HTTP 404 Error - File not found

As you can see, this page is not empty, but whatever you were expecting, it's not here. There may be several technical reasons for this, but first it would be helpful to explain the origin of the ubiquitous HTTP 404 "File not found." error.

404 Error
This error occurs because the URL you are trying to find does not exist. Amazingly, the 404 Error takes its name from the steam locomotives of a bygone era. As you're probably aware, locomotives are classified according to the type and number of their wheels. Typically, but not always, there are three groups of wheels on locomotives, and they always come in pairs.


An example of a fairly common small engine layout might be 2-4-2, like the early loco shown above. (The coal tender wheels are not counted.) Note the coupling rods driving the two main wheels. Obviously, there are another two the other side, making four driving wheels and therefore it's a 242. By the way, this cutie is the Q1 class passenger loco built by August Borsig of Berlin in 1882.


Here is an example of a much larger passenger locomotive, a 464. You can clearly see the four wheels on the front bogie in between the cylinders, then the six large driving wheels followed by four on the trailing bogie. This futuristic monster is the New York J3a class streamliner. Note the Scullins-type streamlined driving wheels and the faired-in cowcatcher.


Above is an illustration of a very rare Irish locomotive, serial number 01, April class, built by Murphy at Roscommon in 1907. As you can see, it has four wheels on the leading bogie, and another four wheels grace the trailing bogie, but it has no driving wheels. Hence this type of locomotive is known as a 404. Obviously, having no driving wheels, it needs no cylinders, making it very economical to build and operate.

Unfortunately, without any cylinders or driving wheels, it didn't go anywhere, arguably one of the reasons that so few of them were built. In fact, as locomotives go, it was a complete dud, just like its namesake, the 404 page.


Copyright 2005 kenif