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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: Floating Japanese L-Zero magnetic levitation test train hits 310 mph (127 comments)

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  •  Drove a Mikado once (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, LinSea, Meteor Blades, MTmofo, OLinda, exlrrp

    I was 14, the only Boy Scout in SE Alaska to ever earn the Railroading Merit Badge.  The brakeman was my scoutmaster, the fireman and engineer were neighbors.  They conspired with the conductor of a White Pass & Yukon train in Skagway to let me ride in the cab from the Skagway dock to the roundhouse at the Skagway railroad shops.

    But when I got in the cab, the engineer told me to grab the whistle pull and give the correct signal for the train to start.  I did.

    Then he said "Grab that throttle and shove it forward".  I unbelievingly said "Do what?" and he said "Grab that throttle.  Don't you want to drive this train?"

    I said "Uhhh, yeah!", shoved the throttle open, and felt the steam flow through to the real throttle that controlled the steam to the drive cylinders.  I felt the pistons start to move, and the wheels grinding on the rails, through my feet. slowly.

    We only went about a mile and a quarter, and never got above 10 mph, but it was a thrill of a lifetime, one I will never forget.  Driving a Baldwin steam locomotive is an experience like no other.

    The White Pass & Yukon, now strictly a tourist narrow gauge railroad, still runs steam trains, including No. 73, the engine that I drove.  Unfortunately, some of their Mikados were sold to Dollywood sometime in the 1980s.

    "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die" --- Albert King

    by HarpboyAK on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:10:23 PM PDT

    •  Green, that's my color right now, and it has... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda, exlrrp, JeffW

      ...nothing to do with environmentalism, it's pure envy. ;)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:19:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Green Is the Color (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs, "Green Is the Colour":

        Heavy hung the canopy of blue

        Shade my eyes and I can see you

        White is the light that shines through the dress that you wore

        She lay in the shadow of the wave

        Hazy were the visions of her playing

        Sunlight on her eyes but moonshine made her cry every time

        Green is the colour of her kind

        Quickness of the eye deceives the mind

        Envy is the bond between the hopeful and the damned

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:06:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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