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BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014

leeneia 31 Aug 21 - 05:38 PM
Donuel 31 Aug 21 - 06:47 PM
Rapparee 31 Aug 21 - 06:55 PM
JennieG 31 Aug 21 - 07:02 PM
leeneia 31 Aug 21 - 10:17 PM
DaveRo 01 Sep 21 - 02:52 AM
BobL 01 Sep 21 - 03:37 AM
DaveRo 01 Sep 21 - 04:57 AM
Sandra in Sydney 01 Sep 21 - 05:32 AM
Donuel 01 Sep 21 - 11:39 AM
leeneia 01 Sep 21 - 11:47 AM
Donuel 01 Sep 21 - 04:41 PM
DaveRo 01 Sep 21 - 04:48 PM
leeneia 02 Sep 21 - 01:45 PM
DaveRo 02 Sep 21 - 04:23 PM
leeneia 03 Sep 21 - 12:25 PM
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Subject: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: leeneia
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 05:38 PM

In half an hour, four of us are going to downtown Kansas City to watch the historic steam engine Union Pacific 4014 go by. Listening to the whistle is an important part of it all.

Here's a video of the 4014 crossing the Mississippi River and making its presence known, while a helicopter flutters around like an admiring dragonfly.


over the father of waters

It's going so slowly because the bridge is clearly very old, and the 4014 weighs almost three times as much as a locomotive of today. Going slow takes it easy on the bridge.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: Donuel
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 06:47 PM

Magnificent. That is so much more satisfying than watching a flyover of weapons of war.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: Rapparee
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 06:55 PM

Lordy, Lordy! The Mississippi is at low water!


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: JennieG
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 07:02 PM

Impressive!


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: leeneia
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 10:17 PM

Thanks, everybody. We had a good view of it. The DH had studied Google Maps and found a street which dead-ended at the tracks. We were up in the air and only about 25 feet away. It was going slowly, preparing to stop at Union Station for the night.

A woman was also there with her two grandsons, and the little guy had his hands over his ears because the noise from the nearby factory bothered him. I approached her and gave her Mack's hearing protectors for the two boys. I felt that if the ambient noise bothered them, the sound of the 4014 going by could be so loud and shrill that it would take the pleasure out of their little jaunt.   

It is amazing how many high-pitched jingles, dings, and squeaks such a powerful machine can make. However, its beautifully melodious steam whistle makes up for all that. I think they blew the whistle just to say hello to us.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: DaveRo
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 02:52 AM

The Thebes Bridge, in the video, was designed by Ralph Modjeski - who also designed Government Bridge across the Mississippi at Rock Island, which is presumably on the Rock Island Line.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: BobL
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 03:37 AM

I suppose the nearest thing we had in the UK was the LNER's Class U1 Beyer-Garratt. Its 180 tons compared with Big Boy's 350 (or thereabouts) would be about equivalent on the smaller British loading gauge. Although only one was built, it wasn't particularly successful, and was scrapped in 1955. New build like Tornado? No chance.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: DaveRo
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 04:57 AM

Earlier thread about Big Boy
Resurrection of a Big Boy 4-8-8-4 locomotive

ISTR a thread about train whistles, sirens, bells, and hooters - but whether here or on a railways forum I don't recall.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 05:32 AM

wow!


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 11:39 AM

I like Amos' poem/lyrics about trains.

I'm reminded I did a image of a cruise ship traveling on 12 tracks around a bend with puller and pusher locomotives.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 11:47 AM

The Big Boy locomotives are connected to the earth's plate tectonics.

I saw an interview with the captain of the Steam Team, and he said the Big Boys were developed to take freight across the 48 states during World War II, and the biggest challenge was getting from Green River, Wyoming to Ogden, Utah. That land is the Wasatch Range east of Salt Lake City.

I remembered a phrase 'The Wasatch Line' from geology classes years ago, a time when plate tectonics was new and slightly suspect. I didn't understand the Wasatch Line, and I don't think my professor did either. Or maybe, being an oilman, he didn't want to think about it. But yesterday I read an old scientific paper about the Wasatch Line, [WAW-satch] and it's clear that it marks a time long ago when land from northern Mexico into southern Canada ended in a broad curve which goes through Salt Lake City. West of that are thick offshore sediments which piled up quietly, minding their own business for millions of years. To geologists, North America ends about 2/3 of the way [if you're going west] between the east coast and the west coast.

Details after that a vague in my mind. Sea-floor spreading rammed some body or other from elsewhere into those sediments, crumpling them and thrusting them eastward. Seafloor was pushed down (subducted) and melted at depth, mixing with sediments and producing granite. This granite intruded, rose, and pushed up mountains, mountains which got in the way of freight trains eons later. And that's how the Big Boy locomotives were born.

I'm still looking for an explanation of the Uintah [you- INN-tuh] Mountains adjacent to the Wasatch Mountains. The Uintah's run east and west. I believe they are the only mountains in America that do so. In any case, that's rare.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 04:41 PM

That was hot and nerdy :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: DaveRo
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 04:48 PM

The 4-8-8-4 class series, originally rumored to be called the "Wasatch", after the Wasatch Mountains…
WikiPedia


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Sep 21 - 01:45 PM

Thanks for the link, Dave. It amazes me to think that the original Big Boys ran on low-grade Wyoming coal. That's what was available, of course, but I'm surprised it would work. Nowadays the 4014 burns oil, and there's a modern locomotive in the consist, I suppose to keep the train moving in case it breaks down. Can't have our busy tracks blocked.

Or who knows, perhaps in the wee hours, when no railfans are parked by the tracks and no little kids are waving at the engineer, the 4014 takes a break and lets the diesel push it. Here's a question for an engineer: is it better to give the engine a rest or to keep it in operation and keep the temperature stable?

Recently the DH came across the British term anorak, meaning [apparently] blue-collar craftsman. The DH thought about wearing his anorak to see the engine, but it was too hot - over 90.
======
Donuel, I'm glad you liked the post about the Wasatch Mountains.


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: DaveRo
Date: 02 Sep 21 - 04:23 PM

An anorak, in Britain, is somebody with an obsessive interest in and knowlege of some technical subject - such as railways. It's somewhat derogatory, suggesting that their interests and conversation are limited to that subject. It's similar to 'nerd' but in more limited, and more mechanical, fields. It doesn't imply craftmanship or skill - in fact someone who actually worked on steam locomotives would be more likely to be referred to more positively, such as 'expert'.

Boys who hung about on railway platforms collecting engine (locomotive) numbers were called 'trainspotters' when I was a boy, but seem to be called 'gricers' today. My brother was one - so I wasn't.

I haven't seen an actual anorak for years. I wore them in the 60's - a sort-of waterproof smock with a hood, and a big breast pocket, grey on the outside and yellow inside. Ideal for riding a bike in cold and rainy Britain. They had a crotch strap, but I don't know why and I never fastened it. I suspect they were superseded by the widespread adoption of long zips.

Your use of the word 'consist' is interesting. In the UK only a railwayman (railwayperson?) would use that word. Is it common in the US?


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Subject: RE: BS: settin on the levee, waitin for the 4014
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Sep 21 - 12:25 PM

No, 'consist' isn't common. I think I picked it up from a railroad engineer in my church. He taught me another word - sat. An engineer doesn't drive an engine, he sits it. He said "The first time I sat a 3660 [made-up number] was in 2003."

My dear husband, the DH, often had to work outdoors in all weathers, and when it was really cold, an anorak over a wool sweater was a life saver. He wore his anorak for years after they went out of style because it was so practical. However, his first anorak did not go as far back as the '60's.

As far as people who watch trains, in the U.S. trainspotters seem to be turning into railfans.

Day before yesterday the DH watched online as the 4014 left Kansas City. He was pleased to read the chat and see that railfans from England, France and Germany were watching too.


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