Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Steam Locomotive

Hello again! Here is a video about the American Railroads and the Steam Locomotive during the 1930's, made in 1938. As always, I will add a brief summary of the video after it. I hope you enjoy it!

Back then, and even nowadays, the trains, or "iron horses", were the biggest things that moved on land, and represented a great importance in economy and life that could never be underestimated. The different railroads tied the country together and server as transport, communication, and multiple other uses. The trains represented mass action because they were big enough to transport lots of persons and goods. It helped industries function correctly and in harmony, it brought the daily food of every american family and took them on trips for business and pleasure. The locomotives built the America we know today.

Probably the most famous Locomotive in the world was the "Giant Hudson" type, developed by the New York Central in 1927. No other locomotive had been as efficient and loved by the people as the "Giant Hudson."

By the time, the steam locomotive was one of the most compact power-plants in the world. They cost nearly 200 000 dollars. Since James Watt discovered the power of Steam, it has been serving mankind, and it is the prime mover of the Locomotive. The largest part of the engine is the boiler, which looks like a big tank. It is where water is turned into steam by a hot fire. Water is absorbed by the tubes and turns into steam in enormous quantities. The mechanic energy is made by connecting different cylinders, tubes, pistons and wheels. It's the result of 100 years of research and experimentation.

When steam enters the cylinders, the pistons pull, and when it leaves, the pistons push, and then the pistons are connected to rods. The pulling and pushing of the pistons also moves the rods, which make the wheels turn. Although this mechanism makes the machine work, there are other accessories that make it more safe and efficient, like the whistle and the bell that are used for communication. There is also an specific generator for the headlight. Also, the brakes are iron parts behind the wheels. The tender is behind the engine, carrying what the train needs to function properly. 

Engines are normally clean before they enter the engine house. Also, when they arrive, water is tested to check if the proportion isn't too high and if it is able to make good steam. if not, the water has to be changed with new, fresh water. The main part of servicing takes part in the Engine House. While the engine is still warm, the men enter to do the checking, which has to be done carefully. Machinery inspectors check the mechanical parts with touch, hearing and sight. During most of its stay in the engine house, the locomotive is being inspected and taken care after. No delays must be tolerated unless under special circumstances. Still, it is sometimes necessary to make various repairs. The process is finished with lubrication, which includes several kinds of oils and greases. 

After they go out, they are filled with about 30 tons of coal and treated water, they cost millions of dollars a year. There must not be lack of any of these because that would  generate lack of steam, which slows the scheduled pace of the train. Trains must always be on time for America to continue its activities.

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