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Last, best chance for railroad steam locomotives

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 9:03 AM

Flintlock76

Well, God rest his noble soul!

Maestro  Porta didn't see "left," and he didn't see "right," he only saw steam and the best ways to keep it alive, no matter who used it.  One has to admire him for that.

A steam locomotive's like a big friendly dog, it's apolitical.   

 

 

Well yes and no.

 

Would a person "flame" me for suggesting that both South Africa in the era of the Red Devil along with Cuba at the time of the Prometheous project were pariah nation states in that both were subject to economic sanctions?

That in a free-and-open-trade situation, diesels are what people use, but if your country isn't free to trade with other countries, for whatever reason, steam is considered?

As Overmod suggested, it appears that for steam to reemerge in one of these pariah countries, there has to be a confluence of this status along with the sanctions not driving the country in question so far backward that it cannot find people to fabricate a boiler?

In the Red Devil, Wardale chronicles experience in three cultures of countries with some level of pariah status.  The U.S. could be considered in this category because the early 70's and early 80's "oil shocks" could be considered non-free markets in oil where other countries were sanctioning the U.S.?

In South Africa, Wardale, with some exceptions, found a "can do" spirit among the train crews and shop workers although the higher-ups were "passive aggressive" on retaining steam.  In the U.S., the effort was largely mired in Vu-Graphs and meetings and never cut any metal -- HSR is encountering the same problems here in the 21st century.  In China, they had emerged from the Maoist days just long enough to bring in Wardale but not long enough to get past the culture living under a Marxist-Leninist regime of "just do enough to get by and do no more to not call attention to oneself and get into serious trouble."  Once China developed whatever kind of economic system you call it that they have these days, where there are no economic or political constraints on trading with other countries, they no longer feel the need for steam locomotives?

I got it.  The last frontier for a steam revival is -- North Korea?

 

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 10:27 AM

Paul Milenkovic
Would a person "flame" me for suggesting that both South Africa in the era of the Red Devil along with Cuba at the time of the Prometheous project were pariah nation states in that both were subject to economic sanctions?

Pariah nations?  Certainly South Africa at the time, but Cuba was a little different.  Only the United States had an embargo on Cuba, Cuba could trade with any other nation they wanted to, and vice versa.  

I've seen this on and off in the past, blaming the big bad US for Cuba's economic woes.  Sorry, their economic problems weren't our fault, they were THEIR fault. 

Communism doesn't work.  Even the CCP figured that out.

What kind of political/economic system does China have now?  In an odd way it makes me think of Fascist Italy, a capitalist economic system under the rigid control of a dictatorship.  

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Posted by Sara T on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 7:31 PM

I have been asked to reconsider my posting, I may have taken a few things

Paul wrote too hard. So I deleted it.

Sara the one and only 05003

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Thursday, March 25, 2021 3:14 PM

I started this thread with the idea that bringing back steam locomotives to do useful work was a good thing.  I brought up the Prometheus project in Cuba as having had possibilities.  Instead of "going big", this project "went small", and a small high-tech steam locomotive may have a better chance of succeeding.  For starters, smaller things are less costly to build than big things.

The word pariah means an "outcast" or a person who is "despised and avoided."  If you are a pariah, that does not mean that you are a bad person.  It means that there are people, who for whatever reason, don't want to associate with you.

OK, I "get" that the only country "shunning" Cuba and its people is the United States?

Blame it on the U.S., blame it on Communism, blame it on the fall of Communism, blame it on past neo-colonialism, blame it on the weather, Cuba is not a powerful and wealthy country.  I suggested that the need for Cuba to engage in self-reliance rather than just importing diesel locomotives and diesel fuel like everyone else could have been a catalyst for the reemergence of a steam locomotive others would want.

This business of having every word parsed and every idea questioned is simply getting out of control.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, March 25, 2021 4:20 PM

Paul Milenkovic
Cuba is not a powerful and wealthy country.  I suggested that the need for Cuba to engage in self-reliance rather than just importing diesel locomotives and diesel fuel like everyone else could have been a catalyst for the reemergence of a steam locomotive others would want.

And it would have made a lot of sense for them.  The beauty of a steam locomotive is as long as you've got something to burn in the firebox you've got power.  In Cuba's case all that bagasse  from the sugar cane fields.  The Filipinos burned bagasse  in their steamers too. 

If you don't have coal or oil you burn what you've got. 

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Posted by selector on Thursday, March 25, 2021 5:31 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
 

...If you don't have coal or oil you burn what you've got. 

 

As those Spanish speakers would say, "Quando hay hambre, no hay pan duro."

 

When one is hungry, there's no hard bread.

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Posted by Sara T on Saturday, March 27, 2021 3:18 PM

>>As those Spanish speakers would say, "Quando hay hambre, no hay pan duro."<<

Oh, yes, ohhh yes!

Sara

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