I like trains. They are a marvellous way to travel. I have a vague understanding of electric trains, they have electric motors and electric bits and the power comes from an overhead wire or a rail on the ground. It is all I need to know.
Steam trains are so cool. All that smoke and steam, shovelling coal into a boiler, pressured steam moving pistons to drive wheels. Not too hard.
Modern diesel electric trains just seem to work without a problem. They are high tech beasts and there is nothing really to see. They just work.
But old diesel trains have become quite fascinating to me, especially the starting up of them. It is not a simple process of pushing a button and the engine starts.
There is a long whirring I think of a starter motor. There is what looks like steam belching out, and then the steam is combined with black smoke and lots of putt putt noises. Sometimes the engine settles to a regular beat, but not always. Is that a fail to start?
Like cars, of course of diesel engine needs a starter motor. What powers it? Batteries? How many and what voltage are they usually? How long does the starter motor engage?
What is the steam? Or is it not steam but white smoke?
Do the engines kind of start, but don't really, and hence the starter motor has to keep turning? They seem to start a bit, like firing, but don't really start for quite a long time.
In the probably forlorn hope that I have reader who understands old diesel electric trains. I might have to go to a website forum and ask questions there.