Why ? - myLargescale.com > Community > Forums


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-01-2020, 01:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 103
Default Why ?

Following on fromFHPB post a few days ago on chuff pipes (standard Equipment post) got me thinking it is more than just noise we want doing live steam so here are my thoughts and let me know what you get out of live steam.
So why do I do live steam?
To me even a simple live steamer spluttering along evokes more sights, sounds and smells to stimulate all the senses and trigger nostalgia far more than any electric replica can. I know indoor modellers like to exactly replicate scale scenery of the real thing. It’s visually very good and often exacting like a photo, but not quite real, that’s where the garden bit comes in.

I know outdoors the plants are large 1:1 scale but the fact that they are real along with real sunlight and shade, real outdoor sounds mixed with real steam, smells and the proper ‘clickety-clack’ sounds makes my “mind” ignore the scale scenery difference of the visual surroundings and focus on the live steam train, particularly the engine, with all my senses of sight, smell, touch and sound.

I have a favourite spot where I sit next to my railway, track close to face level, looking down the long straight to the curve in the distance entering the station. I can hear the chuff of the approaching train first, then I see it rounding the curve but also feel it rumbling through the track base. It gets louder as it approaches with wisps of steam and louder exhaust beats. I hear the strong exhaust, the roar of the fire, smell the hot oil and feel the extreme heat as it passes, then the low rumble and clickety-clack of the long train behind it. This evokes strong memories with all my senses of steam when I was a child.

I also enjoy the time honoured ritual of fettling the loco with water, oil and fire then waiting for boiler pressure as the loco comes to life with a strong personality of its own that I have to interact with. I listen to my locomotives and react to their needs, it’s not just turn the knob on a controller. The hands on operation of live steam and the way my loco’s ‘talk’ to me where I can tell if they need throttle adjustment, are losing pressure, need more water or more fuel is most satisfying, nothing artificial here, this is real living steam for all the senses.

So what is it for you?
Russell
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pic 18.jpg (133.7 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg IMGP2975.jpg (153.5 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg P1360037.jpg (192.0 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg pic 15.jpg (260.5 KB, 53 views)
ferroequinologist is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-01-2020, 11:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Villages, FL
Posts: 560
Default

Excellent Russell, it would be hard to top your wonderful description of the live steam experience. You have built a fantastic environment for your trains, difficult to achieve on a raised layout.
For me the word involvement is descriptive of my live steam experience including of all the sights, sounds and feelings you've mentioned. I would add that making changes to personalize or build something that may have never existed but is plausible adds to the enjoyment of the live steam hobby for me.
Let's hear from others, Tom
Tom Bowdler is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-01-2020, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Dave Meashey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,858
Default

Guys;

Have always had a love affair with steam. Prior to getting my first #1 gauge live steamer, I ran steam locomotives weighing 4.5 tons, 45 tons, and 65 tons. Had to move away from those wonderful live steamers to take a job with N&W Railway. Loved getting back into live steam when I bought my Roundhouse Millie. Don't get to run as much as I would like, but still loving it. Currently my largest #1 gauge live steamer is the Roundhouse WWI ALCO.


Regards, David Meashey
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gandalf032601.JPG (164.8 KB, 202 views)
Dave Meashey is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2020, 09:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
1st Class Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 499
Default

I didn’t start with any personal background in trains and nothing in live steam. One of my neighbors built a garden railroad and I was absolutely taken by it. It was like a different imaginary world- a place you could go to wipe away the stress of everyday life. At that point it wasn’t so much the trains themselves as it was where it took me.
I subsequently built my own railroad so I could enjoy that feeling in my own space. During that time, I really began to appreciate the modeling of the environment, of the trains and everything that went with it. It moved me into woodworking, gardening and all the aspects that the hobby offered.
After doing that for many years, I moved slowly into live steam. One of members was a dealer and an experienced live steamer. It was the part of the hobby I thought reserved for the lunatic fringe of modelers. Perhaps that’s true but I was happy to join those nuts. Live steam really brings a more interactive and realistic aspect to model railroading. It brings me closer to imagining the sights, sounds and smells of that whole era in history. It also opened up another side of better understanding of how these engines actually worked and thoughts of how much work it took to build and maintain them. Although there are some vexing aspects to working on the mechanics of live steam...like my friend, Wayne Sorensen says..the axle pump the bane of live steam...it still provides great satisfaction when it all works. It does indeed.

Sam
boilingwater is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-02-2020, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Pete Thornton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 5,619
Default

Quote:
The hands on operation of live steam and the way my loco’s ‘talk’ to me where I can tell if they need throttle adjustment, are losing pressure, need more water or more fuel is most satisfying, nothing artificial here, this is real living steam for all the senses.
Quote:
Although there are some vexing aspects to working on the mechanics of live steam...like my friend, Wayne Sorensen says..the axle pump the bane of live steam...it still provides great satisfaction when it all works. It does indeed.
I agree with all of the above. It certainly ain't anything like sitting back and watching a sparky trundle around without any steam/smoke and a fake chuff - though I have a few of those too.
Many live steam locos are built in small batches, and none are identical, so you have a learning experience with each one. I like to tinker and fix, so they are ideal for me.
__________________
Pete Thornton is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2020, 10:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 103
Default

Well, after nearly a week I would have though there would be a lot of discussion on what you get from live steam but so far a few have agreed on the stimulation of all the senses and.....
Tom adds he also enjoys creating a bit of 'freelancing' in steam that might have been.
Dave enjoys 'hands on' steam again after years of doing actual 1:1 scale big steam.
Sam most interestingly came around the long way from an electric garden railway and how this led him to the enjoyment is losing yourself in the "world of steam railway history" and learning the mechanics of keeping steam going and yes that's a major part for me too.
Pete agrees with all the hands on and nostalgia thing and also how no two loco's behave the same and the fixing and tinkering that also adds to his enjoyment of steam.
So anybody else out there want to chime on to what gives them enjoyment about live steam or has this thread run it's course? I'm just curious as to how we have the same steam passion but seem to enjoy it in different ways.
Russell
ferroequinologist is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2020, 10:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
snowshoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NJ (Kittatinny Mtns.)
Posts: 978
Default

Russel. I think you summed it up for me. I started out with track power in the garden a the joy I got out of building and running trains outdoors, in the dirt, experiencing all four seasons and the challenges mother nature brings to an outdoor layout. But running track power for years I always felt something missing. It wasn't untill I saw someone running a live steam train on my layout. Seeing it come out a tunnel with the steam blowing out, whistle, the sounds and the smell. That was when found what was missing.
__________________
Shawn V
My web site http://kittatinnymountainrailroad.tripod.com/
snowshoe is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2020, 01:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
zephyra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 392
Default

I have been attracted to steam engines since childhood. My parents lived in the a small country called Basutoland (Lesotho) and I was sent to boarding school in Capetown. The journey to and from school was a drive to Bloemfontein and then take the Orange Express to Capetown. This was in the 1960s and steam still ruled South African Railways. Kimberley, Hopetown, Victoria West, Beaufort West are all watering stops that still evoke memories of the enormity to a 11 year old boy of the night time journey across the Karoo desert.

There is something elemental about steam power that still fascinates me - the exchange of heat into motive power at huge scale. The technologies that surround us today are all unimaginably more sophisticated but I sometimes reflect that steam engines are one of the few technologies that we can really understand and where there is a clear connection between utility and the underlying physics.

Robert
zephyra is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2020, 03:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Pete Thornton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 5,619
Default

Quote:
I would have though there would be a lot of discussion on what you get from live steam
Everyone is too busy trying to make the little b*****s go.
__________________
Pete Thornton is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2020, 04:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Dave Meashey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,858
Default

"Everyone is too busy trying to make the little b*****s go."

Pete;

Sometimes you will come up with an absolute gem, and I will laugh so hard as to almost lose my "potty training!"

All the best, David Meashey
Dave Meashey is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the myLargescale.com > Community > Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in



Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:07 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.