@BicycleBuck My wife and I, like most Americans, both know people who were killed at level crossings (usually uncontrolled). My wife actually high-centered her '97 Camaro on a railroad berm in the late 90s and had to call me to help ASAP. Thankfully it was a relatively quiet freight line and nothing happened.
Thanks for quantifying it. She and I had this discussion the other day and I guessed $100k per crossing. I emphasized that people would still cheat the gates, so flashing lights would be almost as good.
She's of the opinion that every single crossing should be fully controlled, but nobody knows how to pay for it. I'm more of the belief that people just need full stops at railroads and to respect them more like crossing a highway. Even though rail traffic is much more rare than auto traffic, the results are usually worse. So it seems like we've all just found an acceptable level of risk....until someone dies at an uncontrolled crossing, then politicians jump into action to add gates, even though it might never have statistically happened again. That's humanity and liability in a nutshell.
This is a Southern Pacific Cab-Forward 4-8-8-4 (drive configuration). For those who might not know, it's essentially a regular steam locomotive that's spun around to run backward (visibility is much better without a giant locomotive in the way).
I always wondered why steam engines were built with the cab behind the engine. Seems like a cab forward design just makes more sense.
The primary reason why they put the cab back there is due to running on coal, or wood, even. Having the cab back there is simply the closest route from the tender, which is the storage car thingie that you always see behind a steam train (the next to last picture from the bottom), it holds water and whatever the train uses for fuel, coal, wood, or coal oil, which is what most 'modern' steam locomotives either ran from the factory or were converted to later on: I think the actual locomotive the OP's toy set is based upon was converted from coal to coal oil, but I'm probably wrong on this.
The locomotive above was designed to run coal oil from the outset, so you could simply run fuel lines from the tender, and all the way up to the front if you need to. It also obviously doesn't matter which way you aim the locomotive, as they pull as well from either direction.
There was an attempt to put the cab in the middle at one point, it's referred to as a camelback.
These were stupid-dangerous for two reasons:
Couldn't see a damn thing most of the time
I vaguely recall them also being called 'widowmakers' because of those side rods breaking every once in a while and then swinging around, taking the cab out with it...and anyone sitting in that seat (usually the engineer). I've seen one picture of a locomotive that this happened to, and it wasn't pretty.
@dipodomysdeserti this one time, I had a 20 something girl puke on my shoe on St Patrick's day. Fucking amateur hour, from that day on I either took the day off or worked from home on St Patrick's day. Not worth dealing with drunken idiots.
@cé-hé-sin Seems like a smart way to do it. I think a battery/overhead combo would be the right way to handle partially electrified networks, which will surely be prevalent for decades as electrification slowly proceeds.
Of course I would also like to see it on highways, with smart trolley polls that could automatically disconnect/reconnect for passing or non-electrified sections.
@thebarber Used cars, so it could have just been picking up/dropping off for Carvana or similar (though usually I think they use smaller trucks for that). I suspect @Roadkilled's guess is most likely though and they just made a wrong turn (or followed a GPS "shortcut")
@pip-bip Ooh, I recognize that scene! I've never taken the train, but it's quite striking to see the railroad running up on the side of the notch.
Here's me going through last winter right after passing the station where they start the trains:
You can't see the track, but it runs parallel to the road through the pass there, and then cuts off to the right to run high along the mountainside.
@facw According to Wikipedia, the Jubilee Line, one of the Underground's newer lines, has a capacity of 30 trains per direction per hour, which is pretty quick. Tube trains have an advantage of being much smaller than stuff in Hong Kong (wildly different topography), allowing better acceleration and braking performance.
I still dig the Tube...the most singularly iconic trains and mass transit system in the entire world IMO.
@silentbutnotreallydeadly not sure about Taiwan’s safety codes, but I think construction sites shouldn’t be leaving these sorts of access roads unprotected from runaway vehicles, especially with this type of terrain.
@skimaro When I was like 4 I got to ride with my dad in one of these from DC to deliver it to a job site in Philly. Sadly we only drove it on the road, but we took the train home. To ride in Traintruck and an actual train all in the same day, it was almost too much for a little 4 year old Snuze!
@facw Tell me about it, the proposed Milwaukee to Madison high speed line sounded incredible. That cunt Walker hollowed out this state and left it dry for the next poor bastard to fix.
The only recent rail project I can think of is "The Hop" which is a street car in Milwaukee. It basically ferries homeless and drunk college kids from the Fiserv Forum to their dorms/apartments on the East Side. They want to expand it but it has little ridership, funding, or support and I doubt it lasts another 10 years.
@just-jeepin The quality of these hand drawn illustrations is really remarkable. Especially the cut throughs of the bomb sight that show how it's operated. There's a high degree of technical skill at play there.
Also, one ad reminds me Autocar still exists. I see like one a year around these parts.
Recently saw one of these but a dump truck and was kind of confused. Mack has huge market share in dump trucks and you'll see the occasional Western Star. But Autocar? Why even bother in this segment?
They're significant for offering a cabover (of which I've never even seen one) that doesn't appear to based on the Club of Four Cabs design used by Peterbilt and others I guess.
@silentbutnotreallydeadly It would have been. My memory of it is a little hazy, as it was 2013 (not the big one at the end of 2018) and I saw it from a distance, but there would have been maybe 20+ wagons and their contents lying in a heap.