Queer Traits of Locomotives

February 8, 1902


Although locomotives are built of the same materials, details, and sizes, they are as different, as diverse “members of the human family.”


“The queerest thing about machinery,” said an old railroad man, “is that different machines, all built on exactly the same lines, with every part of the same size and of the same material, possesses a distinct individuality. Take locomotives, for instance. A railroad will build a batch of engines, say, 20, of a certain class. All of them will be of the same dimensions, the same details in every particular, and yet every one will behave in a different manner. There will be as much difference between them as between 20 men. Some will steam well, others not. One will be cranky in a certain particular, and a second in still another way. One will be stiff, rigid; another loose jointed. And then, just like members of the human family, some will be remarkably unlucky, through no fault of their own, while their mates go through life without a scratch.”--Galveston News.
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Brooke Royer


“Queer Traits of Locomotives,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed June 20, 2024, https://blackvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/38.