FULL STEAM AHEAD!!!
Until the steam locomotive came along, the main means of hauling loads by train was either human or horse power. As track was laid across the continental United States in the early 1800s, new technology was improving the steam engine.
In a steam locomotive:
Afire is built in a firebox.
Hot gases from the firebox pass through the boiler in fire tubes to heat water HOT, producing steam.
The gases leave the locomotive via the smokebox and smokestack.
The wet steam passes from a dome on top of the boiler through the throttle valve.
Steam is admitted alternately to either side of a piston in a cylinder, pushing the piston back and forth.
The piston is connected to the driving wheels with a driving rod and crank.
A back and forth motion of the piston turns the driving wheel.
Each time the cylinder psiton moves back and forth, the driving wheel completes a full rotation.
After leaving the cylinder, the spent stem escapes from the locomotive via the exhaust pipe and smokestack in the smokebox.
The action of the steam in the exhaust pipe helps to draw the fire and generate more steam.
OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!!
Things To Think About:
How did building the Transcontinental Railroad help the United States to grow?
How did building the Transcontinental Railroad change the life-style of the Plains Indian?
Why were early train routes such easy targets for outlaws? If you were a passenger on a train being robbed, what could you do?
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