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"Extreme Trains"

13407 Views 114 Replies 51 Participants Last post by  tparone
A new series, "Extreme Trains" begins next Tuesday eveing on the Discovery Channel.

I found it on the listings for Discovery high-def, and assume it's also on the standard-def channel.
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I enjoyed the reefer train from Washington State to New York State more than the previous shows, mainly because the host guy has toned his pitch down a lot.

I learned about how they create a continuous rail by fusing two sections previously connected by a joiner. Field replacement of a set of wheels that had become dangerously worn was also interesting.
RE: "Extreme Trains"

He has calmed down.
I guess it takes a while for Valium to take full effect, eh?
It was surprising to see them whack up all the axle sets on the scrap line.
One would think they would re-bearing and turn them, save some money on "new", but maybe there is a Federal mandate on age of axle sets.

Wish they'd have shown more of the passage through the Blues.
I've driven past a lot of that (if you know where the old Hwy 30 is, there is a lot of it that follows the rail).

I think the most interesting bits are the abandoned tunnel portal (one side) near the concrete plant, and the place called "Lime", with the abandoned approach bridges to the plant.
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RE: "Extreme Trains"

A few quick technical clarifications...

The transition from analog cable to digital cable started almost 10 years ago. In most places, you can no longer just plug your TV into your cable outlet in each room, and have cable. At most, you'll have the very, very basic tier, but the cable lines now carry phone, cable, and internet, so the old analog signals are long gone. You need a cable box in most places. That's why many cable companies now bundle their services with TiVO or some kind of digital video recorder--the boxes then serve two purposes--decipher the digital signal, and allow you to record it. That transition is a completely different thing than the DTV transition going on right now.

As for signal strength, call your local TV station's engineering department and talk to them about reception issues you're having. There's still a lot of fine-tuning of the signal going on right now, and the engineering departments are actually looking for feedback about reception problems that viewers may be having. I know our engineering department is looking for folks with DTV sets to check the off-the-air signal around town.

By and large, the DTV signals are cleaner and better than the analog signals, but on the fringes, you do get the issues that Charles mentions. That's because of the difference between how analog and digital work. In an analog signal, if it's weak, you get some snow and ghosting, but the picture is still passable. With a digital signal, you get a series of ones and zeros. If some of those ones and zeros don't arrive where they're supposed to, the processor stops and waits for the signal to pick back up, using the information that had been there in the previous frame until new info arrives. That's why you get the digital pixelation and the like.

As for who's responsible for setting this all in motion, thank your good friends at the FCC. Yes, they're from the government, and they're here to help. :)


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I liked the produce train one also. Having lived in Oregon and Washington I reconized some of the areas.

Some times when I was bored on a sunday afternoon I would cross over into Washington and drive up the Columbia Gorge then cross over to the Oregon side and drive back to Portland. I really enjoyed that trip.

PS. I saw how they fused the rails together using high voltage. Hmmmmm I wonder if we could do that with our rail using 220
Hmmmmm Here is that old pig tail form the clothes dryer....Now where are those alagator clips.
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RE: "Extreme Trains"

Just a thought, and never having seen the show yet, how would y'all feel if they replaced the host with that guy that sells the "Sham-WOW" products??
You know, those magic towels that suck up huge amounts of fluids...
I can't remember his name, but I can see his head cocked to one side, hair sort of sticking up funny, scarecrow sort of looking guy, and talking out of the side of his mouth in what sounds like a "Joisey" or "New Yawk" accent.
Now THAT would be entertainment... :)
RE: "Extreme Trains"

Uh, Duncan, you need to see the show.
Same guy.
I think we are just getting used to him. I still think he is a geek. Would you buy a shamwow from this guy? Not.

Aw jeez, I wuz almost kidding, there...
Now I GOTTA see this...
If only to scare myself with my telepathetic ability to foretell the existing.
If in fact it is the Shan-WOW guy.
Is the guy's name Howie, or Stu, or something like that??
Oh, jeez...

Just did a quick google.
The host of Extreme Trains is not the Sham-WOW guy...

This is the guy I was talking about. Name is "Vince", which to me = "Vinnie"...

I feel so much better...

See what I mean??

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RE: "Extreme Trains"

Maybe he's the guy on the "Big THings" show on Discover, or is that Science?
I get the feeling that some of you are actually starting to enjoy the show in spite of it's host. Maybe he's just growing on you.
I watched the show last night. Even with his spastik behaviour I kept seeing the back of my eyelids.
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RE: "Extreme Trains"

I thought last nights HIGH shots was great, just sad they did not show NE or IA , bummer. love the headend power.
Posted By NTCGRR on 12/03/2008 6:49 PM
I thought last nights HIGH shots was great, just sad they did not show NE or IA , bummer. love the headend power.

Don't feel left out. They didn't show any of AZ either two weeks before. I think the Steam Train stuff doesnt fit in with Deseasals.

Was I seeing things but Was there water runing out of the Flues in the Steam picture? I wonder if they have a cracked flue?
I must say that I enjoyed most of last nights show.

I wasn't quite sure, as I was being spoken to at that moment
, why the high pressure steam was being pumped into the locomotive when it was still in the roundhouse. Can anyone explain this?
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RE: "Extreme Trains"

To warm the boiler....so it doesn't crack. It allows the boiler metal to come up to temperature slowly. This is the reason why steam engines were never shut down.
RE: "Extreme Trains"

I learned something last night.

After the third warning of "BOOM!!!!!!!" if the water level gets too low, and all the B&W shots of boiler explosion aftermaths, I hit "mute".

It was really enjoyable without the blabbering.
My wife and I watched the produce train segment together last week. Since then, she's been imitating the host when discussing mundane household and other tasks - for instance, "I'm going to clean out the fridge tonight! If I make one wrong move, the fridge is gonna blow!!" I think the host is probably a neat guy, and I do share his love of trains (obviously). But is it necessary to turn every single task associated with railroading into a life or death confrontation with danger?
RE: "Extreme Trains"

I have a question.

Regarding the show with the 4-8-4, why was the diesel in the consist behind the water car? Was it to provide power to the passenger cars? There in case the 4-8-4 broke down or did the 4-8-4 need a helper?
Also, I think the shows are definently getting better. They may not go into all the detail we each want, but they sure are a lot better than what we have had in the past.
Modern Railroads are scared stiff that the antique rickety ol' steamer will break down and foul the tracks while someone has to go out in the boonies to cut it up with a torch to get it out of the way, so they insist that a modern, unfalible Diseasel accompany the train.

Silly thing is, on many occasions the Diseasel has actually DIED and the steamer saves the day by towing it dead to the next yard where a new one is put on the train. Milwaukee Road 261 has done it at least twice, and U.P.'s 844 has shoved a dead freight train from the rear when the head end units both died (the Engineer on the head end didn't know "what" had come to his aid until they blew the whistle to tell him they were ready to move!)

Well, yes, it sometimes is used to power the passenger cars and sometimes the train is quite overloaded for what any single locomotive can handle, especially on some short sections of excessive grade, so "double-heading" is appropriate to maintain schedule. Several Steam Locomotives today have the MU stand installed so the Steam Locomotive Engineer has control of the Deadweasel.

A lot of the passenger cars are being converted to carry their own Diesel generator for lighting and air-conditioning and so they don't need the Head-End-Power but the RR's still want that "Protection".
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RE: "Extreme Trains"

Also, the addition of Dynamic Brakes, at least coming down the west slope of the Cascades.
I'd agree with Curmudgeon on the use of the diesel in the 844 consist...it's likely for dynamic braking.

And it was not just your ordinary diesel either but the monster Centennial 6936. She's also not equipped with a HEP generator. UP has special HEP cars they use on trains like this. So more than likely 6936 was for emergency power and dynamic braking.

Same thing with 3751 way back when she did the Santa Fe employee special. The trailing diesels were mainly used for dynamic braking and just in case 3751 died.

I think the show tonight is on Amtrak's Empire Builder...should be good.
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