Synopses & Reviews
The next time you pull your Mogul out of the round house and head on down the mainline into town to get groceries, you can take this little book with you to help you fix the bar guides on the crossheads when they start to overheat. Or where to drive a timber under a spring stirrup to relieve a broken box brass. Or how to tell if you have broken valves in your Westinghouse steam air-compressor (kayn't go no place until you release the brakes...)!
The truth is, you and I probably won't use the info provided here. Not in a practical way. It's about understanding what old-time railroaders had to know to get where they were going. This is the kind of wisdom Wil Osborne (Echoes from the Oil Country) had to dispense on a regular basis.
You get details on diagnosing and often fixing temporarily problems with broken or leaky pistons, leaky throttle valves, loose tires, blow-by and motion defects in the engine valves, and more. Specific problems target the Vauclain locomotive, the Richmond, the Schenectady, and Baldwin four-cylinders.
You get illustrations of the Nathan cylinder lubricator, ways of the chaining four-wheeled truck frames with a broken front axle, how to board up the front of the smoke box should the casting be broken, the design of the Cooke wrecking frog, welding cracked frames, strengthening a cracked bridge, simple tools that can be fabricated, and more.
This certainly is unusual information. And valuable reading for steam fans, rail historians, and engine builders, I suspect. You're sure to learn something about the practical operation of a locomotives, and you'll probably be glad you never had to earn a living THAT way.