Tag Archives: museum

Cosford’s Civil Collection

More from the film scanning archive.  I made a trip to the museum at RAF Cosford when I was visiting my friends Jon and Charlie in the area.  Now Jon works there but at the time it was just an extra to my visit.  At the time, British Airways had a collection of aircraft at the museum.  This included lots of their older types in storage.  Sadly, the cost of keeping the collection was not something BA management deemed worthwhile and they stopped funding it.  The museum couldn’t afford to keep them up so they were scrapped on site.  I wish I had a better record of them but this is all I have. Fortunately, others will have done better recording them.

The Original Doctor Yellow

The Tokaido Shinkansen service requires regular inspection of the track to ensure it is up to the high standards required of high speed service.  JRC operates an inspection train called Doctor Yellow.  It is a highly instrumented version of the current trains.  I have seen the current Doctor Yellow when I was at one of JRC’s maintenance facilities.  However, the original Doctor Yellow was based on the Series 0 trains.  It is now preserved in the SC Maglev museum in Nagoya along with many of the other Shinkansen designs.

The Train That Started It All

The Japanese Shinkansen trains introduced in the 1960s became known around the world as bullet trains.  The shape of them was well known, often photographed with Mt Fuji in the background.  While other countries developed high speed rail, the Japanese bullet train was often the first one people would associate with the topic.  These first trains are known as the Series 0.  There have been several iterations of design since.  However, the Series 0 is still very recognizable to me and probably others of my generation.

I had seen a Series 0 vehicle once before.  I visited the Nippon Sharyo factory is Toyokawa many years ago and they have a cab vehicle on display by the main gate.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a photograph of that then.  Seeing an example at the SC Maglev museum was my second opportunity.  It was displayed alongside a number of the more recent iterations of the Shinkansen but, judging by the number of people taking photos of it, it still has a strong level of recognition.

SC Maglev Museum

Nagoya is home to a museum of Japanese rolling stock.  The museum name focuses on Maglev technology and there is a Maglev prototype in the museum.  However, the exhibits are really a cross section of the Japanese rail industry over the years.  I will probably post some more from the museum as there were quite a few interesting exhibits.  Most of it was inside – most welcome on such a hot day – but the N700 prototype was outside.  I did have a look at that briefly along with an old steam locomotive but I was soon driven back inside by the temperatures.

When I first got there, you are directed into a hall with three significant exhibits.  It was so dark, I was wondering whether there would be any decent photo opportunities.  However, this was just the initial introduction and there were periodic videos and light shows to allow you to see these exhibits more clearly.  A little patience was required.  The main hall had the majority of the exhibits and they were lit normally.  There were plenty of people in the museum taking pictures with small children that didn’t seem to be enjoying it as much as the parents would have liked!  Maybe they wanted to be at Legoland across the street?

Big Steam Engines

In the days of steam, power was produced by huge machines.  If you needed a more powerful machine, you just made it bigger.  The huge wheels and pistons that resulted were most impressive.  The Henry Ford has quite a selection of these old steam engines of various designs.  The efficiency improved as they introduced multiple phases to the machines to recover more work from the output of the engine.  The big beams and pistons remained a theme, though.  The large brick structures and the associated metalwork have been nicely preserved and displayed.

Power for a Factory

The Dearborn factory required a large power generation facility and, in days gone by, this was provided by a large steam engine driving generators.  This machine is now nicely preserved.  The scale of it is a bit hard to represent.  The cylinders are huge and the controls are substantial.  You can climb up on top of the whole thing to see how it went together.  Surprisingly, this is not a place that was getting too many visitors which meant I was able to nose around in relative peace.  It is hard to imagine what it would have been like when this enormous piece of engineering was in use and was generating the power for the plant.  Now it is idle but it still looks imposing.

Quite a Locomotive

I know a few of the regular readers of the blog are in to trains so I hope this one pleases them.  The Henry Ford Museum covers all sorts of engineering endeavors including a selection of rail vehicles.  This was one of the last things we saw before we left so I didn’t explore very much.  However, there was one rather large steam locomotive on display.  This thing was a beast and I imagine it was quite the sight when it was in regular usage.  Our visit coincided with the running of Big Boy after restoration so something similar to this can been seen for real once again!

What New Shots Can I Get at Chihuly

With new visitors staying, we were back at the Chihuly Museum in Seattle.  Since I had photographed there a few times already, I thought I would take in a different lens and just use that to try and get something different to that which I had shot before.  I took the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens with me.  First, the big aperture would be good in the dim conditions.  Second, that wide aperture would allow me to play with some shallow depth of field (the longer reach of the lens helping to enhance that effect) and lastly, that longer focal length would mean I could experiment with tight crops or longer views across galleries.

Here are a few of the shots I got as we walked around the galleries.

Automated Chevy Bolt

The Chevy Bolt is not the sort of car that would normally grab my attention.  This one did though.  It was at The Henry Ford (even if it is a Chevy) and it is tricked out with all sorts of sensors.  I assume it was some sort of development tested for automated vehicles.  I could have made the effort to go and read whatever was written next to it but that seemed far to much like hard work.  I guess I am the sort of person an automated vehicle is designed for if I can’t be bothered to even do that!

Mustang No. 1

Since The Henry Ford is a museum founded by a Ford, it is no surprise that they have some significant Ford vehicles on display.  This includes the number one Mustang.  It looks quite different from what followed it, an example of which is not far away on the display.  It seems quite light and small compared to what followed and definitely compared to the current incarnation (like the pun?).  It’s is always cool to see something that is historic, irrespective of what the subject may be.  This one definitely led to an iconic brand.