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O/T - More powerful than a speeding Ferrari.....

Discussion in 'South Central - USA (TN, MS, AL, GA)' started by Gatorrari, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Feb 27, 2004
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    Jim Pernikoff
    Yesterday, I had the privilege of operating a vehicle far bigger and far more powerful than anything Ferrari ever built. On the other hand, its 0-60 time is measured in minutes rather than seconds, and as for braking, fuhgeddaboudit! But keep it fed and it will cruise comfortably all day at 90, pulling a long passenger train as it did frequently from 1950 to 1959.

    Admittedly, in my half-hour at the throttle, we only went about a mile up the track and then back, and repeated this three times, and hit a breathtaking top speed of 11 MPH! And the "train" behind was a single caboose full of paying passengers. But I can now scratch another item off my bucket list!
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  2. INRange

    INRange F1 Rookie
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    Way cool!!!!! Nothing compares to those old engines.....the sounds, the smells and the way a steam locomotive rolls.
     
  3. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Very cool indeed!
    T
     
  4. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    I always said that there are two types of vehicles that assault all the senses - sight, sound, smell and feel: steam locomotives and top fuel dragsters!

    Two things I said at the end: "This is a whole lot more fun than Lionel" and "Why play with toy trains when you can play with the real ones?"
     
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  5. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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  6. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Dumb question - what fuels this thing - coal? diesel? wood?
    T
     
  7. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    In this case, coal. Many other operating engines, especially in the west, have been converted to run on oil instead, though I don't know what form of oil. 611 has an automatic stoker (an Archimedes screw) that feeds the coal into the firebox so the fireman doesn't have to shovel it, which would be physically impossible anyway on an engine this large. The fireman still has to monitor the gauges and make adjustments, and occasionally he'll grab his shovel, open the doors of the firebox, and move coals around so that the fire is even.
     
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  8. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
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    That's very cool! I always loved the looks of the streamliners/art deco style locomotives like that.
     
  9. Lanikai

    Lanikai Formula Junior

    Dec 18, 2003
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    Will Campbell
    Wow, what a neat looking locomotive. Pretty cool you got to drive it!
     
  10. andy308

    andy308 Formula 3
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    Jim you look like you belong in that thing.
     
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  11. Jaguar36

    Jaguar36 Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2010
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    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Thats awesome that you got to run that beast!

    There is a great machinist on Youtube, Keith Rucker, who is doing a video series right now on rebuilding the steam engine that drives the stoker screw. It's part of a bigger restoration project of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway No. 576.
     
  12. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    #611 was the very last large steam locomotive built in the U.S. that was designed to pull passenger trains, in 1950. Some years ago, I got to ride in the cab of the much smaller #610 (the similarity in numbers is coincidental) that was originally built for the U.S. Army and now pulls short excursion trains for the Tennessee Valley Railroad in Chattanooga. Ironically, #610 was the last steam locomotive built in this country for any purpose, delivered in 1952. So, I've now ridden in the cabs of the last two steam engines built in the U.S., big and small.
     
  13. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Just to show you what it could do in service. This is a photo run-by during a recent excursion; even though most of the passengers are on the side taking photos of the train as it goes by at speed, even all those nearly-empty passenger cars are quite a load. You can't see the back of the train, but it is not uncommon to have two-dozen passenger cars on an excursion trip like this one.
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  14. energy88

    energy88 F1 Veteran
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  15. Streetsurfer

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  16. 94tiger

    94tiger Rookie
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    Here's a picture of 611 in Portsmouth, OH, in 1983. My dad worked for Norfolk & Western / Norfolk Southern in Portsmouth and later Greenville, SC. My mom, younger brother, and I are in the foreground. Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
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  17. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    I still find it amazing that U.P. restored a Big Boy to running condition; I thought it would never happen. I hope to see it run eventually.
     
  18. Alpintourer

    Alpintourer Formula 3
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  19. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    That was exactly what I had in mind! If you're gonna be an engineer, you need to look the part. Maybe they'll call me "Casey James"!:D
     
  20. Streetsurfer

    Streetsurfer Formula Junior

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    I’ve worn engineer caps since just out of high school. Osh Kosh, while they were made.

    Quite an honor that you got to do that James!

    I once got to hop a UP engine in a small town in Kansas, as it came through a station on the way to be parked on a siding. My bil was in the office calling for the engineer to slow for me as I was in town visiting and he thought I might like to take the short ride to the siding. Problem was the engineer didn’t hear the message and didn’t slow much. I was not aware of this. I took a few wuick strides, grabbed on with all my might as it came through, and made it. My brother in law was just heading out to tell me it was a no go, when he saw me pulling myself aboard. Good times...
     
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  21. steved033

    steved033 Formula 3
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    "Dress for the job you WANT??" LOL :D:p
     
  22. kidryno

    kidryno Karting

    Dec 22, 2014
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    That's awesome!
     
  23. Silentnoiz

    Silentnoiz Karting

    Nov 18, 2017
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    Silent Noiz
    That is so cool...what a machine...and what a privilege to pilot! But where is the steering wheel? ;)
     
  24. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Didn't you know? It handles "as if it were on rails"!:D
     
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  25. ATLdoghouse

    ATLdoghouse Formula Junior
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    Fantastic! My grandfather was an engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.
     

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