Podcast: Episode 4 - locomotives and elevateds and junctions, oh my!

John Bull in 1893John Bull, train and crew in 1893. Photograph by Will P. Cook from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

In this episode, we take a look through history for the bulk of the content. We start with a "biography" of one named steam locomotive that operated in the United States during the early days of railroading, and that you can still go see today. We follow that with a 1904 Edison recording called "Interrupted Courtship on the Elevated Railway", and then another excerpt from Randy Garnhardt's clinic "Interesting Junctions." In the Modeler's Moment, we review a few techniques to keep your model railroad locomotives operating well.

  • John Bull history:
    • Named steam locomotives of North America.
    • John Bull was built June 18, 1831, by Robert Stephenson and Company; it first operated in the US in September 1831. It was sold to the Smithsonian in 1885. The Pennsylvania Railroad restored it to operating condition and it ran under steam from Washington, DC, to Chicago and return in 1893. A replica was built in 1939 for operation at the New York World's Fair. John Bull's 100th birthday was celebrated on September 15, 1931; the celebration was broadcast on CBS Radio. The locomotive was restored and became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when it ran under its own power on September 15, 1981.
    • The original John Bull is on static display in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The 1939 replica is preserved at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
    • "First Engineer of John Bull Dead" (PDF). New York Times. November 6, 1909.
  • An Interrupted Courtship on the Elevated Railway, recorded in 1904.
  • Interesting junctions, a clinic by Randy Garnhardt:
    • Julesburg, Colorado. map.
    • Fremont, Nebraska. map.
  • Modeler's Moment - locomotive maintenance

Cleaning diesel wheels

Cleaning the wheels on a diesel locomotive.

Cleaning drivers

Cleaning the drivers on a steam locomotive.

Cleaning tender wheels

Cleaning the tender wheels on a steam locomotive.


Listen to Episode 4