Ferroequus Domain

A steam locomotive is a type of railway locomotive that produces its pulling power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning combustible material – usually coal, wood, or oil – to produce steam in a boiler. The steam moves reciprocating pistons which are mechanically connected to the locomotive's main wheels (drivers). Both fuel and water supplies are carried with the locomotive, either on the locomotive itself or in a tender car pulled behind.

The Big Bayou Canot rail accident was the derailing of an Amtrak train on the CSX Transportation Big Bayou Canot Bridge in southwestern Alabama, United States, on September 22, 1993. It was caused by displacement of a span and deformation of the rails when a tow of heavy barges collided with the rail bridge eight minutes earlier. 47 people were killed and 103 more were injured. To date, it's both the deadliest train wreck in Amtrak's history and the worst rail disaster in the United States since the 1958 Newark Bay, New Jersey rail accident in which 48 lives were lost.

The Norfolk & Western Railway was an innovator in steam locomotive technology and practices.

Railroads played a vital role in the United States during the Second World War, transporting the human and material resources that were essential for victory.

Short film chronicling the end of steam locomotive operation on Rayonier's Grays Harbor Line.

On May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, a boisterous crowd gathered to witness the completion of one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century: the building of the transcontinental railroad. The electrifying moment marked the culmination of six years of grueling work. A telegrapher sent a simple, yet thrilling, message to the waiting nation: "DONE!"

Peopled by the ingenious entrepreneurs whose unscrupulous financing got the line laid, the brilliant engineers who charted the railroad's course, the armies of workers who labored relentlessly on the enterprise, and the Native Americans whose lives were destroyed in its wake, The Transcontinental Railroad is a remarkable story of greed, innovation and gritty determination.

As always, dreamers were ahead of the curve; and as always, their enthusiasm tended to get ahead of practical considerations. "It is in our power," wrote Samuel Dexter, editor of the Western Emigrant in 1832, "to open an immense interior country to market, to unite our eastern and western shores firmly together." It wasn't, as it turned out, in America's power for almost forty years.

The visionary who finally got the project underway was a practical man, a West Coast-based designer and builder of railways, Theodore Judah. In the summer of 1860 he picked a route through the wilderness of California's Sierra Nevadas and began looking for investors. A few years later the Central Pacific Railroad with four major private investors and some funding from Congress began the awesome task of laying track through the mountains. In bitter cold and blazing heat, workers built scores of bridges and trestles and drilled thousands of feet of tunnel while advancing 690 miles across some of the roughest terrain in America. Crucial to their success were the efforts of Chinese laborers who risked their lives to blast their way through granite cliffs. Advancing from the east was the Union Pacific which built westward across plains and deserts, braving blizzards and raids by displaced Native Americans to complete the 1,086-mile journey from Omaha, Nebraska. As the tracks moved deeper into the wilderness, boomtowns sprung up to cater to the workers' appetite for whiskey, women and wagering. Hastily built, these settlements, known as "Hells on Wheels," flourished for a few weeks, then were deserted as the railroad moved on.

When it was completed, the railroad transformed America. It unleashed a tidal wave of growth as immigrants moved west. Thousands of towns materialized in the corridor created by the railway. Transcontinental trains fostered a new agricultural empire by bringing farming machinery to the West, and carrying crops and livestock to the coasts. And the line gave birth to other lines -- three additional transcontinental railroads in 20 years. The railroad also profoundly affected the national psychology, creating a new spirit of optimism and unity. Just as the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Courthouse affirmed the union of North and South, so the Golden Spike established an unbreakable link between East and West, a strong band of iron that bound America together, making it really and truly "one nation, indivisible."

The Train of Tomorrow was an American demonstrator train built as a collaboration between General Motors (GM) and Pullman-Standard between 1945 and 1947. It was the first new train to consist entirely of dome cars, which were the brainchild of GM vice president and Electro-Motive Division (EMD) general manager Cyrus Osborn, who conceived the idea while riding in either an F-unit or a caboose in the Rocky Mountains in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado. After GM built a 45-foot (14 m) scale model of the train for $101,772 and displayed it to 350 officials from 55 different Class I railroads in 1945, the Train of Tomorrow was built by Pullman-Standard between October 1946 and May 1947.

The train consisted of four cars: a chair car (Star Dust), a dining car (Sky View), a sleeping car (Dream Cloud), and a lounge-observation car (Moon Glow), all featuring "Astra-Domes". It was pulled by a largely stock EMD E7A. Its dining car, Sky View, was the first dome diner to be built and the first diner of any kind with an all-electric kitchen. The train was constructed with low-alloy, high-tensile steel and Thermopane glass for its domes and windows. Although GM never publicly stated the total price of the Train of Tomorrow, contemporary sources estimated it at between $1 million and $1.5 million.

After being christened at a dedication ceremony in Chicago on May 28, 1947, the Train of Tomorrow embarked on a barnstorming tour of the United States and Canada that lasted for 28 months, covered 65,000 miles (105,000 km), and visited 181 cities and towns. During its tour, the train was ridden or toured by over 5.7 million people, and was seen by an estimated 20 million people. After its tour was completed on October 30, 1949, the train was sold to the Union Pacific for $500,000, and its four cars were put into service between Portland and Seattle on June 18, 1950. The cars were retired from service between 1961 and 1965, and all but one were eventually scrapped. Moon Glow sat in a scrap yard for almost two decades before being discovered by the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), who purchased and transported it to the Ogden Union Station Museum, where it is undergoing restoration.

Western & Atlantic Railroad #3 'General' is a 4-4-0 "American" type steam locomotive built in 1855 by the Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor in Paterson, New Jersey for the Western & Atlantic Railroad, best known as the engine stolen by Union spies in the Great Locomotive Chase, an attempt to cripple the Confederate rail network during the American Civil War. Today, the locomotive is preserved at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nathan M5 diesel locomotive air horn at the 2010 Oak Ridge, TN Horn Honk.

The Meldrim trestle disaster occurred at Meldrim, Georgia, on June 28, 1959. Involved was a Seaboard Air Line mixed freight train that derailed over the Ogeechee River. Loaded LPG tank cars from the train plunged into the river below and ruptured. The resulting explosion and fire killed 23 people.

The derailment was caused by the movement of rails on the trestle, as they were compressed by the moving train.

An ICC investigation faulted the railroad for not installing guard rails along the trestle, which might have helped to keep the derailed equipment on the trestle deck, minimizing the risk of a hazardous materials release.

Robert Eugene Swanson (1905–1994) was a Canadian researcher and developer, and is credited with the invention of the first five and six-chime air horns for use on locomotives. Swanson had worked as the chief engineer of a company called Victoria Lumber Manufacturing in the 1920s, when he developed a hobby for making steam whistles for locomotives. Eventually, Swanson designed and built a large steam whistle for the mill where he worked. He also built the Heritage Horns that were on the old BC Hydro building that play the first four chords of "O Canada" at noon every day. The horns are now on the roof of the Pan Pacific hotel at Canada Place.

Later, Swanson, the son of Alfred Swanson, worked as the chief inspector of railroads for the Province of British Columbia. It was here he met his future partner, Don Challenger, who operated a logging company. The two knew each other through the logging industry, which relied heavily on rail transportation at the time.

Swanson published four books of verse between 1942 and 1953, and also a book of logging stories, Whistle Punks and Widow-Makers, which appeared in 1993. Known as the "bard of the woods", he wrote ballads of logging on the British Columbia coast, taking the advice of Robert Service, who noted that Swanson had traveled extensively through the camps and no one else was writing about that type of life. Swanson read the poems on his weekly talk show on radio station CJOR. The chapbooks of the verses were designed to fit in racks meant for issues of Reader's Digest, found in every camp commissary. Mainly distributed through the Harry Smith News Agency, the ballads were immensely popular in bunkhouses, reputedly selling 82,000 copies. Although Swanson was never accepted by the literary establishment, his books easily outsold those of better known poets of the 1940s such as Earle Birney and Dorothy Livesay. In the 1980s, he was part of a troupe that read and sang literature about logging. Forestry authority Ken Drushka recalled that going on a reading tour with Swanson was like travelling with an "octagenarian rock star".

Swanson was the driving force behind the restoration of the Royal Hudson, supported by the New Democratic Party and Dave Barrett. However, Grace McCarthy attempted to take credit for the idea.

Swanson was a qualified locomotive engineer, stationary engineer, professional mechanical engineer as well as chief inspector for the BC provincial department of railways. As chief inspector, he wrote the provincial "Boiler Code" in 1948, and he required that all locomotives running on British Columbia provincially regulated railways be equipped with a five-note whistle, rather than the three-note whistle requirement for federally regulated railway locomotives.

Before his death, he was an active member of the Ladysmith Railway Society. Many artifacts this society acquired were the direct result of his enthusiasm. Vancouver Island, and in particular Nanaimo and Ladysmith were his particular areas of activity. His whistle test station was on Nanaimo Lakes Road where he serenaded neighbours for miles around.

A railroad tie or crosstie (American English) or railway sleeper (British English) is a rectangular support for the rails in railroad tracks. Generally laid perpendicular to the rails, ties transfer loads to the track ballast and subgrade, hold the rails upright and keep them spaced to the correct gauge.

Railroad ties are traditionally made of wood, but prestressed concrete is now also widely used, especially in Europe and Asia. Steel ties are common on secondary lines in the UK;[1] plastic composite ties are also employed, although far less than wood or concrete. As of January 2008, the approximate market share in North America for traditional and wood ties was 91.5%, the remainder being concrete, steel, azobé (red ironwood) and plastic composite.

The crosstie spacing of mainline railroad is approximately 19 to 19.5 inches for wood ties or 24 inches for concrete ties. (The spacing means the distance of the center of one tie to the center of the next tie, and equals to the width of one tie plus the width of one crib.) The amount of ties is 3,250 wooden crossties per mile (2019 ties/km, or 40 ties per 65 feet) for wood ties or 2640 ties per mile for concrete ties. Rails in the US may be fastened to the tie by a railroad spike; iron/steel baseplates screwed to the tie and secured to the rail by a proprietary fastening system such as a Vossloh or Pandrol are commonly used in Europe.

Burlington Northern moved 100,000 cars on 126,000 miles of rail to transport food, fuel, and goods to American markets on a scale only the railroad could handle. This is a tribute to the people and equipment that could pump 2,000 freight cars a day through it's classification yards.

Filmed in 1973

A railway air brake is a railway brake power braking system with compressed air as the operating medium. Modern trains rely upon a fail-safe air brake system that is based upon a design patented by George Westinghouse on April 13, 1869. The Westinghouse Air Brake Company was subsequently organized to manufacture and sell Westinghouse's invention. In various forms, it has been nearly universally adopted.

The Westinghouse system uses air pressure to charge air reservoirs on each car. Full air pressure signals each car to release the brakes. A reduction or loss of air pressure signals each car to apply its brakes, using the compressed air in its reservoirs.

Union Pacific Railroad paid tribute to it's 'Big Boy' steam locomotives in a publicity film that has become popular with rail enthusiasts worldwide. You'll see the evolution of UP steam power from 4-6-0s to the development of the articulated locomotive. Then you'll meet the Big Boys and watch as they are serviced, rebuilt, and run. Trackside and cab shots feature these mighty 4-8-8-4s pulling long freights over Wyoming's Sherman Hill during their last years in regular service.

General Electric promotional film extolling the virtues of railroad electrification.

Robert Eugene Swanson (1905–1994) was a Canadian researcher and developer, and is credited with the invention of the first five and six-chime air horns for use on locomotives. Swanson had worked as the chief engineer of a company called Victoria Lumber Manufacturing in the 1920s, when he developed a hobby for making steam whistles for locomotives. Eventually, Swanson designed and built a large steam whistle for the mill where he worked. He also built the Heritage Horns that were on the old BC Hydro building that play the first four chords of "O Canada" at noon every day. The horns are now on the roof of the Pan Pacific hotel at Canada Place.

Later, Swanson, the son of Alfred Swanson, worked as the chief inspector of railroads for the Province of British Columbia. It was here he met his future partner, Don Challenger, who operated a logging company. The two knew each other through the logging industry, which relied heavily on rail transportation at the time.

Swanson published four books of verse between 1942 and 1953, and also a book of logging stories, Whistle Punks and Widow-Makers, which appeared in 1993. Known as the "bard of the woods", he wrote ballads of logging on the British Columbia coast, taking the advice of Robert Service, who noted that Swanson had traveled extensively through the camps and no one else was writing about that type of life. Swanson read the poems on his weekly talk show on radio station CJOR. The chapbooks of the verses were designed to fit in racks meant for issues of Reader's Digest, found in every camp commissary. Mainly distributed through the Harry Smith News Agency, the ballads were immensely popular in bunkhouses, reputedly selling 82,000 copies. Although Swanson was never accepted by the literary establishment, his books easily outsold those of better known poets of the 1940s such as Earle Birney and Dorothy Livesay. In the 1980s, he was part of a troupe that read and sang literature about logging. Forestry authority Ken Drushka recalled that going on a reading tour with Swanson was like travelling with an "octagenarian rock star".

Swanson was the driving force behind the restoration of the Royal Hudson, supported by the New Democratic Party and Dave Barrett. However, Grace McCarthy attempted to take credit for the idea.

Swanson was a qualified locomotive engineer, stationary engineer, professional mechanical engineer as well as chief inspector for the BC provincial department of railways. As chief inspector, he wrote the provincial "Boiler Code" in 1948, and he required that all locomotives running on British Columbia provincially regulated railways be equipped with a five-note whistle, rather than the three-note whistle requirement for federally regulated railway locomotives.

Before his death, he was an active member of the Ladysmith Railway Society. Many artifacts this society acquired were the direct result of his enthusiasm. Vancouver Island, and in particular Nanaimo and Ladysmith were his particular areas of activity. His whistle test station was on Nanaimo Lakes Road where he serenaded neighbours for miles around.

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Trains and nothing but