Thursday, 5 February 2009

Steamy Thoughts.

No, not those sort of steamy thoughts................

Pulling the "Peppercorn Pioneer", Feb 1st 2009
(See YouTube at end of post. Worth watching just for the whistle!)

As my blog's name might suggest, I'm a 'tinkering with the greasy bits' sort of person. If it's mechanical, I want to figure out how it works and why, and what for. I admit I'm a bit less enthusiastic these days for lying under a vehicle in freezing rain, changing the differential gears. These days I like it to be indoors and I want, at the very least, an old bit of carpet between me and the concrete.

"Soubriquet decided to install a rotary spit in the new kitchen. So far so good, now he has to catch a giant hamster to power it."

Oh the stories I could tell of remote repairs, far from the madding crowd, a snapped off gearlever, and eighty miles to go...
Remedy? take the top off the gearbox, the tunnel cover out, and shove the selector forks with a screwdriver...............
What fun we had. Actually, gearboxes is a bit of a sore point. When my beloved was over, last summer, we were out for the day, had just negotiated some rocky tracks, and had returned to smooth roads when BANG!... Gearbox fail.

Well, I could engage first and fourth, so we got home, albeit a bit lumpily, with a stink of hot atf, and the occasional loud bang as a drifting fragment was caught up and spat out again. Rebuilding the box was not an option. Sharp things had been propelled about so often and explosively that everything in there was a mess. Luckily a friend had a spare LT77 box, and I paid to get it fitted, because I was lazy.

All this preamble is really to introduce my love of the National Railway Museum at York.
(York is about twenty five miles from home).

Holder of the world speed record for a steam train, 126 miles per hour in 1938, pulling six coaches and a dynanometer car, STILL the world record holder seventy years later.

You see, I suggested, jestingly, to her that I could take her to the rail museum. Imagine my surprise when she said "Yes please! I love trains". I checked carefully. After all, we men are used to being humoured, or tolerated... No, it really was true. She wanted to visit the rail museum. So we did.
And what fun it was. -You just wait, I'm going to buy her her own toolbox, she wants an old red pickup truck, I don't think painting my old Land Rover red will suffice.
So trains...

Japanese Shinkansen "Bullet-Train"

The Model collection at NRM is amazing.

A newly built A1 Pacific, Peppercorn class express loco, completed 2008.

Agenoria is the oldest preserved railway engine in the world.

The same company built another loco just like Agenoria, in 1829, it was called
The Stourbridge Lion, could pull eighty tons at five miles per hour.....
It was the first ever railway locomotive to run in the new United States of America.

Built in Britain, for the Canton-Hankow Railway, 1935.

Sorry about the blur

Argh Look at the time! Bedtime! work tomorrow. I'll add to these later.


  1. Mmmm, that museum would be at the top of my list too!

  2. Is that Tornado a steam train? Damn that thing's got legs! The train, I mean. Err, also the train. That's what I mean. Hiya Soub!

  3. i wondered which thief stole all my train pics from my blog ... hmmm ... apparently it isn't just gears that you enjoy tinkering with ...

    A.N. Mousey

  4. I have been enjoying the loco pictures for several days now and I just realized I never commented to thank you for going to all this trouble. I really REALLY appreciate that you carried through with your threat to do a steam post. Two, no less. So fabulous, these pictures.

  5. Gary, It's a great museum, so much to see!
    Dave M.G., Oh yes, I love that Tornado. Makes a great sound, so far it's been keeping the speed down, 77mph on that run, but in a few months time it's going for the record, maybe they'll take it to 130 mph...
    The other photo subject has legs too. Long ones....
    A. Nonn-Nee-Mouse, You'll note all the good pictures are mine. The rest I blame on you.
    And because bloggers never lie, everyone will believe me. Even if I'm not telling the truth.
    Relaxed Max, Thank you. A bit of encouragement is always welcomed. I should have taken a few pictures of the silver service from the first-class dining cars.
    There's a whole warehouse of exhibits still crated, or partially displayed with that sort of thing, the sort of silver and porcelain Agatha Christie's characters might have dined from, in a Pullman car.
    Also, in the Station Hall, there are the Royal Trains... Which are fascinating too, to see how Queen Victoria travelled. The Edwardian is my favourite, like a leather clad gentleman's club. I'll bet Lord Likely has cheated at cards in that saloon.


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