Along the Deadline (Alasehir, Turkey)

Along a street named Akkeçeli Cd. in Alasehir, Turkey on Turkish State Railway (TCDD) property is a deadline consisting of a group of five derelict locomotives and a group of three locomotives separated from the first group by perhaps 150 feet.

If you wish to explore this deadline with Google Street View then the following link will take you there:,28.5163294,3a,75y,264.35h,82.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1stG8gePnQhYsFGlHoEu1XGA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The only locomotive in this group I was able to identify by the number on the cab was TCDD 2-10-2 No. 57021. For your amusement the first group of five consists of the following wheel arrangements: a 2-8-2, a 2-10-0 without a tender, another 2-10-0 with a tender, another 2-10-0 without a tender and a 2-10-2. The second group of three locomotives consists of a 2-10-0, TCDD 2-10-2 No. 57021, and lastly a 2-10-0. If anyone has a means of identifying which locomotives these are amongst those listed in Alasehir, please let me know by emailing me at

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Posted by on May 26, 2020 in Interesting Locomotives


About Those Little Green and Red Dots

Screen Grab of Search Results

The image above should be familiar to most anybody who has ever used the ‘Search’ function on our website. The above was generated when I searched for locomotives whose Number string included the word ‘General’. Most of you have corrected deduced the meanings of the little red and green dots (I always thought of them as LEDs, for some reason). The red led indicates, of course that the locomotive in question does not have the corresponding feature, and if green, then it does. So the Six Gun Territory locomotive has only one or more Notes attached to it. The 35011 has a Photo Album, Notes and Links.

So, here’s the rub. The indicator for videos was being generated correctly EVERYWHERE in the website, except in Search results. There, it more or less randomly was red or green for Video, and meaningless. Tracked down what I did to cause this disaster, and repaired it today. Happy.

Now nearly everyone knows that if you click on the little thumbnail image for a locomotive, you get a bunch more information. Let’s try it for the Southern Railway locomotive in the search results above. We click on the thumbnail image, and voila! We get the following:

And there, at the bottom of the screen are buttons which correspond to the features that this locomotive has: a Photo Album, Links and Notes. And a zinger: I just notice that some bizarre data entry problem caused this locomotive to appear to have 980 cylinders of 18×24″ dimensions. Don’t bother to go to the site and look. I already fixed it.

I am thinking about making the features (Photo Album, Videos, Links and Notes) available to site visitors without first having to go through the page above. I am working on an example and hope to have it available this week through a dummy page for your examination and comments. I’ll let you know.

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Posted by on May 26, 2020 in Website


Website Updates 5-25-2020

I am aware that it’s the 26th, not the 25th. But the contents of this entry detail what I did on the website yesterday.

  • Restored spaces to 341 railroad names in the database.
  • Corrected the locations of three locomotives in Germany, putting them at DKBM Gütersloh.
  • Began a project to add a dictionary of abbreviations to the website.
  • Corrected the status and other details for 7 locomotives at DKBM Gütersloh.
  • Fixed a bug involved in the incorrect abbreviation of a German state.
  • Corrected the wheel arrangement of Drachenfeldsbahn 0-4-2Tcog No. 2
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Posted by on May 26, 2020 in Website


Content Update 5-24-2020

In the course of reviewing the website over the last couple of weeks I discovered a group of data entry errors that occurred about 15 years ago. To explain briefly, James Hefner gave me his permission to import his world wide data to our website, and the information was contained in a Microsoft Access database. I wrote software that would allow me to import his data into our format, into a temporary table for each country. Then it was a simple matter to import the temporary table into our database.

Unfortunately, a couple of programming errors made it possible for the import to just stop if it encountered data it didn’t understand. No error message (my bad), nothing. And apparently this happened in several cases, and I didn’t catch it. The data that got missed has been manually retrieved and updated. The results are this: we”ve added 46 locomotives to the database in the last 5 days, mostly in Spain.

Additionally, some of the source data had spaces compressed out of text strings which looks really odd. This was true in the Access data base. I am restoring these spaces wherever I find the problem and have fixed slightly more than 1000 instances of this problem. It occurs primarily in a field called ‘RRFullName’. I’ll continue to fix these as this project progresses.

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Posted by on May 24, 2020 in Website


Website Updates 5-24-2020

Not too very long ago, I considered selling Hosting bills were coming due, and I could not afford them. I was tired and frustrated and thought perhaps someone else could do a better job with the site than I was doing.

As I pondered completing the sale I was forced to take a serious look at the website itself, and how it is maintained. I reached two conclusions: first that there are a very large number of bugs within the site which need to be repaired; and second, that for a person to successfully maintain the website certain technical skills would be required, both as a programmer and as a MS-SQL query developer.

The first problem can be solved with time and persistence. The second required me to rethink how the administrative interface to the website worked and how I would redesign it to allow a non-technical person to do all the tasks required to maintain the site. That proved to be daunting but doable.

As I continue to repair, enhance and modify the site in the coming days, weeks and months, it is my intention to write about what I’m doing and why in this blog. I hope that those of you who think about online presence and social media will find this useful and maybe even instructive.

There were some monumentally stupid design decisions made back in the day (almost 20 years ago now) and while they may have seemed reasonable or “good enough” back then, they have come back to haunt me as I’ve made the site more capable and more complicated. As I make changes to the site, I intend to explain what I did wrong, and why and how I’m fixing it.

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Posted by on May 24, 2020 in Website


Two Website Problems Fixed

About 7 years ago, I added a feature to that allowed the website to post a tweet to a Twitter account (@steaminfo1) whenever photos or links were added to a locomotive, and when a locomotive was added or deleted. In seven years, only 42 people followed this particular Twitter feed. About 2 and a half years ago Twitter changed its methods for allowing machine generated tweets to be made. And I didn’t notice. So any attempted updates failed and there were no more @Steaminfo1 tweets.

After nearly three years, no one has complained about the failure. And after reviewing the complexity of what would have to be done to recreate this feature with Twitter’s new interface, I don’t think its worth the bother. Nobody used the feature and nobody noticed when it failed.

It therefore has been removed from the site’s front page.

The website has a feature which allows you to choose how locomotive wheel arrangements will be displayed, whether using the Whyte Classification System, UIC or French Notation. A careful review of the site’s capabilities showed that this functionality was broken. A bit of research and coding fixed the problem. You can now click on Custom View from the front page and select the type of notation you’d prefer for locomotive wheel arrangements.


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Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Website


A Shay With Odd Lettering

Copyright © Alan Short

This Class A Shay (Lima Locomotive Works, 1910, c/n 2374) is displayed near the social club of Finca Pantaleon in Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala. It last operated in 1997 before being put on display. It is lettered for “New England Lime Company” No. 2. This information is fictional and not a part of the ownership chain of the locomotive. When it was being painted for display the lettering came from a photo found in a book.

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Posted by on December 8, 2019 in Interesting Locomotives