History Main / SteamNeverDies

8th Oct '17 7:38:55 AM johnsmithxxi
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* The trope is present in ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales''. The most incongruous example was in the episode ''Armstrong'', where Gyro's newly invented robot saves Scrooge's gold train (pulled by a steam locomotive) from a rockslide. The episode later features such modern technology as automatic garage door openers, computers and satellites!

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* The trope is present in ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales''.''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987''. The most incongruous example was in the episode ''Armstrong'', where Gyro's newly invented robot saves Scrooge's gold train (pulled by a steam locomotive) from a rockslide. The episode later features such modern technology as automatic garage door openers, computers and satellites!
21st Aug '17 6:11:10 AM airminer
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** The [[UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}} Hungarian State Railways]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%81V_Class_424 424 class]] served from 1924 until all steam engines were retired in 1984. Their [[BoringButPractical sheer simplicity]] kept them around long after other steamers had become too expensive to keep around.

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** The [[UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}} Hungarian State Railways]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%81V_Class_424 org/wiki/MAV_Class_424 424 class]] served from 1924 until all steam engines were retired in 1984. Their [[BoringButPractical sheer simplicity]] kept them around long after other steamers had become too expensive to keep around.
23rd Jul '17 3:18:07 PM john_e
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** It was well into the turn of the millennium before the last 1950s-era British Rail Mk1 coaches and the diesel and electric multiple units based on them were finally put out to pasture. Many of these coaches were originally built with heating systems designed to draw on steam from the locomotive's boiler, which resulted in the decidedly SchizoTech practice of building steam boilers into diesel locomotives to heat the coaches in winter, and it wasn't until well into the 1970s that the last of the passenger locomotive stock was converted to electric heating. It might well have been even later were it not for the [[TheAllegedCar Alleged Boilers]] - all the different designs, made by different manufacturers, were all equally unreliable, and accounted for more failures than all the other parts of the locomotives put together (and some of ''them'' were pretty bad). Some steam heat locomotives (reassigned to freight duties), and coaching stock with dual heating (steam and electric), remained in service for another decade or more.

to:

** It was well into the turn of the millennium before the last 1950s-era British Rail Mk1 coaches and the diesel and electric multiple units based on them were finally put out to pasture. Many of these coaches were originally built with heating systems designed to draw on steam from the locomotive's boiler, which resulted in the decidedly SchizoTech practice of building steam boilers into diesel locomotives to heat the coaches in winter, and it wasn't until well into the 1970s that the last of the passenger locomotive stock was converted to electric heating. It might well have been even later were it not for the [[TheAllegedCar Alleged Boilers]] - all the different designs, made by different manufacturers, were all equally unreliable, and accounted for more failures than all the other parts of the locomotives put together (and some of ''them'' were [[ObviousBeta pretty bad).bad]]). Some steam heat locomotives (reassigned to freight duties), and coaching stock with dual heating (steam and electric), remained in service for another decade or more.
13th Jun '17 5:07:44 AM Piterpicher
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* Some Youtube {{Rail Enthusiast}}s have informally campaigned for [[DirtyJobs Mike Rowe]] to visit a heritage railway and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1kvCKT9bl4 clean out a steam engine.]] In other words, to show part of the reason ''why'' steam died out.

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* Some Youtube {{Rail Enthusiast}}s have informally campaigned for [[DirtyJobs [[Series/DirtyJobs Mike Rowe]] to visit a heritage railway and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1kvCKT9bl4 clean out a steam engine.]] In other words, to show part of the reason ''why'' steam died out.
24th May '17 9:20:25 PM PaulA
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* In Creator/HarryHarrison's ''Planet Story'', an admiral who just happens to be a railfan specifically orders a spaceport built on the opposite side of the continent from the mine just to have an excuse to play with trains. His personal toy is a gold plated full scale replica of a Union Pacific Big Boy, the largest steam engine ever built. It's actually nuclear powered (Harrison describes it as powerful enough "to pull a battleship sideways across a mudflat") but it does produce enough steam to blow the whistle.
** In Harrison's alternate universe ''A Trans Atlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!'' Great Britain is the only country to have discovered atomic power. Naturally, they use it solely to power one steam locomotive.

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* Creator/HarryHarrison:
**
In Creator/HarryHarrison's ''Planet Story'', an admiral who just happens to be a railfan specifically orders a spaceport built on the opposite side of the continent from the mine just to have an excuse to play with trains. His personal toy is a gold plated full scale replica of a Union Pacific Big Boy, the largest steam engine ever built. It's actually nuclear powered (Harrison describes it as powerful enough "to pull a battleship sideways across a mudflat") but it does produce enough steam to blow the whistle.
whistle.
** In Harrison's the alternate universe timeline of ''A Trans Atlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!'' Hurrah!'', Great Britain is the only country to have discovered atomic power. Naturally, they use it solely to power one steam locomotive.
14th Apr '17 2:31:07 PM danlansdowne
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** During one particularly bad British winter in 2009, hundreds of passengers found themselves stranded after the weather disabled the electrics on modern trains. Enter the [[BreakOutTheMuseumPiece newbuild steam locomotive]] ''Tornado'' which could run quite happily without electricity.



*** of particular note in the USA is [[http://www.strasburgrailroad.com The Strasburg Railroad]], an actual operating short line that uses only restored and preserved steam engines.

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*** of particular note in the USA is [[http://www.strasburgrailroad.com The Strasburg Railroad]], an actual operating short line that uses only restored and preserved steam engines.engines almost exclusively.



** And most if not all nuclear power plants are steam-driving reactor.

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** And most if not all nuclear power plants are steam-driving reactor.steam-driven reactors.



** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_844 Union Pacific No. 844]] was never officially retired since it entered service in 1944, a unique achievement for a locomotive on a Class I railroad. It even outlasted the diesels meant to replace it! On one occasion, the 844 was headed back to its home terminal when a diesel-powered freight ahead of it suffered a breakdown. In much the same manner as the Tornado above, 844 was able to save the stranded freight train without tying up the mainline for hours waiting for a rescue loco.

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** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_844 Union Pacific No. 844]] was never officially retired since after it entered service in 1944, a unique achievement for a locomotive on a Class I railroad. It even outlasted the diesels meant to replace it! On one occasion, the 844 was headed back to its home terminal when a diesel-powered freight ahead of it suffered a breakdown. In much the same manner as the Tornado above, 844 was able to save the stranded freight train without tying up the mainline for hours waiting for a rescue loco.
** Likewise, their [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_3985 "Challenger" 4-6-6-4 #3985]], restored to operation in 1981 and currently in storage pending another restoration. In 1990, by request of the American President Lines shipping company, 3985 hauled a 143-car container train (almost 9,000 feet long and over 7600 tons) under its own power from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to North Platte, Nebraska.



** Sweden has only just recently dragged its last "strategic reserve" locomotive from its shed, and sold it to a preservation society.
* Developing countries have been known to doggedly keep steam going for decades beyond developed countries, such as some African countries during the 1970s oil crisis noting that their infrastructure needed significant upgrading to provide the technology base to provide for diesels, the combined cost sending them back to designing new steam power for some time.

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** Sweden has only just recently dragged its last "strategic reserve" locomotive from its shed, shed and sold it to a preservation society.
society ''[[http://www.railwaymagazine.co.uk/sweden-disbands-final-strategic-steam-reserve-locos/ in 2016]]''.
* Developing countries have been known to doggedly keep steam going for decades beyond developed countries, such as some African countries during the 1970s oil crisis (or during economic boycotts, such as the aforementioned South Africa and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe), noting that their infrastructure needed significant upgrading to provide the technology base to provide for diesels, the support diesels. The combined cost sending sent them back to designing new steam power for some time.
15th Mar '17 12:19:28 AM TomWalpertac2
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** It was well into the turn of the millennium before the last 1950s-era British Rail Mk1 coaches and the diesel and electric multiple units based on them were finally put out to pasture. Many of these coaches were originally built with heating systems designed to draw on steam from the locomotive's boiler, which resulted in the decidedly SchizoTech practice of building steam boilers into diesel locomotives to heat the coaches in winter, and it wasn't until well into the 1970s that the last of the passenger locomotive stock was converted to electric heating. It might well have been even later were it not for the [[TheAllegedCar Alleged Boilers]] - all the different designs, made by different manufacturers, were equally unreliable, and accounted for more failures than all the other parts of the locomotives put together (and some of ''them'' were pretty bad). Some steam heat locomotives (reassigned to freight duties), and coaching stock with dual heating (steam and electric), remained in service for another decade or more.
*** North American rail passenger operators had similar Schizo Tech issues with steam heated coaches. As national systems, Amtrak and [=VIA=] Rail had generally weeded these units out by the mid to late [[TheSeventies 1970's]] in favor of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-end_power Head End Power]].

to:

** It was well into the turn of the millennium before the last 1950s-era British Rail Mk1 coaches and the diesel and electric multiple units based on them were finally put out to pasture. Many of these coaches were originally built with heating systems designed to draw on steam from the locomotive's boiler, which resulted in the decidedly SchizoTech practice of building steam boilers into diesel locomotives to heat the coaches in winter, and it wasn't until well into the 1970s that the last of the passenger locomotive stock was converted to electric heating. It might well have been even later were it not for the [[TheAllegedCar Alleged Boilers]] - all the different designs, made by different manufacturers, were all equally unreliable, and accounted for more failures than all the other parts of the locomotives put together (and some of ''them'' were pretty bad). Some steam heat locomotives (reassigned to freight duties), and coaching stock with dual heating (steam and electric), remained in service for another decade or more.
*** North American rail passenger operators had similar Schizo Tech issues with steam heated coaches. As national systems, Amtrak and [=VIA=] Rail inherited their passenger car fleets from a wide variety of freight roads who each had their own ideas on how to heat and cool their coaches. Some were still using steam even in 1971! They had generally weeded these units out by the mid to late [[TheSeventies 1970's]] in favor of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-end_power Head End Power]].



** They also forget a couple of other important points. One, that the steam engine depended on the availability of large numbers of people willing to do dirty jobs for little money, and they aren't around any more. Two, that the thermal efficiency was appalling, and not susceptible of improvement. Innumerable devices to improve efficiency were tried, but the invariable result was that the efficiency gain was small, while the maintenance requirements increased enormously, and it just wasn't worth it; the same would still apply to any new-design locomotive. In effect, not only does Steam Never Die, but ''The Rocket'' never died - the failure of any change to that basic design meant that even the latest and most advanced steam locomotives were still recognizably just ''The Rocket'' writ large.

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** They also forget a couple of other important points. One, that the steam engine depended on the availability of large numbers of people willing to do dirty jobs for little money, and they aren't around any more. Two, that the thermal efficiency was appalling, and not susceptible of to improvement. Innumerable devices to improve efficiency were tried, but the invariable result was that the efficiency gain was small, while the maintenance requirements increased enormously, and it just wasn't worth it; the same would still apply to any new-design locomotive. In effect, not only does Steam Never Die, but ''The Rocket'' never died - the failure of any change to that basic design meant that even the latest and most advanced steam locomotives were still recognizably just ''The Rocket'' writ large.



** On the other hand, steam still has its uses at sea, where water is in abundance. Those big supertankers shifting vast volumes of liquefied natural gas? They use steam engines fuelled by burning some of their cargo to get around.

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** On the other hand, steam still has its uses at sea, where water is in abundance. Those big supertankers shifting vast volumes of liquefied natural gas? They use steam engines fuelled fueled by burning some of their cargo to get around.



** And most if not all nuclear powerplant is steam-driving reactor.

to:

** And most if not all nuclear powerplant is power plants are steam-driving reactor.



** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_844 Union Pacific No. 844]] was never officially retired since it entered service in 1944, a unique achievement for a locomotive on a Class I railroad. It even outlasted the diesels meant to replace it!
*** UP is also (as of 2014) in the process of restoring "Big Boy" 4-8-8-4 #4014 to operation in time for the 150th anniversary of the first North American trans-continental railroad line.

to:

** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_844 Union Pacific No. 844]] was never officially retired since it entered service in 1944, a unique achievement for a locomotive on a Class I railroad. It even outlasted the diesels meant to replace it!
it! On one occasion, the 844 was headed back to its home terminal when a diesel-powered freight ahead of it suffered a breakdown. In much the same manner as the Tornado above, 844 was able to save the stranded freight train without tying up the mainline for hours waiting for a rescue loco.
*** UP is also (as of 2014) 2017) in the process of restoring "Big Boy" 4-8-8-4 #4014 to operation in time for the 150th anniversary of the first North American trans-continental railroad line.



* China probably takes the cake for "shortest time between last steam and first high speed train". Steam trains last ran in regular revenue service along main lines in December 2005. The Shanghai Maglev opened in 2004 (making that time ''negative two years'') and in 2008 the first [[UsefulNotes/HighSpeedRail high speed line]] opened allowing steel wheel on steel rail trains to run at up to 350 km/h. Just three years after steam "died". And some steam locomotives are still in service as tourist attractions.

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* China probably takes the cake for "shortest time between last steam and first high speed train". Steam trains last ran in regular revenue service along main lines in December 2005. The Shanghai Maglev opened in 2004 (making that time ''negative two years'') and in 2008 the first [[UsefulNotes/HighSpeedRail high speed line]] opened allowing steel wheel on steel rail trains to run at up to 350 km/h. Just three years after steam "died". And some steam locomotives are still in service as tourist attractions.attractions as well as a rapidly dwindling number of industrial / mining sites.
25th Feb '17 3:32:52 PM Jhonny
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* ''Fanfic/AnISOTInGrimdark'': After the titular event, steam trains become Germany's primary mode of transportation. Diesel is scarce in the Warhammer world, and the spare parts both electric and diesel trains need are rare, but steam engines are simple enough that a competent village blacksmith can do at least some basic repairs (a Nuln-trained or Dwarf Engineer could build one, without much trouble), and they can refuel with local water and coal (or even wood, if it comes to that). Also, the combination of Dwarf Engineers, GermanicEfficiency, modern design and manufacturing tools and a little judiciously applied magic means Reikbund steam engines quickly outstrip anything anything OTL has ever seen. The record goes to Emperor Karl Franz' personal train, which was clocked at 136 mph.

to:

* ''Fanfic/AnISOTInGrimdark'': After the titular event, steam trains become Germany's primary mode of transportation. Diesel is scarce in the Warhammer world, and the spare parts both electric and diesel trains need are rare, but steam engines are simple enough that a competent village blacksmith can do at least some basic repairs (a Nuln-trained or Dwarf Engineer could build one, without much trouble), and they can refuel with local water and coal (or even wood, if it comes to that). Also, the combination of Dwarf Engineers, GermanicEfficiency, modern design and manufacturing tools and a little judiciously applied magic means Reikbund steam engines quickly outstrip anything anything OTL has ever seen. The record goes to Emperor Karl Franz' personal train, which was clocked at 136 mph. [[note]]In RealLife steam trains topped out at 125 mph in the 1930s after which what would become UsefulNotes/HighSpeedRail turned away from steam[[/note]]
25th Feb '17 11:09:04 AM Divra
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* ''Fanfic/AnISOTInGrimdark'': After the titular event, steam trains become Germany's primary mode of transportation. Diesel is scarce in the Warhammer world, and the spare parts both electric and diesel trains need are rare, but steam engines are simple enough that a competent village blacksmith can do at least some basic repairs (a Nuln-trained or Dwarf Engineer could build one, without much trouble), and they can refuel with local water and coal (or even wood, if it comes to that).

to:

* ''Fanfic/AnISOTInGrimdark'': After the titular event, steam trains become Germany's primary mode of transportation. Diesel is scarce in the Warhammer world, and the spare parts both electric and diesel trains need are rare, but steam engines are simple enough that a competent village blacksmith can do at least some basic repairs (a Nuln-trained or Dwarf Engineer could build one, without much trouble), and they can refuel with local water and coal (or even wood, if it comes to that). Also, the combination of Dwarf Engineers, GermanicEfficiency, modern design and manufacturing tools and a little judiciously applied magic means Reikbund steam engines quickly outstrip anything anything OTL has ever seen. The record goes to Emperor Karl Franz' personal train, which was clocked at 136 mph.
25th Feb '17 11:02:29 AM Divra
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Fanfic/AnISOTInGrimdark'': After the titular event, steam trains become Germany's primary mode of transportation. Diesel is scarce in the Warhammer world, and the spare parts both electric and diesel trains need are rare, but steam engines are simple enough that a competent village blacksmith can do at least some basic repairs (a Nuln-trained or Dwarf Engineer could build one, without much trouble), and they can refuel with local water and coal (or even wood, if it comes to that).
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.SteamNeverDies