Railroads of America - Keeping the Memory Alive
As Mr. Prather has become a good friend over the years and railroads have such a rich history in America, I thought it would be appropriate to share his write up on Railroads of America and let him know how thankful we are that he shares his memories with all of us. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our USA friends! And to everyone around the world, thank you for choosing Cobble Hill and for enjoying Mr. Prather's stories along with us!
Over the years I have done a lot of research on these type locomotives and have had the pleasure of riding in ten.
The locomotives displayed in the picture are a great representation of the many different sizes and ages of steam locomotives. The steam locomotives that were used to transport passengers had a five-man crew. The engineer, two brakemen, a conductor, and a fireman. Steam locomotives made it possible for people to travel a long distance in a short amount of time.
Steam engines required a lot of maintenance and crew changes. Many of the railroad companies built houses near some of the train depots where the steam engine crews could live. This allowed the trains carrying freight to be in operation twenty-four hours a day using fresh crews along the way. I once visited one of these crew houses in Spring Texas.
It can be argued that the invention of the steam locomotive is as revolutionary as the invention of flight; the steam engine locomotive moved over greater distances at a higher, consistent speed during that time. It was a revolution like nothing the world had previously experienced.
As information, one of the largest steam engines ever built was Union Pacific’s Big Boy X4006. This Big Boy steam locomotive is one of twenty-five that Union Pacific had built. This steam locomotive travelled one million, thirty-one thousand, two hundred and five miles during its 20 years in service. Union Pacific’s Big Boy X4006 is now located in the Museum of Transportation in Saint Louis, Missouri. I have taken the liberty of adding a picture I took of this special locomotive to this puzzle write up (see picture below).