January 02, 2016

The Alhazred & Miskatonic Railroad


Cthulhu-choo-choo!  Or, should I say, "Cthulhu-Tcho-tcho"?

"In his station at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits for passengers."

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:13 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
Post contains 21 words, total size 1 kb.

1

Pardon me boy,
Is this the Lair of Great Cthulhu?
In the city of slime,
Where it is night all the time.

Bob Hope never went
Along the road to Great Cthulhu,
And Triple-A has no maps,
And all the Tcho Tcho's lay traps.

You'll see an ancient sunken city
Where the angles are wrong.
You'll see the fourth demonsion
If you're there very long.
Come to the conventicle,
Bring along your pentacle,
Otherwise you'll be dragged off by a tentacle.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 02, 2016 09:53 PM (2yngH)

2 'tis the season:

Posted by: Mauser at January 02, 2016 10:46 PM (5Ktpu)

3 What? No "didn't make it to the R'lyeh-way station" joke?

Hmm. Yeah, that's probably for the best.

Posted by: GreyDuck at January 02, 2016 11:04 PM (rKFiU)

4 If you google "steam engine explosion" it's interesting how many of the photos are of Aultman and Advance agricultural steam engines.  When one went up it was apparently a major event.

Posted by: Ben at January 03, 2016 07:52 AM (DRaH+)

5 What actually is going on in that picture? I gather this is the result of a locomotive's steam boiler exploding, but what the hell are all those pipes? I thought the boiler was just a big tank.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 03, 2016 06:44 PM (+rSRq)

6 This is a firetube boiler, Steven.  To steal from that link, "their advantage over flued boilers with a single large flue is that the many small tubes offer far greater heating surface area for the same overall boiler volume," thus creating more steam faster.

Or, y'know... Cthulhu.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 03, 2016 07:12 PM (zAcee)

7

So the firebox is in the rear, next to the cabin. And a mongo impeller pushes hot gases from the firebox through all those pipes, which run through the boiler tank, and ultimately out of the stack at the very front. Is that the idea?

(Actually, if it's like other steam engines, the "impeller" is a jet of steam in the stack which pulls hot gases through those pipes. Right?)

That's actually a clever design. It's too easy a trap to fall into to feel contempt for technologies from a couple of centuries ago, but we should resist that urge. Design engineers from 200 years were just as smart as we are; they just had fewer tools and less materiel to work with than we do.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 03, 2016 08:06 PM (+rSRq)

8 ...the "impeller" is a jet of steam in the stack which pulls hot gases through those pipes. Right?

Yep!    

Design engineers from 200 years were just as smart as we are; they just had fewer tools and less materiel to work with than we do.

Arguably smarter, or more adept at using what they had... what we do with computer design, they did with slide rules, pencils and hand-drawn blueprints.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 04, 2016 08:03 AM (zAcee)

9 Then what happened to this engine seems to be that the front of the boiler blew out. Did the crew survive it?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 04, 2016 04:18 PM (+rSRq)

10 A Google image search leads to this page (way-back machine).  This appears to be the C & O (Chesapeake & Ohio) #3020 in 1948.  Three crew members were killed by the steam, including one who managed to get to a nearby farmhouse.  The linked page has a nice picture from the opposite side of the train.

Posted by: Rick C at January 04, 2016 05:00 PM (ECH2/)

11

I think I'd rather be killed by concussion and/or shrapnel than by being cooked to death by steam.

Crawling away only to die later is just about the worst possible outcome IMHO.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 04, 2016 06:06 PM (+rSRq)

12 Yeah, I think I'd agree.  Sadly, the first to die lasted 3 hours, if I read that scan correctly, and the guy who crawled away, blinded, to the nearby house, survived until the next morning.
Apparently they rebuilt the engine and put it back into service, but at least one engineer refused to ride on it because it killed people.

Posted by: Rick C at January 04, 2016 06:39 PM (FvJAK)

13 It looks like there's only a few feet of engine missing, and that would most likely contain the smokebox and maybe a sandbox...I'm wondering if the excess of tubes is actually the superheater tubes blown out of the steam tubes.  I don't see how it would be possible, but that just seems like too much tube for how much engine is gone.

Posted by: Ben at January 04, 2016 07:40 PM (S4UJw)

14    Some of the "spaghetti" might be the rods that help hold the ends of the boiler to the body of the boiler in addition to the rivets.     Had to maintain a fire tube boiler quite a few years ago (1980's).  What is interesting is that the tubes are not welded in, just squished by a rolling tool that fits a couple of inches into the end of the tube and then makes a compression fit between the tube and the boiler end.     Lots of work doing that and replacing the tubes. Actually the whole boiler system was labor intensive. 

Posted by: jon spencer at January 04, 2016 08:07 PM (LtOnR)

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