visiting a real engine

Where do you go when you need the best information on Disneyland Railroad and steam engine operations? North Carolina, of course!

This month, I visited an accomplished author and good friend, Steve DeGaetano. Steve has four published books on the history of the Disneyland Railroad. Most of you have probably talked to him on the Burnsland forums, so his authority on the subject is quite established. He is now currently a fireman and engineer at the New Hope Valley Railroad, a volunteer-run organization, in North Carolina. I had an opportunity to spend a day with his unique little 0-4-0 engine, and try my hands at pulling the levers and turning the valves to see how these controls really feel. And they really feel different than what I had imagined! So you can bet that I’ll be finding a way to mimic these feelings in the simulator.

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We also dove under and climbed over the engine to get a good look at rarely seen mechanisms, like the burner, the blowdown pipe, and even the link block and eccentric rods in motion when the Johnson bar is shifted! Steve also explained how many of the components on the engine work, and how the engine operates, all of which are very similar to the Disney engines.

Here’s a quick tour of the little engine, and a taste of what will be integrated into the sim:

Thanks again to Steve for the opportunity. I left with a lot of great ideas for the sim, and you’ll surely see another update coming. Soon, you’ll also get to feel what it’s like to be at the controls of one of these. (Hint: in a word, it’s exhausting!)

5 thoughts on “visiting a real engine

    • Hi Aaron. You’ll be happy to know that the sim is now nearly `feature complete’! When we go into the beta and polishing phase, then you’ll know soon enough that the release is impending 🙂

  1. I can’t wait for this simulator to come out!! What PC requirements will I need to run the simulator? What Engines and rolling stock will the sim include? I’m so excited, will the simulator be available in disk, so I can purchase it and load it onto my computer?

    • So far, the sim will come with the CK Holliday and the EP Ripley, with the Retlaw 1 and Retlaw 2 cars (the original passenger and freight cars).

  2. Hi! I was looking through your pictures of the Solidworks train model and it looks amazing! I am a civil engineering undergraduate student and I am working with a professor on a research project and have been looking everywhere for a Solidworks file of assembly details of a train. I saw your work and it looks like it would be perfect, I would be forever grateful if we could possibly view the file? It would be solely for an educational purpose, my professor is developing a study abroad program based on railway travel globally and needs a model for visualization purposes. please let me know if this would be possible! Thank you!! 🙂

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