Steam Locomotives

I used to be very uncomfortable around trains. Oh, all right, I was down right scared of them. My grandmother was hurt in a derailment back in 1970, and although I wasn’t even born at the time, I remember hearing stories.

When Topeka began celebrating the railroad every year, I would admire the different locomotives from a far. To me they were dangerous, and I wouldn’t even step foot on a stationary train. I regret allowing my fear to control my curiousity.

It wasn’t until I began Cherish Me that really began to fall for these giant beauties. They are so magnificent and proud. About a year ago, the girls and I went to the Kansas Museum of History. One of their permanent displays is what is known as The Holliday. It was the closest I had ever gotten to a train.

Over Memorial Weekend, Little Annie Oakley and I got the chance to ride on one of ATSF’s (Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe)later models, the 3415.

If I remember correctly, I believe the conductor said that the 3415 took its first voyage in 1919, over fifty years after my story takes place. For some reason, I think the experience would be very similar, although 3415 is much larger than The Holliday.

So, when you go into an experience with an eye to research you try to encompass all of your senses.

I can’t say that there was a distinctive smell beyond the normal smell of hot roadways. There may have been a slight charcoal smell, but it was not overwhelming. I’ve given you some visuals of the train itself. Now let’s look at some outside the train while in motion.

Little Annie Oakley will probably kill me for posting this one.

puff, Puff, PUFF

Fields of Gold? Not quite. Give it another month and it’ll look like gold silk rolling in gentle waves.
Watch my corn pop up in rows…
I don’t even want to know what is going through your head right now. I can only imagine. I want to show you something though. I hate posting pictures of myself but for the sake of sharing my research I will. See this 1903 dining car? See how closed in it is, all nice and cozy? We didnt’ actually go inside, I glanced and noticed they had restaurant style seating. It looked comfy, but since it was hot outside and the dining windows were dinky. I didn’t argue when Little Annie Oakley suggested we sit in one of the open cars.
I will say it was nice and cool with the breeze blowing when we were in motion. As you can see we had a good time.
Even with a bit of embarassment. See the tiny black dot? Yes? No? Maybe?
Now? I’ll tell you, that ain’t mascara. 🙂
I’ve uploaded videos to my Youtube. I’m posting one here. I’ll post a few more over the weekend too, so that you get an idea of all the sights and sounds.

10 responses to “Steam Locomotives”

  1. Cool pics and cool experience! Both Little Annie Oakley and her mom are beautiful! 🙂

    Ain't nothin' like first-hand research, is there?

  2. Totally cool!

    So does the engine really build up that much pressure as it's first starting up? It almost looked they they were trying to move the train with the pressure of the steam coming out.

  3. You know, Alice, I didn't go up into the engineer's box, although we could have. I'm sure there was some sort of valve they were pumping to release the steam to build it back up. It was really cool to be there, and let me tell you it was much louder in person than on video.

  4. It's funny, because I feel like I know a bit about steam trains when I don't recall ever being around a real one – as opposed to movies or amusement park rides.

  5. Great Pics. Love little Annie Oakley's hair! Who does she get it from?

    Tks for the train video, I love trains, it's my preferred mode of transport, certainly way better than planes. 😉

  6. Ana, it's a long running debate in our family about where LAC gets her hair from. My mother has ringlets but not as tight as LAC's, and dh had that color of red in his beard. But there's a lot more red tendencies in the genes on my side.

  7. This was great! I love all the pics you posted. Years ago during a trip to Colorado I got to ride a train like this — it was so much fun, and informative — now I need to dig out the pictures!

    You and Little Annie Oakley are adorable — what a great research team!

  8. Donna, thank you for stopping by. She the youngest of four and the only one I can get by with dragging to places, but she had so much fun.

    Thank you for the compliments!

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