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Learning to drive a steam locomotive!

Click on each image for a closer look!
Driving a full size steam locomotive or a miniature version is equally challenging. In order to qualify to drive a full size steam locomotive on the Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway, Michael Guy and I had to invest 120 hours of operational time with an licensed engineer plus 40 hours of class room training and then pass two long challenging exams. While many of our smaller steam engines do not require that the operator be government certified, it is imperative that our operators be well trained as the driver must carefully manage a locomotive with a boiler full of steam at a high pressure.
During our last operating season, we had a limited number of experienced and trained steam locomotive drivers who had gained their experience as members of local miniature railway clubs. This winter we have launched a series of classes with a group of our volunteers in order to expand our crew of experienced steam locomotive engineers. In the pictures above, we find Michael Guy teaching the first of these classes last Sunday.
If you watch the video below, you can experience the complexities of operating a miniature steam locomotive.
Posting by Russ Milland; Pictures by Lance Gleich

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