Sunday, October 10, 2010

Geek Weekend: Kew Bridge Steam Museum

So, I managed to persuade the people around me that it would fun to go and visit Kew Bridge Steam Museum, and it was brilliant! The museum is one of the places that was on the list for The Geek Atlas but got cut for space. Nevertheless, it's really worth visiting.


On weekends and other special days the folks at the museum set the machines running (including the massive 90 inch engine). I got there early enough to see most of the engines demonstrated and the staff were great. Got a good explanation of the operation of the triple expansion engine used for pumping water for London. Here it is in action:



Another nice engine is the Dancer's End engine that was used for pumping water on the estate of Lord Rothschild and was moved to the museum in the 1970s. And makes a lovely noise as the condenser water can be heard bubbling away. Here it is.



And finally, it's not all steam. There's a collection of Diesel engines. Here's a small one in action. What a brilliant sound.



There's also a steam train and Diesel train that run on a small track and are included in the price. And the ticket is valid for a year, so you can go back and see these wonderful engines in action as often as you can persuade your family to go with you.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.

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