Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 20, 2015

Brainbuster - Make Your Brain Tingle

Trains, planes and automobiles. Or, in this case, just trains. My grandson, Landon, loves trains. Really, he loves anything with wheels and an engine. He’s the one that gave me the inspiration for this puzzle.

The train and its surroundings have been immortalized in songs, tall-tales, blues, and rock and roll. There’s a certain fascination with trains, steel rails, and the life of the “trainman” - engineer, conductor, gandy dancer, etc. Try your luck on one of America’s oldest forms of transportation.

1. The USA attained their only world speed record for steam trains, with a maximum speed of 112 mph, in May 1935. Which company operated the locomotive? Milwaukee; Michigan; Missouri; Minneapolis.

2. In what year was the FIRST steam locomotive built? 1801;1806; 1808; 1810.

3. What steam locomotive holds the all-time world top speed for a steam locomotive? The Mallard; The Hardwicke; The 999; The Flying Scotsman.

4. In railway jargon, what’s a roundhouse? A building for service and repair of train engines; a place where tracks cross; a location for passengers to buy ticket; a type of steak.

5. In train lingo, what does “rolling stock” mean? A large steel press used to make the wheels of a train; cattle cars; any car that’s part of a train; a train’s financial reports.

6. If you like railroad bridges, you should go and see the longest one in the world. But in which country can it be found? Brazil; United States; China; Russia.

7. Amtrak’s Chicago to New Orleans train, “The City of New Orleans,” was named after a song made popular by which of the following folk musicians? Arlo Guthrie; Steve Goodwin; Willie Nelson; Johnny Cash.

8. What is Amtrak’s official name? American Railway; America’s Track; National Intercity Passenger Rail Service; National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

9. Amtrak’s national headquarters are located in what city? New York City;

Philadelphia, Penn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Washington, D.C.

10. Last but not least, can you match the following songs to the singer/writer?

“Across The Track Blues”; “Daughter of a Railroad Man”; “All Aboard the Blues Train”; “At The Station”; “Back-up Train”; “Big Freight Train Carry Me Home.” Singers: Joe Walsh; Duke Ellington; Boxcar Willie; Al Greene; Johnny Cash; Stompin’ Tom Connors.


 1. Milwaukee. 2. 1801 - built by Richard Trevithick. 3. The Mallard. The Mallard’s speed record is 126.5 mph, which has never been broken by another steam locomotive. 4. A building for service and repair of train engines. So called because of its circular construction, a roundhouse has a central turntable that allows entire locomotives to be turned while still on track. This enables them to be placed into repair bays located around the circumference of the building. 5. Any car that’s part of a train and has wheels on a track, including the locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars, and specialized equipment cars. 6. China. The Wuhu Yangtze River Bridge has the distinction of being the longest train bridge in the world. 7. Arlo Gutherie. The song was also covered by Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. It tells the story of hobos riding the train from Chicago to New Orleans. 8. National Railroad Passenger Corporation. 9. Washington, D.C. 10. “Across The Track Blues,” Duke Ellington; “Daughter of a Railroad Man,” Johnny Cash; “All Aboard the Blues Train,” Stompin’ Tom Connors; At The Station,” Joe Walsh; “Back-up Train,” Al Greene; “Big Freight Train Carry Me Home,” Boxcar Willie.