I was fortunate enough to drive a train for my birthday. Alice purchased this gift for me in August, but it was not until October 1 that I was scheduled to actually do it.
We headed out to the New Hope Valley Railway that morning. I helped prepare the 0-4-0 tank engine for the short trip; this included greasing and oiling the running gear. The engineer and fireman were very helpful and informative. They showed me how to care for the engine with oil and grease in the appropriate places. On the trip out I “fired” it by keeping the boiler filled to the correct level and ensuring that the “smoke” was clear and not dark and the steam pressure was correct.
Here I am getting ready to drive the steam engine.
On the way back I was at the throttle and enjoyed blowing the steam whistle at each crossing. I have always wanted to do that.
All in all it was a very enjoyable time, I learned a lot and met some really swell people.
I like trains. I have since I was a kid and my dad took me down to the depot to see the railway mail car on which he worked. Perhaps even longer than that as railroads were still a primary mode of transportation then. For those of you who might remember the named trains of the past, he worked on the Wabash Cannonball between Toledo, Ohio and St. Louis, Missouri.
Yard engines working near Logan Trading Co. in Raleigh, NC, January 29, 2011.
The railroads have changed drastically since I was a kid, and I decided I want to take some pictures of today’s trains. I will occasionally upload a few of the best ones here.
This first one, above, is of a pair of yard engines working the yard near the old Seaboard train station close to downtown Raleigh, NC. The rail car on the right of the picture is an old Pullman car built in 1912 and being restored by a friend of mine.
End of the line?
This second picture is of the end of the siding on which the Pullman car in the first picture currently sits. At one time the siding continued on through the fence and is still apparently buried under the concrete of the parking lot.