I wasn’t sure of the specifics of making a steam train run besides, well, the steam. And a burning fire! I knew that was part of it, too.
I visited Howstuffworks.com to gain some insight.
Visit the website to see animated graphics and for further information.
I think my favorite tidbit was the explanation of the choo-choo sound: When the valve opens the cylinder to release its steam exhaust, the steam escapes under a great deal of pressure and makes a “choo!” sound as it exits. When the train is first starting, the piston is moving very slowly, but then as the train starts rolling the piston gains speed. The effect of this is the “Choo….. choo…. choo… choo choo-choo-choo” that we hear when it starts moving.
Get moving on making a donation to the Train Station Community Center because 30 Days of Trains! is slowly winding down.