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View Full Version : Steam Engine Aesthetics-Trim or No Trim?


stlgevo51
11-23-2011, 01:04 AM
While looking through some shots of the UP 844 and the NKP 765, I noticed that the white trim along the drivers and the walkways greatly changes the overall look of the locomotive. Amazing what a small change can do. Here are some examples:

[photoid=365230]
[photoid=320794]
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[photoid=369729]
[photoid=330087]

So my question is: Which do you prefer? Basic black or fancy trim? I personally think the basic black looks better, but the trim doesn't look bad from all angles. Sometimes the trim can look a little weird though.

Hatchetman
11-23-2011, 01:26 AM
prefer no trim. on my steam locomotives.

troy12n
11-24-2011, 01:20 AM
I ALWAYS prefer trim to no trim...

JRMDC
11-24-2011, 01:52 AM
I'm trying to make up my mind about that flag on the secondary tender, compare first vs. second. I think I am against, it is just too bold, colorful, and wavy a graphic to fit the my concept of a steam engine. But that is historical bias; were steam engines generally active today, so I didn't associate them with "old", I would probably be fine with it.

stlgevo51
11-24-2011, 03:20 AM
[photoid=340441]
Here's a good comparison for the water tenders. I personally prefer the one without the flag because, like Janusz, I think it looks a little bold.

jnohallman
11-24-2011, 03:09 PM
As far as trim goes, I fall somewhere in the middle. In certain cases it looks right, and in certain cases it looks wrong. In the case of the 844, I like the look without trim. I think I could handle the white trim if they'd left it off the pilot wheels.

Jon

KevinM
11-28-2011, 03:22 PM
When it comes to trim, I prefer whatever is authentic for the period in which the locomotive served it original owners. That could range from really ornate:

[photoid=379636]

to more minimalist:
[photoid=343693]
[photoid=311352]

In general, a little trim adds definition to a locomotive and keeps it from becoming just a total black blob in photos. White tires and a little pinstriping, while not always authentic, can be tastefully done.
[photoid=333378]

I start to draw the line with white/yellow hand rails and all manner of other trim. A locomotive should look utilitarian, not like an amusement park ride. Just because a locomotive exists within an amusement park does not mean that it has to be decorated to the extreme.

This is awesome, for example:
[photoid=354224]

I'm not quite as fond of this scheme:
[photoid=321491]

JimThias
11-28-2011, 03:35 PM
What do they call those ugly things on each side of the nose of 844? I prefer steam locos without those. They remind me of the blinders on horses.

Hatchetman
11-28-2011, 03:41 PM
smoke deflectors. those are iconic on a few locomotive classes:

[photoid=64993]

milwman
11-28-2011, 05:43 PM
smoke deflectors. those are iconic on a few locomotive classes:

[photoid=64993]

Or Smoke Lifters, I don't think they work but someone got payed to tell them they did.

KevinM
11-28-2011, 07:16 PM
What do they call those ugly things on each side of the nose of 844? I prefer steam locos without those. They remind me of the blinders on horses.

Jim,

They are sometimes referred to as "elephant ears" and are indeed designed to create updrafts that would carry exhaust gasses well above the cab and trailing cars. When the locomotive is working hard, these devices are not necessary, because the velocity of the stack gasses is high enough to carry them well above the train. At lower speeds, or when the locomotive is drifting downhill, the gasses often just blow straight back...into the cab or the passenger cars. The elephant ears were really designed for those situations.

And yeah, they are pug-ugly. It is one of several reasons why the UP 8444 isn't particularly high on my list of engines to go shoot. :wink:

stlgevo51
11-28-2011, 08:27 PM
And yeah, they are pug-ugly. It is one of several reasons why the UP 8444 isn't particularly high on my list of engines to go shoot. :wink:

Funny, I think the 844 looks great with elephant ears. I think it is one of the only engines that actually looks better with them. The Niagara, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired in terms of aesthetics, but they are cool machines! I would have loved to have seen one in person.

JimThias
11-29-2011, 01:08 AM
Jim,

They are sometimes referred to as "elephant ears" and are indeed designed to create updrafts that would carry exhaust gasses well above the cab and trailing cars. When the locomotive is working hard, these devices are not necessary, because the velocity of the stack gasses is high enough to carry them well above the train. At lower speeds, or when the locomotive is drifting downhill, the gasses often just blow straight back...into the cab or the passenger cars. The elephant ears were really designed for those situations.


Thanks for the explanation, Kevin. It never occurred to me that they served a function other than giving a locomotive a half-assed streamlined look.

Ron Flanary
11-30-2011, 12:03 AM
While looking through some shots of the UP 844 and the NKP 765, I noticed that the white trim along the drivers and the walkways greatly changes the overall look of the locomotive. Amazing what a small change can do. Here are some examples:

[photoid=365230]
[photoid=320794]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[photoid=369729]
[photoid=330087]

So my question is: Which do you prefer? Basic black or fancy trim? I personally think the basic black looks better, but the trim doesn't look bad from all angles. Sometimes the trim can look a little weird though.

It was a "political" thing within UP. When Steve Lee ran the program, the engines were 100 percent authentic to their "in service" decor. The 844 was "dolled up" with silvered tires during her early excursion days only in the late '50s and '60s....so when Steve retired, they reverted to the stripped tires.

I would opt for authenticity---but the "white walls" certainly look nice.

jnohallman
11-30-2011, 11:17 PM
Here's some trim I always appreciated - I sure miss the 1223 and 7002.

[photoid=109303]

Jon

Flowing
12-02-2011, 01:32 AM
Personally, my preference is for white or silver trim on the wheels rims but NOT the running boards. It's difficult to find this application in this day and age, but the CP Pacifics are a perfect example of what I'm talking about (given, they have fatter running boards that would look akward painted white, but you get the general idea):

[photoid=28193]

[photoid=252328]

[photoid=203276]

It also depends a lot on the locomotive's 'build' itself. A graceful, high-drivered passenger engine wears the trim much better than a brutish, low-drivered freight hog. Some engines that come to mind that look awesome with trim are SP 2472 and L&N 152. Engines I would never want to see with trim are Frisco 1522 or WMSR 734.

KGilliam
12-26-2011, 05:50 PM
It was a "political" thing within UP. When Steve Lee ran the program, the engines were 100 percent authentic to their "in service" decor. The 844 was "dolled up" with silvered tires during her early excursion days only in the late '50s and '60s....so when Steve retired, they reverted to the stripped tires.

I would opt for authenticity---but the "white walls" certainly look nice.


Political may be part of it, but there's more to it than that. The white walls appeared last fall just prior to the 50th Anniversary trip as a throwback to make the 844 identical in appearance to the first post-steam excursion--and Steve Lee was still active then.

As to why they are still white, my guess is that they simply have bigger and better things to do right now than repainting it again.