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Western Railroad Discussion > Just say NO... to steam!


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Date: 09/17/23 08:30
Just say NO... to steam!
Author: santafe199

I’ve covered the Abilene & Smokey Valley since 2010. It was one of the first missions I started when I got retired and back home to Kansas. And it’s been my delight to see and chase the 3415 (an Eisenhower Park display from my pre-kindergarten years). In the present day I’ve tried to cover this ex-Santa Fe darling from all possible angles. I’ve even gotten into the human interest side of it. I especially enjoy those kids who come into contact with the 3415, because you never know what their reactions will be: ( New world record: Standing high jump! (trainorders.com) ). The original author of the age-old phrase “kids will be kids” is no doubt lost in the corridors of time. But it sure rings true.

I wish I could claim some sort of talent for the images below. But I merely happened to be in the right place at the right time. Enjoy!

1. Here we have a young family enjoying a regular excursion on the Abilene & Smoky Valley. The 3415 is cut away from the train and is accepting cab visits, a standard event. But young “Junior” must be spooked. He doesn’t seem to want to “go up there”. It looks like Mom is trying to convince him it’s OK. Meanwhile Grandma & Grandpa are looking on, with little sis happily lost in her own play world.

2. Mom is still trying to reason with Junior, to no avail.

3. Dad is now joining up with Mom, but Junior still seems defiant. Little sis is still in her play-world reverie.








Date: 09/17/23 08:31
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: santafe199

4. 5. & 6. Dad is swooping to pick up Junior. Little sis is now paying attention.








Date: 09/17/23 08:32
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: santafe199

7. Mom renders aid.

8. Alrighty then... All tickets have been punched, and the young family members will get that cab tour. Grandma & Grandpa are smiling.






Date: 09/17/23 08:32
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: santafe199

9. & 10. The tour commences. (And they all lived happily ever after... 😉)
10 photos taken July 19, 2023 in Enterprise, KS.

Thanks for looking!
Lance Garrels
santafe199






Date: 09/17/23 09:37
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: railstiesballast

My son was mildly terrified by the first steam engine he came near, and my parents told me that was how I reacted too.
Steam is big, hot, noisy, and generally strange to most people.
If you are reading this thread you have acquired the taste and overcome your fears, welcome.



Date: 09/17/23 09:43
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: Trainman41

Most of the steam engine operations I have seen,  have a built a regular stairway that they can roll up to the side of the cab, and it makes easy access  to all but the disabled.
Much safer and more people get to visit the cab, when you have a limited amount of time.



Date: 09/17/23 10:09
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: Frisco1522

Born in 1940 to a Frisco engineer and my Mom, I was smitten by steam and would relentlessly nag my Mom to take me to see Dad "come up the hill" out of Lindenwood.
I couldn't get close enough to an engine working all out and was always in trouble with Mom.  I loved it as a little guy and still do.



Date: 09/17/23 10:24
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: santafe199

Frisco1522 Wrote: > ... I loved it as a little guy and still do ...

I didn't get the upbringing you did, so I'm a bit jealous. But I was that same 'little guy' you were. I couldn't get enough of RR stuff at a very young age...

Lance



Date: 09/17/23 12:11
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: MacBeau

Great human interest series.
—Mac



Date: 09/17/23 12:29
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: santafe199

MacBeau Wrote: > ... Great human interest  ...

Yeah, thanks. Never having had kids myself my heart was still melting a little bit. And now that I look a bit closer at image #7, it looks like Mom is actually going after little Sis... :^)

Lance



Date: 09/17/23 13:08
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: coach

That's an awkward and difficult climb for Dad!



Date: 09/17/23 13:23
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: Frisco1522

santafe199 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Frisco1522 Wrote: > ... I loved it as a little
> guy and still do ...
>
> I didn't get the upbringing you did, so I'm a bit
> jealous. But I was that same 'little guy' you
> were. I couldn't get enough of RR stuff at a very
> young age...
>
> Lance
My Dad loved running steam, was damned good at it according to a couple old heads that fired for him and was a great storyteller.  I grew up listening to his stories of how he ran them, "Tales of the High Iron" and how much he liked running steam better than diesels.  I rode with him several times and my very first time running a steam engine was a Frisco 4100  2-8-2 at the age of 10 or 11.  We used to go across the river on Sundays when he was off and check out roundhouses and who still had steam running.  Got to run a Nickle Plate 700 on the service track, take coal and water (hostler) run her onto the table and into the Madison, IL roundhouse.
Future wife and I talked him into going on a Burlington 4960 trip up to Hannibal and return.  He talked to the engineer and the three of us rode the cab on a photo run.  We stood right behind the tender in the recording car and he was describing what the hoghead was doing by listening.  I would never in my wildest dreams imagine I'd be running a Frisco 1500 up that same line 30 years later.  Wish he could have been with me because I must have absorbed  what he told me when I ran steam.  I was always right at home on that seatbox.  He was looking over me and I wouldn't have been surprised at getting a smack in the head if I screwed up.  I loved running over his old division, St. Louis-Newburg,MO.  Livin the dream.



Date: 09/17/23 13:50
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: santafe199

Frisco1522 Wrote: > ...  My ... I grew up listening to his stories ........... Livin the dream ...

That's awesome on so many levels! And I know the high esteem Art Gibson held you in. Knowing Art since 1978 if he told me somebody was a great guy then I took that as gospel. The level of respect & affection he had for you was A #1. I suspect under different geographical circumstances you & Art would have been the best of friends for decades. AND (chuckling with all due respect) I would have loved getting to know TWO of you old curmudgeons instead of just him... ;^)

Lance



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/23 16:52 by santafe199.



Date: 09/17/23 16:11
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: dwatry

Reminds me of when I was a kid, we were at the San Antonio Airport watching planes in 1961 (my dad was a pilot), and a pilot of an Electra offered to give me a tour of the cockpit.  I, of course, wanted to tour the 707 sitting next to it!   Jets were cooler than turboprops!  He tried to coax me a few times, but I was stubborn in my insistence on going into the 707, so he eventually shrugged his shoulders and walked away.  Of course about a half hour later I was regretting my behavior and decided I wanted to go into the Electra.  Too late!



Date: 09/17/23 16:41
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: HotWater

Born in April 1942, and by 2 1/2 my dad took me down to the CNJ big freight yard in Cranford, NJ. There was always at least two big 0-8-0 and/or 0-6-0 switch engines working. We parked at the Yard Office, in the 1940 Ford coupe, and watched & listened to the engines working. Often one of the railroad men would come by to chat. Whenever one of the engines stopped right at the Yard Office, we were invited into the cab (my mom wasn't always pleased at how dirty I came home). I've addicted to steam locomotives ever since, much to my wife's chagrin. 

In Junior high school, I would visit the PRR steam shop in South Amboy, NJ and learn about PRR K4s/K4sa steam locomotives. Learning and getting dirty, plus listening to all the informative sounds of steam locomotives, became a second career. I was never scared of the noises/sounds of steam locomotives (not diesels either).



Date: 09/17/23 19:15
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: Gonut1

Personally I never had a chance to get up close and personal with steam. However way back around 1969 or 70 I took the wife and step-son to Ringoes, NJ and we were there when the steam train arrived from Flemington. He was cool with that and seemed to be enjoying the experience when the steam pop-off valve cut loose. That scared the beJesus out of him and no more steam for him. That day we did get to ride the ex-PRR Doodlebug to Lambertville plus went as far north along the Delaware River as the ex-PRR track still existed (a State run rock quarry) and as far south as the track extended. It was somewhat bittersweet as a year or two earlier we got to see a PC eastbound freight in the same general area, probably 80-100 cars. It was amazing how quickly traffic eroded pre-Conrail. This former PRR Bel-Del was a victim.
Way Back and Far Away...
gonut



Date: 09/18/23 07:48
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: DJ-12

20 odd years ago the future wife and I were out around Sugar Creek OH chasing the OHCR 1551. We were somewhere out in the country where the engine was making a run around move to head back to home base. I was getting my shots unexpectedly the lcomotive pulled up to a stop and one of the crewman leaned out and yelled down "hey, do you want a look in the cab?" I was mildly suprised and about to take them up on their unexpectely generous offer when I realized they were actually asking my future wife, who was leaning against the car enjoying a nice late summer day while she admired the engine. Future wife got a nice look around and they even allowed me up too, lol. Pretty ladies open doors!



Date: 09/18/23 21:45
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: tomstp

Had a fireman try to spook me when he turned up the atomizer and flames shot out around the firebox door.  He failed !



Date: 09/19/23 07:35
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: santafe199

Thanks guys. I'm loving all of the unexpected personal testimony my thread got here. It reinforces for me the idea that human interest photography will always be a vital component of railfan photography...

coach Wrote: > ... awkward and difficult climb for Dad!

Yeah it was. But there were 2 strong, helping hands up in the cab welcoming Junior in for a visit. Maybe I should have added that image here... :^(

Lance



Date: 09/19/23 07:43
Re: Just say NO... to steam!
Author: Notch7

santafe199 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
< It
> reinforces for me the idea that human interest
> photography will always be a vital component of
> railfan photography...

I think so too.  The pic reminded me of when I took my two little daughters up in the cab of Buffalo Creek & Gauley no. 4 at Spencer.  It was nicely made up to look like the old SOU Concord (NC) Switcher no. 604 and running.  The littlest girl loved it and later had a part-time job taking passenger pictures on the Great Smokey Mountains Railroad.  The older girl was afraid of the open firebox door. 



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