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21 April 2017

Vintage Locomotives
Building a Head of Steam
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A narrow gauge train at Sandstone Estates - Date unknown Photographer unknown.

 External link Sandstone Estates Ficksburg South Africa - Every Autumn, on a functioning 6,000 hectare farm spread across bluffs above the Caledon River in the eastern Free State, a heritage steam event takes place that has become the envy of the world.
 
"Stars of Sandstone" spans 10 days, attracts 3,000 guests, and is alive with the hiss of steam and the whiff of fired coal.
 
There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the country.
 
"We reach parts of the country that South Africa (SA) Tourism hasn't even heard of," says Wilfred Mole, the dynamic force behind Sandstone, with a combative growl.
 
As in previous years, the 2017 festival, held early this month on the Sandstone Estates farm, featured restored and salvaged steam locomotives from across Southern Africa, as well as demonstrations of old farm equipment, military hardware, and a fleet of old buses, pickups, and tractors.
 
The estimable and rare gathering of steam was rounded off by the careful antics of six or seven vintage aircraft parked at the cheekily named Sandstone International Airport on the edge of the farm, close to the Lesotho border.
 
Swooping through the air with graceful ease, these planes provided a kind of literal backdrop to the steamy straining and snorting on the ground.
 
If you rode a train pulled by an old narrow-gauge Garratt or Hunslet locomotive through the fields of mauve cosmos and buttery sunflowers, you'd likely also have heard the overhead roar of Harvards or Tiger Moths.
 
It all made for a wonderful, oddly self-enclosed experience, as if you'd stepped through a looking-glass into another slickly running dimension that unfolds with all the precision of, well, a train timetable.
 
The Little Loco That Could

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Locomotive Josefina and other narrow gauge engines in the Sandstone shed - Date unknown Luke Alfreds.

This year's event was the best and biggest yet, with pride of place given to the official unveiling of a chunky little locomotive called Josefina.
 
The locomotive, believed to be one of only two remaining Arn Jung locomotives left in Africa, was shipped from Germany to what was then Portuguese West Africa in 1905.
 
After a life of virtuous toil on the Bom Jesus Sugar Estate in Angola, the loco was rescued by Sandstone's Mole and his team in 2003.
 
"We realized that with former rebel leader Jonas Savimbi gone there might be some opportunities for restoration," he says.
 
"We made some inquiries and the authorities were happy for us to come in, they said they had more pressing matters to deal with. Angola is quite perilous with land mines, so we had to walk down an old track to find her, there were mines on either side. The elephant grass is so high that I didn't see the engine until I was upon her."
 
Very little of the old loco remained, only her frame, axle-box, and wheels survived.
 
New tanks, boiler mountings, and motion rods had to be fashioned, and these were rounded off with a small driver's cab and a polished brass plate marked "Josefina".
 
Amid cheering, the restored locomotive was presented to Angola's ambassador to SA, Josefina Pitra Diakite, on the opening day of the festival.
 
According to Mole, Diakite told him afterwards that it was one of her more enjoyable days in a job that is better known for fulsome handshakes and false pleasantries.
 
Spanking new, with her fluttering Angolan flags, Josefina was the star of Sandstone 2017, but of almost equal weight were the appearance of several rare, narrow gauge Garratt locomotives.
 
In the heady days of SA steam, the country's wide functioning network was supplemented by an economically vital, smaller network of narrow gauge tracks on Rand mines, fruit routes to Avontuur in the Eastern Cape, and sugarcane estates in KwaZulu Natal.
 
"The reason so many of these European photographers are here is our Garratts," says Mole.
 
"Here at Sandstone we have the second-oldest narrow gauge Garratt in the world, ex of Rustenburg Platinum, and it's created a great deal of interest," he says.
 
"These guys (the photographers) can be pretty demanding. I had one of them shout at one of my drivers this morning (groups of photographers are ferried across the farm by bus drivers) because he didn't stop in the right place and one of them wanted a windmill moved because it made for a better photo. They don't seem to realise that to have a locomotive ready at 06:00 you have to start steaming her up at 02:00."
 
Mole says most of the manpower on the railway comes from volunteer drivers and firemen.
 
"We don't always have the numbers to take care of every whim," he adds.
 
Steaming Ahead

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Sandstone Estates double-header - Date unknown Photographer unknown.

With craft beer tents and a talented chef replacing communal suppers cooked in massive potjies, Sandstone has recently grown towards what one senses is a tipping point.
 
The festival has expanded phenomenally in the past five years, and this year it attracted a contingent of Australian drivers and firemen, a family from Finland, a couple from the Czech Republic, and two young Belgian drivers who managed to stall a train several times while negotiating a deceptively difficult incline, much to Mole's chagrin.
 
Indeed, such is the event's expansion that Mole and Mike Myers, his quietly effective second-in-command, are beginning to fret about the future.
 
Both realize only too well that one of Sandstone's unique selling points is that it offers, in a sense, a thrilling working museum with a remarkably generous attitude to touching, feeling, and climbing aboard.
 
However, a working museum comes with wear and tear.
 
Damaged wheels need to be re-machined and tracks can be time consuming to replace.
 
Worn parts on rare locomotives are, in certain instances, irreplaceable.
 
No fan of the more tawdry photographers, Mole has also begun to dread open days on the farm.
 
"The public herd in and I find wing mirrors ripped off cars and trucks," he says.
 
"I had to confront a member of the public with farm security as he was putting something he'd stolen into his boot. I threatened him with a police cell in Ficksburg if he didn't leave. He's still writing me letters."
 
This all speaks to the possibility of more niche events in the future, bespoke outings catering for up market clientele paying good money.
 
At the same time, chichi weekends for corporates may make a mockery of the lively fun to be found at Sandstone, the hustle and bustle on the roads, the clatter of rolling-stock as it shuffles down the narrow track, the buzz overhead, the very things, in other words, that make the experience of visiting such fun.
 
Ordinarily, the answer to Sandstone's bright future might lie on the outer edge of the farm, where its narrow gauge track brushes against a siding called Vailima on the once functioning Bloemfontein-Bethlehem line.
 
Stretching east from Bloemfontein for 303 kilometres the line rolls through gently captivating sandstone country as it heads amiably towards the Lesotho border.
 
While Mole admits that his relationship with Transnet is as good as it has ever been, there is too much to do on the mainline track to resuscitate it, with degradation, pilfering, and decay having taken their toll.
 
Neither Sandstone nor Transnet is prepared to foot the bill, which will run into tens of millions of rand, perhaps more.
 
The two parties have reached an impasse for the time being.
 
But imagine the tourist potential of a boozy mainline journey from Bloemfontein to Vailima on standard gauge, before transferring to the scaled-down delights of Sandstone for a bespoke weekend.
 
Luke Alfred.


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17 April 2017

Alibaba Targets Silk Road Train Route
for European Push
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A freight train transporting goods from the UK leaving London - Date unknown Isabel Infantes.

London England United Kingdom - Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba is taking to the new Silk Road with a search for warehouse locations along the route of the recently launched China to UK rail link.
 
The retailer is understood to have approached property developers across the continent who have buildings in locations which are close to the new train line, which follows the historic Silk Road route.
 
The first UK to China train left Britain last week, travelling along a route which the Government hopes will galvanize trade links.
 
The 16 day, 7,456 mile journey passes through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, and France before crossing under the Channel and arriving in the east end of London in Barking.
 
Travelling by rail to China, the world's second biggest economy, is cheaper than sending freight by air and faster than voyage by ship.
 
Alibaba is hoping to take advantage of the new route by positioning its stock and delivery hubs along the line in order to faster bring its products into Europe.
 
Despite being dominant in the Chinese market, Alibaba has not yet made meaningful inroads in Europe or threatened Amazon, which continues to dominate the ecommerce in the West.
 
Alibaba began seeking a presence in Europe as far back as 2015 when it announced the opening of offices in London which would serve as its European headquarters.
 
At the end of last year it quietly opened its first UK warehouse, in Dunstable, and has also sought locations in other European countries.
 
In January, the Bulgarian government said it had met with representatives from the Chinese company to discuss setting up a logistics centre to service the eastern part of the continent.
 
Now, Alibaba has quietly been seeking similar hubs in countries where the train passes through, which as well as bringing goods from China could also service deals with Western retailers looking to move into China.
 
British brands such as Mountain Warehouse, Sainsbury's, and Marks & Spencer have used Alibaba's online marketplace Tmall launched in China, giving them an instant platform in a country with a growing middle class.
 
Alibaba could not be reached for comment.
 
Rhiannon Bury.


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20 April 2017

Locust Heights & Western Railroad Officials Need Financial Help
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The Locust Heights & Western Railroad's Climax locomotive - Date unknown Photographer unknown.

Clarksburg West Virginia USA - For 43 years, the Locust Heights & Western Railroad's steam locomotive has chugged along the homemade track behind Mason Machine Shop along highway US 19 south of Clarksburg.
 
Family members and volunteers never charged a fee for a ride on the railroad, but they're requesting that riders consider a donation this year to get the steam locomotive running again.
 
Besides the cost of insurance, paint, and other supplies for the railroad, the steam locomotive's boiler broke in August and requires about US$6,000 in repairs, said Tammy Molina, daughter of the railroad's owner, Jean Mason.
 
Volunteers resorted to using the railroad's gasoline-powered locomotive, which is also about 40-years-old, to pull trains last September and October.
 
"Right now, we're really struggling," Molina said.
 
"We don't like to ask for money. It's not something we've ever done, but we don't have it to get the boiler repaired."
 
Besides locals, the railroad has been an attraction for visitors from as far away as Alaska, Africa, England, and Peru.
 
Molina said enthusiasts still travel miles for a train ride behind the gasoline locomotive, but it just doesn't offer the same experience as the steam engine, which is modeled on a Climax Class A logging locomotive.
 
"People like it, too, it just doesn't make coal smoke and have a big whistle," Molina said of the gasoline locomotive.
 
"It's still a train ride, and it's still awesome, but it's just not the same as the steam locomotive. A lot of people like the full atmosphere. People were disappointed."
 
Family members have collected about US$400 in donations so far and are considering taking out a loan if needed to get the locomotive repairs underway.
 
Repairs would take approximately three weeks to complete.
 
"We really didn't accept donations until 10 years ago," Mason said.
 
"If anyone gave, it was OK, but we didn't have a box or anything."
 
Train rides behind the steam locomotive usually take place every 30 minutes, compared to 20 minutes for the gasoline locomotive.
 
About 45-50 people can ride the train at one time.
 
From the station to the end of the track and back is about three-quarters of a mile each way.
 
Since the family began passing out tickets as souvenirs two years ago, they have given about 3,000 train rides.
 
Helping run the railroad is a dedicated group of volunteer engineers, conductors, brakemen, and firemen.
 
Tom Proud started volunteering in 1985.
 
Riders will see him working as a conductor this summer.
 
He said that running the steam locomotive is a two-person job, while the gasoline-powered locomotive requires only a single operator.
 
"This isn't as labor-intensive as the steam engine," Proud said of the gasoline locomotive.
 
"The gasoline engine has a horn on it, and the other has a whistle, and I like the whistle."
 
Molina's son, Tre Roach, is in his 13th year of schooling at United Technical Center, earning additional welding certifications.
 
He has fond memories of operating the railroad with his late grandfather.
 
"I can't make people donate, but this is part of history," Roach said.
 
"I like seeing smiles on people's faces. That's what Granddad was all about. I try my best to be like him."
 
Molina said her son is dedicated to the railroad.
 
"He's pretty determined to keep my dad's legacy alive," she said.
 
"My son is very determined to see that boiler run again, see the steam engine run again, to make my father proud."
 
Boilermaker Jonas Stutzman of Middlefield, Ohio, said he received information on the repair job shortly after the boiler broke.
 
He said he looks forward to beginning work on the boiler as soon as possible.
 
"We will help anybody if they need our help," said Stutzman, who has been fixing machinery, including steam tractors, for the past 15 years.
 
Molina said getting the steam engine running again is important to her family.
 
"We're very confident it's going to be done right," Molina said.
 
"It's important in our family to keep the train going. We'll continue running this summer with the gasoline engine, but we'd love to get back up and running with steam."
 
Mason's husband, Keith, built the railroad's caboose in 1969 as a playhouse for his children and re-built the steam locomotive in 1974.
 
"It was originally started to haul logs to our saw mill. He could back into the saw mill and haul logs off the car onto the log ramp," Mason said.
 
"Anybody who showed up on Wednesday evening, we'd take them for a ride."
 
The saw mill closed in 2000, but the community train rides continued.
 
Keith Mason was a machinist with his father, Kenneth, who built Mason Machine Shop along Milford Street in Clarksburg in 1949.
 
Keith passed away on 12 Oct 2016.
 
The Locust Heights & Western Railroad's first train ride of the year is tentatively scheduled for 19:00, 7 Jun 2017.
 
The railroad is located at 115 Locust Heights Drive.
 
Donations may be made via checks payable to Jean Mason, or money can be sent online via paypal.me/TammyMolina.
 
Jonathan Weaver.


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20 April 2017

Caltrans Charger Locomotives
to Enter Service on Capitol Corridor
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A Caltrans Siemens built Charger locomotive - Date unknown Alex Gillman.

 External link Sacramento California USA - Siemens is to begin revenue testing of its new Charger series locomotive on California's Capitol Corridor later this month.
 
The new generation of Tier 4 diesel-electric locomotives was launched on 18 Apr 2017 at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, just a few miles away from where the locomotives were designed and built.
 
A 30 day revenue testing period will begin later this month on the Capitol Corridor, which links San Jose and Sacramento, ahead of services beginning on other routes.
 
Siemens is initially supplying six Charger locomotives to Caltrans to serve Amtrak's Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin, and Pacific Surfliner routes.
 
Michael Cahill, Siemens rolling stock president, said, "Unveiling the first of these locomotives built in California, for California, is a testament to the hard working employees in Sacramento who designed, engineered, and manufactured these state-of-the-art rail vehicles. We're proud to bring the latest technologies to life for Capitol Corridor riders and help usher in the next generation of clean, smart, and efficient rail travel in California."
 
Although traction power is supplied by the locomotive's 4,400 horsepower QSK95 Cummins diesel engine, fuel consumption is reduced through a regenerative braking system which recycles energy from the electric traction motors to power auxiliary systems.
 
The Charger locomotive was the first high-speed passenger locomotive to meet the USA's Tier 4 emissions standards.
 
Author unknown.


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20 April 2017

Train Fan Traveling Nearly 2,000 Miles
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Union Pacific number 844 - Date unknown Photographer unknown.

 External link Boise Idaho USA - When you're out and about in Boise during the "weekend of 844," you might cross paths with John Biehn.
 
Now retired from his 44 year career as a meat department manager for the Kroger supermarket chain, he travels between 3,000 and 5,000 miles a year, all in search of historic trains to photograph.
 
He loves the Union Pacific 844 so much, he got "UP 844" license plates for his car.
 
He has traveled to Idaho before to photograph the locomotive, and he photographed the train last July when it traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming, for Frontier Days.
 
Biehn is making a special trip from his home in Cincinnati this weekend to see the historic locomotive once more.
 
The 844 is en route from its home in Cheyenne and will pull into the Boise Depot around 17:00 Saturday on a journey called the "Boise Turn Special."
 
A city celebration on Sunday will mark the 92nd anniversary of the iconic depot.
 
Q: How did your love for trains begin?
 
A: My father would travel throughout the South as a paint salesman. He would leave first by auto and then send for my mom and I by train. In the mid-1950s, we always had our own room in a Pullman sleeping car. I used to spend all night just looking out the window. Eating in the dinning car was also a great experience. I always sat by the window and watched the scenery go by as I ate. We traveled to cities like Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, New Orleans, and other places. Then in 1955, I got my first Lionel Train. I still have it along with a major collection of toy trains that go all the way back to the 1920s.
 
Q: For you, what's special about Union Pacific 844?
 
A: The UP 844 is a locomotive that has never been retired. Since it was built in 1944, it has been on UP's roster the whole time. When a diesel locomotives appeared on the UP's roster as 844, the steam engine had its number changed to 8444. It outlasted the diesel and got its original number back. The steamer is a beautiful and great running machine.
 
Q: What are some train-watching terms that we should know?
 
A: Most folks like me are called "railfans." I guess that's short for rail fanatics. Some are called "steamfans." One term I don't particularly like is "foamers," for steamfans. I guess they foam at the mouth while watching steam trains. You will probably meet a lot of people who will "chase" this train. What that means is that they follow the train, try to get ahead of it. and take photos or videos. They also "pace" the train, which means they drive right alongside the locomotive taking videos or stills. I pace when my son is with me to help with the driving.
 
Q: You've photographed the 844 in Idaho before?
 
A: I like to try to get extraordinary locations. I do not like typical grade (road) crossings if I can avoid them. At American Falls, Idaho, a couple of years ago, I shot the 844 as it headed west. There is a trestle there above the dam that holds back the Snake River. There are some interesting old buildings that look like mills near where the water flows below the dam. Just a nice shot.
 
Q: What has been your biggest thrill as a train lover?
 
A: That's a tough question. I guess one thing that stands out is that my son and I got a ride in the cab of a large steam engine in China. Our ride took place at Jingpeng Pass in Inner Mongolia, a 35 mile ride through seven tunnels, over various bridges. The Chinese crew even let me shovel the coal for that trip. It was great. Another thrill was taking a steam train over the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
 
Q: How do you explain the love of trains that so many people share? Where does the mystique come from?
 
A: Most older folks like to reminisce about the old days when things were a lot slower. Other folks marvel at the mechanics of the steam train. They like the sounds, smell, all the steam and power.
 
Q: What's the shot of a train that you dream of getting (the brass ring, holy grail, etc.)?
 
A: The early morning start-up shots of any steam locomotive. There all the steam condensation is released. The locomotive is alive and puts on a great show. Diesels cannot do that.
 
Anna Webb.


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22 April 2017

Donations Reach £1,000
After Vandal Attack
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18 windows were smashed on coaches at Telford Steam Railway - Date unknown Photographer unknown.

 External link Horsehay Telford Shropshire England United Kingdom - Vandals struck at the Telford Steam Railway (TSR) last week, smashing 18 windows.
 
Bricks and tools stored at the heritage railway line were hurled at the windows of three coaches and two locomotives by intruders at the attraction in Bridge Road, Horsehay.
 
It is thought that it will take 300 to 400 hours of work to repair the damage.
 
The trust behind the preservation railway set up an online crowd funding page that collected £200 in donations less than 24 hours after its launch.
 
It has now raised more than a fifth of the money needed to repair the damage, with the total standing at over £1,060.
 
In return for donations, Telford Steam Railway is offering rewards.
 
For a £20 pledge, people will get a guided walk along the railway line when it is closed.
 
A round-trip ride on a diesel or steam locomotive is offered for a £40 donation.
 
Those who pledge £100 can drive a steam tram and enjoy lunch for four in the cafe.
 
For a £500 pledge, people will also get a half-day steam driving experience, lunch for four people in the cafe, and a lifetime membership.
 
So far, more than 25 people have made donations, ranging from £10 to £250.
 
Police were called to reports of damage at the site at about 21:00 on 12 Apr 2017.
 
Among the damaged locomotives was a 1952 engine where bricks and a large track screw were used to smash the windows which will cost in the region of £300 each to replace.
 
Engine oil stored on board was also poured over the steps and fire extinguishers were set off.
 
It is believed a group of youths was responsible for causing the vandalism to the trains, some of which are privately owned by volunteers.
 
To donate to the fund visit www.crowdFunder.co.uk.
 
Pledges must be received by 11 Jun 2017.
 
People can also donate through PayPal by visiting telfordSteamRailway.co.uk
 
Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call police on 101.
 
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously at 0800 555111 or at crimeStoppers-uk.org.
 
Author unknown.


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19 April 2017

Restored Locomotive Texas Will be Unveiled at Transportation Museum Next Weekend
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The Texas - Date unknown Photographer unknown.

 External link Location - The historic Texas locomotive will be unveiled at the N.C. Transportation Museum 28-30 Apr 2017.
 
"The Texas Returns:  Featuring 100 Years of American Steam" will highlight the engine and feature operating steam locomotives, multiple train rides behind steam and diesel locomotives, and programs focused on the history of the 161-year-old Texas.
 
The engine became famous, along with the General, for its role in the Great Locomotive Chase of the Civil War.
 
During reconstruction, the engine was put to work for the Western & Atlantic Railroad.
 
"The locomotive served for 51 years on the famous Western & Atlantic Railroad, contributing significantly to Atlanta's rise as a railroad center, and ultimately, an international city," said Sheffield Hale, president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center.
 
The Transportation Museum was chosen for restoration of the Texas because it is the site of a former steam locomotive repair shop.
 
The museum is on the grounds of what was once Spencer Shops, Southern Railway's largest repair facility in the Southeast.
 
In recent years, the museum grounds have been home to the restoration of significant pieces of railroad equipment.
 
The Texas Returns event will be the engine's first public appearance since a 16 month exterior restoration, undertaken by Steam Operations Corporation and funded by the Atlanta History Center.
 
It will be the engine's only public appearance before returning to the Atlanta History Center to be permanently housed at the newly completed Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker Cyclorama Building, which also houses the famed Battle of Atlanta painting.
 
The Atlanta History Center is a partner in the unveiling, with support provided by CSX Transportation.
 
CSX has aided in the restoration of the Texas and will support related events at the Atlanta History Center.
 
CSX also will provide displays and historic rail equipment during The Texas Returns event.
 
Activities both Friday and Saturday will begin with an unveiling of the Texas.
 
The engine will be rolled out of the Bob Julian Roundhouse at 09:30 and onto the turntable for the first photos of the post-restoration engine.
 
Speakers will include Kevin Cherry deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Gordon Jones senior military historian with the Atlanta History Center, and Jackson McQuigg vice president of properties with the center.
 
The Texas will be paired with other locomotives for photographs, representing different aspects of the engine's notoriety.
 
The "100 Years of Steam" pairing will feature the Texas with the N&W Class J number 611 and Lehigh Valley Coal number 126.
 
A CSX Transportation pairing will feature locomotives that once served railroads that merged to form the modern CSX.
 
The Texas, a Western & Atlantic Railroad workhorse, will appear alongside the museum's Atlantic Coast Line number 501 diesel engine, as well as the Atlantic Coast Line number 1031 and Seaboard Air Line number 544 steam engines, as well as the number 2702 Spirit of Atlanta, Franklin M. Garrett diesel locomotive.
 
In 1980, the Georgia Railroad named the 2702 after the Atlanta historian who dedicated his life to chronicling the history of the Southern city once known as Terminus, the final stop on a railroad line connecting the Midwest and Georgia.
 
In 1983, the Georgia Railroad merged into Seaboard System.
 
Seaboard kept Garrett's name on the engine, as did CSX when it merged with Seaboard.
 
The Spirit of Atlanta will be displayed with modern intermodal freight containers positioned behind the locomotive.
 
A Sunday photo pairing will feature only the CSX predecessor steam engines.
 
At the Throttle sessions will take place Friday and Sunday with two steam locomotives, the 611 and the 126.
 
During these sessions, visitors will be stepping into the cab of these engines, with a qualified engineer, to run up and down the museum tracks, living out their railfan dreams.
 
The Class J 611 steam locomotive, owned by the Virginia Museum of Transportation, represented the height of steam engine technology when it was built in 1950, with all the size and power that represents.
 
The 126 allows for a step even further back in time.
 
Built in 1931, the 126 was a mover of coal in Pennsylvania, first for Lehigh Valley Coal Company, and then others.
 
At the Throttle sessions with the 611 are sold out, however, jump seat cab rides behind the engineer are still available.
 
At the Throttle sessions with the 126 are still available in limited numbers.
 
Saturday only, the N&W Class J 611 will take on the museum's regular passenger train, moving visitors around the site on steam power.
 
Saturday evening, the museum will host the "100 Years of Steam" dinner.
 
Traditional N.C. barbecue will be served as railroad photographer Ron Flanary and Class J 611 historian Col. Ingles Lewis "Bud" Jeffries lead the program.
 
Flanary will detail his experiences photographing famous steam locomotives.
 
Jeffries will delve into the history of the Class J 611.
 
Each day, the North Georgia Live Steamers will be on hand with scale steam engines, miniature versions that are one-eighth the size of full-size locomotives.
 
Steam tractors that would have been used in farming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries will also be featured.
 
Turning the focus to four-wheeled locomotion, the CSX sponsored Play It Safe racing car will be displayed.
 
Through the Play It Safe initiative, CSX works to raise awareness about how to safely cross railroad tracks.
 
Visitors can try a NASCAR simulator that allows fans to put their driving skills to the test by taking a virtual spin around the racetrack from the driver seat of the Play It Safe car.
 
One, two, and three day passes are available.
 
The dinner is an upgrade at US$20 per person.
 
For prices and more information, or to buy tickets, go to www.ncTrans.org.
 
Advance purchase is recommended.
 
The Texas will return to Atlanta, where it will be permanently featured in a glass enclosure.
 
It will be illuminated at night and visible from West Paces Ferry Road.
 
Author unknown.


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22 April 2017

Railway Children Locomotive
Arrives in Dorset
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Adams T3 class number 563 at Norden - Date unknown Photographer unknown.

 External link Swanage Dorset Isle of Purbeck England United Kingdom - A steam locomotive that has starred in stage productions of "The Railway Children" on both sides of the Atlantic has arrived in Dorset.
 
The Victorian locomotive, Adams T3 class number 563, arrived under a protective tarpaulin at Swanage Railway's road-rail interchange in Norden, after being donated by the National Railway Museum.
 
The steam locomotive was transported by ship to Canada in 2011 where it had a six-month starring role in Toronto's Roundhouse Park for a production of Edith Nesbit's classic children's tale.
 
Then, after returning to the UK, the locomotive starred in Mike Kenny's adaptation of the novel in front of 1,000 people at London's Kings Cross station.
 
Swanage Railway Company chairman Trevor Parsons said, "We are delighted, thrilled, and very grateful to the National Railway Museum for donating such a rare Victorian steam locomotive to the Swanage Railway. Thanks to the T3's ownership being transferred to the Swanage Railway, we hope to suitably display the locomotive to the public and illustrate a period of important London & South Western Railway history that has previously not been possible. Our primary aim is number 563's conservation and preservation."
 
Built in February 1893 for hauling express trains on the London & South Western Railway, it was withdrawn from service at the end of World War Two.
 
By then, the locomotive which could reach speeds of 80 mph, had around 1.5 million miles on the clock.
 
However, instead of heading for the scrap yard the locomotive was selected for restoration and display at the centenary celebrations for London's Waterloo Station in 1948.
 
Mr Parsons said, "It's absolutely incredible to see the T3 on the Swanage Railway and marvellous that she has finally arrived. Even with the protective tarpaulins over her, you can really appreciate the locomotive's distinctive and charming Victorian lines. The locomotive is a complete original and sports its livery dating from 1893, the T3 is a time capsule from 1945 when the locomotive was withdrawn by the Southern Railway after a hard working life of 52 years. The vacuum pressure gauge for the brakes still has the original "L&SWR", for London & South Western Railway, written on the plate behind the glass. Step onto the T3's footplate and you are transported back in time 120 years to the 1890s and the life of Victorian railway men."
 
Jim Durkin.

See more of the Swanage Railway in this article.

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Adams T3 class number 563 - Date unknown Photographer unknown.


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