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Author Topic: Coal fired steam locomotives?  (Read 9784 times)
DaKaiser

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« on: July 26, 2013, 04:47:55 PM »

Hello dear community

I have a question in regards to coal fired steam locomotives.

My buddy told me a couple of days ago that coal fired steam locomotives aren't legal to operate in the US.  Now I have searched the web and I can't find any info in regards to this statement that my buddy put forward.

So naturally I turn to you guys to see if there is anyone here who could help me with this.  Is my buddy right or is he wrong?

Thank you and best regards

DaKaiser

ps. If possible please provide a link or links to where I can find out more about this.
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jettrainfan

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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 05:32:42 PM »

I can't supply a link but to start, Its mainly the Western US that is anti-coal fired steam. This is why steam locomotives out west are usually oil fired. Out east, the big names like NKP 765 are coal fired, and she's ran on Norfolk Southern a bit recently too, so there really isn't a anti coal thing in the east. If I remember correctly, it was cause of air pollution (California smog?  Roll Eyes ) hopefully someone else can go into detail.
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RAM

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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 05:56:45 PM »

The west has a lot of oil and the east has a lot of coal.  I cost money to haul coal.  That is the reason that most of the railroad in the west had oil burners.  Now most western railroad had areas where they used coal for fuel.  The S.P. had some nice 2-8-8-4s that were coal burners.  I do not remember any railroads on the west coast that used coal for fuel. Cheaper to burn oil than ship in coal. 
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Doneldon

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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 06:23:10 PM »

Kais and jtf-

There really isn't/wasn't an anti-coal thing in the West, either. Like most things in business, it was all about money. Western railroads preferred oil because western coal extraction hadn't developed like eastern coal did, but there was plenty of oil in the west by the time the western roads really got going. Burning coal required shipping it in from Pennsylvania or West Virginia or some place, and that costs money. It's also true that most of the western railroads did run coal, though only on their eastern lines.

Oil has more energy than an equal volume of coal and that efficiency was also financially important. Oil tenders could go farther before refueling, which saved time (critical on a long-haul railroad) and payroll due to fewer wasteful stops. Also, an oil burner requires somewhat less maintenance because all it really needs is a steam line to keep the oil thin enough to be pumped by a steam, air or electrically driven pump. That equipment is much simpler than stokers, coal pushers, crushers and feed augers. It's also a lot cheaper to build metal tanks and little pumping facilities than huge coal hoppers (which would be needed to fire the consistently large locomotives used to cover the vast distances out west). Those coal towers also need equipment to collect ash and cinders, and a way to dispose of them. Oil doesn't need these expensive facilities.

There are plenty of tourist railroads still burning coal all over the country. There may be some restrictions on  emissions but it's easy to get an exception permit for a historical demonstration.
                                                                                                                          -- D
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jettrainfan

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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 06:31:50 PM »

This is true, I thought he was referimg to modern steam.
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DaKaiser

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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2013, 07:04:54 PM »

Hi Guys

Thank you so very much for your swift and informative input.  I truly appreciate it.

Best regards

DaKaiser
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jward


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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2013, 10:30:33 AM »

there are many excursion railroads here in the east which use coal. cass scenic railroad with its fleet of shays is the best known but there are many others. since steam locomotives are rare, the amount of pollution they make has a minimal effect at worst. emissions from steelmaking and power plants are a much greater concern.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
phillyreading

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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2013, 11:44:26 AM »

I know that Pennsylvania is rather tuff on steam fired tractors, certain types can not even have a lit match put inside, some of the old John Deere steam powered tractors.
Not sure but I think that the steam engines have to be inspected and certified for use in Pennsylvania.
Steamtown in Scranton PA still runs steam engines over to Moscow PA, about six to seven miles away.
Strasburg RR still runs a steam powered shortline near Lancaster PA.

As far as I know; steam is not dead, just restricted or regulated in use.

Lee F.
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richg
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 04:01:32 PM »

Hello dear community

I have a question in regards to coal fired steam locomotives.

My buddy told me a couple of days ago that coal fired steam locomotives aren't legal to operate in the US.  Now I have searched the web and I can't find any info in regards to this statement that my buddy put forward.

So naturally I turn to you guys to see if there is anyone here who could help me with this.  Is my buddy right or is he wrong?

Thank you and best regards

DaKaiser

ps. If possible please provide a link or links to where I can find out more about this.

Don't believe everything you hear from, "They Say or I heard" without some suitable links. You are asking for a link. Give us your friend's link.

Rich
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rogertra


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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2013, 04:47:13 PM »

Hello dear community

I have a question in regards to coal fired steam locomotives.

My buddy told me a couple of days ago that coal fired steam locomotives aren't legal to operate in the US.  Now I have searched the web and I can't find any info in regards to this statement that my buddy put forward.

So naturally I turn to you guys to see if there is anyone here who could help me with this.  Is my buddy right or is he wrong?

Thank you and best regards

DaKaiser

ps. If possible please provide a link or links to where I can find out more about this.

Don't believe everything you hear from, "They Say or I heard" without some suitable links. You are asking for a link. Give us your friend's link.

Rich


Sounds like a post from an unformed railfan. 

It's amazing how little many railfans know about railroads and how they operate.  Oh sure, they can tell you the differences between various types of units but can they tell you what the purpose of the fly crank rod is on a steam loco's motion?  Assuming of course they know what a fly crank rod is or how dynamic brakes on a diesel work or even how the airbrake works or the differences between the independent and train brake?  Smiley

I had a good friend of mine, who was an excellent modeller, who told the story of how a freight car derailed in the middle of a train and rolled down a fill yet the parting glad hands of the cars either side of it swung up and reconnected so the train crew had no idea the train had parted.  Of course, this is 100% impossible.  As soon as the first air hose parted, the train would have instantly gone into emergency but he was 100% convinced the story is true.

It's these kinds of stories that have earned railfans the unflattering name of "foamers" among professional railroaders.
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andrewd
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2013, 08:15:00 AM »

sorry to tell you this but your buddy's right they are illegal to use in the US
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WoundedBear
A Derailed Drag Racer


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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2013, 08:44:31 AM »

sorry to tell you this but your buddy's right they are illegal to use in the US

How about citing your source for that info? I have been looking at EPA's site and others, and haven't found a thing specifically referencing coal fired steam locos. I'm always interesting in reading about some of the crazy laws your government has on the books.

Sid
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jward


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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2013, 11:43:52 AM »

sorry to tell you this but your buddy's right they are illegal to use in the US

there's always one in every bunch..........

Gallitzin, PA May 19, 2013





Cumberland, MD July 20, 2013

« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 11:59:50 AM by jward » Logged

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2013, 03:58:48 PM »

Well your buddy may have been think about some cities made it illegal to run steam locomotives.  I think it was Cleveland was one of those cities.
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2013, 05:41:46 PM »

There ALIVE

Hey Jeff are you sending that baby my way?
I may love diesel but I sure do enjoy watching the steamers run. I have only been able to see Southern Pacifics Spirit of Louisiana run on occasion around here.

Jerry
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