by Emmett Smith
The reason steam locomotives appeal to so many people of our Baby Boom generation is that they bring to life again the child we all were once upon a time. Steam locomotives more than maybe any other “adult” thing actually LOOK like fullsize toys.
In fact they still do! This Pennsylvania Railroad Q2 locomotive is so “fullsize” that it is just plain huge — over a million pounds! — but it also EQUALLY obviously is a couple of paint cans taped end-to-end and wired to a pair of roller skates, also end-to-end…and maybe a flashlight taped on top. That’s the way the world was when I was a little boy, and steam locomotives were more than good for my imagination, anyway.
[Emmett R Smith all text-rights reserved 4 June 2009]