Log in

No account? Create an account

Den's Journal

Stories by a short, fat bastard

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Here's something you don't see very often.


  • 1
Which train won?

Each locomotive seemed to be pulling a different combination of cars, which is a bit puzzling, since I'd figure they'd have to all be pulling the same load to make the race "fair". And it's fascinating to watch how one train is way ahead of the other three, but they slowly gain speed and catch up - I know that steam engines don't accelerate very well, but they can go very fast if they have the chance to build up to it. Of course, they decelerate just as slowly! (My dad was a railfan, especially but not exclusively regarding steam. Alas, where we lived, there was only a commuter railroad, powered mostly by electricity and a few old diesels.)

It's not so much a race as a "race." These are historic engines so they couldn't really hit their old maximum speeds. Their consists were a mix of early to mid-20th century carriages the the trains were a bit of a mix-and-match to take the engines up to their current rated maximums. Technically the green 36 class should have won since it's a mainline express. Still, she's not bad for an engine nearly 100 years old.

The one leading the race is 5917, a US built "Mikado."

The shorter video starts out with a black locomotive (the Mikado, 5917?) pulling a bunch of red passenger cars, which is so far ahead that the locomotive on the train next to it is just about even with the last car. The green locomotive (3642?) is dead last. But over the course of just that short bit of the race, the second locomotive almost catches up with the first, the third one is also gaining speed, and the green one looks like The Little Engine That Could.

I don't see why a 100-year-old steam engine shouldn't still run very nearly as well as it did when it rolled out of the factory, if it was properly maintained. Steam engines aren't really that complicated, mechanically - that's one of the things I like about steam. You can see how everything works, how pistons push levers that turn gears that push levers that turn wheels. And if those gears and levers and pistons and wheels are kept in good condition (and/or replaced when necessary, even if someone has to hand-machine a part that hasn't been manufactured since the Jazz Age), the engine should just keep running.

Did 5917 win?

Edited at 2016-04-11 10:50 am (UTC)

  • 1