No more Steam....engines

Discussion in 'Member News and Views' started by David S, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    Jay's thread on his "steam" powered clock prompted me to start this.

    For the past number of years here in Ontario my wife and I have attended the International Plowing matches in our motorhome. This is really a farming exhibit and of course tractor and horse plowing competitions.

    There is always an exhibit area with antique farm equipment. This year I realized that I haven't heard the familiar sound of the steam whistle from the steam tractors or stationary engines. There are hundreds of old gas, diesel, kerosene and propane, tractors made in Canada, names like Oliver, White farm equipment, Cockshutt, massy feruson, IH, and the list goes on. Starting from the early 1900's, but the 1950's seems to be a good time from the number of old tractors restored from that era.

    Where are the steam engines? Turns out, to get those old boilers certified for use in public places, insurance and the cost of transporting has become prohibitive. I was told that to fire them up someone had to come very early in the morning prior to show opening, and had to stay as late as it took to ensure the boiler fires were cold.

    I sure miss those whistles and the big steam tractors powering the huge portable saw mills.

    David
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Jul 26, 2015
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    We still have loads wandering around here. Yes they need boiler certificates, but there is no shortage of events for them to go to including the local Dorset Great working of steam engines, billed as the largest gathering of steam power in the world.

    We also have two steam ships off the coast regularly, the Waverley, a paddle steamer, and the Shieldhall with twin triple compounds.
     
  3. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    Nick neat, glad to hear they are still going strong in your area. I hope they will come back next year when we go to the next one.

    David
     
  4. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    We have an annual "Old Threshers Reunion" here that attracts many old steamers of varying purposes. Pretty cool to see them run.
     
  5. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    Aug 28, 2000
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    In Ohio, we had an annual antique farm equipment show where they would fire up a steam powered sawmill (bandsaw) and turn trees into lumber all day long during the event. The unit had a huge unguarded belt on it. One day the belt let go and killed a spectator. That was the end of that.

    Frank
     
  6. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User
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    Aug 27, 2000
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    Our local Heritage Park maintains two 1940s vintage steam locomotives. About ten years ago, the crown sheet on the one locomotive was replaced at a cost of ~ $100,000.00! Rebuilding CPR steam locomotive 2816 (including shipping the boiler to Oregon for re-building) was over one million dollars. That also was about 10 years ago. The devastation that might result from an exploding high pressure steam boiler is not a pleasant thing to consider!
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Jul 26, 2015
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    A brand new railway locomotive was built here a few years ago, that cost around £1M, there is another being built at the moment.

    It has worked out cheaper to build new than to refurbish, I think the cost of refurbing 4472 Flying Scotsman recently would have paid for another 4 locomotives to be built.
     
  8. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    The days before OHSA for sure. Looking at all this old equipment with open gears, chains, no guarding in site, no wonder farmers lost fingers limbs and lives.

    David
     
  9. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User
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    Jun 24, 2011
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