Their Motives were just plain Loco
March 7, 2014 7:38 AM   Subscribe

If you've time to spare, the Unusual Locomotives page is a good index for your perusal.

The individual pages are often chock-full of readable technical details and are categorized in logical groups, making the site a great resource for scholars of the Age of Steam's less (ahem) successful and thought-out endeavors.

A few highlights:

The Zoelly Swiss Turbine Locomotive of 1919

The Fontaine Fiasco

The Hush-Hush 10000 of 1929
posted by pjern (12 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

All locomotives more than 18 years old. Proof on file in pursuance of Title 18, USC2257
Nice touch.
posted by brokkr at 7:47 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]

I love the futurist-influenced design of the Hush-Hush, even if it didn't perform. Also - anyone want to join me in my new, highly dangerous, pastime?
posted by Think_Long at 7:54 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]

I'm here for the monorails.
posted by colie at 8:00 AM on March 7

Interesting about the Hush-Hush. I've always wondered why locomotives weren't built with water-tube boilers rather than fire-tube ones, since the former would seem to reduce maintenance demands (and explosion risk) tremendously by reducing the surface actually exposed to steam pressure. Naval and stationary boilers switched over to water tubes long before the end of the steam locomotive era; as far as I know, trains were the last instance of fire tube boilers in wide use.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:48 AM on March 7

Self's Museum of Retro Technology is fucking amazing, and seems to have been constantly growing for years now. It's a great place to waste some time.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:10 AM on March 7

Doctor Yellow
posted by gen at 9:28 AM on March 7

gen: "Doctor Yellow"

My children have a Doctor Yellow toy train and it is the NUMBER ONE THING THEY ARGUE ABOUT. Next relative to visit Tokyo must bring home TWO Doctors Yellow.

They are literally arguing about it as I type this comment.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:56 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]

Not enough jet engines.
posted by ckape at 10:29 AM on March 7

I just shared this with Mr. Roquette, he loves trains!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:58 AM on March 7

I've always wondered why locomotives weren't built with water-tube boilers rather than fire-tube ones

It has to do with firing rate vs. steam demand vs. physical plant size. You are less limited by physical size in marine and stationary applications. The volume of steam required versus the physical size, basically. A firetube boiler produces more volume of steam in a smaller space.
posted by pjern at 11:40 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]

Cool, thanks!
posted by carter at 12:30 PM on March 7

What, no Bennie Railplane?
posted by scruss at 3:27 PM on March 7

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