Passing By

Engine 300: History Rides the Rails in Texas.

 

Come one!  Come all!  Any railroad tycoons out there?  Locomotives and trains have long been a favorite hobby of people since their beginning.  There is something about these mechanical monsters that just defines raw power.  Maybe it’s the iron exterior, maybe the belching steam and smoke.   No matter, these behemoths of days gone by live on in our imagination and our fine art.

Engine 300 is a 2-8-0 Consolidation steam engine built back in 1917.  According to the Texas State Railroad, this engine saw domestic action in WWI and WWII.  Eventually it came into the care of the Texas State Railroad and is now fully restored and works transporting tourists instead of freight.

 

Referred to as the Consolidation class, because of the lack of trailing wheels in the back of the engine, these locomotives became popular in the United States after the Civil War.   Because there is no trailing wheels, this means that the front wheels or guide wheels occupy a single axle in the front.  The 8 drive wheels follow them immediately on 4 separate axles of their own. The design was first manufactured as early as the late 1860’s by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and used primarily for freight and goods transportation.

 

The Consolidation class engines saw work internationally in portions of Europe. Indeed, the two most common places outside the United States these capable steam engines worked were in the United Kingdom and eventually Australia.  However, they did see use in Turkey, South Africa, and even Finland.

 

Interestingly, the Russian designation for this engine class was the 1-4-0.  They counted the number of axles, not the number of wheels.

 

It is also worthy to note that Engine 300 uses oil as a fuel, not coal or wood.  The burning of oil provides a nice benefit for this tough little engine.  This working museum piece hauls passengers looking for an adventure with a minimum of black soot and none of the burning embers usually found in coal or wood burning engines.  This small fact makes everyone much more comfortable.

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Here is the link to the more technical specifications on this particular engine.  https://www.texasstaterr.com/engine_info.php

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