Steam locomotives

Last night we watched the largest active steam locomotive (Union Pacific’s Challenger 3985) in the world come through our town. Wow!

I remember steam locomotives as a child–and being scared of the release of steam and the sound of the whistle. I lived in England, and the local train station was a lot like the station in the Harry Potter films–covered, with lots of concrete to bounce the sound off of. And it bounced!

So it was fun to see the engine yesterday. We had seen it in another town earlier in the day, taking advantage of the opportunity to peer in the engine cab and see all the gauges…and feel the heat.

But when it came by last night, it was really moving! We had thought it would be on the farther track, moving slower. Nope. It was on the closest track, and they were really moving to get to the next stop where it would be on display. Our grandson was with us at the station–and it startled / scared him. I don’t think he realized how big it was going to be–or how much air it would be moving as it came by–and he retreated very quickly back closer to the station.

I’m glad we have cleaner transportation in many ways, but it was great to be carried back in time!

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