by Howard Sterenberg
In the first quarter 2016 Central Headlight, the cover story is the account of the October 1950 train wreck at Oneida NY. Sadly, the fireman was instantly killed and it tells us that the engineer inhaled a lung full of steam from a broken pipe, staggered onto Main Street, and collapsed. He died a short time later in the hospital. My understanding of the characteristics of high pressure, super heated steam is pretty much limited to the actions of my HO scale 12V steam locomotives. So what was it that made that lung full of steam so lethal? Was it the heat of the steam or was it because of the expansion of the steam after it got into his lungs? The caption under a picture of the overturned locomotive described it as: having inhaled "live steam", What is the definition of "live steam"? Is that steam that is still expanding?