trade, war and for vacations.

Here in Vernon, this train delivers fuel to the factories.


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Asher Kelman: Vernon Fuel Train


Comments and more trains, yards, stations and gear welcome!

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad engine 489.

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Douglas A. Kerr: Cumbres & Toltec engine 489, 2017

This is a narrow-gauge (36" gauge) railroad operating in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The 489 is a narrow-gauge (duh) Mikado (2-8-2) built in 1927.

Here is an old Scottish telephone engineer (hint: not Alexander Graham Bell) at the locomotive steps:

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Carla C. Kerr: Nope, I think I'll let him drive
Here Carla is about to board our car:

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Douglas A. Kerr: Carla boards

It was a wonderful adventure.

Best regards,

Doug
 
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Doug Kerr

Well-known member
This (not my shot) is most of the trackwork of CP (control point) Roosevelt on the southern approach to Chicago Union Station. It comprises complex switchwork mainly devoted to allowing an inbound or outbound train to move from one track to another among the six main tracks.

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CP Roosevelt, approaching Chicago Union Station from the south​

The first signal gantry we see ahead is the beginning of the next control point, CP Taylor. Its switchwork allows movement of trains from the outermost of those six tracks to three other tracks off to both sides.

No train is approaching from the south, and all signals are at stop (all heads on the signal being red). ("If its not all red, its not red at all.")

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
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Not only technically marvelous, but the patterns made by the rails are impressive!

I would love the original to study!

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
The valve gear of a steam locomotive is responsible for admitting the pressurized steam into one end of the cylinder or the other with the right timing to cause the driving wheels to rotate continuously. More subtly, the valve gear does this in such a way that steam is only admitted during part of the stroke of the piston, the force during the reminder of the stroke coming from the expansion of the steam.

Changing the point in the stroke after which more steam is no longer admitted has an effect much like changing the gear ratio of an automobile transmission. There, low gear gives the greatest torque at low speed, while high gear makes best use of the fuel when the car is rolling along at speed. Similarly, in the locomotive, allowing steam to enter the piston during the entire stroke gives the greatest average torque at low speed, while an early "cutoff" makes best use of the fuel when the train is rolling along at speed.

The design of mechanisms to manage the steam admission (and the matching matter of its exhaust) was over the years a rich adventure of inventors. The valve gear that ultimately came into widest use was invented in 1844 by the Belgian engineer Egide Walschaerts. Not surprisingly, it is called the "Walschaerts valve gear" (or sometimes, inexplicably, the "Walschaert valve gear").

We see a lovely example here:

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Photographer unknown: Walschaerts valve gear on Pennsylvania Railroad E6s

on a Pennsylvania Railroad E6s locomotive (4-4-2, "Atlantic" type).

On the right, over the two leading truck wheels, we see to large cylindrical items., The lower is the steam cylinder itself, inside of which travels the piston; the upper contains a "spool" valve, which admits steam to, or exhausts steam from, one end of the cylinder or the other.

The various smaller links and levers are part of the Walschaerts valve gear, the fascinating details of whose operation I will spare you.

It is a wondrous thing.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Asher,

How fast did these cylinders wear out?
I'm not sure. I do know that the major railroads had large shops in which, for example, the cylinder and valve bores were rebored and new pistons made, with diameters to match the new bore diameter of the cylinders. But I have no idea after, say, how many miles of service that typically had to be done.

In that vein, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (as for many other "historic" railroads) also has a large shop, in great part manned by volunteers, in which the locomotives and cars they acquire are restored. The parts they need, if not obtainable by cannibalization of other units, have to be made from scratch, a daunting task especially for the larger parts (driving wheels, for example). Some of the skilled volunteers are old-time railroad workers, but others have learned the many crafts needed from the old timers.

There is extensive information on the internet as to what has become of the various "litters" of locomotives of ccertain types that were originally built, bespoke by various railroads (many no longer in operatiion). For example, for the "litter" that includes the present Cumbres & Toltec 489, one of its sisters ended its life when, though some inadvertence not yet known to me, it came off the turntable at a certain engine house and tumbled into the turntable pit!

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
People waiting for the commuter train:



Michael,

This picture exemplifies the benefits of our mechanized society and a relatively safe place with potential opportunities to meet strangers. How many of us take advantage of the waiting time to actually speak to another person?

Most folk we meet are in fact good and pose no risk to us. But I guess we still have a little reticence in opening up to strangers on a commuter train or the train station!

On a cruise, the inhibition is much less.

But looking down on your picture from above, almost like having a telescope from heaven, we feel goodness, tranquility, and ideal society and benevolence!

I like this picture as positive and so uplifting!

Thanks for sharing!

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
It looks like the former AT&SF No. 970 (a 2-8-0 "Pacific" type). It was originally the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain, & Pacific No. 101. I think this now resides in Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs, California. I think at one time it operated,and later resided in retirement, near the (once) ghost town of Madrid, N.M.

Both these towns are of considerable significance to Will.

Best regards,

Doug
 
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