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 Post subject: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Lately, I've been fascinated that a number of younger posters have been showing up. PRR For Life is the most recent one, but a couple of others have included Big Bad 2-6-6-6 and Weekend Railroader; all of these fellows are teenagers. Others have posted too, including some (such as N. Paul) who were as young as these guys as recently as 20 years ago (hey, that's yesterday around a place like this).

What's notable about these young'uns is that they are interested in steam, and yet all were born well after the end of steam in regular service. This leads to the question--where did this interest come from? So, in the spirit of the late David P. Morgan, who once wondered where railfans under the age of 40 came from in the late 1970s, I have to ask--what brought you into the interest of steam railroading? This question technically could be asked today of anybody under the age of 60 or so, but I think we would be most interested in those under 30, who "should," according to the market research types, be more interested in computers and cars and rock music to drive us old-timers crazy than in these old pots we call steam locomotives.

Who knows, maybe we are seeing something here the professional marketers are missing out on. . .maybe it's something we can use in an outreach effort. . .in any event, I'm curious because of how I was considered more than a little unusual for this myself almost 40 years ago. . .

Let's hear what the young'uns have to say. . .


Last edited by J3a-614 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:19 am
Posts: 153
Location: Lexington, KY
For the near and under 18 crowd I think you can place the blame squarely on one little 0-6-0t.


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Painted blue and fitted with inside cylinders, link and buffer couplings, and vacuum brakes, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:20 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:46 am
Posts: 203
Location: here, there, wherever
Under 18? I'm 26 and my RRing interest was heavily influenced by that blue thing (that show has been around a LONG time). Of course I also grew up less than an hour away from Strasburg, and used to watch class-1 trains run through town (which, ironically, also had blue engines).

And if I wasn't collecting a paycheck from a class-1, I'd be involved in railway preservation. But a guy can only put up with so much of railroads in a week. Maybe if I ever get another job...


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:19 am
Posts: 153
Location: Lexington, KY
zugmann wrote:
Under 18? I'm 26 and my RRing interest was heavily influenced by that blue thing (that show has been around a LONG time). Of course I also grew up less than an hour away from Strasburg, and used to watch class-1 trains run through town (which, ironically, also had blue engines).

And if I wasn't collecting a paycheck from a class-1, I'd be involved in railway preservation. But a guy can only put up with so much of railroads in a week. Maybe if I ever get another job...



Now that I think about it, that show came on when I was 14 and I am 32 now so, that works out. I have no idea why I thought it was later but, I preoccupied with things other than trains at the time too.


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:31 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Elizabethtown,PA
A strong factor, but not 100 % convinced the little blue Limey Bloke is all of it. Surely, the Railway Preservation Movement in general has had some effect. Why Be Surprised ?
The children of a lesser god, in traction engine land, also have a steady interest among the 12 to 21 age group. Be Glad !


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:03 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:12 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Tidewater, VA
After visiting Cass, WV when I was 16 I grew a soft spot for steam that has grown to where I hate class 1 operations now.

I spend most of my time researching old steam RR's (mostly logging), and sadly VA does not have operating steam tourist RR's... Instead I turned to a local theme park... Busch Gardens Williamsburg... where for the last 2 year's i've been operating 36" crowns on a 1 3/4 mile loop of track, as their youngest engineer on record.

Steam locomotives to me are just more interesting than diesels... you can see what is going on with steam better, and the mechanical side of them interests me just as much. How the water injectors work, the blower, valve gear, everything on them is a new learning experience.

Example : Last friday, I was operating our blue train, and it flamed out (we burn propane *gag*). Once relighting the fire I cut the blower back on only to hear a weird hissing sound... and the fire was sucked out again. Turns out the blower rings (what the maintenance team calls the "Halo") blew off and was causing an weak draft and couldn't keep the fire lit.

While not coal burning baldwins... its still steam... and for the time being it works to keep me busy every day.

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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 905
Location: Brampton, Ontario
I've always been facinated by trains for some reason. My father used to take me to see 6213 as a kid, and it was so big, it scared me. I didn't realize the concept of a steam locomotive on display, and thought that at any moment it would start moving (partly because it's so well maintained, it looks like its ready to run).

Then as I got older, I started railfanning here and there. One day I read about 6167 in guelph, on steam locomotive.com, and took the train to Guelph. When I finally saw the awful state 6167 was in, I was shocked. My grandmother encouraged me to write to the mayor about it, and thats how I got involved. This was back in 2001. I was 16 at the time.

And yes I watched Thomas... Oh yeah, and Brio AND Playmobil too!

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CNR 6167 in Guelph, ON or "How NOT To Restore A Steam Locomotive"


Last edited by joe6167 on Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 905
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Actually, speaking of Thomas, it never occured to me at the time, but now I can't help but wonder: WHAT KIND OF PARENT, would allow their children to watch a show that was hosted by BOTH George Carlin AND Ringo Starr... just sayin' is all...

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CNR 6167 in Guelph, ON or "How NOT To Restore A Steam Locomotive"


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:35 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 602
Location: Bucks County, PA
My grandfather was an engineer for Penn Central and Amtrak, and got my interest in trains going...my parents would take me (sometimes multiple weekends in a row) to Strasburg. I remember riding Blue Mountain and Reading with my grandfather, my grandmother taking me to Black River and Western and riding behind steam there - so really, it was my grandfather who got me into it, I fell in love with steam, and have loved it ever since.


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:10 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Soddy Daisy, TN
jcmark611 wrote:
For the near and under 18 crowd I think you can place the blame squarely on one little 0-6-0t.


Nah nah it was the big green 2-8-2 for me. I believe I watched more Pentrex videos than I did Thomas then (I remember watching them quite often). Growing up here in Chattanooga, even though I just missed the steam program, I got to see it quite a few times, green and black (though for the former I was barely old enough to remember it much). It's neat now to know that I may just get to fire it someday in the near future.

But really seeing the 4501 and the 610 at TVRM and often traveling and seeing many others was my main influence. Now, several months shy of 18, I've been firing quite often (as well as helping work on the 630 some in between) at TVRM for nearly a year and a half.


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:51 pm
Posts: 153
SR6900 wrote:
jcmark611 wrote:
For the near and under 18 crowd I think you can place the blame squarely on one little 0-6-0t.


Nah nah it was the big green 2-8-2 for me. I believe I watched more Pentrex videos than I did Thomas then (I remember watching them quite often). Growing up here in Chattanooga, even though I just missed the steam program, I got to see it quite a few times, green and black (though for the former I was barely old enough to remember it much). It's neat now to know that I may just get to fire it someday in the near future.

But really seeing the 4501 and the 610 at TVRM and often traveling and seeing many others was my main influence. Now, several months shy of 18, I've been firing quite often (as well as helping work on the 630 some in between) at TVRM for nearly a year and a half.


You where firing 610 for me last weekend 6/11 wheren't you?

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Peoria IL
That which is seen is temporary, that which is unseen is eternal, therefore, focus on the unseen things.


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:55 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 453
Location: B'more Maryland
28 here, and yes, my early interest in rail preservation can be attributed blue things (http://picasaweb.google.com/ed.kapuscin ... 0472274178), and steam engines (http://picasaweb.google.com/ed.kapuscin ... 7974907010), but not blue steam engines.


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Posts: 1379
I find it interesting that so many people indicate their interest started with a desire to learn about steam locomotives, but nobody has stated that any group they were associated with offerred any classes on steam technology and maintenance to help develop that knowledge? So where is that wonderful "education" function so many non profits state is in integral part of their mission? It is real, or just a hollow promise made to seem in compliance with IRS regulations? Seems to me that such a program would be essential to obtain operating insurance.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:19 pm 
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26 this year. I spent my first 2 years living near the tracks, my father would take me down after work and we would watch the trains go by. I watched thomas in morning. Sometime between 2-3 I got my first BRIO train set. Soon after my parents took me to TVRM, and later on to Texas State Railroad. Sometime around 5 I got my first HO train set from grandpa. It was a Santa Fe F7 starter set. My parents got a second BNSF F7, and set me up with a 8x8 table and lots of track. Soon after they got me a mining set with a 0-4-0 tank engine and 3 hopper cars and a coal dump. I loved that little 040 steamer and ignored my diesels. My dad would take me to opryland every year until it closed, and the first thing i wated to do was go ride the "fake" steam engine around the park. I had steam locomotive coffe table books and steam locomotive calenders for presents every year growing up, and my mother still gets me the calander to this day. When I moved to chattanooga to go to college i made a bee-line for TVRM and volunteered there oftened for the 2 years i was in school. When I moved back to IL, I stumbled upon 261, and took two of her last trips. When I arrived in the quad cites and saw the 261 and 2 QJ's tripple headers sitting there puffing and hissing and popping as steamers do I was moved very deeply. It really showed why I love steam so much, it's alive. The sights, the sounds, the smell, I can't get enough of it. For anyone who has fired, they know. They each have a very special personality, even two engines produced in the same factory of the same type. That was a trip like no other, seeing a mainline tripple header steam at speed. I feel a great sorrow everytime I see one of these steam engines because I know that day maybe the last time I ever see them run again.

Next weekend I'm off to Denver to ride Challenger 3985, because she isn't getting out much these days, and I fear UP won't be running her much longer.

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Peoria IL
That which is seen is temporary, that which is unseen is eternal, therefore, focus on the unseen things.


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