Modern Marvels

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nkp174, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I just discovered that last week the History Channel's show Modern Marvels did a piece on the Strassburg RR.

    Particularly interesting, the showed a locomotive in the shops...receiving a new driver tire. Although they don't say so in the clip, it's ex-Rio Grande Southern of the finest looking 4-6-0s ever built. She's currently undergoing an overhaul thanks to a $600,000 donation. She's owned by the Colorado Railroad Museum...which has a very impressive collection. #20 was built in 1898 for the Florence and Cripple Creek RR.

    I found it on is titled: Modern Marvels the Strassburg Railroad.
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Ughh. Why couldn't that show have been on when I was stuck in a hotel room. #20 is getting quite the overhaul, with part of a boiler course getting brand new steel!

  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    The brief portion about steam was interesting; the bulk of the program focued on diesels which are not so me. :cool:

    I do have to admit that the section on the diesel maintenance center was informative. I never realized that a diesel goes through a set of brakes every three weeks, for example, or that it puts sand on one part of the rail while simultaneously lubricating another part.

    It has always seemed odd to me that a steam turbine was developed fairly early for ships, but the concept never seems to have been adapted, or even attempted, for steam locomotives.
  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    That's really cool! I didn't know that either.

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The U.P. used gas turbines. I think they were dropped because of excessive fuel consumption. I don't think the U.P. ever tried steam turbines. On a commercial level, most modern ships are diesel powered. The steam turbines are just too thirsty. When I worked for Sea Land back in the 1980's, they sold off their steam turbine ships to the U.S. Navy and had them replaced with diesel powered ships. The thinking of the Defense Dept. had been that jumbo jets had rendered ships obsolete for resupplying bases or allies around the world. Then when trying to resupply Israel after the Yom Kippur War, they discovered that it took almost 60 days with c130's to do what a single large freighter could do in less than 2 weeks!
  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I know that the military rarely cares much about fuel consumption, which aways struck me as odd considering that logistics is the single biggest problem in fielding a modern army. The M1A2 Abrams MBT, for example, gets slightly less than 1 mile per gallon, and it's fuel consumption remains unchanged even if it is idling, since the turbine stays at steady speed. Airliners, OTH, use as much fuel for a single cross-continent trip as the average car owner needs to drive for four years.

    I guess economics was the answer for the railroads. I often find it ironic that unit coal trains are the biggest moneymakers for BNSF here in Colorado - huge diesels pulling mile-and-a-half trains loaded with the very stuff that fueled the engines they replaced, now invaluable to produce electrical power which the diesel does using petro-fuel. There is probably a lesson of some sort in there somewhere, but looking for it hurts my head. :cool:
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Many of the "problems" with steam turbines had to do with the fact that there were so few of each design. Spare parts were not stockpiled and each failure required a custom made replacement part. So the locos spent much of their lives waiting for repairs.

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