1920s Steam Engine Doing 55 MPH on the Highway

1920s Steam Engine

Built in 1927, the Santa Fe 3751 steam train can be seen here doing a casual 55 MPH on the highway between Los Angeles and San Bernardino on April 12, 2014. The view and noise of a steam-powered train are simply brilliant, especially indifference to the other vehicles on the highway!

The video was captured by YouTuber TrainTrackTrav who was kind enough to answer a few interesting questions in the comments:

1: Is the Metrolink diesel pushing the steam locomotive? No, the diesel is there to provide electrical power for the coaches, as well as dynamic braking. Listen at 7:55, that is the bark of a 1927 steam loco, not the rumble of a diesel.

2: Why is there no smoke? The fireman (the guy who makes the steam for the engineer to use) is firing the engine well. He is using as little fuel as possible, to make as much steam as possible. This means there is little smoke.

3: How much coal does it use? None. This locomotive was converted to burn atomized oil in 1936.

4: How fast is she going? About 55 or 60ish. This is no where near her top speed. 3751’s highest recorded speed was set in 1941, when she hit 103mph.

5: How did you work the camera while driving? I didn’t. My dad was driving while I was filming from the back seat.


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