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Author Topic: Coal fired steam locomotives?  (Read 9778 times)
GN.2-6-8-0


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« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2013, 05:22:06 PM »

What do you mean that one burned dried milk?

Indeed dried milk was used several times.  In the 20s it was shown to have reduced smoke over coal with a similar heating property.

Here is a link to a demo done in the 30s.

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/locomotive-tries-milk-fuel/


Note today the Grand Canyon RR fires its steam using vegetable oil allegedly to make it greener.

Stan

Yeh'The folks up in Williams Az. Are complaining about the smell of French fries cooking when they run their steamers.....!!
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Rocky Lives
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2013, 07:03:28 AM »

And on this topic of alternate fuels for steam locos, many ammusment park live steamers are, and have been over the years run on propane.

Sheldon
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richg
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« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2013, 12:24:31 PM »

And on this topic of alternate fuels for steam locos, many ammusment park live steamers are, and have been over the years run on propane.

Sheldon

I have seen that at Disney in Fl some years ago. Much easier to handle and maintain the loco than coal. Many old timers just cannot seem to let go of coal fired locos.
At the Mt Washington cog railway, I was in the rear of the passenger car, just in front of the loco. I put my left arm out for a video and within a few seconds, my arm was covered with coal particles blown out the stack. Those little engines work very hard when climbing the mountain. The fireman has to essentially maintain a miniature volcano in the firebox so the loco does not lose its steam on the way up.
Now, one steamer and three diesels work the mountain. At a water stop, maybe half way, the fireman goes around the steamer with an adjustable wrench checking all the fasteners. The steamers were built in the 1930's the last I knew.
With the diesels, press a button for forward or reverse. They use a constant drive hydraulic motor system.

Rich
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J3a-614

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« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2013, 02:45:09 AM »

This coal-burning business reminds me of a story from the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. . .

For years, this railroad (which is part of the state park system here) ran "cinder cars."  These were, like all the other equipment on this road, former logging flats converted to passenger service.  These were open cars with only handrails and benches, no sides or roof.  I remember one being coupled next to the locomotive on the way up the hill.  Great place for sound, but there was a reason they were called "cinder cars!"

For a while the road quit using them, due to some complaints they got from passengers about those oily cinders and claims for ruined clothes.  One lady was upset and buttonholed the park superintendent there, exclaiming to him, "You've ruined my clothes!  You've ruined my clothes!  Your brochure says you run a steam train!  It does not say you run a coal train!" 

Gee whiz, where did she think they got the steam?  A laundry?
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2013, 11:35:19 AM »

This coal-burning business reminds me of a story from the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. . .

For years, this railroad (which is part of the state park system here) ran "cinder cars."  These were, like all the other equipment on this road, former logging flats converted to passenger service.  These were open cars with only handrails and benches, no sides or roof.  I remember one being coupled next to the locomotive on the way up the hill.  Great place for sound, but there was a reason they were called "cinder cars!"

I understand that in the early 1960s, the Strasburg Rail Road used to run an open gondola fitted with benches that acquired the nickname, "The Cinder Catchers Club Car" for the same reason as the Cass cars.  Cheesy

I never really wanted to ride an open car, and the cinders had nothing to do with it. I felt I would have a more authentic old-time railroading experience if I rode in a coach.
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2013, 07:26:54 PM »

The problem with propane powered steamers of any size is, they don't smell right.

Les
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Doneldon

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« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2013, 07:48:49 PM »

The problem with propane powered steamers of any size is, they don't smell right.
Les

Dd-

Propane isn't exactly concentrated energy compared to oil or coal, and it's considerably more expensive for a given number of BTUs. It also requires special equipment for storage and delivery. Other than some fleet use, propane hasn't even been a good idea for street vehicles. It's not a big surprise that it never made much of a mark on railroading.

                                                                                                                                             -- D
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SmokeyNSteamer

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« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2013, 04:04:47 PM »

It is a fact that most western railroads burned oil.  The Northern Pacific was one of the few exceptions--most of their steamers were coal burners.  However, unlike eastern or Midwestern steamers, which burned bituminous (soft) coal, the NP burned lignite, a lower grade of coal, and for this reason NP steamers had slightly oversized fireboxes.

On a side note, a group is converting a former Santa Fe Hudson (originally an oil burner) to burn a coal-like biofuel that has the same heat value without the associated carbon footprint:

http://www.csrail.org/

The only thing I am wondering is if the fuel is compatible with mechanically-stoked locomotives.  Can the fuel "lumps" fit through the stoker without crushing, and if it can't, how will crushing affect the fuel's combustibility?

I thought this fuel would've been the perfect solution to UP's debate on whether Big Boy 4014 should burn coal or oil, until I learned about the loose ember problems they had with 3985 in the 80's.
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GRZ

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« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2013, 08:10:58 PM »

    I never heard of a john-deere steamer,where did you see that? grz
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2013, 09:41:29 PM »

    I never heard of a john-deere steamer,where did you see that? grz

GRZ, Back at you, Where did yousee that? Who posted it? After speed reading through 3 pages of this thread again I didn't see the reference. Could you repost using the quote option? Its a good idea to use it when what your talking about isn't directly above. Wink
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2013, 09:54:57 PM »

   I never heard of a john-deere steamer,where did you see that? grz

GRZ, Back at you, Where did yousee that? Who posted it? After speed reading through 3 pages of this thread again I didn't see the reference. Could you repost using the quote option? Its a good idea to use it when what your talking about isn't directly above. Wink

GG
Phillyreading in first page about fifth one down. Stop taking those cheap speed reading course's, there making you go blind. Grin

Jerry
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2013, 11:01:55 PM »

Thanks Jerry. Those classes were compliments of the Ohio educational system back in the 70s. Useful, but not perfect. College vocabulary level and ability  to achieve 90% retention on a full blast reading machine gets you through a lot of material quickly in 3rd grade. I read faster than any teacher I've ever had but still cant spell, punctuate, or construct a proper sentence half the time. The original credit for teaching me to read well, before I even started school, goes to Marvel comics and Captain America. Blind no, but I have had a little headache all day. Doesn't matter I found it.

GRZ, I couldn't find reference to one anywhere either. I knew about the Waterloo "Boy" being a petroleum tractor when Deere bought them out. Maybe P.R. saw a Deere implement on another mfg.'s tractor and/or assumed one was made since they were making farm equipment since the early 1800s.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2013, 04:11:46 AM »

GG1-

My speed reading experience was seventh grade in California. My room and one eighth-grade room were Guinea pigs for Science Research Associates' speed reading program, SQ3R (survey, question, read, recite, review). I learned to read 1800 words per minute with high retention but it was no fun at all. It made reading an unpleasant and high-pressure thing. So I no longer do it except on very rare occasions when I do need to cover things in a big hurry. Of course, I do all I can not to find myself in such a situation. I'm still a fast reader but nothing like when I was in seventh grade. And, do you know what? I love reading at a relaxed pace and I still hate SQ3R reading.

                                                                                                                                                 -- D
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2013, 05:42:36 AM »

Those not interested in thread theft or speed reading should skip this. Kiss

 I was always "smarter than the average bear"(in ways). "Gifted" for my age, they thought I was maybe a "genius". Who was I to argue Wink ?  Today, I think I, like others in my family, would be classified as having high functioning Asperger's syndrome (a real life Big Bang theory Sheldon Cooper minus the doctorate)(trains and all)(I grew out of it)...(kinda). Really, I just didn't want to wait for an adult to read my comic to me, so I taught myself. One day a teacher noticed my advanced vocabulary and math skills, next thing I know I'm a guinea pig. They found I could figure out almost anything that interested me. But if I am not interested, forget it, I'm a dummy and will likely fail. Lazy? Maybe.
  I doubt I read at that speeds like that anymore either Cheesy.  And I only use it for quick scans for info. Wonder what else I've been missing? Roll Eyes
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M1FredQ

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« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2013, 12:43:23 PM »

This coal-burning business reminds me of a story from the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. . .

For years, this railroad (which is part of the state park system here) ran "cinder cars."  These were, like all the other equipment on this road, former logging flats converted to passenger service.  These were open cars with only handrails and benches, no sides or roof.  I remember one being coupled next to the locomotive on the way up the hill.  Great place for sound, but there was a reason they were called "cinder cars!"

For a while the road quit using them, due to some complaints they got from passengers about those oily cinders and claims for ruined clothes.  One lady was upset and buttonholed the park superintendent there, exclaiming to him, "You've ruined my clothes!  You've ruined my clothes!  Your brochure says you run a steam train!  It does not say you run a coal train!" 

Gee whiz, where did she think they got the steam?  A laundry?


It's sad but its comments like the woman's above that make you realize how bad things are getting with the dumbing down of people in this country or lack of common sense
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