ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 22, 2019, 07:43:37 AM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Please read the Forum Code of Conduct   >>Click Here <<
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  General Discussion
| | |-+  Pros of Steam?
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print
Author Topic: Pros of Steam?  (Read 9346 times)
YellowHillsCentral

View Profile
« on: October 16, 2009, 09:10:13 AM »

Dear fellow modelers..

Is there any advantages that steam  has over diesel? I can't think of any, but then again, it is Friday..

Thanks
Logged
jward


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 09:18:26 AM »

in model or in real life?

in real life i can think of two advantages.

1. steam had all drive axles physically connected by the siderods, thus you couldn't have one axle slip the way you can with most diesels. this makes them in theory more sure footed.

2. steam engines don't develop their full horsepower until they get up to speed, thus any train they can start, they can pull at their max speed. with diesels, all power is available to start the train, and tapers off as speed increases. diesels will find a speed at which they can lug the train, and stay there.

Logged

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
CNE Runner


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 10:34:05 AM »

YHC - I can think of a lot more 'cons' than 'pros' for steam power. Railroads are in the business of making money; so there must be some very good reasons to switch from steam power to diesel (a very large investment considering the sheer number of steam locomotives owned by railroads in the late 1940s and 1950s). Probably #1 on the list would be the incredible amount of continuous maintenance that steam engines require. I will admit, there isn't anything quite like the sight and sounds of a steam locomotive.

Ray
Logged

"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Jhanecker2

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 11:07:00 AM »

Diesels are easier to run as multi-unit unit  all it requires is to have a cable and brake line connection , they don't have to be turned around physically .   Using oil makes them less smoky then coal & means that they don't need a seperate tender. Also a whole lot less water is necessary and a fireman is not needed to either hand shovel or operate a stoker.In addition a diesel allows for dynamic braking from multiple locomotives as well as air braking .  John II
Logged
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 01:52:41 PM »

Steam locomotives are much more fun to watch, both in real life and in models.  But real life steamers were/are high maintenance.  You can count on 4 hours or more to start one up from cold.

In terms of carbon footprint, I suspect it is a tossup.  Steam locomotives are far less efficient than diesels once the fuel is on board.   But the fuel burned to find, produce and deliver diesel fuel may well tip the balance.  Of the two, the steam locomotive is the only one that can run directly on renewable fuels.  At least I haven't heard of any diesels capable of running on sawdust or canola seeds.

Jim
Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
jward


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 02:24:26 PM »

diesels have been run on soybean oil, and general electric had one in the 1980s that burned coal slurry.

as for diesel's advantages, add to that the fact that steamers were simply much less efficient than diesels in terms of ton miles per day. very few steamers were capable of hauling heavy tonnage fast, the way diesels do.
this efficiency is most noticeable when you consider that diesels replaced their equivalent steamers on roughly a one for two basis.
Logged

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
gandoff

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2009, 01:53:45 AM »

Diesals are cool, but Steam is more romantic, the huff and puff creates awe and many dreams of wonder. Deisels are more efficiant all around, steam is more labor intensive. But Steam has probably more reponsible for for Dreams of those of us when We were  youngsters.    gandoff,( Dave)
Logged
rich1998

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2009, 10:47:10 AM »

the only pro of steam powered locos is a lot of action.
lex
Logged
NarrowMinded


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2009, 08:04:02 PM »

Here's a little bit of a "Dark" pro for steam vs diesel A steamer would keep running through the middle of a nuclear war the diesel's would be disrupted by the electromagnetic wave and radiation.

NM

Logged
pdlethbridge
Guest
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2009, 08:36:27 PM »

I like steamers as they show you how they work while they are working. Its all out in the open, not covered up like a diesel.
Logged
RAM

View Profile
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2009, 10:20:20 PM »

middle of a nuclear war the steam locomotive would be so hot that they would not need fuel. 
Logged
Woody Elmore

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 10:58:55 AM »

The steamers were terribly inefficient and took a lot of time and effort to repair. Plus coal was really dirty compared to a diesel.However,  Alco and FM diesels disproved that idea!

Here's an interesting fact. When the Long Island railroad dieselized they kept the same time tables. After a few months it became apparent that the diesels weren't capable of maintaining the same headway as the steamers. It turns out that the steam engines, with what can be called direct drive, accelerated faster! So it took the "Route of Dashing Dan" years to fix the schedules.
Logged
SteamGene

View Profile
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 01:13:09 PM »

What would happen  if modern technology were applied to steam?  The Lima super powers were head and shoulders above most other steamers.  Computerization of sensors might well take care of a lot of  the maintenance, which was more inspection than repair.  In fact, I think it would be possible to run two steamers from one cab using modern techniques. 
There are tales that the text the N&W ran prior to switching to diesels was rigged to insure the diesels won as the company found it hard to buy some of the necessary parts as companies like Elesco, Worthington, and others had either gone out of business or switched to building other products. 
Logged

Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Woody Elmore

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2009, 01:27:01 PM »

Back in the Seventies there was talk of a coal fired steam turbine that used pulverized coal but it didn't go anywhere (no pun intended.)
Logged
Woody Elmore

View Profile
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2009, 01:36:00 PM »

The turbine engine I am referring to was the ACE 3000. ACE stood for American Coal Enterprises and they developed a new locomotive using new technology. I realize that the Pennsy, C&O and N&W had steam turbines but this engine was supposed to be radically different.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!