The locomotive (which I helped restore, fire and run), is one year newer (1926) than my Touring.
That's me in black.....
There's something about the combination of primitive technology, immensity and raw power that is a steam locomotive. They're impossible not to love.
Soot happen's!! Bud.
Ya gotta love steam. I've never run a locomotive, but I have run traction engines. Gotta be similar. Smoother ride too!
For a short time there was the engeneer for a hour program at 700.00 per but it was dropped.The movie [Polar Express] made them a lot of money but their back asking with nothing to offer? The 1225 Pere Marquette.Bud in Wheeler.
Good for you William!! Nothing like living your dream! Wish I had my hands on that baby's throttle for a few minutes...and the steam whistle.
I love steam engines! For 2 years I maintained 2 turn of the century narrow gauge engines. Running one of them requires your full attention. Good times! The only negative to working on them is everything on a steam engine is very heavy and none of the parts are clean.
The beauty of this though, was being able to work on it in a 37 stall roundhouse built in 1924. We had cranes and lifters for the heavy stuff.
What's really scary is being small enough to squeeze in the steam dome past the throttle pipe to needle scale and coat the boiler interior, or knocking cut stay-bolts out of the firebox with a sledge hammer hard enough to hit the wall one bay over.
In a day i loosened old paint and did some burning in the steam chest! The next project was to go under and replace springs! I never went back!! Bud in Wheeler.
I know a guy who is/was working on one in Savannah. He invited us over to the roundhouse one weekend. When we got there, we couldn't find him. We called his name and got a muffled response. Then he climbs out of the boiler. He was cutting tubes out of it. No thank you. Ive never considered myself claustrophobic, but I don't think I could do that.
I'd be surprised if you could do some of that now without all kinds of OSHA attention about confined-space work permits and safety requirements. I don't know what all the criteria are though.
In confined space, the rule used to be, if there's only one way in and out, it's considered confined space, then you need a "spotter", safety harness with a tether tied to you, winch/stand if applicable, possibly forced ventilation and I am sure even more. Fortunately I've been out of that business for 14 years so I've forgotten a lot of it.
William, you'd never get me in that steam dome!! Claustrophobic.
William: Im a retired Boilermaker from Local 69 in Little Rock Ark.. Never got to work on any Locomotives. I was a field construction Boilermaker. All our boilers were stationary units. Working in refineries, power houses, paper mills, chemical plants, ect. I did get to work on some of the old boilers in Arkansas at the old paper mills built in the 20s. Same thing as Railroad work, just bigger. Like you, I was the small guy that could (and would) climb into the confined spaces,(even before OSHA was involved) Any one who has worked dangerous jobs before OSHA and still complains about them is a idiot. They have there problems, are a pain in the butt sometimes, But because of them, there are a lot of people still going home and eating dinner with there families at night because of them. I sometimes wish I had chosen to work the Railroad side of Boilermaker work because of the travel on the rails. The wife and I are both railroad junkies. We ride an old train anytime we can. Our favorite is the Durango and Silverton Narrow gauge in Colorado. I wonder sometimes why I miss the work because it was hard ,dirty, and dangerous. I was always a mechanic and tried to stay away from the welding like most of the new young guys wanted to do. I useally was a "high rigger" and "heavy lift rigger" The heaviest lift I have made (with a crew of skilled boilermakers) is 8060 tons. (160,120 pounds) I have hung from a 3/8 inch cable on the side of a boiler stack 1600 feet in the air (in winter blizzards), crawled thru confined spaces for days dragging heavy 2 ton chain hoists and hanging them for the rigging crews. Worked in the Pine Bluff Arsenal where they had the millions of the BZ Gas and Nerve agent bombs stored. We built the incinerator to dispose of all of them. One bomb would kill every living creature in a 40 mile radius. I have stood 15 feet above an "exposed" Nuclear reactor core while changing out the head and control rods. I even got to handle the live fuel cells for the reactor, and transfer spent fuel, when we rebuilt the fuel handling rig at Arkansas Nuclear One. Looking back on it now I wonder why in the $%#@# I did it. But I loved every minute of it... Boilermakers were the first "craft" and the ones who started it all. (for better or worse)
Mr. Wrenn, you are pretty close to being spot on. In my many faceted career, I received and gave a lot of training on Confined Spaces, most of it is common sense, but often ignored.
As to steam, hard for me to realize, but I grew up in the Steam era. The trains back then were all steam of course, and there were still a lot of steam tractors in use in agriculture. There were several of the Case tractors that were used in the rice fields in my day, most were stationary and used to power threshers with a belt, once in a great while one would be used to pull a breaking plow, but gasoline was beginning to be common and so much simpler to hook up and use a gasoline tractor than a steam rig.
One old steam tractor that was used to power a saw mill was being moved, fell through a wooden bridge, and sat there for years till the scrap drives of WW2, just too big to pull out of the creek bed,
So much of my life was spent in the oilfields, and steam was the only way to go. All the drilling rigs were steam powered, most used four boilers, once in a while you would see one with five or even more, those were used on the rigs that were really going deep. There is such a feeling of raw power when a set of draw works would be kicked in and start out of the hole with 10,000' or so of 4 1/2" drill pipe, and never bat an eye, everything on the rig would be powered with steam, we washed and dried out work clothes using steam and all the hot water you wanted.
I loved the old steam locomotives, back then there was a class called the "Big Boys" that were a sight to behold. There was a yard in Wyoming where they made up trains and etc., Rock Springs, and there would always be a few siting around, some were used to either help pull or push a train up some of the steeper grades. They would shake the ground when they went by, there was a place to the west of town where one could park and watch them puffing up that long grade, Lordy, Lordy, the power that was on scene there, all gone now of course.
The only confined spaces I worked in in the Navy required an airline respirator and constant 2 way communication...If you weren't in touch with your feminine side and quit talking they were coming in after you...I hated yard periods!
Donnie, have you been on this one?
As a young man working in a garage for N.Y.C. as a mechanic back in the 70's a crew came in to re-tube the heating boiler for the garage. After seeing those guys come out of the basement after the first day working I swore to my self I'd never get that dirty doing ANYTHING! They looked like cartoon characters. Solid black from head to foot. If you put them in a darkened room all you'd see were their open eyes. No need to tell you what the washroom looked like when they "cleaned up" after work. They were re-building a steam engine at Allaire State Park N.J. years back and while walking through the repair shop with a friend they heard about my trade they tried to get me to volunteer. I blew out and never went into the repair shop again. No thanks.
Always a pleasure to read your posts. For quite some time we didn't hear from you and about gave up, but now I see you post from time to time.
Great thread guys, thanks.
I have always loved Trains. I grew up about 500 feet from Rail Road Tracks. We used to walk down the tracks to the old Round House and what them. Once in a while an old Steam Engine would come by. My oldest daughter named my Mom Grandma Caboose. She would always want to go to the tracks and watch the trains. I still have the train set I got for my birthday in 1961.
Steve: Thanks for the video link. We have not ridden the Cumbres and Toltec yet. Have you rode on it.? It probably is our next train ride when we go back that direction. We have been told by some that have ridden the Cumbres and Toltec and also the Durango and Silverton that they liked the Cumbres better. I would be hard to convince that anything could be better than the Durango and Silverton. But the Cumbres and Toltec does look inviting in the video. Charlie: I have re-tubed many boilers and I have been the "black guy" you are speaking of. Even after taking 2 showers, scrubbing with "Tide" soap till your skin fell off, you were still black. The only white spot was where the respirator and safety goggles fit. (thank you OSHA for requiring them). When you would get out of bed the next morning there would be an outline of your body on the sheets. The motels used separate sheets and towels for us Boilermakers. After we used them once, even after they washed and bleached them, they were never clean looking again. As to confined spaces. There are lots of rules to follow when going in. "FOLLOW ALL OF THEM". If you see anyone breaking any of the rules, get him fired and off the job. Because he will "Kill" you sooner or later. Our work was dangerous. I have seen too many "bodies" in my life. I was a lucky one .Most of the people I know who did not make it were killed by someone else not following the rules. Enough with the bad stuff. Lets talk some more about trains. Does anyone have any interesting train rides to suggest. We like steam but diesel is OK also. Our dream trip is the train in Alaska and Canada.
Go to steamtrainride.com and that will take you to the web site for our local steam train. While this doesn't compare to the rides you referenced above it is still a fun way to spend a few hours in the afternoon.
If you get out this way give me a call and I will see that you get a tour. I do a bit of work for the Association.
Yes, I did ride the C & T. The woman and two kids in the video are my cousins. The Durango-Silverton train gets all the publicity, but the C & T scenery is so great I can't imagine Durango & Silverton being any better. The day we rode the train from Chama to Antonito we were headed back to camp when we saw this:
All I know about it is that it runs out of Alamosa and goes east to La Veta Pass.
Every Train geek should do both Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres and Toltec. The scenery is better on the Durango but it is shorter and I like the Cumbres as it is a whole day riding the rails without the several hour break for "Shopping" in Silverton. You get a better feel on the Cumbres of how the early trains made their way through the mountains. For what it is worth I think you should always buy the higher priced ticket on ether line. It is worth the extra expense IMHO.
Paul: I agree about the tickets. We always get the better tickets. We do not get the private car type of thing, but maybe after I win the lottery we will, but the better seats are always worth the extra to us. You can almost always go outside on the open cars, but if that is all you payed for and it rains or gets cold it could be a bad trip. The C&T is on our "to do list". There is another one in Colorado above Royal Gorge somewhere. I can not remember the name of. It is supposed to have a "Shay" cog wheel engine. I have always wanted to ride a cog wheel train. There was a defunct rail road behind my parents house in the Arkansas Ozark mountains that used a "Shay" cog wheel engine. It was known as the "Dinky Line" It was a lumber mill train used to haul "stave bolts" to our local stave mills. They tore the line out in 1919. The "locals" said you could hear the gears for miles. Just imagine the noise a set of six, square cut gears, almost 5 foot tall, could make. I have read rumors of the engine being moved to Colorado in the 20s. Next time we go to Colorado it is on the list also. Its a stretch to think it could be the same engine but "who knows"
In a former life, I flew one of these:
How long ago? Well, that's my daughter and she's finishing up her senior year of college.
I still have my Navion. I just can't sell it.
Bob..I love the big grin on the plane!
Mine is the plane that was used in about 25 episodes of Northern Exposure.
'48 Cessna 170...I've flown it a lot.
My T by the wingtip (and '40 Ford)
that's a beautiful bird you've got there, Looks to be very original. I'm jealous!
Poor "Starduster" got destroyed in a bad windstorm.
Yeah, the grinning intake is one of the most endearing things about the Navion. They were designed by North American Aviation, the same military contractor who built the AT-6 Texan, P-51 Mustang and F-86 Saber. She was roomy enough for people to change seats inflight, comfortable as an old pair of sneakers, and handled sweeter and safer than just about anything else in the air. After the first time my mechanic flew mine, he went right out and bought one for himself. The Navion was the airplane of tomorrowóbuilt yesterday. I do miss her.
Thank you Bob! She took five years to restore. I've been flying her for fifteen years. Here's the panel.
Very original and very gorgeous!
About steam train tickets and prices; How many steam trains offer tickets to ride in the engine cab?
I was surprised to see that the Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad offers one one way rides in the cab for $80. The regular round trip fair is $29 and they offer 222 per trip. http://www.mrsr.com/
A Model T donkey I believe. In the museum.
Bob..my heart aches to see poor Starduster in that wrecked condition. And yet, she still wears her smile proudly! Gosh I hope she can be brought back to life so she and her occupants can enjoy the freedom of the sky.