OF all things steam engines are my favorite down loads for Rail Works. Different things intrigue different people about this simulator, some like to do paints, some modeling of scenery objects, routes, scenarios, and of course the most difficult of all, the making of a locomotive.
All of us would probably like to be masters of all of these things but of course there are only so many hours in the day so we all strive to get one of these just right.
Then there are those of us who just love to drive trains, big ones, little ones, long heavy freights just struggling to get moving much less make it over the next hill, passenger trains streaking across wide open spaces or ripping through urban environments, just getting it done until the final coasting to a stop and setting the brakes.
That day of yesteryear when everything from little tea pots to the giant locomotives of the ‘modern’ steam era are awesome creations of the minds of men and seem to us almost living beasts. We all love the sound of a diesel horn off in the distance in the darkest hours of the night when we turn in interrupted slumber, but I remember the sound of the steam whistle way off where you could barely hear it and wanting to stay awake until it moaned again at the crossing nearer our home. Sometimes I drifted back to sleep without hearing it other times I got to listen as the engineer entertained himself in those dark hours by pulling the rope on the voice of that awesome beast making sounds so you felt that you could identify each individual.
Then there was the daylight when a steam locomotive went by you. There was the sound of the power, the steam, smoke and the smell of coal being burned after it went by. These are all but a distant memory now.
Today I can go fire up my Rail Works put myself along side of, in the cab of, down the tracks from or wherever and listen to the bell ring, the moan or screech of the whistle, a blast of steam from the cylinder cocks, and the first chuff of that living beast drag it’s load into motion. I can watch as it winds it’s way out of the yard or away from the station and start to accelerate onto the main line. Then I can do my best to stay on the schedule that’s mainly in my head balancing things off to get the best pace and not run out of steam on a hill or in a long climb up and mountain, all the while listening to the living beast and oh yeah, the whistle.
Now you know why I post so many pictures of steam engines.