Monday, 9 April 2007

Choo choo!

I suppose I've got to come out of my coconut shell now that I've got a mention in Quill magazine. I haven't seen the issue yet, but I hope they say nice things about me and my blog.

Anyways, speaking of magazines, I picked up something odd recently. By odd, I mean something that doesn't really lie in the general populace's interests. I speak of Steam World.

"Britain's Best-Selling Historical Railway Magazine", the banner claims in full caps right at the top of the cover.

I purchased this magazine for two reasons: 1) The concerns of said magazine is covered by my areas of interest, which is to say, I have more than a slight passing interest in choo-choo trains (blame Thomas); and 2) it only cost six bucks, because it was a back issue from November 2006.

When I found the time to browse through it, I was blown away. I was merely expecting articles with perhaps some generalised trivia sprinkled about, perhaps accompanied by some old archive photographs. But man! What's inside are really detailed write-ups, most of them, if not all written by former engineers who worked on steam locomotives of times past. Even the readers are a very knowledgeable lot, as as can be seen from the letters section.

One reader wrote in about a previous issue's cover, opining:
"...your front cover colour picture is magnificent.

The locomotive is fully coaled with neatly trimmed bunker and with also I guess a fully 'coaled' box (firebox) as they would say on shed preparation in Cumberland (as it was at the time). A clean fire and full boiler pressure and water level are indicated by the vapours discharging from the chimney, safety valves, and nearside injector. The work stained patina of the locomotive enhances the atmosphere. The driver looks very experienced, confident and relaxed, but also alert and ready to proceed with his duties."
I was very impressed. All that from the cover photo? Amazing! I would have no idea about the driver, at the very least, because he appears so tiny against the mighty mass of locomotive machinery that encapsulates him in the photo.

Like I said, I was just thoroughly blown away by the technicality of it all. And the pictures! If those trains were naked women, the pages would already be stuck together with dried yellow ick. The magazine's a true geek fest. I must buy more.


  1. a friend of mine edits locomotives international and spends all his free time travelling europe to photograph them. you'd get on very well!

  2. I read somewhere that one should occasionally buy a magazine on a subject you have absolutely no interest in. It's supposed to remove one's blinkers.


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