Saturday, December 08, 2007

Drivin' a Consolidation

I stopped in at the annual Santa runs for the Sacramento Valley Live Steamers last week. Although I didn't get a pictures of Santa, here's a few of a Consolidation:

Although its scaled to one-eighth the size of a real locomotive, this Consolidation 2-8-0 steam locomotive functions in the same manner as its full-sized cousin. Owner Milon Thorley of El Dorado, California, uses coal in the firebox to produce the steam. The gauges and valves -- from the water glass and pressure gauge to the throttle and injector valves -- control the operation of the boiler and locomotive like they once did in the Consolidations that pulled freight trains.

The El Dorado and Southern No. 613, a 7-1/2-inch gauge Consolidation 2-8-0 steam locomotive, releases steam after an afternoon of running the rails at the Sacramento Valley Live Steamers in Rancho Cordova, California.

Here's head-on shot of the Consolidation. EDWRF VP Keith Berry noted that by the turn on the 19th century, these mightily locomotives were relegated to branch line operation. They were popular many industrial and short line operations.

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