I found out there is still an operating steam train near where I live. This fall I plan on taking my 2 boys, who just love Thomas the Tank Engine, on a ride!
Check out some of the pictures:
That last photo came from their website, FOR REAL! Think it's a Ball? You bet I'll ask!!!
A bit about the engine:
Year and place of construction
2 pilot wheels
8 driver wheels
No wheels under the cabin
93 tons and can pull upwards of 700 tons
Water: 13 996 liters
Oil: 4200 liters
1000 horsepower equivalence
Considering the nature of this tourist railway, the train travels at a maximum of 25 km/h. The speed is lowered to 15 km/h in villages. However, the steam engine could reach speeds of up to 120 km/h.
The steam engine 909 was used in Sweden until 1945. With the invention of the electric locomotive, the steam engine was put aside and stored until 1964 where it was used for excursions during four years. With the threat of a the cold war, the government of Sweden decided to keep their steam locomotives in storage in case invaders destroyed Sweden’s capacity to make electricity. These steam locomotives were hidden in shelters to provide transportation for soldiers and equipment.
When the cold war ended in 1990, the Swedish government felt that keeping all these steam locomotives were useless. The government then decided to sell off the 200 steam engines in storage. At the same time, a tourist steam train project was taking shape in Canada’s National Capital region. Since all Canadian steam locomotives in operating condition belonged to museums, our steam engine, a diesel engine and all 9 coaches were found in Sweden.
The equipment sailed from Sweden to Montréal on the cargo ship Federal Man. During the Atlantic crossover, the crew braved four storms. Finally, the engines and coaches arrived just in time for the inaugural trip on June 27th, 1992.
If you're ever in the Ottawa region, check it out, looks like fun!