Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Beautiful Morning in Portland: National Train Day 2009

When was the last time you smelled steam in a train station? If you were at Union Station in Stumptown, it was today.

It's May 9th, National Train Day, and the station was alive with people, displays, the Amtrak Cascades passing through, the Amtrak Empire Builder 5 hours from departure, a couple privately-owned Union Pacific coaches, and the featured attraction, the The Southern Pacific 4449 Daylight. Clowns entertained the substantial crowd while they waited to peer in the cab of the 4449. It amazed me how many parents dressed little kids in train garb.

The Daylight is a 4-8-4 steam locomotive, built in 1941 by Lima Locomotive in Lima, Ohio. It's now owned by the city of Portland, and it's perfectly restored and maintained. She was in the station today for children young and old alike to admire. Here are some shots of the locomotive, associated cars and caboose, and some of the very photogenic (at least to me) drivers, connecting rods, pistons, and valves. Here's a complete description of locomotive components if you are interested.

The SP4449 Daylight is getting ready to make an excursion to Chicago. She'll pull a number of private cars and you can book day segments or the whole shebang. Nancy and I talked with the crew that will be making the run while I waited for the sound of the past, the whistle of a steam locomotive!

So, get out your check book. All Aboard!

Oh, and even though lots of railroad buffs like to live in the past, check out this conductor who has traded in his railroad pocket watch for a Bluetooth earpiece. I'll take the watch please...


Ronna said...

All aboard! Love it!

Newsman said...

Salut, Jean,
The boy, the cap, the steam...wonderful!
It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. You do tell a wonderful story.
In Wakefield,Québec, where my Mom lives, the steam train excursions are one of the most popular tourist attractions.