Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

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Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby Slantaholic » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:10 am

I've been writing Raising Steam fanfiction about Vimes and Vetinari. On fanfiction.net I've only posted three out of the seventeen-ish chapters I've plugged away at over Christmas.

I've got some problems though - I'm definitely not an engineering personality; I find blueprints boring, engines complicated, and trains themselves useful only. I am not a train enthusiast.

I read the book under the impression that the stoker works in a different section of the train to the driver in the cab, namely facing backwards and loading coal in with buckets. I was relying on Back To The Future: Part III with the Doc trying to get the locomotive over 88 mph with exploding colour bundles. The very slow fog scene in RS disrupted a lot of this and not in a good nostalgic way. I was waiting for the golems! To hold up the bridge, I mean, not magic.

On Youtube I saw this chappie cooking breakfast in his shovel to the right of the driver. So the driver and the stoker work in the same cab, just in front of the fender where the stoker shovels coal from. Yet in RS, Dick stays in the cab as an engineer, I think. Yet, the driver's mentioned without name once or twice.

So my question is: where is the engineer, where is the stoker (Vetinari), and where is the driver?
All these jobs are mentioned, and I have no idea where they are. I only started off writing about Vetinari cooking a fry-up breakfast for Vimes as mentioned. I'm now up to the boulders and the grags and writing from V/V POV without Moist. Because I was confused as ***k throughout the entire read. Unfortunately, I can write Blake, but I can't write Vetinari - he is appalling unless he's in character as the bl**dy spy he is in the book.

I think I know from RS what a footplate is, and also the guards van. I have no idea what type of early steam train that Pratchett is writing about. In Making Money he explains a mint somewhat, and how coins are made, and also in previous books, I'm used to him explaining about how to make footballs, spells, stamps, moving pictures, etc. There's not enough "chewy meat" in RS to fully explain what a train is, other than the personified thing on the very first page, which returns without complaint almost right at the end. Methinks he went the UA route a bit too strong. And no, it didn't make up for all the sexism.

If you don't wish to talk Raising Steam - and am I the only one that wished to have Raising Taxes for real - can anyone point me to a steam engine train website without blueprints, closeups of a firebox without positioning, the same youtube clip, pictures of a steam liner firebox, and everything that Terry Pratchett missed out on?
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby Penfold » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:42 am

I found this clip that you might find helpful. :D



It's certainly easier to watch this than to try and decipher my explanation. :lol:
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby =Tamar » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:48 am

Slantaholic wrote: am I the only one that wished to have Raising Taxes for real


I kind of wanted Raising Taxes, if only because I had a few wild guesses as to minor details of how it might go, and I wanted to find out whether I'd guessed right. Also, RS seems to have skipped over some character development that I was expcting to happen on the page. Oh well, I'm not the author, and if I say anything specific that'll make it not happen. (In any other situation that would be superstition, darn it.)
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:06 pm

It's a long journey - presumably they would work in shifts as driver, stoker etc. Dick is the engineer, but not in the American way - i.e. the driver. But I see no reason why he wouldn't drive the train.
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby simmonds91 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:25 pm

the bridge WAS held up by golems, moist only said magic so he wouldnt get into any trouble.... how can you not know that?
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby pip » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:29 pm

A quick question for Slantaholic. Why would you write fanfiction for a book you have pointed out you hate on many occasions. Seems a tad masochistic to me.
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby raisindot » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:10 am

pip wrote:A quick question for Slantaholic. Why would you write fanfiction for a book you have pointed out you hate on many occasions. Seems a tad masochistic to me.


I'm writing Chapter 38 of Pteppic's Bastard Camel Strikes Again right now. Don't knock masochistic fanfiction (a redundant term if I ever heard one) until you've tried it. :D
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby pip » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:13 am

But you love Pyramids (deep down)
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby Slantaholic » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:16 pm

Not really. I'm trying to get over my furnace trigger that one Terry Pratchett interview gave me in the first place.
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby TheAnts » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Just check out any of the participants in Thomas the Tank Engine. The little bit with the cutout windows between the steam engine and the coal truck is where it all happens :-)

I must admit I was a bit nonplussed by the number of men milling about in the cabin in RS, but I had forgotten that an engine cabin can be quite roomy, as long as you stay clear of the chap with the shovel.
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby Discworldpadawan » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:30 pm

I've been on the footplate of steam engines in this country, what we call "firebox" is where you shovel the coal (like a furnace that does all the burning),it is in the main cab of the engine, and the "stoker" is the man who shovell's coal and keeps the fire going, stoking the fire, as it were. The coal is either in a small compartment at the back of the engine, or in another wagon pulled directly behind the engine itself, this coal wagon is known as the tender, or coal tender. So the stoker literally stands between the Firebox and the coal comparment (the gap can be between 5 and 10 feet), feet planted firmly in one position, and literally digs into the coal, swivell's his waist, and chucks the coal into the firebox. Sounds simple, but its a gruelling job, stokers used to sweat buckets, especially with the heat from the firebox too!! Hope this helps as a visualisation :)
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby Slantaholic » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:35 pm

Thanks Discworldpadawan.
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Re: Raising Steam Train - Where is the stoker and firebox?

Postby high eight » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:25 am

Engineer and driver are two words for the same job (engineer is more usually American usage).
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