- Jun 27, 2015
The oftentimes tenuous restoration of an old artifact, often to a standard the original didn't ever attain when new, is a kind of wishing after an imagined perfect (or better) past.In connection with the last few posts, I know of some steam enthusiasts who absolutely detest Tornado, the steam locomotive built from scratch a few years ago. To them, this recreation of an LNER A1 is fake and loathsome, an abomination to the world of steam.
Me, I quite like the new loco, as an example of engineering excellence which actually goes to make the older engines seem somehow more relevant.
"Will the Conq's penknife"? Trigger's broom, is it?
The phrase "The Golden Age of Steam" is suggestive, it is for some a "Golden Age", and steam was merely there and anchors the enthusiast to this 'Golden Age' even though it was little more than a passing mode of transport and the age of steam wasn't a great place for the majority of people in the UK, rail network not withstanding.
Building a steam engine from scratch new seems more like an interest in engineering - I still think steam engines have something to offer us, but powering them with coal might not be the best way. But as a 'new' artifact, it doesn't anchor to the past, imagined or otherwise. It's new innit?