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BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive

Joe Offer 29 Nov 19 - 09:19 PM
Joe Offer 29 Nov 19 - 09:27 PM
Joe Offer 29 Nov 19 - 09:33 PM
Hrothgar 29 Nov 19 - 10:58 PM
Backwoodsman 30 Nov 19 - 12:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Nov 19 - 01:33 AM
Backwoodsman 30 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM
Stanron 30 Nov 19 - 05:51 AM
Backwoodsman 30 Nov 19 - 06:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Nov 19 - 10:50 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM
leeneia 30 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM
gillymor 30 Nov 19 - 12:29 PM
Senoufou 30 Nov 19 - 01:46 PM
Joe Offer 01 Dec 19 - 12:28 AM
DMcG 01 Dec 19 - 04:01 AM
Bonzo3legs 01 Dec 19 - 04:14 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Dec 19 - 05:27 AM
Bonzo3legs 01 Dec 19 - 08:17 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Dec 19 - 08:57 AM
Bonzo3legs 01 Dec 19 - 11:17 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Dec 19 - 11:19 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Dec 19 - 11:34 AM
Bonzo3legs 01 Dec 19 - 12:28 PM
Rusty Dobro 01 Dec 19 - 05:43 PM
Backwoodsman 01 Dec 19 - 11:23 PM
Newport Boy 02 Dec 19 - 05:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Dec 19 - 07:55 AM
Jim Martin 02 Dec 19 - 08:03 AM
gillymor 02 Dec 19 - 09:34 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Dec 19 - 10:28 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 02 Dec 19 - 02:29 PM
Donuel 02 Dec 19 - 02:54 PM
leeneia 02 Dec 19 - 09:23 PM
leeneia 02 Dec 19 - 09:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Dec 19 - 11:27 PM
keberoxu 02 Dec 19 - 11:46 PM
Joe Offer 03 Dec 19 - 02:25 AM
leeneia 03 Dec 19 - 02:05 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Dec 19 - 05:54 AM
Donuel 04 Dec 19 - 06:21 AM
Backwoodsman 04 Dec 19 - 06:37 AM
gillymor 04 Dec 19 - 02:40 PM
DMcG 05 Dec 19 - 05:55 AM
David Carter (UK) 05 Dec 19 - 04:23 PM
Joe Offer 06 Dec 19 - 01:23 AM
Jim Martin 07 Dec 19 - 07:33 AM
DaveRo 07 Dec 19 - 09:59 AM
Donuel 07 Dec 19 - 10:54 AM
HuwG 08 Dec 19 - 10:39 AM
Bonzo3legs 08 Dec 19 - 11:27 AM
Jim Martin 10 Dec 19 - 08:06 AM
Joe Offer 11 Dec 19 - 01:17 AM
Jim Martin 12 Dec 19 - 08:36 AM
Raedwulf 13 Dec 19 - 03:58 PM
BobL 14 Dec 19 - 02:32 AM
Jim Martin 14 Dec 19 - 07:39 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 14 Dec 19 - 10:11 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 14 Dec 19 - 12:49 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 14 Dec 19 - 01:08 PM
robomatic 18 Dec 19 - 07:33 PM
Raedwulf 20 Dec 19 - 02:24 PM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 19 - 09:36 PM
Raedwulf 22 Dec 19 - 04:48 AM
robomatic 22 Dec 19 - 06:29 PM
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Subject: BS: Dreyfuss Hudson-most beautiful locomotiv
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 09:19 PM

For many years, I've been looking for the most beautiful locomotive ever built. In my quest, I've seen many beautiful locomotives. But so far, it seems to me that the most beautiful locomotive is no more, the Dreyfuss Hudson locomotive that powered the New York Central 20th Central Limited, "the most famous train in the world." As far as I can tell, all of the Dreyfuss Hudson locomotives have been scrapped. Not one single example of these beauties was saved for museum display. This video (click) is a nice representation of the locomotive, but it's not the real thing.

What are the most beautiful locomotives you know?

-Joe-

Here's a terrific video of Dreyfuss Hudsons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud9iKostUIc


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Subject: RE: BS: Dreyfuss Hudson-most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 09:27 PM

The most beautiful locomotive I have ever seen myself, is the Norfolk & Western No. 611. Its home is at the railroad museum in Roanoke, Virginia. I went to see it, and it wasn't there. It was at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina (mentioned in at least a few train songs). It was a beauty, indeed.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Dreyfuss Hudson-most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 09:33 PM

Another locomotive I've seen that is a contender for "most beautiful locomotive," is the Southern Pacific 4449, known as the City of Portland. This locomotive is in good, operating condition, and I've seen it often. Its home is in Portland, Oregon, but it often comes here to California, where it did most of its service along the coast of California on the Coast Daylight line.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Hrothgar
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 10:58 PM

Any 4-6-2 Pacific, but the Mallard at the top of the list.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 12:38 AM

'Mallard'. Beautiful...


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 01:33 AM

Nah, you have to go back a few years for the best 4-6-2 (with a tender behind) The Flying Scotsman


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM

'The Flying Scotsman' - another beauty! Seen her so many times, wonderful sight, sound, and SMELL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Stanron
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 05:51 AM

Here in the UK, sometime during the last 25 years or so, a steam engine has been built from scratch by enthusiasts and volunteers. It was built to original plans and is now in some sort of service somewhere in the UK. The cost was, I think, astronomical. I'm not a steam fanatic and I'm sure there are those out there who know more about this than I do but could this be possible in the US? Maybe it's a way to get back your favourite steamer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 06:21 AM

That was 'Tornado'.

https://www.a1steam.com/


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 10:50 AM

Here in the US the Union Pacific's "Big Boy" has been making the rounds on a commemorative tour of some sort. https://www.facebook.com/nextech.ruraltelephone/videos/1039073106425897/


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM

I follow the Friends of the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) page on Facebook, and fans mostly post photos of trains in scenic areas and some of the historically interesting pain jobs on the engines.

Burlington Route 9911A (Silver Pilot) and the Nebraska Zephyr set of articulated cars are at West Quincy Missouri on 23 Sep 2012 and this gorgeous "stacked" image (two photo exposures, sky and then track) of Allard, Tehachapi Pass, CA, May 2, 2017.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM

Not the most beautiful-looking, but beautiful sounding is Union Pacific's 4804 steam engine, which visited us last week. A big crowd went down to Union station to see it.

We didn't go, having done that already. But the second night, we got a thrill when we heard its melodious steam whistle from the freight yards as we sat reading in the evening. Although it was chilly, we opened a window to hear it again. It sounded several times, and the modern engines occasionally hooted back.

Nothing excites wanderlust like the distant music of a steam train's whistle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: gillymor
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 12:29 PM

The Southern Railway 1401 in the Smithsonian sparked a lifelong interest in locomotives for me, that and having a grandfather who was a station operator and telegrapher for the UP and WP.
I also like the Baldwin Mikado 2-8-2 , which was the most perfectly proportioned steam locomotive, IMO, and those UP Challengers and Big Boys are awe-inspiring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Senoufou
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 01:46 PM

I travelled with the Flying Scotsman many times in the early fifties from London Kings Cross to Durham. The noise of the steam trains on the platforms was terrifying. It was a magnificent engine though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 12:28 AM

One of the many thrills of my 2002 trip to England, was when bill\sables took me to the National Railway Museum in York. I think I recall seeing a Mallard there. Wish I had had a digital camera on that trip.
Oh, and I got to see the Cutty Sark at Greenwich.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: DMcG
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 04:01 AM

I haven't been to the Railway Museum at York for many years, but the Mallard was certainly there then. There are so many amazing engines there that the is a risk of hyperventilation for some!

While the great steam engines certainly have a special character, things like the good old 125 are not to be sniffed at. Especially when they were first introduced they were seen as something very special. That they (and the 225s) are now the workhorses should not really diminish that.

Moving away from the engines, I liked the old Caledonian Sleeper carriages: the new ones (apart from not working very well) lack the character. I have done some (day!) trips on Pullman carriages which were spectacular.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 04:14 AM

New class P2 Gresley loco being built! in the UK!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 05:27 AM

”One of the many thrills of my 2002 trip to England, was when bill\sables took me to the National Railway Museum in York. I think I recall seeing a Mallard there.”

Joe, you didn’t see A Mallard - you saw the one and only Mallard! It’s one example of the A4 Class of loco, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, of which there were originally four built, extended to 35 locos by 1938. Locos of the A4 class were given the unofficial nickname, ‘Streak’.

Here is a list of the locos on the A4 class with their names and original numbers. The final, un-named A4 was given the unofficial title of ‘The Un-Named Streak’ by us train-spotters and steam-enthusiasts and, being unique in not being named, it was THE ONE which caused the biggest stir whenever it was ‘spotted’!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 08:17 AM

10,000 was eventually renumbered 60700, and I can remember seeing it thunder through New Barnet one Wednesday afternoon around 1958-59 having skived off games at school - for which I was given 100 lines!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 08:57 AM

The renumbering of LNER steam locos to the sequence 60000~69999 took place following the 1948 re-nationalisation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_locomotive_and_multiple_unit_numbering_and_classification#1948_numbering_and_classifi


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 11:17 AM

Ah I see, slightly before my time - my trainspotting years were roughly 1954 to 1961 when I started playing guitar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 11:19 AM

About the same as mine then.
But I’ve since done a lot of reading about the days of steam....


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 11:34 AM

And we have a very thriving model railway society in our town, with a superb, vast ‘O’ gauge layout, mostly self-built rolling stock, based on the East Coast Main Line KX-Leeds in the steam days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 12:28 PM

How wonderful, never seen anything like that in Croydon - no surprises there!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 05:43 PM

May I propose the class S46 'Claude Hamilton' locos of the Great Eastern Railway? Designed by Frederick V Russell, chief draughtsman at Stratford Works while his boss James Holden was out of the UK, they looked spectacular in the company's blue livery.

As for the much-admired A4 Pacifics, apparently the shed staff at Kings Cross were horrified at their appearance when they received their first allocation, in particular disliking the hump on top of the boiler.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 11:23 PM

Funny thing that - I liked the hump, and I thought it gave them a particular ‘personality’.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Newport Boy
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 05:58 AM

While the streamlined locos look 'modern' and those with outside valve gear look impressive, I prefer the simple, classic beauty of the Great Western express locos of the 20s & 30s.

My favourite would be 6000 King George V built in 1927. It still carries the brass bell presented on it's 1927 visit to the US.

Phil


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 07:55 AM

That is very nice, Phil. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Jim Martin
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 08:03 AM

You can't beat a rebuilt Stanier 'Duchess'!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: gillymor
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 09:34 AM

Yes, that 6000 King George V is a beauty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 10:28 AM

Yes, Mallard was/is beautiful, in its streamlined way. But from my days train spotting I still have a fondness for 92220 Evening Star, a great workhorse of an engine from GWR (Great Western Railways, or God's Wonderful Railway, take your pick).
It was based in Cardiff for several years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 02:29 PM

Well, I was brought up to revere all things Great Western and remember seeing King George V at the buffer stops at Paddington when I was small. Three of the class are preserved. Examples of most of the GWR locos are preserved or, remarkably, being reconstructed from scratch or by conversion of other locos.
Other locos from other UK companies are also under construction, such as the P2, the Patriot rebuild and the LNWR "Bloomer".
Although one of my friends is a descendent of George Jackson Churchward, chief superintendant of the GWR, the loco that I would like to see reincarnated is one from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway: an Aspinall "High Flyer" or "Zulu". This was the class that was the second Atlantic 4-4-2 design in the UK, and had 7' 3" diameter driving wheels. When running the Liverpool to Manchester expresses they gave rise to many unproven claims of 100 mph running. In view of the fact that they often ran with light loads it is not outside the realms of possibility.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 02:54 PM

I have several postal proofs of locomotives (framed full size watercolor and the associated stamps). If anyone is willing to rescue these from decluttering let me know. I think there is the 20th century, a Sante Fe and an older one. (all American)


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 09:23 PM

I enjoy watching this video, where an historic steam engine from 1944 hooks onto a modern train and pushes up the big grade into Cheyenne.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU9uEwSGp9M


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 09:40 PM

I had the number wrong, it's 4014, the last rolling Big Boy.

A warning: that video records the many squeals and scrapes which make steam locos more lovable from a distance than up close.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 11:27 PM

The Big Boy made a tour recently - I posted information from a friend above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 11:46 PM

The Big Boy Locomotive referenced by Stilly
has its own Facebook page.

But the following link, if I can get it to work,
is about the 2019 tour schedule.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 02:25 AM

Here's a UK video called "Steam Locomotives at Speed." I think I need to go back to England and watch trains. Anybody want to go trainspotting with me?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyv_Ujl42iQ

Here's one of the Oliver Cromwell that's just terrific: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw-Yrsks2DA


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 02:05 PM

Thanks, Joe. I esp. loved the Cromwell footage at about 10 minutes, with a good approach and then a view of the passenger cars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Dec 19 - 05:54 AM

Come and stop with us, Joe. We are 4 miles from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. 6 miles from the Embsay Railway. 30 miles from the East Lancashire Railway and 35 miles from York. As well as in the midst of many folk clubs and sessions :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Dec 19 - 06:21 AM

In PA I used to watch the same train go in 2 opposite directions at the same time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 04 Dec 19 - 06:37 AM

”We are 4 miles from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.”

Back in the mid-‘70s, I played a few times at a club right by the Keighley station - proper ‘sloping’ stage, proper lights, the full monty! I recall they were somewhat less than impressed when the drummer began his customary pre-gig routine of hammering a couple of six-inch nails into the stage to stop his kick-drum running away from him! ;-)
There was a great Chinese Take-Away/Chippy a couple of doors away, where they cooked your take-away right there in front of you.

Anyway...back to beautiful locomotives!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: gillymor
Date: 04 Dec 19 - 02:40 PM

Thanks a lot, Joe, I spent most of the day looking at "Steam Locomotives at Speed" on the big screen instead of doing my housework. :^)
I didn't know that there are so many steam locomotives in service in the UK and SA, lovely ones at that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Dec 19 - 05:55 AM

I am not at all sure I should publicise this


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 05 Dec 19 - 04:23 PM

I admit I have only seen them on TV, but the three mountain railways of India (Kalka-Shimla, Darjeeling Himalayan, and Nilgiri Mountain), have pretty impressive locomotives and quite spectacular scenery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 01:23 AM

I was stationed in Berlin 1972-73, and the East Germans operated the railroads. I took a bus to Teufelsberg every day, the nearest thing Berlin has to a mountain. Our bus went through an underpass under one of the main railroad lines at about the same time every day - and almost every day, there'd be a big steam locomotive crossing our route. It was a magnificent thing to see.
Our four "Duty Trains" were owned by West Germany, matched sets of aging but still very nice first-class sleeping cars, pulled by West German locomotives. The trains left Berlin at 7:30 PM every night, and would arrive at 7:30 AM at either Frankfurt am Main in the south (more-or-less) or Bremerhaven in the north. Each passenger had to have "flag orders" typed in English, French, and Russian - there was no charge for military and dependent passengers to ride the trains. As we left Berlin, we had to stop at the border and have our flag orders inspected by the Soviets while East German guards inspected the outside of the train with dogs, looking for stowaways. We rode about 180 miles through East Germany, and then had another border inspection as we entered West Germany. Through East Germany, we passed through quiet towns with no traffic and no lighted signs, looking like German towns of the 1920s. When we were almost at the border, we went through the railyard at the large city of Magdeburg. That yard had a roundhouse, and there were always 7 or 8 big steam locomotives in that roundhouse, all steamed up and ready to go. I loved the sight of that roundhouse and those locomotives.
We could stay at our destination all day, and catch the return train to Berlin at 7:30 PM - or we could get a 3-day pass that started and ended at our destination, giving us the time spent for the trip for free. I took 20 round-trips on those trains during the 20 months I served in Berlin. It was cool beyond belief, a truly memorable railroad experience.
-Joe-

http://www.voicesunderberlin.com/BerlinTravel/NightTraintoBerlin.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Jim Martin
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 07:33 AM

Joe!

V interested to read your comments about Germany, takes me back to when I visited DR in 1982, to Saalfeld, a wonderfully steamy place - also the mighty 015's between Erfurt & Bebra - there was so much dampf to see then! The experience was heightened in Saalfeld by frost & snow with resultant satisfying master photo's gained - also, to add to the smoky atmosphere, points (switches in Americanese) were very effectively being de-frosted by the use of small coal fires in close proximity to the point blades - all very labour-intensive! 'Twas like going back to Germany as it was in the 1920's, or so I'm reliably informed!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdEJpxydgtQ


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: DaveRo
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 09:59 AM

There's at least one steam railway in Germany that still runs down the streets:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMonLkerBSA

The Molli, and the more famous Hartz Railway, do actually provide a local service, they're not just for tourists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 10:54 AM

Why are the local motives for Trans beautiful?


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: HuwG
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 10:39 AM

This documentary gives the background to Mallard's record-breaking run, with lots of 1930s footage of the A4s and their LMS rivals, the Duchesses.

Gresley was aiming for a speed of 130 mph in 1939, but the war broke out before the attempt could be made.

The A4s looked as if they had been designed with their streamlining, whereas the streamlining on the LMS "Coronation" class looked like a brutalist afterthought (which to an extent it was), which was later removed.

Both classes looked better than their Chapelonisé counterparts across the Channel, which were marred by pipes, rods, wires and all sorts of excrescence all over the boiler. They were nevertheless more powerful and economic than anything built in the UK.

My favourite for looks: the humble LMS "Black 5". All Stanier's engines looked well-proportioned, but the "Black 5"s could be coupled to the front of anything from a London-Crewe express to a coal train. They were built in hundreds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 11:27 AM

And only a very few Black 5s were given names!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Jim Martin
Date: 10 Dec 19 - 08:06 AM

Joe Offer: Trust you enjoyed DR video I put up for your benefit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Dec 19 - 01:17 AM

Ooooh, I missed it, Jim. It really is a terrific video. Brings back lots of memories.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Jim Martin
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 08:36 AM

Yes, did with me too, Joe - glad you enjoyed it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Dec 19 - 03:58 PM

When I saw the thread title, my first thought was "Is there such a thing as an ugly train?" And then I looked at Joe's first 2 links and thought, "Errrrmmmm… Maybe!" Those are two of the most unattractive loco's I've ever set eyes on, I must confess. Sorry, Joe! ;-)

The Hudson, I thought, was rather more handsome naked than in its rather phallic cladding! And since the other one was streamlined in much the same fashion, it also did not grab me. I've no particular suggestion to make. I've never been a trainspotter as such, but loco's have always held a certain fascination, steam & diesel both. The A classes were all handsome beasts. The A1's were all, bar one, rebuilt to A3 (Scotsman) specs, so look very similar, but the A2 Peppercorns were also much the same. The A4's are actually pretty bloomin' ugly without the streamlining. See!

And if you're wondering, yes there was an A5... Sort of... It's actually a pre-Great War tank engine that was classified as a 9N by the GCR. But in general, I think every engine has a certain charm of its own. As I'm not, as a rule, one for favourite or best ("I like this because... and that because.... and..."), I wouldn't care to nominate any one. But unless diesels are considered inadmissible as an answer, I think I should give a shout to the good old Class 55 Deltic! Lovely sound to it as well. Sort of the locomotive equivalent of a Vulcan opening up...


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: BobL
Date: 14 Dec 19 - 02:32 AM

The A4's are actually pretty bloomin' ugly without the streamlining. See!

Most of us don't look pretty without clothes either...


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Jim Martin
Date: 14 Dec 19 - 07:39 AM

Raedwulf The Deltics' engines are actually marine (MTB - motor torpedo boat) ones! At the time when the ECML decided to go down the high engine RPS road, this was considered the best option to adopt


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 14 Dec 19 - 10:11 AM

I enjoyed this trip on a steam train from Bury to "Rawtenstall".


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 14 Dec 19 - 12:49 PM

We can hear the locos arriving at Rawtenstall from our house when the wind is in the right direction.

Also, for the past few years, we have performed up and down the line with Wrigley Head Morris Men on the occasion of the weekend closest to Lancashire day.

If there is an interesting visiting loco I usually go down to take a few photos (and frequently run into Dave Howard from the Tinkers doing the same thing).

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 14 Dec 19 - 01:08 PM

I didn't know about Lancashire Day, thanks Robin.

It's 18 years since I made that day trip and hope to go again next year - and better still if I bump into some Morris dancing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Dec 19 - 07:33 PM

In downtown Anchorage on the Park Strip is a static display of Engine 556. I'm going to copy/paste a paragraph from Anchorage Parks & Rec.:

Engine 556 was a steam locomotive built in 1943 for wartime service. Outnumbering other war-time railroad engines, they were simple to maintain with the close clearance required for the narrow bridges and tunnels on European railroads. They were stripped down for war action, and acquired the nickname"Gypsy Rose Lee" locomotives after the famous burlesque dancer. Instead of being shipped to Europe, twelve of these locomotives were sent to Alaska by the U.S. Army to become Alaska Railroad Class 550. All twelve locomotives saw service over the 460 miles of the Alaska Railroad. For 13 years, No. 556 hauled passengers and freight from Seward through Anchorage and on to Fairbanks. In 1959, No. 556 was taken out of storage and moved to its present location, where it has been an educational display and object of play for three generations of Anchorage youngsters. Of the thousands of USRA Consolidation Type locomotives originally built for war service, only three remain in North America, and only this one is publicly owned.

It is a handsome steam locomotive with tender in basic black and fulfills my childhood image of everything a classic steamer should be. There are many Anchoragites who share my feelings about her. A couple of years ago some kid tagged her with ugly graffiti. Within a few weeks some volunteer had cleaned her up on his own. She awaits some public expenditure to make her safe for public access.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 20 Dec 19 - 02:24 PM

That is a handsome engine, Robo. Very definitely American; I don't quite know why, though I'm sure someone can put it in technical terms; but you'd never look at it and think it was anything other than American. Well, I wouldn't anyway.

Jim - indeed! Yes, I knew it. Amazing bit of technology, wasn't it? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 19 - 09:36 PM

Yeah, I wonder why there's such a difference in appearance between American and British steam locomotives. I think that most European steam locomotives have an appearance closer to U.S. locomotives. I think maybe the big difference is that UK steam locomotives often have huge drive wheels - since they're not climbing mountains and plowing through snowdrifts, they can be built for speed instead of torque. Or at last that's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it.
Here's a Deutsche Reichsbahn locomotive that was very common in East Germany. I imagine this is the model I saw as I rode the bus to work in Berlin in 1972-73, and as I took the Berlin duty train through the railroad yard in Magdeburg before entering West Germany. The German and UK locomotives have fairly clean lines, while the U.S. locomotives have all sorts of exterior plumbing. There's some fascinating plumbing on the front of the Anchorage locomotive that robomatic linked to - I wonder what it's for. I can't quite remember that locomotive, but I must have seen it - I've spent about three weeks in downtown Anchorage, spaced over two trips there.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: Raedwulf
Date: 22 Dec 19 - 04:48 AM

Thinking about it, there's a few things that help make some countries loco's distinctive (or in the case of the UK, the complete lack of any of them!). I can't think of a German engine that doesn't have those very distinctive plates at the front (they're Smoke Deflectors, intended to lift smoke away from the front of the engine & improve visibility for the driver). UK engines did also use them, but they weren't as standardised, prominent, or universal (plenty of classes never had them).

On US loco's there are a few things, and again, these are just things that have stuck in my mind - I'm no sort of expert on US steam. One is that every engine I can think of has a very large & prominent central headlight, much more obvious than on European models. Another, is the pilot (cow-catcher), rarely seen on UK trains. A lot of US engines also seem to have quite distinctive cabs - longer than European cabs & with the roof extended slightly backwards. Finally, on earlier US engines there is, of course, the very distinctive coffee pot stack. This is actually a spark arrestor, apparently, as many early US loco's burnt wood rather than coal. This meant they produced & ejected far more embers, with a consequent higher risk of trackside fires. As more & more engines were designed for coal, those chimneys disappeared.

I think you're probably also right about the cleaner lines of UK engines, Joe; German ones seem to carry a bit more, though not, perhaps, as much as US. As for that gubbins at the front of 556, I can't find anything definitive, but I'd guess, this being an Alaskan engine, that it's some kind of heating device for the snowplough / front of the train. There certainly seems to be some pipe-work going forward & down behind the plough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trains: Most beautiful locomotive
From: robomatic
Date: 22 Dec 19 - 06:29 PM

Interesting train facts. I remember a snatch of H.L. Mencken writing about the difference between American and English usage: I found this quote:

On higher levels the language of the Americans is more decorous, but even there it is a genuinely living speech, taking in loan-words with vast hospitality and incessantly manufacturing neologisms of its own. The argot of sport enriches it almost daily. It runs to brilliantly vivid tropes. It is disdainful of grammatical pruderies. In the face of a new situation the American shows a far greater linguistic resourcefulness and daring than the Englishman. Movie is obviously better than cinema, just as cow-catcher is better than plough and job-holder is better than public-servant. The English seldom devise anything as pungent as rubber-neck, ticket-scalper, lame-duck, pork-barrel, boot-legger or steam-roller (in its political sense). Such exhilarating novelties are produced in the United States every day, and large numbers of them come into universal use, and gradually take on literary dignity. They are opposed violently, but they prevail. The visiting Englishman finds them very difficult. They puzzle him even more than do American peculiarities of pronunciation.

I quote this because I grew up with the term cow-catcher and it never occurred to me to parse out its obvious meaning and simultaneous humor. While I respect Mencken's writing I don't agree with his conclusion that Americans have a superior ability in making up new words and phrases.

On a more somber note, when I was a lot newer to Anchorage we had some heavy snow winters and the Anchorage-Fairbanks run was catching (and killing) many moose who were using the cleared railroad paths as a way to expedite their journeys through the snow. For a time there were daily tallies of up to 80 moose taken out by one run of the train. For whatever reason, diesels do not seem to have been served with cow-catchers, and it is doubtful they would have been harmless to the moose.


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