railroad crew


Track maintenance on the Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger II Ausf. B “King Tiger” heavy tank.

The Tiger II, like its sibling the Tiger I, had two sets of tracks–combat and transport. (Gleisketten and Verladekette, respectfully.) Transport tracks were fitted when undergoing rail movement, and like I have noted several times before, Tiger tanks and their variants were strictly forbidden from traveling with combat tracks on. While having a better weight distribution and lower ground pressure than transport tracks, combat tracks were too wide to be accommodate the gauges of German railway infrastructure. A shipment of tanks with combat tracks on instead of transport could damage tunnels and train shipments on the railroad next to it. Crews were expected to change over to combat tracks as soon as tanks were unloaded.

Tiger II combat tracks used a “contact shoe” and “connector link” style of track, which is detailed in the final picture. The contact shoe has two contact bars which actually touch the ground, and has sprocket holes to match up with the teeth on the drive sprocket. On either side of it are connector links which are there just to join the contact shoes together. Each link weighed about 63 kilograms, or about 139 pounds. A transport track link weighed 43 kilograms, which is about 95 pounds. There were 46 links per side.

Its drive sprocket was connected to a Maybach OLVAR EG 40 12 16 B transmission that provided 8 forward gears and 4 reverse. I’ll save transmission details for another post.

anonymous asked:

Okay but in an AU where video games are a thing companions react to sole getting them to play PT or another horror game if that makes any sense? (+sturges if you want to add him) your writing is amazing btw, bless your soul!

thank you!! i’m gonna add sturges plus some of the railroad crew because who doesn’t love the thought of a railroad game night? i’m not sure what PT is so i imagined them playing something like The Evil Within.

Cait: She’s convinced that a stupid pre-war video game will be no match for her - seriously, how could it be any worse than facing the horrors out in the real world? It’s bound to be child’s play. But with every fucking jumpscare she gets increasingly frustrated, taking more and more stupid risks at every re-spawn until she’s stuck in a constant dying loop. Sole has to take the controller away before she throws it out the window, or at somebody else in the room. They don’t let her play again until she’s calmed down.

Codsworth: He can’t actually play the video game, but is happy to watch Sole and their friends play while he drifts in and out with snacks. At first he thinks it’s just lovely to see Sole enjoying one of their old pre-war past-times, and what could be more delightful than playing a fun game with friends, just like in the good old days? He’s absolutely horrified when he enters the room again to find Sole running from some grotesque figure with too many limbs, something like a feral ghoul mixed with a radscorpion. Isn’t there enough terror in the real world without this nonsense?! Oh, he despairs.

Curie: She can’t wait to take part in one of Sole’s pre-war hobbies, and how delightful it is that they’ve found a working console and everything! She learned from her pre-war days that video games can improve cognitive functions such as quick decision-making and reflexes, and is excited to try it out herself now that she has a human body that can use the controller! She jumps out of her skin when the first monster explodes out of nowhere, pausing for a moment to take a breath and tell off a giggling Sole for not warning her that this would be so horrible - aren’t real monsters bad enough? Sole is stunned when Curie launches herself back into the game with some new-found determination, slaughtering enemies left and right or else sneaking past them unseen. She manages to complete the first level with every power-up and collectible, and gushes about how lovely it is to fight monsters without facing actual physical harm. Sole is astounded.

Danse: He sees this as being a bit of a waste of time, but Sole seems really excited to play, and the monsters on the back of the cover look a lot like feral ghouls - maybe a simulated combat experience could improve his real life skills, and let him vent some frustration without the threat of physical harm. Sole encourages this mindset and sets up the game, watching with increasing anxiety as Danse gets a feel for the controls. After half an hour, he’s died about twenty times because he doesn’t understand the prospect of sneaking past the enemies, and can’t resist taking dangerous risks for more ammo. He gets so frustrated that Sole has to turn it off and let him cool down.

Deacon: He’s dreamed of playing an actual video game for years now, and having a best friend to play it with is even better. He’s come across some old horror movies in his time, but surely nothing could beat the terror of having to fight off the enemies yourself? Him and Sole get wrapped up in blankets and he starts the game, taking a minute to get a feel for the controls. It’s a disaster at first - he keeps mixing up the buttons, dropping the controller at every jumpscare, and just can’t resist checking out all those spooky basements and locked doors. After a while of taking turns, the two discover that they make an excellent tag-team, with Deacon doing all the stabbing and sneaking, and Sole taking over during the boss fights. Neither of them sleep until 4AM, and they’re both a wreck the next day.

Dogmeat: He’s happy to sit for hours watching Sole play games, comfortably wrapped up in a blanket and growling at all the big enemies that come onscreen. He tends to jump up and run away every time Sole starts screaming, but otherwise makes for an excellent buddy to play with. He’s always there to console them after a rage-quit.

Hancock: What do you mean he can’t just kill everything? He’s frustrated by the fact that there’s a stealth element involved, meaning that he can’t just hack and slash his way through enemies as much as he pleases. But to Sole’s amazement, he manages to do just that and get away with it, finding every goddamn box of ammo and being just quick enough with his shots that he doesn’t get overrun by enemies. He makes the occasional zombie joke every now and then, and makes Sole laugh by making fun of all the characters during cutscenes. When things get tough, he comes up with the most vicious insults imaginable, every word punctuated with a curse.

MacCready: He freaks out when Sole introduces the gaming console, spending a good ten minutes just going on about how he always wanted one of those back in Little Lamplight. His excitement is knocked a little bit when Sole breaks the news: they’re playing a horror game, and it’s rated 18+. “What age are you again, MacCready? Twelve, right?” Regardless, he’s up for the challenge - how scary could fictional zombies be compared to the ones outside their door, right? Sole has a blast playing with him, and he turns out to be the best gamer she’s ever seen. He’s excellent at being stealthy, and whoops with joy when he finds a sniper rifle, proceeding to obliterate every enemy in sight with headshots until he runs out of ammo. He constantly makes fun of how ugly the zombies are, mocking the stupid noises they make and telling them to shut up right before he cuts them down. They don’t get to bed until 3AM on Mac’s insistence, but Sole doesn’t mind.

Nick: The old Nick musn’t have been a big gaming fan, because he remembers very little about video games and how they work. It’s not really his cup of tea, but they both need a little stress relief and Sole seems really eager to try it out. He’s a little anxious to begin with, afraid that the console might conk out on them and leave Sole disappointed, but the old thing chugs on impressively throughout the night. His enthusiasm is boosted when he finds out that the main character is a detective just like him, and he’s happy to take turns with Sole at completing the levels. He mostly leaves the fighting up to them, enjoying the cutscenes and plot twists more than anything else - but nothing beats the adorable squeaks and jumps that come from Sole every time there’s a jumpscare.

Piper: She gets really excited when the console starts up, seemingly in working condition, and with a disc that actually functions. Pre-war relics aren’t her biggest fixation or anything, but a fun, spooky night with Sole sounds absolutely irresistible. She has a go at a couple of the levels, dying horribly every time she tries, but is happy enough to let Sole play while she provides the commentary, narrating every fight with hilarious enthusiasm and jumping out of her skin when an unexpected monster appears. After Sole’s ninth attempt at a difficult boss battle, she masterfully takes charge of the controller and is delighted with herself when she manages to win. She’s good at spotting ammo and collectibles, and annoyingly accurate with her plot-twist predictions.

Preston: Sole can’t help but laugh at how invested Preston gets in the game. At first it seemed like he was just playing along to keep Sole happy, but when it’s his turn to try and get through the zombie-infested village alive, his attitude takes a sharp turn from playful to intense. When it’s time to sneak around and keep quiet, he whispers to Sole instead of talking, as if the enemies behind the screen might actually hear him. Every jumpscare gives him a heart attack, and he even sends a bowl of noodles crashing to the floor by accident. Sole finds it hilarious that he tries to reason with the zombies while simultaneously blowing their heads off with a shotgun.

Strong: He can’t comprehend while Sole would rather shoot fake zombies with a piece of plastic than go shoot real ones with a gun. It’s also a struggle for him to fit in the house, so he occupies himself elsewhere while Sole plays. When Sole returns to him with stories about her valiant triumphs in the game, he’s a little confused but still tells them that they must have fought very well.

X6-88: He doesn’t show it, but he’s actually very interested in seeing how these pre-war video games work, and whether he’d have the skill to complete one. Sure, it may be a waste of time, but de-stressing his overworked companion is bound to improve both their situations. He selects the hardest difficulty and slaughters every enemy with deadly efficiency, to the point where Sole is jealous of his skill - this is first time playing it, that’s not even fair! He’s starting to get very smug before an unexpected boss battle begins out of nowhere. The enemy is huge, hulking, and ridiculously overpowered - and after his thirteenth ugly death at the monster’s clawed hands, he lets Sole know this again and again, complaining about how ridiculous the power imbalance between the boss and the player is, and if the developers had allocated level-ups accordingly so that he was at least on par with the level of the boss, the game would be a lot more playable while still remaining a sufficient challenge to his skill, not to mention the fact that… Sole nearly dozes off as X6 lists everything that’s terrible about the game, until they finally inform him that this is known as a rage-quit and it means he’s a terrible player. Neither of them rest until the boss is defeated.

+ Sturges: For a guy like him, this has gotta be a piece of cake. For some reason he seems to equate his skill with computers to his skill with video games, even when Sole tells him that they aren’t the same thing. He starts off pretty slow, forgetting to pick up the good weapons and running past all the ammo when he gets frightened. There’s a lot of unexpected cursing at jumpscares, and a couple of near-misses when he almost spills his Nuka Cola out of fright, but he pulls himself together until the end of the level, unbearably smug when he finishes off the first boss by himself. He’s happy for the chance to just put his feet up and take turns with Sole, both of them making up for each other’s weaknesses as they play - Sole always spots the weapons, ammo and collectibles while Sturges is the better fighter.

+ Glory: She’s the most vocal player Sole has ever come across, telling every enemy she’s gonna “show ‘em a piece of this” as she tears through them with her chainsaw. The controller is passed around between all the participating Railroad agents, but it’s always handed over to Glory when it comes to the boss battles. She curses loudly at every hit she takes, subconsciously moving her own body around in time with the character’s ducking and dodging. Every time a hard enemy is killed, she claps and cheers.

+ Tinker Tom: For some reason, he’s the master at this game despite never having touched a controller before. Where did he even find that rare weapon? He didn’t have it a second ago, that’s for sure. How is he picking up all that ammo, where did it even come from? His advice to everyone else during the more difficult parts is to just pretend the enemies are Institute spies. They’re not sure how this helps, but it seems to make him the most efficient player of all. By the end of the night, everyone loves and fears Tinker Tom and his ability to collect every rare item without anyone else noticing.


Caption: “South Shore 803, one of three massive electric freight motors that the interurban owned, is flying around the sweeping curve that takes the railroad into Chicago. The crew is doing short work and will return to Michigan City later in the day. Gotta tell you, having one of these beauties in your viewfinder was hard to beat. There isn’t anything out there that can match the 800’s, as far as I’m concerned.”

(via CSS&SB 803, Chicago, IL)


November 12, 1980

Photo by Bill Johnson


Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient

Each generation revises his myth. Here’s the true story.

By Sam Kean

From a virtuous foreman to a sociopathic drifter

On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.Other victims in the annals of medicine are almost always referred to by initials or pseudonyms. Not Gage: His is the most famous name in neuroscience. How ironic, then, that we know so little else about the man—and that much of what we think we know, especially about his life unraveling after his accident, is probably bunk.

The Rutland and Burlington Railroad had hired Gage’s crew that fall to clear away some tough black rock near Cavendish, Vermont, and it considered Gage the best foreman around. Among other tasks, a foreman sprinkled gunpowder into blasting holes, and then tamped the powder down, gently, with an iron rod. This completed, an assistant poured in sand or clay, which got tamped down hard to confine the bang to a tiny space. Gage had specially commissioned his tamping iron from a blacksmith. Sleek like a javelin, it weighed 13¼ pounds and stretched 3 feet 7 inches long. (Gage stood 5-foot-6.) At its widest, the rod had a diameter of 1¼ inches, although the last foot—the part Gage held near his head when tamping—tapered to a point.

Gage’s crew members were loading some busted rock onto a cart, and they apparently distracted him. Accounts differ about what happened after Gage turned his head. One says Gage tried to tamp the gunpowder down with his head still turned, and scraped his iron against the side of the hole, creating a spark. Another says Gage’s assistant (perhaps also distracted) failed to pour the sand in, and when Gage turned back, he smashed the rod down hard, thinking he was packing inert material. Regardless, a spark shot out somewhere in the dark cavity, igniting the gunpowder, and the tamping iron rocketed upward.

The iron entered Gage’s head point-first, striking below the left cheekbone. It destroyed an upper molar, passed behind his left eye, and tore into the underbelly of his brain’s left frontal lobe. It then plowed through the top of his skull, exiting near the midline, just behind where his hairline started. After parabola-ing upward—one report claimed it whistled as it flew—the rod landed 25 yards away and stuck upright in the dirt, mumblety-peg-style. Witnesses described it as streaked with red and greasy to the touch, from fatty brain tissue.

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One of the very early shots of Dixiana after her restoration in the early 1960′s (doesn’t even have her name yet). She had a very nice pilot made for her by the restoration crew, making her look a lot like the Shay locomotives owned by the Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railroad. However the crew soon figured out why Shays were not commonly fitted with cow catchers because it was smashed off when the locomotive ran into some of the work cars a few weeks after it was attached. 

saltyoldgrandpa  asked:

The Railroad crew and the Survivor have bi-weekly meetings completely devoted to figuring out how to get rid of that wig. It goes on for at least two hours. Things get heated. Words are said. Guns become cocked. Tom almost cries, he's so tired. There isn't even a betting pool anymore, it's no longer funny. No one is laughing anymore. Deacon, you're tearing this family apart. Deacon WHY.

What was the world like before the wig? Did the world exist before the wig?

They say the wig is sentient, that it’s learning. Soon it will know all of the world’s secrets.

Science has long proven that the Earth orbits the sun, but is it the Earth that is orbiting, or does the wig orbit the Sun and the Earth is simply pulled along with it?

Drummer Boy is convinced that looking into it’s dull strands, he can see tears in the fabric of time and reality.

“And if thou gaze long into the wig, the wig will also gaze into thee.”

- Nietzche