Steam Day in Hyvinge

Here's yours truly, running the 1.5 scale "Chicken" during the Finnish Railway Museum's annual Steam day - I ran almost non-stop for five hours, taking a maximum load of up to ten passengers on the museum's factory-made two-truck cars.

As you can see, the queue was pretty substantial - during the day, we had over 720 passengers for the trip around the 350 meter (1000+ ft) loop.

My live steamer friend, Juhani Saloranta, took a few spins with the "Chicken", too. At left, you can see my 3003 that I also ran during the day - but since it can't handle the load that the 666 manages, it didn't shorten the waiting line at all... Behind it, the museum's German electric "diesel", which couldn't take more than 3 kids, due to the weak electronics - use over 20 amps, and the transistors blow!

Here Juhani is running the 666 up the 4%, 15 m (45 ft.) radius grade - the part of the track where the engines work the hardest.

The visitors also had a chance to run a handcar by themselves - note the "plate" wheels - a simple and light design.

A "real Chicken" was also in steam - it had come all the way from the "Haapamäki Steam Locomotive Park" overnight, running at max 40 km/h (25 mph), and will return to its home depot later today.

Here's a view from inside the cab.

Fired with birch wood...

These fellows had it a bit hotter than I did!

There was a lot of smoke in the air today - but not all came from from the steam engines. The widespread forest fires in Russia, near St. Petersburg, 300 km (190 miles) away, have spread a grey haze over all of Southern finland. For more, see this webpage. No wonder there are fires, this summer has been the driest in a whole century!