The Locomotives of Steamtown
Perfect Bound Softcover
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On a fine Saturday morning, Henry and Sumner head with their family to Steamtown National Historic Site. They are so excited because there is nothing Henry and Sumner love more than locomotives and big steel machines!

As their adventurous day leads them from a big Union Pacific locomotive to a real train ride and finally the museum, the children learn all about steam engines, the different locomotive cars, the duties of an engineer, and how a locomotive boiler creates steam.

In this educational children's tale, two siblings embark on a great adventure inside Steamtown National Historic Site.


Imagine what your life would be like if your transportation and ability to travel was limited to how far you could walk and what you could carry in one day. Carts, wagons and horses made a significant difference but still travel was limited comfortably to about ten miles a day. The invention of the locomotive changed all of that. A hundred years of expansion and travel followed.

From the beginning it was complicated. Each LOCOMOTIVE was essentially hand-made even though it came from a factory. Not all the parts were interchangeable. So many shops needed to be able to do from the ground-up repairs and regularly did. Standard shop machinery included; large lathes, presses, and milling machines and some shops had forges.

Steam locomotives were regularly pulled off the line for maintenance inspections. Every 100 miles the engine was visually inspected and at 200 miles the engine was lubricated greased and oiled over an inspection pit that the engine rolled over. The firebox was examined monthly and tires and axels at 4500 miles. Springs axels and slide valves replaced at 20,000 miles. At about 100,000 miles the engine went through a major overhaul. Including new flue tubes, new boiler and firebox.

All the connecting rods and linkage were rebuilt or replaced. Essentially the engine was rebuilt. Because extensive records were kept all the parts were ready to go when the engine reached the rebuild time. In usually less than a month the job could be finished and a rebuilt and repainted engine would be off and running.

Thomas S. Tholen is an award winning artist who worked in the animation industry and is IMDb listed. Thomas has shared his love for drawing and painting through years of art education and currently lives teaches and paints in southern Pennsylvania.


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