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SEPTEMBER 24, 2010

Steel, brass and steam

Steam locomotive #765We took some of the grandkids on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to see a huge steam engine, in town for a short visit.

An industrial-age behemoth like this had no need for streamlining: it was brute force, not finesse.

Took me back to the days when I played with my American Flyer trains for hours at a time. This is the kind of engine I always wanted: the big one.

Brass and steel gauges in steam engineWhat the engineer sees: brass and steel analog gauges, big metal handles and knobs. A far cry from the digital world I spend my days in.

Even sitting on a siding just building up steam, inside the cab of Engine #765 it's hot, noisy and smelly. Must be pretty dramatic when going full speed.

Close-up of engine wheelsWhere the rubber meets the road. Only it's not rubber, it's steel, and it's not a road it's a rail. You get the idea.

Not sure how impressed the boys were when I called them over to point out the nozzles in front of and behind the wheels that spray sand on the track for better traction. Look at the bottom of the wheel in the center of the picture and you'll see small piles of gray sand on the rail.

Should be a cute photo of the grandkids here, but that will have to wait for another time.

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