Locomotive No. 90

As mentioned in the previous post, I was checking out the steam trains in Strasburg, PA, USA. Here’s a simple iPhone photo of Locomotive No. 90.

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Baldwin Locomotive Works built that beast in 1924. I’m sure there has been some repairs and rebuilds since. Still impressive. Here’s a better shot taken with a Nikon D810 of the running gear:

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Some heavy steel there. As you can see, in magnificent condition thanks to the hard work of the team that keeps these machines on the rails. Check it out someday.

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Steam Wheels

Was searching for movie ideas and headed out to the Strasburg Railroad where there’s live steam engines on the rails. For fun captured this video of the running gear:

It’s a tremendous amount of work keeping those engines and the rest of the equipment going. Plenty of people turn out almost every day to witness a piece of history, which is a good thing. Lots to learn in place like this. Plenty of ideas for movies, too.

 

Waking a Beast, video

Before a steam engine can go out on the rails, there’s plenty of work to be done. As you see in the following video, the crew of Locomotive No. 40 does the job well. (Check it out in 1080 full screen if your internet connection is capable.)

The tools are heavy, the job is dirty, the temperatures alternate from boiling to freezing, but it’s a labor of love keeping steam trains running. Thanks to the good folks like the people you saw in the video, the rest of us get to enjoy the ride and the majesty of these machines. Take your family and see all there is along the rails.

Strasburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Strasburg, Pennsylvania is not far from all the outlet shopping near Lancaster. The town is well known for its railroad which thrills children and adults alike. On the day I took these shots, Thomas the Train was on site, much to my disappointment. However, kids love that character. I prefer the regular steam engines which make for great photography. The tower at the left was moved to this location. The view from up there is fantastic. Although only two stories tall, the surrounding countryside opens up because it is the gentle, rolling farmland of the Amish. It also gives you the perspective of the yard master in days gone by.

Across the street is the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum, which hosts literally dozens of steam engines and cars of all description. At the height of its operations, the Pennsylvania Railroad was known as “the standard railroad of the world.” It controlled much of the passenger traffic between, Philadelphia, New York, DC, and Chicago, not to mention the freight business. Using the type of engines shown below, the “Pennsy” connected the eastern half of the country with the west.

It’s hard to imagine the smoke and soot of steam locomotives. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of them in action here at Strasburg as well as in New Hope, PA. They may be majestic, but they’re also dirty. Nonetheless, it’s important to see such machines in action. They are a form of living history that helps us keep things in perspective. Of course, there’s fun to be had in Strasburg, such as this little steam locomotive.

This post begins a new category here at The Bent Page. Years ago I used to take many photographs of trains and industrial sights. Some of them were published in the magazines that focus on those subjects. So TRAINS becomes a category here starting today.

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 2:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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