Posts by Bill Walker


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1) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1697914)
Posted 7 hours ago by Profile Bill Walker
Really makes you wonder why they don't derail around curves being THAT long ....


The only reason a car would derail around a curve would be because of side force resulting from the angle between two cars, plus centrifugal force acting on the mass of the car. The beauty of rails is that this angle depends only on the radius of the curve, while the force depends only on the radius of curvature and the speed of the train. The sum of the forces is the same between cars 1 and 2 as it is between cars 201 and 202.
2) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1697837)
Posted 10 hours ago by Profile Bill Walker
And here is a shot from May, of a typical long freight here in Eastern Canada. The photographer reported 123 cars behind the twin engines. Despite the rugged looking terrain, the grades are fairly light through here, along the north shore of Lake Superior.

3) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1697019)
Posted 2 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
I've been digging through RailPictures.net and keep coming up with beautiful shots. Some time back we talked about the size and horsepower of North American freight trains, here is a shot that might interest some. Taken in Jasper, middle of the Rockies, this month. A long line of coal hoppers plus mountain grades calls for lots of horsepower.

4) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Historical fire engine technology (Message 1696519)
Posted 4 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Any steam engine takes a lot of work, hence their decline. A friend of mine that helps operate a historic steam locomotive tells me the stoking/lighting crew gets called out 8 to 12 hours before the engine can move. A fire department would need to keep the boiler hot 24/7.
5) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Don't know where it should go? Stick it here! (Message 1696303)
Posted 5 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Gary, maybe the American auto clubs still work that way, but several of the Canadian clubs just out and out sell stars. Yes, they send reviewers, but if you haven't paid for a corporate membership you don't get reviewed or rated, and the more you pay the better your rating.
6) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Don't know where it should go? Stick it here! (Message 1696218)
Posted 5 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Several Middle Eastern hotels have decided they need to be differentiated from mere 5 star hotels, and are assigning themselves 6 or even 7 stars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_rating

In North America most automobile club travel guide star ratings are simply for sale. The more you pay the club, the more stars you get in their next travel guide. I personally know several nice family owned hotels in Canada that don't even show up in any of the guides, because they don't pay anything. I much prefer things like Travelocity these days.
7) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Intergalactic Quotes (Message 1696088)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
May the Swchwartz be with you.
8) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Historical fire engine technology (Message 1696073)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Mr. Christie had a long history of developing internal combustion engine powered race cars, and the first taxis, before he got into fire engines, so I assume, as you said, this thing had an internal combustion engine in the front, and a steam powered pump in the back. I suspect that a fire department could even recycle its steam pumps with a contraption like this.

Christie later developed the modern tank suspension, but died before his radical ideas were accepted.
9) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The celttooth thread.... (Message 1696070)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Heard the Lights only once, from just north of Edmonton. (Well, just north back then, probably a suburb of Edmonton today.) As others have said, it was sort of a crackling noise. Reminded me of static on the radio. Very quiet and even, then it slowly faded away.
10) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Intergalactic Quotes (Message 1695757)
Posted 7 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Soylent Green is PEOPLE!
11) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The celttooth thread.... (Message 1695629)
Posted 7 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Have a nice day Celt. Thank you.
12) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Vic!!! (Message 1694425)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Have a good one Vic.
13) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XX I - All are welcome in the Critter Cafe (Message 1694423)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
I recall that the Vancouver Island raccoons were quite a bit bigger than the urban ones we get here in the middle east (of Canada, that is).
14) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1693871)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Why do the States insist upon have the front of an Engine about 20ft from the driver, it's not a container ship :-))


Oops, just saw that David beat me to it. That's what I get for not reading this every day.

EMD used to call them "safety cabs", today we would call the nose extension a crumple zone. It keeps the crew away from the nasties, like cars parked on level crossings.
15) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XX I - All are welcome in the Critter Cafe (Message 1692139)
Posted 16 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
According to those who know, raccoons are part of the order Carnivora, family Procyonidae. Nothing to do with rodents (order Rodentia), and only distantly related to bears (which are order Carnivora, family Ursidae).
16) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1692136)
Posted 16 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
I love stories like that Chris. Allows me to remind the wife that I could have had a collection like that....
17) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1691915)
Posted 17 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
MLW had a long and honourable history. They started producing their own designs of steamers in the late 1800s, mostly for the CPR, and were bought by Alco in 1904. Their plant developed into several acres of large buildings, and during the wars they added tanks, trucks, and marine engines to the product line. Under Canadian federal tariffs that existed well into the late 20th century, it was cheaper to make any Alco product intended for a Canadian customer in Canada. When Alco downsized and eventually vanished in the 1960s these same tariffs kept the Montreal plant in existence, under a string of owners. A sort-of parallel history produced EMD here in London, that continued making engines long after General Motors got out of the business.

Bombardier took over MLW in the 1990s, and merged it with its own high speed rail and passenger facilities into what is today Bombardier Inc. Ironicaly, the old MLW plant work and design capabilities were transferred to other Bombardier facilities in Canada, the US, Europe and Mexico when the tariffs ended, and the enormous MLW complex in Montreal was finally torn down by 2004.
18) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1691849)
Posted 17 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Now now now. 5 points each to David and Bernie. 2.5 points to Vic, the MLW engines often are confused with Alco. I think at one time MLW built Alco under licence.

Remember: a million points, plus two bucks, gets you a cup of coffee.
19) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1691750)
Posted 17 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
This time a pair of Geeps on the OSR, taken last fall. They are parked beside the CP mainline, waiting to exchange cars with a CP local freight. 5 points to whoever can identify the previous owners.

20) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The train thread (Message 1691745)
Posted 17 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
OK, after a little digging on the second FP9, I'm slightly less amazed that it still exists in this paint scheme. It was built for the CN, here in London, back in the 1950s, but spent about 20 years with a local tourist line, the Waterloo St. Jacobs Line, which painted its engines and passenger cars in vintage CN colours. This engine moved to the OSR in early 2014.

I suspected the answer would be something like that. That paint is in much too good condition to be original.


Not that good, really. The same website has a photo of the same engine consist, on a Timmies break at nearby Woodstock last summer. You can still see the outline of the Waterloo St. Jacobs logo on the nose.

I commuted over the OSR line for about 6 years, and I would often see a flash of colour out of the corner of my eye as I drove by and think "what the heck was THAT?". The OSR is a virtual rolling museum of both engines and freight cars. And they apparently don't spend a lot of money on paint.




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