by Emmett Smith
These particular YouTube video links are only a small sample of what you will find when you get there and start searching the sidebar menus.
As far as I am concerned, these locomotives, together with Belgian horses, children and cats, and meadowlarks, is what America is all about — with a few old Rumley Oil Pull and John Deere tractors thrown in for good measure — and apart from the occasional gardener snake or salamander, everything else is just scenery, or else it is outright lies….
1) This first link is to a “Pentrex” Big Boy collection promotional video, the running smoke action is especially evocative, and there is a very plain shot of the articulated front pilot of one of the engines, on the move:
2) Here is some unusual 8 mm home movie footage, from fifty-six years ago. It is aboard the passenger run from Denver to Cheyenne on the Union Pacific, June, 1953:
3) Star billing is saved for last! “Wheels Of Steel” is the title of the third selection, with introductory background on western pioneer railroading history, and then actual footage of the Big Boy and Challenger locomotives at the end of the first
steam age. This video shows especially fine details such as sanding the fire tubes to prevent soot buildup while underway in the one Challenger locomotive still running, and several clear side views of rods, drivers and Walschaert valve gear, all in operation at close to eighty miles per hour:
[Emmett Smith all text-rights reserved 23 December 2008]