Something Fishy About #18's Tender

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jpp452
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Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by jpp452 »

From the February 1950 issue of Trains Magazine:

The Detroit Free Press reports that the BOYNE CITY RAILROAD's only locomotive had been having boiler trouble until a screen was installed over the pump intake from Lake Charlevoix. The screen successfully keeps out the smelt and minnows which previously had gone right into the locomotive boiler.

Although the locomotive number is not cited, #18 was sold to the Boyne City in 1946 so I presume it was the "only locomotive" mentioned.

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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by Benjamin Maggi »

My wife is a fish fan. I will need to tell her about this story. If I recall correctly, the same thing happened to Thomas the Tank Engine when his crew had to get water from the river they were crossing. The crew then went fishing INTO his side tanks, and "had a wonderful supper of fish and chips."
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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by steamfan6325 »

I remember that episode of Thomas!!! Too funny.

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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by howie729 »

I have to watch that episode daily with my 3 year old son!!! I wish Thomas would visit the A&A. I think there would be a good revenue there.

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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by Benjamin Maggi »

We could always paint #14 blue and attach a plywood face to the front...
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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by jgallaway81 »

And who would that be?

Henry is green. Gordon is a 4-6-2 pacific.

Besides, if memory serves, #14 was either Bill or Ben, both of which were 0-4-0 saddle-tank, low-clearance car dock switchers.

There you go... paint the Dunlop school-bus yellow and put #14 on it to represent the twins.
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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by Benjamin Maggi »

Jason,
An excellent idea. I don't need to tell you which engine is my favorite in the series, do I? I have a wooden Brio-like train model of him on my desk.
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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by RedLantern »

Benjamin Maggi wrote:My wife is a fish fan. I will need to tell her about this story. If I recall correctly, the same thing happened to Thomas the Tank Engine when his crew had to get water from the river they were crossing. The crew then went fishing INTO his side tanks, and "had a wonderful supper of fish and chips."
Was that an episode of the show, or did it happen to one of the replicas that goes around to scenic railroads for the kids to ride behind "Thomas"?

How great would that be to be the fireman who notices the dead goldfish floating in the top of the boiler water level gauge.
Trains aren't dangerous, it's lack of common sense that's dangerous.

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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by Benjamin Maggi »

It was a real episode. I have the old VHS tapes that my dad used to tape Shining Time Station when it first came out. I have the first season with Ringo Starr, and the second season with George Carlin. I should probably convert them to DVD before they disappear.

In the episode, Thomas has 'an upset stomach" and the driver finds fish in the side tanks. Not in the boiler, if I recall correctly. My memory from 15 years ago is shady. If you get fish in your water glass, you better blow down the glass quick and hope to get a more accurate reading. Otherwise, drop the fire or you will have a big steamed-fish party pretty quick.
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jpp452
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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by jpp452 »

Notwithstanding the references to the fictional Thomas, it was not entirely unusual for fish to end up in locomotive tenders where local water sources were used. Pumping and treating water for locomotive use was one of those expenses shortlines often had to do without. Gravity feeds from a local stream or use of a steam-operated syphon on the tender (Cass Scenic still does this) served when the locomotive was out on the line. Logically, more than just water landed in the tank. Lucius Beebe refers to a southern short line where the crew would actually go fishing for bream in the tender.

Customarily, steam locomotive crews did not want the tender water level to get below AT LEAST 15% in case of emergency where they would not be able to get to a water source. So the tender would always contain a certain level of water until drained for repair or inspection.

Although this is speculation, I presume refills from the same source would provide some additional food supply so any fish living in the tender could survive until removed.

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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by jgallaway81 »

One would think the splashing from the rock & roll of the tender would supply sufficient ventilation to add oxygen to the water.
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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by Benjamin Maggi »

At the same time, my wife cannot keep goldfish alive despite all of her best efforts! If proper care, food, and water treatment conditions don't work, it is tough to imagine anything surviving in a rough, rusty, dirty, oily tender. I suppose that is the difference between wild and domestic fish.
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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by jgallaway81 »

not to 'get of track' but the domesticated fish have had it easy... humans change their water, vacuum their gravel, provide food thrice weekly (depending on species), and even mix species for specific purposes... ie including an algae eater to keep the tank clean.

'Wild" fish must deal with real life.. often made an infinitely more difficult by the toxins and trash humans have dumped in their habitats.

Aside from the darkness, I would think a tender tank would be equivalent to living in an RV.
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Re: Something Fishy About #18's Tender

Post by Alcophile »

The story is actually from the original Railway Series books. The story "Thomas goes Fishing" first appeared in the 1949 book "Tank Engine Thomas Again". The water line is broken so they have to get water from a nearby river. The bucket has holes so they pour water in as fast as they can and never to check for fish. As a result Thomas's feedpipe gets blocked so they have to fish the water out. Yes it was on TV.

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