Amusing Observation

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Recently, I was chatting about heritage trains with two different people, both on different occasions. I was really surprised to learn that both of them did not know the difference between a steam engine and a diesel! :eek:

    One person readily admitted that she couldn't tell the difference. And I could soon tell that the other person (a different occasion a few weeks later) also didn't understand the difference between the two. I kept a straight face and didn't say too much, but inside I couldn't believe it! I've been schooled on the basic differences between these two types of loco since I was 4 or 5. To me, it couldn't be more obvious ... And my four-year-old son has no problems separating the steamers from the diesels!

    So, I'm guessing that there is a significant chunk of the population who can't tell a steam train from a diesel. I realize I'm jumping to conclusions here but I bet I'm right. Has any one else come across this?

    Just curious :)

  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    No, I haven't come across this, but to some, a train is a train and all engine are alike. Just like music, some people can tell that there is a difference between one rap song and another.:rolleyes: I frankly can't, they all sound alike to me. Some people actually think there is a melody to some hard rock music. Maybe I'm tone deaf, but it doesn't sound at all like music to people of my generation.:eek: Anyway, take this strictly as an analogy of what the same thing means to different people, and not as a put down on some music types.:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    overheard on the grand canyon railway:

    Old woman#1: Is this train a steam engine or a diesel engine?
    Old woman#2: I think it is a diesel engine, a steam engine is one of those old-fashioned looking engines.

    I really wouldn't be suprised if I was told that in the general american public under 50 years of age that the majority of people did not know what a steam engine was.

    On the other hand, take me, a 31 year old, who didn't know what a DVD was until my 3-year-old nephew expained it to me about 5 years ago.

  4. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    That's quite a feat kevin, having a pre-concieved child ( a -2 yr old?!) tell you all about DVD's! :D :razz:

    He's 8 now, I hope! :D
  5. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Whats a DVD?
    'scuse me a minuate...Gotta change the tape in the eight track..........
  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Miles, quite observant of my ambiguous grammar! I meant to say, my THEN 3-year-old nephew!

  7. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    A small town near me had it's third annual Depot Days celebration, with steamer #1225 (the inspiration for the Polar Express) as the featured attraction. Naturally, I had to be there to get a few pics.

    I overheard a couple talking as the train approached - she was telling him that it is no wonder no one rides trains anymore - why do they have to make all that black smoke? I guess she has never seen a diesel!

    I attached a couple of shots of the train approaching to illustrate her concern. She said that she thought it was nasty, but obviously a lot of us look at it a little differently!

    Attached Files:

  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    ...and mothers will still tell their children to "Look at the choo-choo."
  9. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I've seen ALCo diesels smoke much more than a properly-fired steamer!

  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Fair enough, you're quite right. I'm not into sports, for example, so a football game (to me) is just a bunch of guys running around on a field!

    I just assumed that the steam/diesel difference was so obvious, that everyone knew the difference. But there goes my bias again!

  11. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Well, I have to admit that I may be one of those people. For the life of me, I just can't figure out if this is a steam engine or a diesel:confused:?? What do you think?
  12. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    excellent photoshopping job! Also might I add, that's the best, cleanest design for a stiesel I've ever seen! nice work.
  13. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Love the stiesel! Oddities like that go over real well at train club open houses.

  14. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Quite frankly, my wife cannot tell the difference between a Ford Mustang and a Peterbilt semi, if it were not for the blatant size. All trains look the same, unless they're different colors. Go figure we have to learn the difference between different tampons when we get married huh...
  15. hmas

    hmas Member

    HEY you haven't worked it out? over 50% of the population is stupid!
    the international railway crossing symbol is a steam loco, not a black rectangle, unless they are blind they would have to have seen the symbol.

    next silly question why can a steam loco pull a train it can't start,& why can't a diseasel start a train but not pull it?
    Answer when I return in a week or 2 unless someone answers it:thumb:
  16. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Those are AAWESOME pics -- almost like paintings! I had to look twice. Sure wish I could have seen that loco. Cheers, Rob
  17. Printer

    Printer Member

    Open wide, Here comes the Choo Choo... Wooooo Woooooo.

    Funny they have probably NEVER seen or heard a Hudson or a Pacific at the local grade crossing or anywhere else besides old movie reruns. But Trains still go choo choo.

    If Mom ever came off with the sound of a 3 or 5 chime, the poor child would jump out of the high-chair.

    Woooo Woooo :cool:

  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I have heard the riddle before - it has something to do with tractive effort and the theoretical meanings behind the numbers, IIRC... Looking forward to your answer!

    I absolutely love the fact that more than 50 years after most steam was scrapped, kids still reply "choo choo" when asked "What does a train say?". ;) :D sign1

  19. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Thomas says, "Peep, peep!"
  20. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Well, I can distinguish 14 different classes of Toronto PCC's (well, I;ll admit that 3 of them look exactly the same), but automobiles all look the same to me -- I can only find mine because I know the colour and the licence number.

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