The Duke Power 0-4-0 switching locomotive

Spring looks like it’s finally here, time for some photo excursions. One place that’s always a great location is the North Carolina Transportation Museum. The focus here are the old trains and rolling stock that have been perfectly restored. Nothing like big and powerful steam or diesel locomotives when is comes to framing a shot.

The North Carolina Transportation Museum rates 4 stars as a Photographer Friendly location. There is plenty to shoot. Plenty of room for a tripod if that’s the way you roll. In my experience zero interference from the staff so long as you exercise minimal judgment. Basically that means don’t do anything dangerous.

Here’s a few more shots.

Caboose Renovation


North Carolina Transportation Museum

Railroad Factoids

When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol, at a factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line to the factory runs through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than a railroad track, and US railroad tracks are a standard gauge, 4’8.5”.

So why are railroad tracks that odd size? It goes back to the width of horse drawn wagons and the ruts in the roads they traveled. The first roads in the US were built by engineers from Great Britain. And the early roads in Britain were designed and built by the Romans. The Roman builders sized their wagons and war chariots based on the width of two horses.

So the size of the solid fuel rocket boosters on the space shuttle is derived from the width of two horse’s asses.

Don’t believe bureaucrats rule the world? Think again.


Quote of the Day
Interesting. Sex works even better than chocolate to modify behavior. I wonder if anyone else has stumbled onto that.
Sheldon Cooper

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