I always admired trains. I don’t know where this fascination came from, but I was always fond of the steam engine trains. Did you know that today is the 211th birthday of the steam locomotive? The first full-scale working steam locomotive was built in the U.K., by Richard Trevithick. On February 21, 1804, the world’s first railway journey took place. The steam locomotive produces its pulling power through a steam engine. They are fueled by burning combustible material, usually wood, oil or coal to produce steam in a boiler.
According to Wikipedia, in 1784, William Murdoch, a Scottish inventor, built a prototype steam road locomotive. An early working model of a steam rail locomotive was designed and constructed by steamboat pioneer John Fitch in the United States during 1794. His steam locomotive used interior bladed wheels, guided by rails or tracks. The United States began developing steam locomotives in 1830 with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Tom Thumb. This was the first U.S. built locomotive to run in America.
Although modern trains are equipped with digital technology to make railway travel more efficient, the nostalgia of the steam engine locomotive imprints an era in our minds, with the image of the way train travel began. Steam engine trains have less thermal efficiency than modern diesel locomotives, which require constant maintenance and labor to keep them operational. Today we commemorate the steam engine locomotive, even if there aren’t many around to experience the way railway travel used to be. I just love that “Chu Chu” chugging sound of the engine! Happy Birthday locomotive!