QUOTE(Maizie @ Dec 9 2011, 11:28 AM)
QUOTE(Swell Box @ Dec 9 2011, 10:53 AM)
There is something rather exiting about the sound of a big diesel engine, waiting and ready to haul a rake of carriages across the country.
My first experience of King's Cross - I was going to visit a friend for a weekend, and she lived in Newcastle. The weekend before, my husband and I had a visit to London, in part so he could accompany me to King's Cross, so I could see where I would come out of the underground, where the platforms were, etc, and generally be able to approach this new strange place where I was on a time limit without too much stress.
We were walking up from the underground (Victoria line, I suspect), and he just stopped in his tracks.
"There's a Deltic in here", he said.
This was to me at the time utter gibberish, but he explained to me that it was a special type of train that made a very distinctive noise
Where I work in West London, from where I sit on the other side of the canal is the main line (Paddington to Reading, Oxford, etc...) Last week there was a distinctive noise and I said "ooooh, actual steam train", and promptly lots and lots of grown-up office workers were nose-against-the-window admiring the chuff-chuff-chuff of the passing train
Ah yes, the Deltic. They had two three cylinder engines, each with three crakshafts and six pistons in opposed formation - rather like the old Doxford marine engines. I seem to remember the Deltic engine design was taken from the Germans, who had used it to power fighter aircraft during the war, albeit using petrol rather than diesel fuel.
I also remember that Harold Wilson's Labour government
wasted millions on infrastructure to fuel the Deltics with Groundnut Oil, but like so many such schemes it never got off of the ground.
On the subject of steam; it was early on a winter's Saturday morning, and we were driving firstly to Hexham, and then on to Carlisle for an NDSO 'Organ Day'. As we were driving along the A1M we spotted a plume of [what looked like] smoke rising in the cold, crisp air, from the middle of a field where we didn't expect to see smoke rising! A moment later we realised it was the new A4 Peppercorn loco heading south out of Durham on the East Coast Main Line.
So, two reasons to be happy that day!