The limits of adhesion
October 30, 2010 10:53 PM   Subscribe

The Hunter Valley Steamfest in New South Wales, Australia holds a Great Steam Train race every so often.

In 2010, it was particularly spectacular, with not two, but three evenly matched train sets taking the challenge. Watch it from the footplate of the locomotive on the center track, or from the point of view of a passenger on one of the trains.
posted by pjern (7 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Nice. Seeing the three of them come around the corner like that is pretty great.
posted by Artw at 11:10 PM on October 30, 2010

OMG! Me want. Too cool.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:43 PM on October 30, 2010

I am now in a good mood
posted by the noob at 12:50 AM on October 31, 2010

Wow! My son would give my left nut to be there. I'll bet the kid is crying at the end because of the tremendous sound, but because of the cinders pouring out of those smokestacks. The last time I was that close to a steam engine ("johki-kikansha" in Japanese) when they were pouring on a lot of coal, I got an eyeful of cinders, and so did my kid.
posted by planetkyoto at 1:23 AM on October 31, 2010

posted by rmmcclay at 9:18 AM on October 31, 2010

I read that "Harper Valley Steamfest" and I got all excited thinking about a Barbara Eden tribute festival. This is better, if less prurient. I can always Google Barbara Eden.

planetkyoto, I heard the same thing - the kid bawling after the trains passed. I was almost coughing myself, and my eyes reflexively squinted as the smoke cloud swirled around my computer monitor. That was cool.

Train racing used to be pretty dangerous, from what i recall (from reading, folks, not personal experience :P). Pushing the boilers to their limits, and the risk of derailing have some serious consequences.
posted by Xoebe at 9:25 AM on October 31, 2010

For some reason, I'm reminded of what my cousin said when he bought an Austin Healey Sprite: "It's not very fast, but it handles like it's on rails."
posted by Relay at 10:48 AM on October 31, 2010

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