Steam Train

Time Frame: Mid to Late 1800's

Travel by steam train in the mid- to late- 1800s was an improvement over stagecoach travel.
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“From Here to There,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 6, Iowa Public Television, 1978.

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I have seen steam engines of one sort or another many times: steamboats, sawmills. But nothing is quite so impressing as this huge steam engine on wheels. Coal, black iron, belching smoke and sparks, the hiss of escaping steam and the screech of brakes all stuck together in a rolling house of energy. Amazing! To be sure, the train is not a moving palace as is the steamboat, but it does have its share of traveling comforts. There are dinning cars where a person can get a descent, if not elegant meal. Many cars are still heated with wood stoves, but some use steam heat: a steam taken from the engine itself with a system of pipes and hoses. All aboard?! Do you want me to take that for you sir? Ok, but I want to keep this one. Ok, fine. Thank you very much. Brass kerosene lamps adorn the ceilings. Some of the express trains even have cars with sleeping berths in them. The seats are richly padded, which is much appreciated after the torture I endured on the stagecoach yesterday. (music and sound of the train leaving the station)


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