I plan to comment on the recent paper by Paul A. LaViolette proposing that the Pleistocene mass extinction was caused by a solar flare, but I haven’t had a chance to read and digest it yet.
So in the meantime, I’ll offer some more train porn. Over the weekend we rode the restored Virginia & Truckee from Carson City to Virginia City and back. I took quite a few pictures, a few of which I am posting. (Click to embiggen)
Here’s the locomotive used on this run. It’s of a type known as a Mikado (wheel arrangement 2-8-2), and was built in 1914 for the McCloud River Railroad, a logging road operating near Mt. Shasta in California. This locomotive was also featured in the film Water for Elephants.
The two passenger coaches were acquired from the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. It would have been nice to ride in original V&T cars pulled by an original V&T locomotive, but that’s not possible. The equipment that still survives in operable condition is all in the hands of museums, who understandably don’t want to subject it to the wear and tear of regular service.
Overall, it was a very fun trip through some wonderful scenery. We even met a herd of wild horses on the way back. I don’t think this was the last time I’m going to be riding this train.