Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Steam engines on the railways are a thing of the past, a bit like myself I guess! I rode the twelve miles to school on steam trains for years, then took the journey in the opposite direction to my first job. I remember the smell and the grime which often accompanied these "iron horses" as they were described when they first appeared on the scene in the 19th century.

What started me on this tack was reading of an enterprising group in England. They have recently built a new steam train engine from scratch, after raising three million pounds stirling from supporters, and acquiring necessary parts from all over the world. This LINK leads to a short video on the topic.

A little background on steam locomotion in general from here:

"In September, 1825, the Stockton & Darlington Railroad Company began as the first railroad to carry both goods and passengers on regular schedules using locomotives designed by English inventor, George Stephenson. Stephenson's locomotive pulled six loaded coal cars and 21 passenger cars with 450 passengers over 9 miles in about one hour.

George Stephenson is considered to be the inventor of the first steam locomotive engine for railways...................Stephenson was extremely poor growing up and received little formal education. He worked in local collieries and was self-taught in reading and writing. In 1812, he became a colliery engine builder, and in 1814 he built his first locomotive for the Stockton and Darlington Railway Line. Stephenson was hired as the company engineer and soon convinced the owners to use steam motive power and built the line's first locomotive, the Locomotion."

George Stephenson was born in Wylam, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland, England.
In the absence of a time of birth the chart below is for 12 noon on his birthdate.

A stellium in Gemini (Sun, Venus, Mercury and Uranus)= sharp mental ability, Saturn in Sagittarius opposing the stellium = practicality and hard work. A Yod formation produced by the sextile between Mars and Jupiter, linked by quincunx to the Gemini Stellium at the apex of the arrow shape means that the "railway ingredients" are all nicely linked up and prominent.

Railways, along with iron and steel are ruled by Mars, I think that Jupiter, the travel planet and Mercury, communications planet must have input too. I see steam engines as quite Saturnian - heavy, strong, lumbering beasts. Uranus, planet of invention and ideas is in there as well, representing the introduction of steam locomotion.

The Moon at 12 noon would have been in late Capricorn, but if Stephenson were to have been born after 3pm Moon would have moved into Aquarius, sign of the inventor - I'd bet this was the case. Pluto is also in early Aquarius, so the two could possibly be conjoined, making avant-garde Aquarius another potent factor in this chart.


R J Adams said...

Goodness! I hope that wasn't 'the husband' singing? ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Ouch, I can't see your vids, T. I will have a veritable feast when I hit wifi territory in the unforseeable future!!
Ah, steam trains one of my favourite topics, I've written articles in praise of.
I got hooked early and to this day visit railway museums, trails made from old tracks, etc.
i remember studying in school about the principles of the steam engine....

Twilight said...

RJ ~~~ LOL, no! He's not nearly as tuneful as Shel Silverstein!;-)

WWW ~~~ Yes, there's something romantic about trains of all sorts, steam or other, I find - especially the sound of the train whistle.

There's a railroad about half a mile beyond the back of our house, freight only. I love hearing the whistle, especially at night in the dead of winter, you can hear it from miles away, getting ever closer, then disappearing gradually. I think it's to warn traffic at the crossings, because they are open crossings around here - no signal boxes or gates to stop vehicles. The freight trains are very very long here too, 100 or more container trucks are common.

anthonynorth said...

I used to love riding on steam trains - standing on a bridge as one passed underneath. Ah, nostalgia. And it's hard to imagine that the area bordering Yorkshire and North East of England was the 'silicon valley' equivalent of the steam age.

Twilight said...

"The silicon valley equivalent" - isn't that the truth? - I hadn't thought of it in that way, but you are exactly right (as usual!) :-)