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harryc Feb 15, 2009 5:06 PM

A blast from the past.

Originally Posted by rob_1412 (Post 4089013)

Robert Pence Feb 15, 2009 6:27 PM


Originally Posted by harryc (Post 4089028)
A blast from the past.

For those who are unfamiliar with American passenger railroading of the early-Amtrak era, an explanation of that photo.

The last passenger-coach builder in America went out of business in 1958, and steam locomotives hadn't been out of service very long at that time. All passenger equipment was still designed for steam heat, and diesel and electric passenger locomotives were equipped with oil-fired steam generators (boilers) to provide heat to the train.

Amtrak was formed in 1971 to relieve participating railroads of the burden of operating passenger service at a loss. Many of those railroads had been allowing equipment to deteriorate in order to discourage ridership so that they could get permission to discontinue trains. Of the 4,800 cars and locomotives that Amtrak inherited, only about one fourth were deemed fit for service or worthy of repairing.

Leaky steam lines resulted in cars being cold, or when the steam leaked into the ventilation system, like a steam bath. In severely cold weather, trapped condensate froze in the lines, blocking them entirely. Steam failure meant no hot water in the washrooms or in the dining car, as well as no heat.

Many younger locomotive firemen didn't understand the idiosyncracies of the worn-out steam boilers, and that contributed to the problem. In addition, steam failure meant failure of summer air conditioning in some types of coaches; they used gas-absorbtion refrigeration driven by steam heat, instead of mechanical compressors.

With the arrival of the FP40 locomotives with head-end power, older coaches were retrofitted with electric heat. By the early 1980's the billowing clouds of steam at station stops were a thing of the past.

Robert Pence Feb 16, 2009 12:03 PM

Indiana Northeastern Railroad is a spiffy short line that operates about 100 miles of track serving industrial customers in Northeast Indiana, southern Michigan, and eastern Ohio, connecting with Norfolk Southern at Montpelier, Ohio.

The first photo is a link:

Restored 1970s Central Vermont caboose owned by the late Dave DeVries:

Little River Railroad, a tourist train now operating in Michigan, originally ran between Pleasant Lake, Indiana and Angola, Indiana:

More steam, you say? Check this out. It gives me chills, in a very good way:


Minato Ku Feb 16, 2009 5:01 PM

M.K. Feb 16, 2009 7:32 PM

Robert Pence Feb 18, 2009 2:12 PM

MKmillenium, that is an amazing sight. In fact, I'd be totally intimidated at the thought of trying to get a ride. :eek:

Hesston Steam Museum, in Northwest Indiana, features operating steam trains in four different sizes; 1 1/2-inch-to-the-foot, 3-inch-to-the-foot, and 2-foot and 3-foot narrow-gauge. In addition, there are various industrial steam engines and an operating steam sawmill. The second photo below is a link to more Hesston photos on my web site:

Note the dual-gauge 2-foot/3-foot track. This photo is a link

Jibba Feb 18, 2009 3:55 PM

^Great contributions on this page, rob. I appreciate the annotations, too--very interesting. Keep 'em coming!

ls1z28chris Feb 18, 2009 5:44 PM

This thread is a great idea. Here are some of trains and train stations:

salaverryo Feb 18, 2009 6:12 PM


Originally Posted by MKmillenium (Post 4091319)

Ahhh, the Turd World, indeed!!! :yuck:

LostInTheZone Feb 18, 2009 6:46 PM

Croydon; Acela (#2009) and inbound Septa local

harryc Feb 18, 2009 8:47 PM

Oak Park, Illinois

Robert Pence Feb 18, 2009 11:57 PM

Some great rail photography, all kinds! I haven't been to Atlanta (except through the airport) since before Marta. Looks like something I'd love seeing.

LITZ, the Acela shot kicks butt! I love the density of it, the mass of the locomotive, and the web of catenary and supporting structure overhead. Still showing the classic PRR position-light signaling, too. Lucky you, with all the country's best trains nearby.

Jibba Feb 19, 2009 6:53 AM

Robert Pence Feb 19, 2009 1:29 PM


Originally Posted by Jibba (Post 4095619)
^Great contributions on this page, rob. I appreciate the annotations, too--very interesting. Keep 'em coming!

Thanks! I'm thoroughly enjoying this thread, both in being able to contribute, and in seeing some of the wonderful shots other people have taken. Here's another batch that links to a larger set on my site.

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is located near the Snowshoe ski area in West Virginia. It includes the lumber-mill town of Cass and eleven miles of standard-gauge railroad used until the 1960s by Cass & Mower Lumber Company to bring logs down from the mountain to their mill at Cass.

In an unrelenting climb of eleven miles up grades as steep as 11 percent (two percent is considered steep on most common-carrier railroads), geared Shay locomotives pushing passenger cars rebuilt from logging flat cars take visitors to the top of Bald Knob, at an elevation of 4,842 feet.

Big 6 was the last Shay locomotive built, in 1945, and worked for four years on the Western Maryland Railroad taking coal trains up a nine percent grade. It is oil-fired, and at 162 tons it's the largest Shay still in existence. Before coming to Cass, it was on display at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

Shay Number 2 ready to take a train to the summit of Bald Knob. The fireman is standing in the cab door, fueling himself with a sandwich. If I remember the numbers correctly, these locomotives consume about 4 1/2 tons of coal on the round trip, and most of it goes in the firebox in about two hours, on the way up. It's all done with a shovel, and the work doesn't let up. The firemen I saw on the coal-burners were young, wiry guys;they'd have to be pretty tough to maintain the pace.

A spring-fed stream flowing down the mountain keeps the tanks beside the track full to overflowing, and the fireman uses a steam siphon fed by the locomotive's boiler to transfer water from the tanks to the locomotive's tender.

The boiler house and brick engine room are the only structures that remain amid the burned-out ruins of the mill. In its heyday the lumbering operation employed more than 3,000 men and shipped both finished wood products and wood pulp for paper production. Every week the C&O Railroad picked up a 44-car train loaded with the mill's output.

The photos are links. Click on any one to see more train photos and the surviving/restored buildings of the town of Cass.

R@ptor Feb 19, 2009 3:44 PM

My little contribution











There's no rail link over the Bosphorus, so the railroad cars have to be transported by ferry to the other side.





LostInTheZone Feb 19, 2009 6:06 PM

the older cars running on the numbered lines of the NYC subway are my favorite... i'll be sad when they're phased out, the newest ones are too sterile looking:

thanks rob, I was shocked how well composed that shot was. Trust me, it wasn't intentional.

Robert Pence Feb 20, 2009 1:40 PM


Originally Posted by R@ptor (Post 4097717)

Fantastic set of train photos. This has to be one of the most fabulous train sheds I've seen!

R@ptor Feb 20, 2009 2:41 PM

That's the 'Estacao do Oriente', Lisbon's main train station that was designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Metro-One Feb 20, 2009 4:42 PM

:previous: I love that the irish train is green :D

Jibba Feb 20, 2009 5:55 PM

Awesome set of global trains, R@ptor.

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