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Author Topic: Real Steam ... real Smokers!  (Read 12502 times)
rbryce1

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« on: November 06, 2012, 02:17:22 PM »

Did these bad boys really put out that much smoke?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=6OgSNQOTw2U&feature=fvwp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHI5VHBwIfI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akvLweWOd0g&feature=related


And boy does this one put things in their proper perspective:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxkVznsFecc&feature=fvsr

« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 02:46:41 PM by rbryce1 » Logged
phillyreading

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 04:36:53 PM »

To answeryour question about the smoke, YES!
The steam engines that ran on coal or wood put out a lot of smoke, the ones that ran on oil may put out about 10% less smoke but not that much noticeable differance when filming. When starting out or going up a steep hill the old steam engines really ut out a large amount of smoke.
Some steam engines had a special sand feature that would put a small amount of sand on the rails if the engineer thought the rails were slippery, he opened a valve somehow and released sand onto the track in front of the driving wheels. The sand helped a little with wheel slip but not enough to keep the steam engines in regular use.
Some early EMD diesel engines, like the GP-7, had a sand feature as well, was an extra from the factory that EMD would install.

Lee F.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 05:10:03 PM »

rb-

Yes, the real locos put that much vivible material into the atmosphere much of the time but, for the most part, it is not
smoke. Most of it is steam exhaust. Heavy black smoke is probably soot from the fireman tossing a shovel of sand into
the firebox. The sand gets sucked through the boiler tubes, scouring the soot out. A well maintained steam locomotive
(and most were very well maintained) puts out very little "smoke," meaning "visible exhaust," unless it is working hard,
such as when starting up, pulling a heavy consist at speed or mounting a grade. However, we all love the long trailing
plumes of white "smoke," don't we?

Compare the output in your videos with what model smokers put out and you'll see why so many of us denigrate the
output of the model smokers.

                                                  -- D
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Jhanecker2

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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 08:02:26 PM »

That exhaust is the reason that steam engines were dangerous to use in long tunnels .  It did result in some cab forward designs  to keep the train crews  from being  asphyxiated by the smoke .  It also lead to their banishment from the tunnels in New York City  and to the creation of  electric locomotives to pull  trains out of the tunnels . Some diesels were also constructed with dual  diesel  and electric drives for use in the tunnels .  In Chicago most stations that were eventually covered with buildings constructed over air rights were built with enormous ventilation  ducts to remove the engine smoke .  Even the Old Main Post Office that had significant trackage was ducted .  The current Owner  was recently fined for not keeping the ventilation system up to working order. J2.
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RAM

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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 08:48:33 PM »

The only wood burner I have ever seen did not put out much smoke.  Oil  and cold burners can make a lot of smoke.  In normal operation they did not usually put out a lot of smoke unless they were sanding the fuels.  It is very easy to make a oil burner smoke.  adjust open the oil valve so you have more oil and not enough air to burn all of it.  These fan trips are designed to please the fans, so lots of smoke.  Yes the bigboy was in regulars operation, but I had a profession film crew filming it.  They also had extra people in the cab, and I bet the were in contact with the film crew to tel the crew when to put out smoke.
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 11:10:10 PM »

I think all steam locomotives, save for the earliest and crudest ones, had a sanding feature.  So did all Diesels.  The automatic sanding feature was an option on the very early Diesels, but all Diesel locomotives are required to have operating sanders on all trucks.  It is an FRA requirement.

Les
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Doneldon

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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 02:53:06 AM »

I think all steam locomotives, save for the earliest and crudest ones, had a sanding feature.  So did all Diesels.  The automatic sanding feature was an option on the very early Diesels, but all Diesel locomotives are required to have operating sanders on all trucks.  It is an FRA requirement.

Les

Les-

You're confusing traction sanders on the drive wheels with a fireman tossing a shovel of sand into the firebox on a steam engine. Yes,
the traction sanders are automatic now, at least as long as the automatic feature is turned on. But the firebox sand is not automatic.
Firemen use sand to remove insulating soot from the insides of the boiler tubes and it results in a huge belch of very black "smoke."
They also use it to keep railfans happy. I have had a fireman throw sand and an engineer blow the whistle many times when they see me taking trackside pictures.

                                                 -- D
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Joe323

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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 09:22:37 AM »

Somehow I doubt its possible or desirable to produce large amounts of smoke in a model RR environment.  Lionel used to have engines with smoke pellets that produced enough to make you cough.  Watching real life steam is fun.  Reproducing it on my layout is not.
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ebtnut

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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 02:02:07 PM »

Ideally, steam locomotives should only put out minimal smoke.  This comes about when the fire is burning evenly, with good air circulation to create complete combustion.  Heavy black smoke indicates that that the fire is not burning well.  Some railroads actually installed a light in front of the stack.  If the fireman couldn't see the light bulb through the smoke, he needed to tend to the fire.  Also, as noted, don't confuse smoke and steam.  That second video of 3985 is almost entirely steam, which shows in chilly and/or damp weather.  Oil burners typically did not smoke as heavily as coal burners, but could put out big smoke if the fuel oil mix wasn't correct.  Also as noted above, oil burners had a tendency to goo up the tubes and flues, so the fireman would periodically pitch a shovelfull of sand into the firebox to knock the residue out and this produced a prodigious amount of black smoke for a short period of time.  I would also note that in this modern railfan era, the cab crew is often asked to make lots of smoke during the run-bys for the benefit of the picture-takers.  I think that may be what was going on with the first video. 
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jward


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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 08:01:16 PM »

a little off topic, but the smoke problem also occurs with diesels, particularly alco and GE types. these types suffer from "turbo lag"  and when throttling up they tend to smoke until the turbo gets up to speed due to a rich fuel to air mix.

also, since there is no firebox to shovel sand into, their stacks are known to "flame out" when too much crap accumulates in them. when i worked on the railroad, we once had a b36-7 flaming out which set assorted small brush fires for about 20 miles. needless to say, the fra inspectors came looking for that locomotive on the branch we operated on, and tagged it out of service.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
rbryce1

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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 10:31:01 PM »

Couldn't resist another one.  UP 844 traveling at 75 mph!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRTYNxtbnjI&feature=relmfu

Also, engine vs ........ hopefully a test!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjhGMs-iclM

« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 10:45:08 PM by rbryce1 » Logged
jward


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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 11:48:45 PM »

As you surmised, that second video is on a test track. the locomotive appears to be a former southern pacific sd45t-2 tunnel motor, with a modern wide cab added. my guess is that this locomotive was being used to test the crashwortiness of a new cab design. they ram the locomotive into various objects and see how well the cab holds up. the goal is to ensure survivability of the crew in a collision.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
81F


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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 06:38:07 PM »

Since much of the "smoke" that comes out of locomotives chimney is steam the air temperature will make a big difference. Another factor is the type of coal - anthracite will produce hardly any dark smoke. Also it will depend if the loco is working hard and if the driver is playing to the cameraman.

Hope the two clips I found on the net are of interest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_e03j8ANvs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekSAy-ohlrM

Of some possible interest is the fact that the locomotive in the first clip, King George V, visited the USA in August 1927 to feature in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's centenary celebrations. During the celebrations it was presented with a bell and a plaque, and these are carried to this day. Does anyone out there know of any other locos that appeared and are there any models of them? 
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Modelling the Great Western Railway in the Welsh Borders, and the Glyn Valley Tramway with a few bits from elsewhere!
J3a-614

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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2012, 11:44:56 AM »

Did steam engines smoke?  They most certainly did!  The smoke nuisance was part of the reason there were anti-smoke laws against railroads, and were a big part of the eventual decisions to electrify the New York terminals. 

Steam in regular service on the NYC:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0AGYIVjNIg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXr6RZCIR2A&feature=watch_response

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa7iVYo7uto&feature=related

NYC film on steam locomotive maintenance; note that this is a PR film, and smoke is quite apparent, telling us that smoke with steam was part of the landscape.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjxjLD00Pzc

As noted, steam could have been and should have been fired cleanly, as noted in this opening clip of B&O steam with actual sound:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI99Dvpxo2w

On the N&W in 1957:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF-6FKD0pr0&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Good coal and a good fireman with C&O 614:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rmKYGEicP4



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