Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, January 10, 2014

Because It's Friday

A change of pace: A silent movie about the building of a steam locomotive.


First off, 3101 survives. There was some rumblings a few years back, before the Great Recession, that the Canadian Pacific was considering restoring 3101 to operating condition.

The other thing of note is to look at the men in the construction shops. No hard hats, hardly any other safety equipment, and you can bet that there wasn't a steel-toed or safety shoe to be found in the place.

It was not unusual for larger railroads to build their own steam locomotives. But it wasn't terribly common. Norfolk & Western was building them into the early `50s, because they had made the investments in their shops and because their major source of revenue was hauling coal. The Pennsy also made many of their own locomotives with one-piece cast frames. Pennsy shop workers used to brag that the only part of the locomotive that they couldn't integrally cast was the engineer.

8 comments:

BadTux said...

If you wonder why the Confederacy put 75% of their manpower and their best generals to protect Richmond, VA, it was because the Tredegar Works in Richmond were the only place in the entire American South that was capable of building a steam locomotive. And then that idiot Jefferson Davis, who had no understanding of the importance of logistics despite his West Point training, wasted their capabilities casting cannon instead when there were dozens of places elsewhere in the South capable of casting cannon. The South didn't fall due to lack of cannon or gunpowder, the South fell because once their railroads collapsed, they were no longer capable of feeding or transporting their armies. Tactics win battles. Logistics wins wars.

Still trying to decide whether Jefferson Davis's stupidity was a good thing or a bad thing for the USA...

Deadstick said...

I've been working off-and-on for years on an animation of Nickel Plate 765, a 2-8-4 that's been restored a couple of times. The frame of that engine is mind-boggling: an incredibly complex shape 40 feet long, maybe 150,000 pounds, and cast in one piece.

I can hardly imagine how many subpatterns they had to mold in sand and assemble for one pour...

Charles Pergiel said...

Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed it. BadTux's comment is going on my blog.

Comrade Misfit said...

One of the things that amazed me in my readings of the Second World War was the extent to which the Germans did not convert their industrial base to support the war effort. The aircraft makers all made their own designs and nobody else did. By contrast, when the Americans wanted to make a shitload of bombers, Ford made B-24s, and both Douglas and Lockheed-Vega made B-17s. Curtiss made P-47s, GM made Grumman F-4Fs (Navy designation FM-2).

American war production was a form of quasi-nationalization, in that the companies were permitted to operate, but they made what they were told to make (or close up).

BadTux said...

One thing to remember about the German economy is just what dire straits it had been in prior to WW2. Granted, Hitler's rearmament program had reduced unemployment to near zero, but at the expense of causing severe resource shortages everywhere else in the German economy. Germany didn't *have* a GM or Ford to manufacture bombers for them, all they had was Daimler-Benz, which was tied up manufacturing tanks, and BMW, which was tied up manufacturing aircraft engines and motorcycles. The consumer market had been starved of resources for so long in Germany, both by the Allied reparations and by Hitler's arms programs, that there simply was not the vast stock of civilian manufacturing facilities available to Germany. Thus when they captured facilities elsewhere in Europe, they put Junkers or etc. in charge of them, since clearly the original management wasn't going to (reliably) build weapons for Germany.

And I had a lot more here, but Blogger doesn't like long comments, so the above will suffice...

- Badtux the Manufacturing Penguin

Comrade Misfit said...

You'll have to expound on this on your own blog, BadTux. Or if you'd rather it be here, email the text to me and I'll put it up as a guest post.

Anonymous said...

Don't need a hard hat if you have a fedora and some common sense. It's absolutely amazing the things our forebears could design with a slide rule and a pencil.

A technical question. Tires on the engine wheels? Was this a sacrificial rim that could be replaced when it was worn out? That would save the work of dismounting the axle.

Al_in_Ottawa

Comrade Misfit said...

Tires on the engine wheels? Was this a sacrificial rim that could be replaced when it was worn out?

Exactly right.