Trains, old trains make fascinating photo subjects. Lighting is another matter. Fortunately these photos were clicked around 9 AM a few days ago. With a north-south orientation the old train offered interesting angles and shadows before harsh midday lighting. This front end view might be something to notice if you were crossing the tracks ahead of the moving engine. However since there is no cow catcher attached to the engine it may mean, sorry you are about to be history.
Powering this train, back in the day was steam produced by a coal fired boiler. Therefore the engine was basically a big tank of water which when boiled produced steam to move the pistons that cranked the eight wheels along the rails. As such there are plenty of hoses or lines running in and out of the tank. Makes you wonder how these giant iron horses were designed, manufactured and maintained. It took some knowledge to figure the physics and economies of railroad ownership.
This particular static, Illinois Central train consists of the engine, coal tender and a caboose. Take a close look at the metal's surface. You will find weathering, pitting and other signs of age. The historical society of Independence, Iowa maintains this train display and a former Rock Island passenger depot for kids of all ages to learn and enjoy a look at the past.