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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Steam Locomotives

Restoration of Sumpter Valley Steam Engine (Cushman)

I've been having trouble sleeping lately, which has led to watching long videos about steam locomotives. I can't listen to people bloviating for more than a few seconds, but I can watch people working with steel forever. This video is about restoring an old steam engine from eastern Oregon. The work was done in Oregon City, a suburb on the south side of Portland. Sadly, the Daylight Locomotive and Machine Works doesn't seem to be in business anymore.

Building Steam Locomotives - 1930's Trains & Railways Educational Film - S88TV1

This video is about the production of new locomotives in England 80 years ago. A while back I posted a video about building an all new steam locomotive, a replica of one from the 1950's. All of the originals had been scrapped. Looking around on YouTube, there doesn't seem to any limit to the number of  old steam locomotives that are being, or have been restored. Of course, even if there are a hundred, it doesn't hold a candle to the thousands that were built. Isn't it odd that people would be investing so much in these things that are essential toys? I guess that's what you do when you have excess funds.

They refer to the locomotive in the first video as a 'Mikado'. I had heard this term before, and wondering where it came from, so I asked Wikipedia and I got an answer:
The wheel arrangement name "Mikado" originated from a group of Japanese type 9700 2-8-2 locomotives that were built by Baldwin Locomotive Works for the 3 ft 6 in gauge Nippon Railway of Japan in 1897. In the 19th century, the Emperor of Japan was often referred to as "the Mikado" in English. Also, the Gilbert and Sullivanopera The Mikado had premiered in 1885 and achieved great popularity in both Britain and America.
The Wikipedia article also explains that the Mikado wheel arrangement produced a better, faster, stronger high speed locomotive.

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