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Congratulations! It's a locomotive!
August 17, 2008 9:23 PM   Subscribe

Following up to this post, the people at the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust recently completed their 18-year project to build a new steam locomotive. Congratulations are in order.
posted by pjern (32 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's one fucking awesome machine.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:06 PM on August 17, 2008


Not exactly a Really Useful Engine, but still pretty cool.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:20 PM on August 17, 2008


Love is the only engine of survival.

But that's not to say that this isn't a damn fine steam locomotive, and indeed, congratulations are in order!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:59 PM on August 17, 2008


coolies.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 12:42 AM on August 18, 2008


Seeing all of that smoke billowing out of the smokestack... everyone thinks that this little bit won't hurt and everyone else is doing it so what's a little bit more.
posted by three blind mice at 12:51 AM on August 18, 2008


Tremendous!

I wonder if the modern electronics have bits of brass glued on and old typewriter keys for buttons...
posted by maxwelton at 1:48 AM on August 18, 2008


They're trying to raise 66,000 pounds now for 'tests and trials'. I thought that was a pretty staggering figure, but then when I read further, they've raised and spent about 3 million pounds on it so far, so another 66K is no big deal. :)

What a huge chunk of your life to put into something. They've been working on that for 18 years. That's not so much "a project" as it is raising an iron child.
posted by Malor at 5:16 AM on August 18, 2008


Finally, Steampunk you won't be afraid to tell your friends you like.
posted by tommasz at 6:09 AM on August 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Did anyone come across info on the fuel? Is this thing coal or diesel or what?
posted by Mister_A at 7:21 AM on August 18, 2008


Also, teh video is no worky.
posted by Mister_A at 7:23 AM on August 18, 2008


> Did anyone come across info on the fuel? Is this thing coal or diesel or what?

The Trust site's Design page discusses the train's capacity of coal storage. 7-1/2 tons gets you just 300 miles, but that's pulling a bunch of passengers.
posted by sdodd at 7:52 AM on August 18, 2008


Video seems fine from here, Mister_A.
posted by pjern at 8:55 AM on August 18, 2008


The range limiting factor in steam locomotives tends to be water capacity. One of the changes they made to the original design was to increase the water-carrying capacity at the expense of coal space in the tender.
posted by pjern at 8:57 AM on August 18, 2008


Interesting. The in-line or embedded player, whatever it's called, doesn't work, but when I go to Youtube site it works just fine. Could this be related to the fact that it's UK YouTube?
posted by Mister_A at 9:09 AM on August 18, 2008


Wow. Nicely done!

I wonder if attempting to build a steam trains from scratch from an entirely new design, utilising any modern materials, technologies or production techniques that have come along since the days of steam would be an interesting or useful project.
posted by Artw at 9:16 AM on August 18, 2008


I saw this on the news the other day and was suitably impressed by it (perhaps all British males just have a thing for steam trains as a repressed racial memory)

Finally, Steampunk you won't be afraid to tell your friends you like.


Oh yes, I'd love to see Tornado cruse this beneath its mighty wheels of steel
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:36 AM on August 18, 2008


Infernokrushed, even.
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on August 18, 2008


> One of the changes they made to the original design was to increase the water-carrying capacity at the expense of coal space in the tender.

Yep. It makes sense, because they had to remove the water scoop. As originally designed, the tender held more range in coal than range in water, but the scoop allowed a railroad equivalent of "in-flight refueling" -- a section of special track contained a track pan, basically a trough full of water between the rails. The tender could drop a scoop down into it, at speed, and pick up water without stopping. I've been told it was pretty spectacular to see in operation. (And wet, if you were too close.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:48 AM on August 18, 2008


Wow, I would love to see that water scoop in action.
posted by Mister_A at 10:07 AM on August 18, 2008


Wow, I would love to see that water scoop in action.

Youtube really does have everything...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:22 AM on August 18, 2008


See also: Kinetic Steam Works
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:53 AM on August 18, 2008


Thank God we've finally found a way to continue burning fossil fuels for transportation purposes once all the oil runs out!
posted by mightygodking at 5:06 PM on August 18, 2008


Maybe it can be made to run on snarky killjoys.
posted by Artw at 5:25 PM on August 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Maybe it can be made to run on snarky killjoys.

Hah! That'd be one damn locomotive that'd run forever!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:11 PM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I could imagine that once oil fuels become too expensive some amount of motive force will come from coal fueled vehicles, I don't know if that necessarily means steam driven though. The problem is of course that coal is a solid and you can't burn it in the closed piston cylinder of the internal combustion engine. Perhaps other methods exist? Powerplants convert coal to dust before it is blown into the furnace, and maybe a similar thing can be done on a smaller scale? I'd imagine it would be far more complicated than burning gasoline though.
posted by Catfry at 7:06 AM on August 19, 2008


Maybe we can just throw hot lumps of plutonium into a steam engine?
posted by Artw at 8:17 AM on August 19, 2008


Wasn't there some insane US army experiment with a nuclear powered train back in the sixties? If so it was probably more like a nuclear sub with a small reactor coupled to a gas turbine.
posted by Catfry at 1:28 PM on August 19, 2008


...which would be AWESOME.

Not as awesome as a nuclear ramjet though.
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on August 19, 2008


I think I dreamt the nuke train, can't find anything. A fission ramjet will do just fine though. Strap one on the back of whatever you choose and whatch 'er go!
posted by Catfry at 2:06 PM on August 19, 2008


I've got memories of seeing something on a nuclear powered train too... was it the Sovs?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:30 PM on August 19, 2008


Nuclear Soviet Train? Sure you don't mean this?
posted by dunkadunc at 9:00 PM on August 19, 2008


Nuclear Soviet Train? Sure you don't mean this?

Ah, that could have been it... while googling it I found a note that the TGV is a nuclear powered train as all the electricity used to power it is from nuclear power stations... but that seems like cheating somehow.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:10 AM on August 20, 2008


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