Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Railroad Museum

On my way to Salem, OR last Sunday, I stopped in Sacramento at the California State Railroad Museum. They have an impressive collection of early steam engines that look like they just came off the assembly line.

The engineer of the above engine is looking good.

The following picture is of the only remaining Southern Pacific Cab Forward. As I stood next to it, I could almost feel the heat being radiated from the fire box. I could hear the rhythmic pules of the water pump and heard the bell ringing. I glanced up at the smoke box where the air pumps were mounted and saw steam leaking from the pump seals as the pressure rose. 

 Suddenly, I found myself sitting in the engineer's seat of 4294. The steam pressure gauge read 250 lbs. and I knew she was ready to roll. I slipped my sweaty hand onto the throttle. Through the front window I could see that the track was clear and the conductor was giving me the high-ball. I just had to do it... I pulled that throttle open just a little and I felt the mighty engine surge forward.

Thick black smoke filled the room as the engine made its way down the track to exit the building onto the awaiting turn table.