Retro Trains Getting Second Life
On Railroad Workers Day, Ukraine's state railway company unveiled their latest retro train
This last week, a vintage 1952 steam locomotive arrived at Kyiv’s Central Railway Station. Everyone on the platform, of course, wanted to check out the relic. Among them was a schoolboy, Matviy, who said he’d only seen trains like it in the movies.
“What is the most impressive? – I think it is that smoke and maybe that fire can be seen there and these big wheels,” Matviy said.
The particular locomotive Matviy was looking at actually appeared in two movies.
“Steam locomotives, retro train cars, other types of locomotives and special equipment. We all brought it into one base, systematized, began to inspect the actual technical condition to determine what can be rebuilt to the working state,” the Ukrzaliznytsia Historical Heritage Department Head Vladyslav Plakhotniuk said.
The firebox is the heart of every steam locomotive. Previously, machinists cooked scrambled eggs on a shovel in the fire of the firebox. This tradition began with the advent of the first steam locomotives. According to the machinists, the retro-locomotive differs from their modern kindred.
“On the steam locomotive, everything is different. We use the energy of steam, which means the assistant pumps the water into the boiler and it turns into steam. I have direct control. Steam is supplied to the steam engine and a locomotive comes into motion,” retro-train machinist Hryhorii Serhiyanskii said.
Five cars, a dining car, and a steam locomotive comprised the retro train. All seats were occupied. Passengers spent two and a half hours on the train. During the trip, they could enjoy the views of the capital and experience the special atmosphere of a vintage train.
“All these partings, meetings. Trains are magical in a way. Even when you are at the railway station on some business and you suddenly sense this smell you want to buy a ticket and travel along the rails along the tracks to the sound of wheels. It is just magic!” a retro-train passenger Ihor said.