Hello Friends and Family,

Arizona Railway Museum, 2022, Part 1

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Back in 2008, I shared photos from the Arizona Railway Museum, a non-profit where enthusiasts work to refurbish and maintain vintage railroad equipment. Coming out of the pandemic, I decided it was time to visit it again. If you would like to visit the 2008 photos, you can click here, here,and here.

One surprise was that the cost of admission had gone up. In 2008, it was free but now it costs $10 (and no discount for seniors or students). It's still worth it.

We (Johnny and I) started at the front with old number 2562, a steam locomotive.

Here we see the same steam engine from a different vantage point. When you get close to these massive engines, you begin to realize how complicated they were. My simple little toy Lionel train from my youth had many of the same components but molded together. On the live engine, you notice how each of the components was really separate and bolted or welded onto larger parts. And they all had specific roles.

I love this photo because when I looked at a small size image, it really looked like my old Lionel engine. Ah, such wonderful memories!

A wooden staircase stood at the right side of old 2562, displaying an old photograph plus a description of how it worked. Note that all these old steam engines burn fuel to boil water and the resulting steam powered the drive wheels. This engine actually used oil — the car behind the engine carried the oil.

Anyone who is so inclined can climb the stairs and actually visit the cab where the engineer and other personnel controlled this powerful beast. The controls were generally not labeled but you could imagine turning a crank or pushing a lever or pulling the rope to sound the whistle. Standing there in the cab, you sense the power available when everything was operational.

I love looking at and photographing the various components needed to support the engine and the freight cars — for instance, springs to provide a smoother ride and boxes packed with grease to lubricate moving parts.

Here we see the business end — where a piston is driven back by steam pushing on the drive rod which then turns the wheels. The steam is then redirected to reverse the drive rod eventually repeating this motion all over again.

Johnny was amazed by the size of the drive wheels — almost a big as he is.

And here is the oil tanker right behind the engine. Pretty clever and probably a bit more convenient than carrying coal or wood to burn to heat the water to create the steam to drive the wheels.

This was new, as best I recall — a caboose that has been remodeled as a party car. I don't know what it costs but what a fun way to have friends get together in an interesting environment.

Another wheel bogie — this one for that same party caboose.

When Johnny and I came previously, he was only about six years old. Most of the train stuff bored him (not this time, thank goodness). When we found a caboose (it could have been this one), he climbed up to the raised portion so he could see outside and just relaxed. It became "Johnny's car". On this day, it was closed so he could not reminisce about his previous visit.

To be continued. Note that I am leaving town on Wednesday — to Georgia for a visit with my sister and brother-in-law. We always have a great time together. Sorry but there will be no LAHP for the next two Mondays.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com