Steam locomotives still in use

This past week I was on vacation with my parents and a friend. We visited
Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.
While going to Livingston from Butte, MT I saw a freight train which was
being pulled by a steam locomotive. The train had a greenish paint job but I
could not see the Logo of a company. I am wondering what company it could
have been. I did not think steam engines were still in use doing any work
except at tourist sites.
I am wondering do any other companies use steam engines.
Charles George
Reply to
Charles George
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Perhaps it was a test run of a newly overhauled steam locomotive - or wishful thinking ;-)
Reply to
Gregory Procter
wishful
Or taking part in a movie.
Cheers David
Reply to
David Bromage
snipped-for-privacy@despammed.com ( snipped-for-privacy@despammed.com) wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@69-30-8-241.pxd.easystreet.com:
That would be the Crab Orchard & Egyptian (or some name like that). They had a 2-8-0, as I recall, that they ran freight with mostly because it was all they had. Eventually they started running into maintenance headaches (they de-superheated the engine at one point to simplify things) and gave up. Last time I was up that way they had a little butthead, an SW900 or something in that size, to move things around.
There is a small hydro plant along the D & S which is not readily reachable by road, for which they occasionally move a car or two. As far as I know that's the only revenue freight on either of them, altho both run photographer's specials from time to time. Blue Mountain & Reading ran freight behind steam at times, simply because the owner liked steam engines. I beleive the Ohio Central has done so also.
John
Reply to
John McCoy
Apparently there have been some special excursions or tours on the TransSiberian route using all steam locomotives. A description of one such trip was in one of the US railfan magazines a couple years ago. I'm not sure this tour is done every year. I just did a brief check but could not find the article, altho my recollection is that it appeared in Railfan and Railroad magazine.
Sun Cheek wrote:
Reply to
randee
Hello, Wayne! You wrote on Thu, 14 Aug 2003 15:52:48 -0600:
For sure, there are a few steam locos that are still in operational condition. Even in Moscow region you can see a couple of them yearly on May 9th and August 3rd. Not sure, but it may be possible to get on these trains almost for free. Same thing is possible for exotic tours and there is also a private narrow gauge museum in Pereslavl which has continuously used small steam loco. But these facts are rare exclusions, not the everydays railway practice. BTW, there are several so called 'railroad reserve bases' where you can find a number of steam and older diesel locos. These bases are big open spaces filled with tracks, somewhere outside civilization, in the woods etc. The locos are stored there in 'conservated' state and in open air, so very soon they become unoperational. I know that during three recent years there were some attempts 'to put things in order' there which of course resulted in scrapping dozens of steam locos.
With best regards, Sun Cheek. E-mail: snipped-for-privacy@No.spam.suncheek.tk
Reply to
Sun Cheek
I doubt rather much that one could "conserve" railway rolling stock in the open air without much checking and maintaining. The static displays at the local transportation museum in my state of Virginia get great sums spent on them just to keep them visually presentable. The pigeon factor weighs heavily in the cost.
Reply to
John Garrison
Regardless if it's been restored to operating condition, or only cosmetically, railroad equipment requires continual exterior maintenance when stored out-of-doors. On top of that (particularly passenger equipment) you have to be concerned with the effects of heat and cold on the cars interior. At one time, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum had to store the Silver Crescent (former CZ dome-obs-lounge) in the open. On an 85 degree Florida day, I measured 150 degrees in the vista-dome!
Reply to
Bruce Yelen
Fellas, Eritrea has recently re-opened their railway from Massaua on the Red Sea up through the mountains to Asmara and beyond, using old Italian built Mallets for regular service on their Italian colonial gauge of 950mm, Fiat railcars too! Regards, Bill.
Reply to
William Pearce
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(regrettably only railcar pics)
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(pics of what they had to work with)
Reply to
E Litella
What about the East Broad Top? Although that is more of a museum type operation, I do believe I saw more thanm just tourist passenger cars in their yards. I also think that the line in Georgia, although another tourist line, still operates Steam - Stone Mountain, I think.
But even a museum can have regularly scheduled trains, which would count just as much as hailing freight would.
Back in the late '60s and early '70s, there was a rail line in Vietnam, which originally connected the cities of Hanoi, DaNang, Hue and Siagon, with Hong Kong; but due to the fighting between South and North, the connection to Hanoi was severed. The USArmy did try and operate the rail line, being successful on many occasions, but it wasn't until late '72, that anything was done to try and prevent the tracks from being totally destroyed. Last I geard from there, was that the railroad was undergoing changes, and would connect all the major cities together. Motive power would probably be more diesel than steam, but given the amount of wood to burn, steam may be more practical.
Perhaps one of the readers from Austrailia, might let us know what is down there in the way of steam.
Reply to
Phaedra Dragon
Re steam use in Australia, possibly some of the two ft. gauge sugar cane tramways up in Queensland might still have a bit of working steam, the regular Saturday pass. from Melbourne to Warrnambool on the coast and return had steam haulage up to about Nov. of last year, then stopped because of Summer Fire Bans, but has not resumed, even though summer is long gone, I suspect that it will not resume. Perhaps best known tourist steam in Australia is 'Puffing Billy', 762mm(30 inch) gauge 2-6-2 Baldwin designed but locally built tank engines up in the hills n.e. of Melbourne, steam operation every day of the week, except again on Total Fire Ban days.But no regular freight.Steam also on other tourist lines and often on main line fan trips. Regards, Bill.
Reply to
William Pearce
Once again "Phaedra" posts a farrago of bullshit.
The Trans-Indochina railway was opened throughout in 1936, from the Chinese border at Nacham to Saigon, and on to My Tho. It didn't go Hong Kong. It only remained complete until 1940, when the line was partially dismantled by the Chinese at their end. The line was broken up into short, independently operated sections long before the entry of the US into the war, and certainly long before 1972.
Current motive power is all diesel - sources report that genuine steam operations finished early in 2003. Even the tourist operation at Da Lat is now diesel hauled, when it runs. Prior to that, all coal burning and many wood burning steam locos were converted to OIL firing in 1963.
For a reliable account of the railway in Vietnam, you could try the following:
Trains Magazine, March & April 1969. A concise and well written article by Jerry Pinkepank and Paul Stephanus.
Continental Railway Journal, various issues. Contemporary reports of railway operation in Vietnam, by correspondents in Vietnam.
Or you could go online:
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Or try one by a mate of mine, who visited Vietnam earlier this year.
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Reply to
Mark Newton
But isn't that Vietnamese line metre gauge?
Reply to
Andrew Price
That would be fun, provided the trackage was all one guage.
Reply to
Phaedra Dragon
sugar cane
Sort of. A couple of mills have some steam locos but they are only used on over priced tourist trains.
return
There were problems with the loco, and the untimely death of Gary McDonald who was a major driving force behind the steam workings. R711 is still out for repairs and conversion of R766 is still not complete. But I would argue that although this was steam haulage of a regular train, it not really extensive use of steam on a railway basis. Steam was only used seasonally and only on Saturdays.
The last bastion of non-tourist steam in Australia was the Richmond Vale Railway in the Hunter Valley. Coal trains out of Stockrington Colliery were steam hauled until the mine and railway closed in October 1987. Steam was run on a shoestring budget and to questionable safety standards.
Cheers David
Reply to
David Bromage
Are you able to confirm the last regular non-tourist use of steam in the UK? My understanding is it was the two shunters at Donnington power station in about 1990.
Cheers David
Reply to
David Bromage
It's easier than the other way round. All it takes is standard gauge stock built to the smaller loading gauge. Regular metre gauge stock would be too narrow to take standard gauge trucks.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
"John McCoy"
Why not?
They did it all the time on the CNR in Newfoundland. Standard gauge freight cars retrucked to 36" (?) narrow gauge for transit over the Newfoundland system, and that using the very much larger North American loading gauge and consequently, much heavier freight cars carrying much heavier loads. Though I'm sure there were probably some restrictions.
-- Cheers Roger T.
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of the Great Eastern Railway
Reply to
Roger T.
There's another alternative: transporter cars. The Leek and Manifold Light Railway used them to carry standard gauge freight cars. This was a British 30" gauge line, and the freight cars were the typical british 4-wheel mineral wagon - like a short gondola.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee

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