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, July 28, 2017

Because It's Friday

Working steam in China, throwing a lot of hot cinders:



Mainline steam operations ended in China a few years ago, but industrial and small-line operations continue. It's worth remembering that while mainline steam operations ended in the U.S. in the late 1950s, it was roughly another 25 years until the last working steam locomotive was retired.

6 comments:

CenterPuke88 said...

I'm surprised at the amount of embers freely released. It seems they have no spark arrestor on the chimney.

LRod said...

Minor nit, UP 844 (4-8-4 Northern) has never been retired.

LRod
ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

CenterPuke88 said...

Counter-nit, from 1962 to 1989, 844 was a diesel...and 8444 was the steamer...

That being said, whoever stuck their neck out in 1960 to save it from scraping should have gotten something good from UP for all the publicity and goodwill they've earned from 844 since.

Comrade Misfit said...

8444/844 may not have formally been retired, but she is not a working locomotive. She doesn't run in yard or revenue service. She is no more of a working locomotive than the Spitfires in the RAF's BBMF are operational fighters.

As far as I know, the last working steam locomotive was on the East Strousburg RR and that ended in the early to mid `70s. Northwest Steel and Wire used steam switchers in their operation in Sterling, IL into the 1980s.

LRod said...

I believe 844 pulls an annual revenue run from CYS to DEN and back in conjunction with the rodeo in CYS. I think the Denver Post sponsors it.

The Strasburg RR was still running regular service when I was there in '92, all steam. They primarily do short haul freight, but they run passengers all day, too. If you go there, don't miss the PRR museum across the street.

LRod
ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Stewart Dean said...

This night-time operations looks like something out of a Ray Bradbury novel, perhaps the loco that brings Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show to town.

> There, on the world's rim, the lovely snail-gleam of the railway tracks ran, flinging wild gesticulations of lemon or cherry-coloured semaphore to the stars. There, on the precipice of earth, a small steam feather uprose like the first of a storm cloud yet to come.
>
> The train itself appeared, link by link, engine, coal-car, and numerous and numbered all-asleep-and-slumbering-dream filled cars that followed the firefly-sparked chum, chant, drowsy autumn hearthfire roar. Hellfires flushed the stunned hills. Even at this remote view, one imagined men with buffalo-haunched arms shovelling black meteor falls of coal into the open boilers of the engine.
>
> The engine!
>
> The carnival train thundered the bridge, the calliope wailed.
> 'There's no one playing it!' Jim stared up.
> 'Jim, no jokes!'
> 'Mother's honour, look!'
> Going away, away, the calliope pipes shimmered with star explosions, but no one sat at the high keyboard. The wind, sluicing air-water air in the pipes, made the music. The boys ran. The train curved away, gonging it's under-sea funeral bell, sunk, rusted, green-mossed, tolling, tolling. Then the engine whistle blew a great steam whiff.
> ...
> The wails of a lifetime were gathered in it from other nights in other slumbering years; the howl of moon-dreamed dogs, the seep of river-cold winds through January porch screens which stopped the blood, a thousand fire sirens weeping, or worse! the outgone shreds of breath, the protests of a billion people dead or dying, not wanting to be dead, their groans, their sighs, burst over the earth!
>
> The whistle screamed. The whistle shrieked. Then the billion voices ceased, instantly, as if the train had plunged in a fire storm off the
> earth.
> ...
> The train skimmed on softly, slithering, black pennants fluttering, black confetti lost on its own sick-sweet candy wind, down the hill.
> The train had pulled off into Rolfe's moon meadow, so-called because town couples came out to see the moon rise here over a land so wide, so long, it was like an inland sea, filled with grass in spring., or hay in late, summer or snow in winter, it was fine walking here along its crisp shore with the moon coming up to tremble in its tides.
> Well, the carnival train was crouched there now in the autumn grass on the old spur near the Woods. The train just stood in the middle of the dry autumn field, no one in the locomotive no one in the tender, no one in any of the cars behind, all black under the moon, and just the small sounds of its metal cooling, ticking on the rails.
https://www.kyrene.org/cms/lib2/AZ01001083/Centricity/Domain/866/Something%20Wicked%20This%20Way%20Comes%20-%20Ray%20Bradbury.pd