History Main / SteamNeverDies

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]].

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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.
*** 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.

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** 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.

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** [[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.

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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. [[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).

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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.
25th Feb '17 11:02:29 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).
20th Jan '17 8:57:33 AM Jhonny
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* The [[https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Steam Wikivoyage article]] on the topic [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin appropriately titled "steam"]] gives a few more examples
16th Jan '17 8:57:53 AM moloch
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** Sweden has just dragged its' last strateigic reserve lcomotive from its' shed, and sold it to a preservation society.

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** Sweden has only just recently dragged its' its last strateigic reserve lcomotive "strategic reserve" locomotive from its' its shed, and sold it to a preservation society.
16th Jan '17 12:01:09 AM Hylarn
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Examples:

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!!Examples:
10th Jan '17 8:40:28 PM foxley
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* ''Series/MurderSheWrote'': In "Another Killing in Cork", Jessica is shown travelling through modern-day Ireland on a steam train.
1st Dec '16 11:47:57 AM cantab
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* Steam ''turbines'' are what remain common in electrical power generation and on large ships. Large steam turbines can be very efficient but they work best running at one fixed speed. That's perfect for an electrical generator, and a ship can use gears or fancier turbines to allow a choice of a few propeller speeds (or use a generator, electricity, and a motor). But direct propulsion of locomotive wheels requires varying speed, and so steam turbine locomotives were rarely successful.
29th Sep '16 7:22:44 AM Jhonny
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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 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.

to:

* 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 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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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.SteamNeverDies