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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: DaKaiser on July 26, 2013, 04:47:55 PM



Title: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: DaKaiser on July 26, 2013, 04:47:55 PM
Hello dear community

I have a question in regards to coal fired steam locomotives.

My buddy told me a couple of days ago that coal fired steam locomotives aren't legal to operate in the US.  Now I have searched the web and I can't find any info in regards to this statement that my buddy put forward.

So naturally I turn to you guys to see if there is anyone here who could help me with this.  Is my buddy right or is he wrong?

Thank you and best regards

DaKaiser

ps. If possible please provide a link or links to where I can find out more about this.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: jettrainfan on July 26, 2013, 05:32:42 PM
I can't supply a link but to start, Its mainly the Western US that is anti-coal fired steam. This is why steam locomotives out west are usually oil fired. Out east, the big names like NKP 765 are coal fired, and she's ran on Norfolk Southern a bit recently too, so there really isn't a anti coal thing in the east. If I remember correctly, it was cause of air pollution (California smog?  ::) ) hopefully someone else can go into detail.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: RAM on July 26, 2013, 05:56:45 PM
The west has a lot of oil and the east has a lot of coal.  I cost money to haul coal.  That is the reason that most of the railroad in the west had oil burners.  Now most western railroad had areas where they used coal for fuel.  The S.P. had some nice 2-8-8-4s that were coal burners.  I do not remember any railroads on the west coast that used coal for fuel. Cheaper to burn oil than ship in coal. 


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Doneldon on July 26, 2013, 06:23:10 PM
Kais and jtf-

There really isn't/wasn't an anti-coal thing in the West, either. Like most things in business, it was all about money. Western railroads preferred oil because western coal extraction hadn't developed like eastern coal did, but there was plenty of oil in the west by the time the western roads really got going. Burning coal required shipping it in from Pennsylvania or West Virginia or some place, and that costs money. It's also true that most of the western railroads did run coal, though only on their eastern lines.

Oil has more energy than an equal volume of coal and that efficiency was also financially important. Oil tenders could go farther before refueling, which saved time (critical on a long-haul railroad) and payroll due to fewer wasteful stops. Also, an oil burner requires somewhat less maintenance because all it really needs is a steam line to keep the oil thin enough to be pumped by a steam, air or electrically driven pump. That equipment is much simpler than stokers, coal pushers, crushers and feed augers. It's also a lot cheaper to build metal tanks and little pumping facilities than huge coal hoppers (which would be needed to fire the consistently large locomotives used to cover the vast distances out west). Those coal towers also need equipment to collect ash and cinders, and a way to dispose of them. Oil doesn't need these expensive facilities.

There are plenty of tourist railroads still burning coal all over the country. There may be some restrictions on  emissions but it's easy to get an exception permit for a historical demonstration.
                                                                                                                          -- D


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: jettrainfan on July 26, 2013, 06:31:50 PM
This is true, I thought he was referimg to modern steam.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: DaKaiser on July 26, 2013, 07:04:54 PM
Hi Guys

Thank you so very much for your swift and informative input.  I truly appreciate it.

Best regards

DaKaiser


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: jward on July 27, 2013, 10:30:33 AM
there are many excursion railroads here in the east which use coal. cass scenic railroad with its fleet of shays is the best known but there are many others. since steam locomotives are rare, the amount of pollution they make has a minimal effect at worst. emissions from steelmaking and power plants are a much greater concern.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: phillyreading on July 27, 2013, 11:44:26 AM
I know that Pennsylvania is rather tuff on steam fired tractors, certain types can not even have a lit match put inside, some of the old John Deere steam powered tractors.
Not sure but I think that the steam engines have to be inspected and certified for use in Pennsylvania.
Steamtown in Scranton PA still runs steam engines over to Moscow PA, about six to seven miles away.
Strasburg RR still runs a steam powered shortline near Lancaster PA.

As far as I know; steam is not dead, just restricted or regulated in use.

Lee F.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: richg on July 27, 2013, 04:01:32 PM
Hello dear community

I have a question in regards to coal fired steam locomotives.

My buddy told me a couple of days ago that coal fired steam locomotives aren't legal to operate in the US.  Now I have searched the web and I can't find any info in regards to this statement that my buddy put forward.

So naturally I turn to you guys to see if there is anyone here who could help me with this.  Is my buddy right or is he wrong?

Thank you and best regards

DaKaiser

ps. If possible please provide a link or links to where I can find out more about this.

Don't believe everything you hear from, "They Say or I heard" without some suitable links. You are asking for a link. Give us your friend's link.

Rich


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: rogertra on July 27, 2013, 04:47:13 PM
Hello dear community

I have a question in regards to coal fired steam locomotives.

My buddy told me a couple of days ago that coal fired steam locomotives aren't legal to operate in the US.  Now I have searched the web and I can't find any info in regards to this statement that my buddy put forward.

So naturally I turn to you guys to see if there is anyone here who could help me with this.  Is my buddy right or is he wrong?

Thank you and best regards

DaKaiser

ps. If possible please provide a link or links to where I can find out more about this.

Don't believe everything you hear from, "They Say or I heard" without some suitable links. You are asking for a link. Give us your friend's link.

Rich


Sounds like a post from an unformed railfan. 

It's amazing how little many railfans know about railroads and how they operate.  Oh sure, they can tell you the differences between various types of units but can they tell you what the purpose of the fly crank rod is on a steam loco's motion?  Assuming of course they know what a fly crank rod is or how dynamic brakes on a diesel work or even how the airbrake works or the differences between the independent and train brake?  :)

I had a good friend of mine, who was an excellent modeller, who told the story of how a freight car derailed in the middle of a train and rolled down a fill yet the parting glad hands of the cars either side of it swung up and reconnected so the train crew had no idea the train had parted.  Of course, this is 100% impossible.  As soon as the first air hose parted, the train would have instantly gone into emergency but he was 100% convinced the story is true.

It's these kinds of stories that have earned railfans the unflattering name of "foamers" among professional railroaders.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: andrewd on July 28, 2013, 08:15:00 AM
sorry to tell you this but your buddy's right they are illegal to use in the US


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: WoundedBear on July 28, 2013, 08:44:31 AM
sorry to tell you this but your buddy's right they are illegal to use in the US

How about citing your source for that info? I have been looking at EPA's site and others, and haven't found a thing specifically referencing coal fired steam locos. I'm always interesting in reading about some of the crazy laws your government has on the books.

Sid


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: jward on July 28, 2013, 11:43:52 AM
sorry to tell you this but your buddy's right they are illegal to use in the US

there's always one in every bunch..........
(http://i873.photobucket.com/albums/ab296/emdloco/DSC_2238_zps3110f6d4.jpg) (http://s873.photobucket.com/user/emdloco/media/DSC_2238_zps3110f6d4.jpg.html)
Gallitzin, PA May 19, 2013




(http://i873.photobucket.com/albums/ab296/emdloco/DSC_2586_zps9a4a22b1.jpg) (http://s873.photobucket.com/user/emdloco/media/DSC_2586_zps9a4a22b1.jpg.html)
Cumberland, MD July 20, 2013



Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: RAM on July 28, 2013, 03:58:48 PM
Well your buddy may have been think about some cities made it illegal to run steam locomotives.  I think it was Cleveland was one of those cities.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Jerrys HO on July 28, 2013, 05:41:46 PM
There ALIVE

Hey Jeff are you sending that baby my way?
I may love diesel but I sure do enjoy watching the steamers run. I have only been able to see Southern Pacifics Spirit of Louisiana run on occasion around here.

Jerry


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Atlantic Central on July 28, 2013, 06:11:54 PM
One more point of interest about this topic.

The Strasburg Railroad, runs 6, 8, or even more coal fired steam powered trains EVERY DAY, all day long, about 10 months out of the year.

AND, they are not just  a "tourist line" that might get some special exception - they are a common carrier railroad and move freight with steam as well.

Coal fired steam locos are just as "legal" as any other railroad locomotive. And they are subject to inspections and safety standards - that has nothing to do with what kind of fuel they burn.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: jward on July 28, 2013, 06:52:31 PM
come to Pittsburgh, I'll show you the western Maryland, and throw in horseshoe curve and the east broad top for good measure.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Doneldon on July 29, 2013, 12:57:09 AM
I may love diesel but I sure do enjoy watching the steamers run. I have only been able to see Southern Pacifics Spirit of Louisiana run on occasion around here.

Jerry-

If you aren't doing this already, check Trains magazine for a list of excursion trips, steam and others. Kalmbach (I think) publishes an annual book with information about tourist railroads all over the US and Canada, including schedules and the nature of the equipment. (Mine was a few years old so I tossed it last year when we moved, so your post reminded me I need to get a current edition. Thanx!) I haven't tried it but you should be able to learn about both excursions and tourist railroads on the Inet. And AAA lists tourist railroads in its Where to stay/Where to eat/What to do books.

                                                                                                                                       -- D


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Jerrys HO on July 29, 2013, 06:21:13 AM
D
Thanks for the info. I do try and ride most tourist rails when on vacation. I have rode the  Skunk Train in California (I was young and I believe then it was coal fired), the Grand Canyon Railroad (beautiful ride), and my favorite of all, Disneys steamers ( yea they go roundy round) when the kids are with the wife I go riding for hours. Did you know they have a behind the scenes tour of the trains and you can even fire one up, or at least help. My big plan is, after I get these kids through college, is to go with Jeff W. and let him show me around the area I admire. If we are still alive when that time comes.

Jerry


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: WTierce1 on July 29, 2013, 08:11:01 AM
I don't know where your friend got his information, but I got to ride in the cab of Southern 630 twice on the Tennessee Valley Railroad not to long ago and I am pretty sure that I saw the Fireman shoveling coal. I don't know, maybe I am crazy and the video I have is just my imagination. :P I just don't know.  ;D


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on July 29, 2013, 11:47:23 AM
Besides the lines in the East like Steamtown, Strasburg, and Cass, out West the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec are also coal-fired. In fact, on the day last October when my buddies and I road the C&T, a coal-fired locomotive pulling a train of loaded coal hoppers bound for Chama passed us while we were at our lunch stop.

Whoever is saying that coal-fired locomotives are illegal in the U.S. is just trying to make trouble.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: StanAmes on July 29, 2013, 01:15:17 PM
Hello dear community

I have a question in regards to coal fired steam locomotives.

My buddy told me a couple of days ago that coal fired steam locomotives aren't legal to operate in the US.  Now I have searched the web and I can't find any info in regards to this statement that my buddy put forward.

So naturally I turn to you guys to see if there is anyone here who could help me with this.  Is my buddy right or is he wrong?

Thank you and best regards

DaKaiser

ps. If possible please provide a link or links to where I can find out more about this.

I can assure you that there is a lot of coal fired steam locomotives running across the US.

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2843/9392254353_03588bba78_z.jpg)

This double header is in Chama and I have the sore back to prove it is coal fired. These locomotives do not have a stoker and the fireman has a lot of coal to shovel to make it up the 4% grade..  The choice of fuel is basicall chosen on what was locally available and easy to get.  Chama uses coal because there are coal mines nearby, others use oil which today is easier to get across the US then coal.  One even used dried milk for a time.

A complete listing of surviving steam in the US can be found at

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/lists/ (http://www.steamlocomotive.com/lists/)

Stan


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: WTierce1 on July 29, 2013, 04:18:44 PM
What do you mean that one burned dried milk?


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Jhanecker2 on July 29, 2013, 06:19:07 PM
 If a substance is flammable it can be used as fuel .  The amount of material available and it's price are usually the primary constraints .  Most early engines were wood burners because that fuel was readily available & cheap  . Most modern coal fired power plants  use pulverized coal injected as a fine spray almost like oil and consequently  don't leave cinders to deal with . It is truly amazing what can be utilized for fuel with the right engineering applied. J2.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: jward on July 29, 2013, 09:33:28 PM
almost any fine powder can ignite if the powder to air ratio is right. this is how grain elevators explode from grain dust.

btw, in the 11980s, GE modified a diesel  locomotive to run on a coal and water mix. combustion was not a problem, scouring of the cylinder linings was, and the project was quietly discontinued without the locomotive entering mainline service.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: StanAmes on July 30, 2013, 09:50:08 AM
What do you mean that one burned dried milk?

Indeed dried milk was used several times.  In the 20s it was shown to have reduced smoke over coal with a similar heating property.

Here is a link to a demo done in the 30s.

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/locomotive-tries-milk-fuel/ (http://blog.modernmechanix.com/locomotive-tries-milk-fuel/)


Note today the Grand Canyon RR fires its steam using vegetable oil allegedly to make it greener.

Stan


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: WTierce1 on July 30, 2013, 11:54:04 AM
Wow.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on July 30, 2013, 12:01:05 PM
Most early engines were wood burners because that fuel was readily available & cheap.

I seem to remember seeing an article in a history journal a long time ago that explained that there was a need for some technological developments--something about the grates--before coal could be used cheaply and efficiently in U.S. locomotives, but I can't swear to it. It might have had something specific to do with anthracite coal.  ???

And if I remember correctly, one of George Abdill's books includes a photo taken after 1900 of a Southern Pacific locomotive in Oregon with wood piled on the tender as high as the cab roof; I guess at that time wood was still cheap in the Pacific Northwest.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: ebtnut on July 30, 2013, 12:55:43 PM
A lot of stuff has been thrown into steam engine fireboxes over the decades.  Wood was very common in the very early years when it was cheap and easily available.  As the coal resources were opened up in the first half of the 19th Century the synergy of having an abundant resource with the railroads expanding to haul the resource, coal became the dominant fuel east of the Mississippi.  In northeastern Pennsylvania, the anthracite fields produced hard coal, which burned hotter and cleaner than soft coal, but the fire bed had to be broad and thin for proper combustion.  This resulted in the invention of the Wootton firebox so common to the "anthracite roads" such as the Reading, Lehigh Valley, DL&W, etc. with their camelback designs.

With the oil booms out west, oil became the dominant loco fuel west of the Rockies (with some substantive incursions further east).  Generally, the oil was what was once termed "Bunker C".  This was the residual material left after refining, and was about one step above road tar.  If often had to be heated to flow properly.  To do this, many locos had pipe coils in the bottom of the tender fed with boiler steam to keep the oil hot. 


In the Pacific northwest, the big logging era from about 1900 to the Depression was characterized by getting out the "big stuff" - virgin timber that could be 8 feet in diameter.  Trees we would consider substantial today were considered slash back then and became loco fuel..


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Mdaskalos on July 30, 2013, 01:38:28 PM
btw, in the 11980s, GE modified a diesel  locomotive to run on a coal and water mix. combustion was not a problem, scouring of the cylinder linings was, and the project was quietly discontinued without the locomotive entering mainline service.

Pretty precient 10,000-year peek into the future there, jward!  ;)


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: GN.2-6-8-0 on July 30, 2013, 05:22:06 PM
What do you mean that one burned dried milk?

Indeed dried milk was used several times.  In the 20s it was shown to have reduced smoke over coal with a similar heating property.

Here is a link to a demo done in the 30s.

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/locomotive-tries-milk-fuel/ (http://blog.modernmechanix.com/locomotive-tries-milk-fuel/)


Note today the Grand Canyon RR fires its steam using vegetable oil allegedly to make it greener.

Stan

Yeh'The folks up in Williams Az. Are complaining about the smell of French fries cooking when they run their steamers.....!!


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Atlantic Central on August 01, 2013, 07:03:28 AM
And on this topic of alternate fuels for steam locos, many ammusment park live steamers are, and have been over the years run on propane.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: richg on August 01, 2013, 12:24:31 PM
And on this topic of alternate fuels for steam locos, many ammusment park live steamers are, and have been over the years run on propane.

Sheldon

I have seen that at Disney in Fl some years ago. Much easier to handle and maintain the loco than coal. Many old timers just cannot seem to let go of coal fired locos.
At the Mt Washington cog railway, I was in the rear of the passenger car, just in front of the loco. I put my left arm out for a video and within a few seconds, my arm was covered with coal particles blown out the stack. Those little engines work very hard when climbing the mountain. The fireman has to essentially maintain a miniature volcano in the firebox so the loco does not lose its steam on the way up.
Now, one steamer and three diesels work the mountain. At a water stop, maybe half way, the fireman goes around the steamer with an adjustable wrench checking all the fasteners. The steamers were built in the 1930's the last I knew.
With the diesels, press a button for forward or reverse. They use a constant drive hydraulic motor system.

Rich


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: J3a-614 on August 02, 2013, 02:45:09 AM
This coal-burning business reminds me of a story from the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. . .

For years, this railroad (which is part of the state park system here) ran "cinder cars."  These were, like all the other equipment on this road, former logging flats converted to passenger service.  These were open cars with only handrails and benches, no sides or roof.  I remember one being coupled next to the locomotive on the way up the hill.  Great place for sound, but there was a reason they were called "cinder cars!"

For a while the road quit using them, due to some complaints they got from passengers about those oily cinders and claims for ruined clothes.  One lady was upset and buttonholed the park superintendent there, exclaiming to him, "You've ruined my clothes!  You've ruined my clothes!  Your brochure says you run a steam train!  It does not say you run a coal train!" 

Gee whiz, where did she think they got the steam?  A laundry?


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on August 02, 2013, 11:35:19 AM
This coal-burning business reminds me of a story from the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. . .

For years, this railroad (which is part of the state park system here) ran "cinder cars."  These were, like all the other equipment on this road, former logging flats converted to passenger service.  These were open cars with only handrails and benches, no sides or roof.  I remember one being coupled next to the locomotive on the way up the hill.  Great place for sound, but there was a reason they were called "cinder cars!"

I understand that in the early 1960s, the Strasburg Rail Road used to run an open gondola fitted with benches that acquired the nickname, "The Cinder Catchers Club Car" for the same reason as the Cass cars.  :D

I never really wanted to ride an open car, and the cinders had nothing to do with it. I felt I would have a more authentic old-time railroading experience if I rode in a coach.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Desertdweller on August 02, 2013, 07:26:54 PM
The problem with propane powered steamers of any size is, they don't smell right.

Les


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Doneldon on August 02, 2013, 07:48:49 PM
The problem with propane powered steamers of any size is, they don't smell right.
Les

Dd-

Propane isn't exactly concentrated energy compared to oil or coal, and it's considerably more expensive for a given number of BTUs. It also requires special equipment for storage and delivery. Other than some fleet use, propane hasn't even been a good idea for street vehicles. It's not a big surprise that it never made much of a mark on railroading.

                                                                                                                                             -- D


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: SmokeyNSteamer on August 03, 2013, 04:04:47 PM
It is a fact that most western railroads burned oil.  The Northern Pacific was one of the few exceptions--most of their steamers were coal burners.  However, unlike eastern or Midwestern steamers, which burned bituminous (soft) coal, the NP burned lignite, a lower grade of coal, and for this reason NP steamers had slightly oversized fireboxes.

On a side note, a group is converting a former Santa Fe Hudson (originally an oil burner) to burn a coal-like biofuel that has the same heat value without the associated carbon footprint:

http://www.csrail.org/ (http://www.csrail.org/)

The only thing I am wondering is if the fuel is compatible with mechanically-stoked locomotives.  Can the fuel "lumps" fit through the stoker without crushing, and if it can't, how will crushing affect the fuel's combustibility?

I thought this fuel would've been the perfect solution to UP's debate on whether Big Boy 4014 should burn coal or oil, until I learned about the loose ember problems they had with 3985 in the 80's.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: GRZ on August 03, 2013, 08:10:58 PM
    I never heard of a john-deere steamer,where did you see that? grz


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: GG1onFordsDTandI on August 03, 2013, 09:41:29 PM
    I never heard of a john-deere steamer,where did you see that? grz

GRZ, Back at you, Where did yousee that? Who posted it? After speed reading through 3 pages of this thread again I didn't see the reference. Could you repost using the quote option? Its a good idea to use it when what your talking about isn't directly above. ;)


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Jerrys HO on August 03, 2013, 09:54:57 PM
   I never heard of a john-deere steamer,where did you see that? grz

GRZ, Back at you, Where did yousee that? Who posted it? After speed reading through 3 pages of this thread again I didn't see the reference. Could you repost using the quote option? Its a good idea to use it when what your talking about isn't directly above. ;)

GG
Phillyreading in first page about fifth one down. Stop taking those cheap speed reading course's, there making you go blind. ;D

Jerry


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: GG1onFordsDTandI on August 03, 2013, 11:01:55 PM
Thanks Jerry. Those classes were compliments of the Ohio educational system back in the 70s. Useful, but not perfect. College vocabulary level and ability  to achieve 90% retention on a full blast reading machine gets you through a lot of material quickly in 3rd grade. I read faster than any teacher I've ever had but still cant spell, punctuate, or construct a proper sentence half the time. The original credit for teaching me to read well, before I even started school, goes to Marvel comics and Captain America. Blind no, but I have had a little headache all day. Doesn't matter I found it.

GRZ, I couldn't find reference to one anywhere either. I knew about the Waterloo "Boy" being a petroleum tractor when Deere bought them out. Maybe P.R. saw a Deere implement on another mfg.'s tractor and/or assumed one was made since they were making farm equipment since the early 1800s.


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: Doneldon on August 04, 2013, 04:11:46 AM
GG1-

My speed reading experience was seventh grade in California. My room and one eighth-grade room were Guinea pigs for Science Research Associates' speed reading program, SQ3R (survey, question, read, recite, review). I learned to read 1800 words per minute with high retention but it was no fun at all. It made reading an unpleasant and high-pressure thing. So I no longer do it except on very rare occasions when I do need to cover things in a big hurry. Of course, I do all I can not to find myself in such a situation. I'm still a fast reader but nothing like when I was in seventh grade. And, do you know what? I love reading at a relaxed pace and I still hate SQ3R reading.

                                                                                                                                                 -- D


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: GG1onFordsDTandI on August 04, 2013, 05:42:36 AM
Those not interested in thread theft or speed reading should skip this. :-*

 I was always "smarter than the average bear"(in ways). "Gifted" for my age, they thought I was maybe a "genius". Who was I to argue ;) ?  Today, I think I, like others in my family, would be classified as having high functioning Asperger's syndrome (a real life Big Bang theory Sheldon Cooper minus the doctorate)(trains and all)(I grew out of it)...(kinda). Really, I just didn't want to wait for an adult to read my comic to me, so I taught myself. One day a teacher noticed my advanced vocabulary and math skills, next thing I know I'm a guinea pig. They found I could figure out almost anything that interested me. But if I am not interested, forget it, I'm a dummy and will likely fail. Lazy? Maybe.
  I doubt I read at that speeds like that anymore either :D.  And I only use it for quick scans for info. Wonder what else I've been missing? ::)


Title: Re: Coal fired steam locomotives?
Post by: M1FredQ on August 04, 2013, 12:43:23 PM
This coal-burning business reminds me of a story from the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. . .

For years, this railroad (which is part of the state park system here) ran "cinder cars."  These were, like all the other equipment on this road, former logging flats converted to passenger service.  These were open cars with only handrails and benches, no sides or roof.  I remember one being coupled next to the locomotive on the way up the hill.  Great place for sound, but there was a reason they were called "cinder cars!"

For a while the road quit using them, due to some complaints they got from passengers about those oily cinders and claims for ruined clothes.  One lady was upset and buttonholed the park superintendent there, exclaiming to him, "You've ruined my clothes!  You've ruined my clothes!  Your brochure says you run a steam train!  It does not say you run a coal train!" 

Gee whiz, where did she think they got the steam?  A laundry?


It's sad but its comments like the woman's above that make you realize how bad things are getting with the dumbing down of people in this country or lack of common sense