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Old 09-20-2019, 06:00 AM   #1
Czubek
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Thumbs up Meet the Man at the Controls of the World’s Largest Steam Locomotive

https://www.atlasobscura.com/article...prmzSY5UU_sMpA

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There’s no doubt about it. Ed Dickens is a rockstar. Dickens is a steam locomotive engineer and mechanic who maintains the Union Pacific Railroad’s historic steam and diesel fleet, which now includes the world’s largest steam locomotive, known to train buffs around the world as “Big Boy.” And everywhere that Dickens goes—and he’s going all over—train fans let him hear it.
There's no doubt about it, being at the controls of a million pounds of articulated steam locomotive would be an absolute thrill that would never get boring.

My family was all railroad, up to both my grandfathers. One was a master steam engine mechanic and the other a RR cop and both had lots of great stories.

Brian
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:06 AM   #2
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Very cool!!
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:20 AM   #3
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My family was all railroad, up to both my grandfathers. One was a master steam engine mechanic and the other a RR cop and both had lots of great stories.

Brian
My grandpa was an engineer. He started out on steam engines and saw the transition to diesel electric.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:31 AM   #4
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My great grandfather was a train engineer for the Trenton railroad, my father was named after him and he inherited his most prized possession his pocket watch. Grand mom said he would be gone usually 2 or 3 days at a time, then when he got hit back he would go drinking and would send the kids down to the yard to steal coal off the cars to heat the house. My great grandma was alive when I was young, she always said he was a bastard who left her to raise loads of kids mostly on her own while he worked and then would come home and do as he pleased.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:42 AM   #5
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That story brought a 'tear' to my old eyes; when two of my grandsons were born and growing up, they and their parents lived with me, one of the sacrifices was the dining room table in the main dining room; it became an HO railroad...and one of the engines we bought was a "Big Boy" that was hand made in Germany...impressive even on the dinner table...yes, we preserved the whole thing though the house/home is long gone...maybe it'll go together and run again like the story about the real Big Boy, supra.

When I was little, the first trip away from home was on a steam locomotive pulled train whose passenger cars were built in the 1880's...always prayed deep down that when we were boarding the engines wouldn't be facing into the station...they would vent steam and to my little mind it was equal to a fire breathing dragon. Folks used to send the kids out onto the tracks to find chunks of coal that fell off the trains; the 'great' depression years were like that...and this was how many homes were heated; now, bring me an environmentalist/climate change asshole...to kill and eat for dinner!
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:48 AM   #6
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My grandpa was an engineer. He started out on steam engines and saw the transition to diesel electric.
I bet he's had stories to tell, also. I have a couple of folks I know that are engineers for UP. That's definitely a job you don't just step in to. I have the utmost respect for them.

They retired my one grandfather when the diesel electrics came on line, as the steam mechanics/machinists were just not needed and training them on something that new and so different would be expensive and tough for the older guys. So he went to work at Cherry Rivet as a master machinist in their tool and die department, making double the money for less than half the work. He started with the RR as a "boiler monkey", or whatever they called them. He was a little guy that could fit in the fire boxes to mark steam leaks while they were still hot enough, so the welders could fix them.

Brian
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:41 AM   #7
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The Big Boy is BIG .
A great restored piece of American History.
This is Gordon from Thomas The Tank Engine.



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Old 09-20-2019, 10:53 AM   #8
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My great grandfather worked a for a few years on the BZ&C, which became the OR&W railroad. It was a narrow gauge railroad that wound around the hills a few miles from me.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:04 AM   #9
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My town was a major B&O maint facility.
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czubek View Post
There's no doubt about it, being at the controls of a million pounds of articulated steam locomotive would be an absolute thrill that would never get boring.

My family was all railroad, up to both my grandfathers. One was a master steam engine mechanic and the other a RR cop and both had lots of great stories.

Brian
Good stuff


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Old 09-20-2019, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
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My grandpa was an engineer. He started out on steam engines and saw the transition to diesel electric.
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDOAK View Post
My great grandfather worked a for a few years on the BZ&C, which became the OR&W railroad. It was a narrow gauge railroad that wound around the hills a few miles from me.
I saw my first Diesel Locomotive while crossing the Mississippi River from TN to Arkansas and must have been about 7...it might as well have been a space ship...didn't know what I was looking at but it didn't belch steam and was so clean and streamlined...compared to coal burning steam that is.
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel 88888888 View Post
I saw my first Diesel Locomotive while crossing the Mississippi River from TN to Arkansas and must have been about 7...it might as well have been a space ship...didn't know what I was looking at but it didn't belch steam and was so clean and streamlined...compared to coal burning steam that is.




Big Boy and , of course , Gordon from
Thomas The Tank Engine



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Old 09-20-2019, 04:30 PM   #14
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I've always had an interest in railroads, steam engines, round houses and the like. I built a gigantic HO model railroad on (4) 4x8 sheets of plywood. I spent countless hrs making mountains, tunnels, laying track. building little cities, cars & people, fake static grass, bushes & trees, etc.

It's still interesting to me.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:41 PM   #15
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I originally misread the post from Merc. Yeah - the blue engine ain't Thomas.

Thomas would have looked something like this in real life.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LB%26S...side_tanks.jpg
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