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Discussion: What Engine Comes to Mind When Someone Says "Steam Locomotive"?

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Discussion: What Engine Comes to Mind When Someone Says "Steam Locomotive"?
Posted by Trainman440 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:55 PM

I saw a video today that said The Flying Scottsman was the exact visual people think of when they think of a British steam engine. This made me wonder: What would Americans generally visually imagine when they think of a steam engine?

I was thinking the NYC Hudson; a powerful, large black passenger steam locomotive. That, and also with the NYC hudson being the prototype of the Lionel 700E makes me think its design and look is atleast what I would assume the general public would visualize.

I was also considering the USRA Mikado, being such a common/standard engine, but it had no particular fame in history. The Big Boy also came to mind but it wasent the first thing I would think of if someone mentioned steam engine. 

What do you guys think?

Charles

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 8:05 PM

Trainman440
I was also considering the USRA Mikado

When I hear "steam locomotive", my mind instantly goes to the USRA heavy mikado 2-8-2.

Of course, that is the most common steam locomotive on my roster, so I am quite biased.

-Kevin

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Posted by Shock Control on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 8:20 PM

I think of an 0-6-0 or 0-4-0 shifter with a sloped tender, because of Mantua.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 8:20 PM

Challenger 4-6-6-4 hands down.  She's always been my favorite. 

I got to see the newly restored Union Pacific 3985 come through and stop in Shakopee, Minnesota, September 30th 2008.  I felt like that machine was breathing when I stood next to the Monstrous Beast.

My brother and I ran down the tracks to take photos of her as she left.  Mine was taking as she went by Rahr grain elevators.  One of the few things around that was bigger that day.

 

 

TF

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 8:31 PM

I have 2 steam engines, a Bachmann Spectrum 2-6-0 DCC with sound, and a 4-6-4 Mehano, DC.

The Mehano runs as smooth as the Bachmann.

What I think off when someone mentions steam, is the many guys in here that model steam, and know all about it! 

Mike.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 8:36 PM

 

#4287 Southern Pacific Cab forward, my first ride in a real locomotive for my 14th birthday present.

 

Mel



 
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Posted by Little Timmy on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:05 PM

For me,  the Shay locomotive!!

There's just something about all that " sidewinder" action that fascinates me.

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:15 PM

The Great Northern P2 Mountain.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:43 AM
Gidday Charles, upon seeing the title of this thread, my immediate thought was the NZGR Ja Class, as pictured…
 
DSCF1814 by Bear, on Flickr
 
…but on further reading I see this thread is actually restricted, no doubt unintended, to Americans.
However, like a Bear in a china shop, I’ll continue to blunder on, and though in service also with the NZGR, I give you the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works of New Jersey, K class…
 
K by Bear, on Flickr
 
…to my mind, as pretty as a picture and as American as apple pie!!  
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 3:19 AM

I don't bring a specific locomotive to mind when talking about steam, or when someone else brings it up.  It has to start with a certain characteristic, and then I'll think of typical examples or of extreme examples.  It's not the same as, 'What's your favourite steam locomotive?'

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Posted by Lazers on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:01 AM
USATC S160 Class 2-8-0 Consolidation steam locomotive designed for use in Europe during WW.2
A total of 2,120 were built and they worked on railroads around the world.
 When I first became aware of these locomotives (@1970) just one look at the design of the high Running-plate and Firebox & Ashpan, positioned above the Frames, I realised why American Locomotives were so superior and more powerful and efficient - than British Loco’s.
Plus, the S160 matched our minute Loading Gauge – which is quite an achievement. Thankfully, several examples are preserved in the UK. Paul

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:06 AM

Lazers
 Thankfully, several examples are preserved in the UK. Paul
 

 

A number of  different types of U S A built locomotives are preserved over here.   In fact Manufacturers here are making models of them.   

 

David

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 6:58 AM

While this may be highly personalized:

British: Mallard.  And Cantlie's KZ 4-8-4.

American: J1 Hudson, PRR K4, Niagara.  Recently PRR T1, of course.  I am a 4-8-4 proponent in general, and French 242A1 in particular.  German 05 (and, honorarily although misdesigned, 06).  Japanese C62.

NZR: the Ks.  Funny headlight placement and all.  (I am also a Garratt fan, dangerous though that might be, and a great admirer of the As).

The 2-4-2s are notable for another reason.  Dug out of streams and completely rebuilt.  More reasons why I love NZ.

Oz C36.  (Honorable mention to the latter Garratts (NOT the ASG), the T1 lookalike, and the S-class.)

 

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:28 AM

 Reading T-1 4-8-4's. And the best news of all - R&N test fired 2102 the other day. Under steam, blew the whistle - they they did it twice, once with the 6-chime passenger whistle and once with the original freight hooter whistle (not deep like the N&W steamboat hooters). Only vids I can find are on Facebook so I can't link them. Now all they have to do is finish putting her back together. 

 Also a Reddit thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/trains/comments/kv271h/reading_t1_2102_has_been_testfired_at_reading/

Good look under the hood so to speak, a lot of piping that is normally covered up. Even a relatively basic steam loco with no real fancy extra equipment is pretty complex.

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 10:07 AM

I think of the Civil Way locomotive "The General."  I had the Lionel model on my O-27 layout and loved it.  Plus during the Civil War centennial they rehabbed The General and sent it on a US tour, so there were lots of photos of it in the nightly newspaper.  I had also enjoyed the Disney movie about the Great Locomotive Chase as a boy, and was predisposed to love anything that had Fess Parker in it. 

And the Buster Keaton silent movie is still one of my favorites.  

In the early 1960s a retired railroader in town who went to our church gave me some of his old rail union magazines and one of them had an article about The General that said if you wrote to the Louisville & Nashville they'd send a picture of it.  Even though that magazine was pretty old and outdated, I wrote to the address given and sure enough in a few weeks a large cardboard tube arrived from the L&N's PR department with a beautiful color photo of The General on high gloss photographic paper,  plus a postcard showing the locomotive on tour.  I still have the photo and that postcard.  I think I even still have the cardboard tube!

Dave Nelson

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Posted by DrW on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:26 AM

Overmod

While this may be highly personalized:

British: Mallard.  And Cantlie's KZ 4-8-4.

American: J1 Hudson, PRR K4, Niagara.  Recently PRR T1, of course.  I am a 4-8-4 proponent in general, and French 242A1 in particular.  German 05 (and, honorarily although misdesigned, 06).  Japanese C62.

NZR: the Ks.  Funny headlight placement and all.  (I am also a Garratt fan, dangerous though that might be, and a great admirer of the As).

The 2-4-2s are notable for another reason.  Dug out of streams and completely rebuilt.  More reasons why I love NZ.

Oz C36.  (Honorable mention to the latter Garratts (NOT the ASG), the T1 lookalike, and the S-class.)

For me, it is also Chapelon's 242A1. Brilliant design - just have a look at pages 13 - 14 of the link where they compare it with the NYC S-1b.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55e5ef3fe4b0d3b9ddaa5954/t/55e6373fe4b04afd122b821d/1441150783767/%23+DOMS-1_Chapelon.pdf

 

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:31 AM

Class A4s   (Mallard etc.)   even better with skirts.

 

David

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Posted by Harrison on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:43 AM

The first two things that come to mind are a NYC streamlined Hudson pulling a fast train up the river of the same name, and a D&H 4-8-4 with "Elephant Ears".

Harrison

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:55 AM

In no particular order,

Almost any Mikado...... but USRA versions and B&O Q4's top that list.

Mountians - (4-8-2) - B&O T3's and C&O J2's - Mountains were in many ways the first really successful dual purpose steam locos, and I think helped lead to the development of the super power locos.

Pacifics - the universal passenger loco of the steam era. The B&O P7d & e possibly the finest evolution.

2-8-0's - the single most produced wheel arrangement........

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by dti406 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 12:00 PM

Nickle Plate Berkshire: 2-8-4

 

Rick Jesionowski

 

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 12:12 PM

I think of V&T 4-4-0's.

Probably comes from watching westerns on TV when I was young.

Paul

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:01 PM

I have lots of "favourite" steam locomotives,but no one of them in particular comes to mind at the mention of "steam locomotive".

Wayne

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:53 PM

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Posted by Billwiz on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:58 PM

The Lionel 2026, as that is what my father had

 

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Posted by PM Railfan on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:29 PM

I dunno, someone mentions steam locomotives and i think.....

 

"brimstone on a summers day with a touch of creosote". MMmmmmm

 

PMR

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Posted by Colorado Ray on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:54 PM

SP GS-5 4-8-4 in Daylight colors.

Ray

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Posted by PRR8259 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:03 PM

DM&IR Yellowstones, Giants of Steam (with live sound, actually the very first video my oldest son ever watched, and he watched it over and over again with me).

When someone says steam locomotive, I picture the big ones, the articulateds: all the 2-8-8-4's and the N&W Y class 2-8-8-2's.

John

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Posted by compressorman on Thursday, January 14, 2021 6:34 AM

I love the big guys, favorites are the Challanger and the mighty 4-8-4

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 14, 2021 9:18 AM

Trainman440
I saw a video today that said The Flying Scotsman was the exact visual people think of when they think of a British steam engine.

It occurs to me that some people here might enjoy another reason to think so...

https://www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk/w/images/Flying_Scotsman_locomotive,_cross-section_(WBoR_14ed).jpg

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:19 PM

This does not change the images people have in their brains, but here are some rough production numbers for North American steam by wheel arrangement.

2-8-0      30,000

4-4-0      25,000

0-6-0      15,000

2-8-2      14,000

2-6-0      11,000

4-6-2        6,800

2-10-0      4,100

4-8-2        2,400

2-10-2      2,200

Not too many "famous" locos with those wheel arrangements so far.

4-4-2        1,900

4-8-4        1,000

4-6-4           500

2-8-4           450

And only one wheel arrangement of articulated locos exceeded 1000 examples, nearly half the list did not exceed 100 examples:

2-6-6-2     1,300

2-8-8-2        720

2-8-8-0        425

4-8-8-2        204

4-6-6-4        200

2-8-8-4          72

2-6-6-6          70

2-6-6-4          65

4-8-8-4          25

So do you want to model "flashy and rare" or "worked hard every day"?

I choose more of the later and fewer of the former, and that is what I think of when you say "steam locomotive".

Sheldon

 

    

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