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In my early years Steam Engines

Metalcutter

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Location
San Diego
This is the one that brings me to the floor in tears. I'm so glad it's here.

Locomotive 4449 Southern Pacific "Daylight" leaving Chicago - YouTube "The Southern Pacific Daylight"


Please start it and then pause, until the "greyline" finishes loading the file.
Pump it up to full screen and some medium strong sound. That's what puts me under. :- )

When starting it there is some history. You may have to pause a few times to read it all.
This was a famous engine and train. "The Southern Pacific Daylight"

I road it at least two times from Colton California and maybe another home I don't remember which. This is the train in my mind, when Willie Nelson sings about the City of "New Orleans." Riding on the train, I've seen all he sings about. Graveyards full of rusted automobiles, and old black men, Dealing cards in the club car, and the paper bag that holds the bottle. GAD! It's just like I was there again. I guess I really miss those times.

This all happened when I was between 8 and 14 years old and I went by myself. Earlier I went my Mother and Dad, and I slept in the Pullman's upper birth. What a wonderful way to sleep. Four hundred miles of rocking back and forth.

It's all about seeing my Grandmother and Grandfather. She always met me at the train station and Grandpa was there at home, and many times he went to work all dressed up in his conductor's uniform and with the neatest little passenger train lantern that fit in his pocket. I really liked that little lantern. It was chrome plated too. Grandma and Grandpa had five acres in Loomis CA It was forest land and had two streams where my cousin Jerry and I played. Every time Jerry and I visited we all had to go to the see building of the Folsom Dam, which made a big Lake eventually.

It's also about my Dad because he worked on the railroad too. And so did Uncle Art my Mom's sister's husband.

Grandpa and my Dad always knew what to do. To me they were strong men I looked up to. When I was very young grandpa was pretty off putting, but as I grew older I was able to get under his skin and then we were able to talk about some things. He was a plumber too, and had some trade books on plumbing. My cousin and I would try to read them.

I found a truly wonderful pump in this book. It was called a Ram. It could pump water and didn't need any energy. I was very excited and showed it to grandpa. He told me how it worked and that it use the water flowing down hill to charge the pump so it could build up pressure. I liked it a lot when he took time with me.

I'm writing this in hopes of you may understanding a little more about who I am. And I'm happy to do so. I consider you friends because we have a common bond here in this machining forum

I also worked on the Southern Pacific Railroad in the sixties. I was a switchman. It helped me through my college studies.

I learned two important things working under union contract. Everyone has the right to make a living for his livelihood. Meaning don't obstruct or haze another person in doing his work. The other was, "You have to protect your job." You do that by being there to work it, and do the best you can.

My Great Grandfather Dornfeld worked for the Southern Pacific Steam Ship Co. ~ I think.
So this was all the men in my extended family save for my Mother's Father.
So I seem to get very emotional when I hear a steam engine and or a train whistle.

To all who read this, Thank you for letting me reminisce.

My very best regards to you all,

Stanley Dornfeld

SP 4449 At ORHF Holiday Express - YouTube "Holiday express Great Drivers and Monkey Motion video.) More on the 4449 engine and train.


"Tehachapi loop" Where the front of a train can pass over itself. I was there as well. This video is a good rendering of it.

ATSF in Tehachapi Loop - YouTube
 

Joe in NH

Diamond
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Location
Stratham, Cow Hampshire
"Keeping the flame" is more than just polishing metal (although there is quite a bit of that involved too.)

Knowing something of the life & times - and telling the stories is a big part of it too.

Of the reasons that Joe Michaels is so well received here also.

Joe
 

Metalcutter

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Location
San Diego
Is this the one?

Locomotive 4449 Southern Pacific "Daylight" leaving Chicago

BTW that, "Tehachapi loop" - Damn, that is one long train! We don't see that around my part of town. Last time I saw one like that was out near Colorado Springs hauling coal

Walt

Yes! That's it. It rips me a new one every time I watch it.

I don't know what happened in the thread move. I thought they could be accessed where I put them. Dang.

It looks like you found them anyhow. Good!

Best regards,

Stan-
 

AntiqueMac

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 17, 2003
Location
Florida Mountains!
Metalcutter, Great post, I enjoyed it.

Sort of sad for me to realize how old I am. And part of old age is memory loss. But, in my 6th grade thru later years I went to a school near Baltimore and rode the train home on weekends.

At first the trains were some sort of coal burners. Black grit on me every trip. One time we got stopped in a tunnel under Baltimore (Penn RR) and almost suffocated from the smoke.

It is strange I don't recall the look of the engine. Especially since I was a big HO gauge hobbyist. The only other memory of those train rides was of flushing the toilet and looking down the drain at railroad ties passing by! Never walked a rail line again!

:cheers:
 

Leg17

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Location
Kentucky
Fond Memories

I too am old enough to have caught the end of the Age of Steam. Born in 1945, we lived in Baltimore from 1949 to 1952, and rode the train home to Grandma’s house in Detroit a couple of times a year. Sleeping in a compartment berth or Pullman berth, and especially listening to the Doppler effect on the crossing bells as it changed from approaching to receding. Then there was the rhythmic rolling of the cars and the clackity-clack of the rails. And, of course, riding the train reveals a completely different perspective of the scenery than riding on the highways. Some of the trains were steam driven and the boarding and disembarking in the terminals, with the hissing and smells and sights, is etched permanently in my memories. (Although the ‘permanence’ is beginning to deteriorate!)

Moved to the Chicago area in 1952 and we played ball in a park that was adjacent to three RR lines, the B&O, the Grand Trunk, and the Indiana Harbor. There was a huge Rock Island yard in town as well. Even then, we sensed the magic of Steam. When a diesel pulled train came by we didn’t miss a beat. But when a steamer came along on the B&O, the unspoken rule of an immediate time-out or delay of game was in effect as we ran to the fence and waved to, and were waved back from, the engine crew.

Industry was in full glory in those days. We lived on a state highway as it wound through town in the pre-Interstate Highway days. Summer evenings with the windows open, (air-conditioning? are you kidding me?) was a cacophony of sights, sounds, and smells, with the trains being put together in the Rock Island and the Indiana Harbor terminals, the hammering of the prosperous Modern Drop Forge, the highway sounds of the trucks making their way through town, the various smells of the Clark Oil refinery and the Heinz catsup factory, and even the roar of stock cars at nearby Raceway Park.

None if this is very exciting to the younger folks, but some of you all know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

How did it get away so fast. It is like an old favorite movie you saw a long time ago.

Tom
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Location
Metuchen, NJ, USA
Early Electric Locomotives

I, too, missed the steam locomotive era, but I was priviledged to see and/or ride behind some classic electrics.

When I was a boy in Pelham, NY, the New Haven RR was still running classic dark green "Multiple Unit" electric coaches which were nicknamed "MUTS". These had steam-era "Golden Glow" headlights. There was an internal air whistle system for communication between the Conductor and the Engineer. I can still hear the sounds of one of those leaving the station: a high-pitched Phwett! Phweet! from the communications whistle followed by a deep Pwwaaaah!" as the air brakes released. Then a loud 25-cycle hum as the traction motors accelerated the train.

I've seen stacks of newspapers and sacks of mail unloaded from "combine" cars.

Also vivid in my mind is a black, orange and white EP-5 rectifier passenger "motor". These had huge cooling fans and were nicknamed "jets" because of the whoosh of the fans. They had Ignitron mercury rectifiers. I'd watch them cruise through Pelham at about 90 MPH, trailing dust and litter.

Sad to say, not one of the EP-5's was preserved.

I just missed seeing a whole fleet of magnificent New Haven electrics which were taken out of service when I was a toddler. When I see photos of what I missed, I feel sad. They were heavyweights with big driving wheels like a GG-1. In fact, I think the GG-1's electricals were inspired by the New Haven EP-3.

GG-1's I do remember. I once left Washington an hour late behind double-headed GG-1's. They made up the entire hour between D.C. and NYC. I was timing mileposts while enjoying a hamburger in the dining car. Doing the long division on the paper placemat, it came out to 112 MPH in one spot.

No, I never smelled the coal smoke, but I sure did smell the ozone!

John Ruth, now mourning the demise of the long, lanky E-60's.

"I'd like to turn the clock back, some forty years or more
Just to have a chance to dance on old Abe's barroom floor"
 
Last edited:

Conrad Hoffman

Titanium
Joined
May 10, 2009
Location
Canandaigua, NY, USA
Great post! I missed the steam era but one of my hobbies is/was searching out USGS benchmarks. They were often placed next to rail lines because the RR companies had a huge interest in elevation (it takes money- i.e., coal) to climb even a mild incline. Around here the rails were pulled up in the '70s and the rail beds have been converted to beautiful hiking trails. I've often walked those trails looking for benchmarks set in bridge abutments and cement posts nearby and thought about what it must have been like when the big steam engines pounded across the landscape. Here's a photo of a rail bridge that the local group restored and converted to a foot path-
http://www.ontariopathways.org/images/BridgeFromAir.jpg

Here's a typical RR benchmark- it's the little greenish bolt/rivet right next to the GPS unit-
http://img.geocaching.com/benchmark/lg/553b431e-ee30-46e5-9a67-925dfc69060f.jpg
 

Metalcutter

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Location
San Diego
Great post! I missed the steam era but one of my hobbies is/was searching out USGS benchmarks. They were often placed next to rail lines because the RR companies had a huge interest in elevation (it takes money- i.e., coal) to climb even a mild incline. Around here the rails were pulled up in the '70s and the rail beds have been converted to beautiful hiking trails. I've often walked those trails looking for benchmarks set in bridge abutments and cement posts nearby and thought about what it must have been like when the big steam engines pounded across the landscape. Here's a photo of a rail bridge that the local group restored and converted to a foot path-
http://www.ontariopathways.org/images/BridgeFromAir.jpg

Here's a typical RR benchmark- it's the little greenish bolt/rivet right next to the GPS unit-
http://img.geocaching.com/benchmark/lg/553b431e-ee30-46e5-9a67-925dfc69060f.jpg

I guess we all have our familiar touchstones of history we remember from our past. It would be a sad world indeed, if we didn't. :) We have to know where we came from, so we can evaluate where we are now. Someone must have said that already.

Regards,

Stan-
 

Leg17

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Location
Kentucky
Fond Memories

with the hissing and smells and sights, is etched permanently in my memories. (Although the ‘permanence’ is beginning to deteriorate!)
.........
was a cacophony of sights, sounds, and smells, ....., the various smells of the Clark Oil refinery and the Heinz catsup factory, ......

Tom

DETERIORATING "PERMANENCE"

That was the Libby's catsup factory, not Heinz. All the local growers were supplied with Heinz tomato plants. (Libby's made pickles and things year round, but really added the temps in late summer for the tomato season. Tomatoes by the dump truck load. You could smell it for miles.)
 








 
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