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Steam & Excursion > Steam / Water stop question


Date: 01/19/07 11:26
Steam / Water stop question
Author: mikado

A now there are a lot variables here, but in a general sense how far could a large (4-8-4) steamer go between drinks? Let's say it left Los Angeles with a full tank and went down the Surf line to San Diego. Pulling an average size passenger consist, when would it need to take on more water. Also along this same thread. Was there a guideline followed as to how far apart water tanks/plugs were? I would think almost every "larger" station would have water. Again using the L.A. Basin as a model was there water at Fullerton? Oceanside, etc.?
Thanks, Mikado



Date: 01/19/07 11:32
Re: Steam / Water stop question
Author: rresor

Obviously, water consumption depends upon how hard the locomotive is working, so the weight of the train, maximum authorized speeds, and route profile would have a lot to do with it, but IIRC a 50 to 70 mile spacing between tanks was probably pretty common.

Larger engines were probably designed to go the 100 miles between crew change points without taking water (with luck, anyway). I do recall a Trains article some years ago about a double-headed "Broadway Limited" at the end of World War II. They hoped to run Chicago to Ft. Wayne without a water stop, but the firemen on the two locos had to check the water level en route, and they could make a water stop if necessary.

Of course both PRR and NYC used track pans (and some other roads may have as well) to allow engines to take water "on the fly". So water was the limiting factor on how far a steam loco could run before having to stop.



Date: 01/19/07 11:32
Re: Water stop question
Author: timz

A passenger train? Suspect a 2900 with a 25000 gallon tender would use less than half a tank LA to San Diego. Remember 2900s were known to run 200 miles nonstop.

Around 1924 SP claimed to be planning to run 4-4-2s LA to San Luis Obispo without taking water-- but no idea if they ever did it.

If they did, would that be the longest run in the US with no track pans and no water stop? Did anyone else beat that L&N 205-mile nonstop?



Date: 01/20/07 17:40
Re: Water stop question
Author: tomstp

It was also determinded by the water capacity of the tender in addition to the other things already mentioned.. On the Texas & Pacific with normal tonnage and west bound (basically going up hill) from Ft Worth to Baird Tx a distance of 135 miles, a T&P 2-10-4 with a 14,000 gallon tender would take water at either Ranger (89 miles) or Cisco (109 miles). Excessive water would be used if it had to be in the passing track for several meets and thus having to use full forward cutoff(using more steam, i.e. water) leaving passing tracks.

As you will see from prior posts and this one, there were a great many variables that could effect water comsuption.



Date: 01/20/07 17:47
Re: Water stop question
Author: tomstp

Longest run without taking water on the T&P was New Orleans to Alexandria La 192.1 miles. But they cheated. The USRA 2-8-2's had 12000 gallon tenders but also had two 10,000 auxillary water cars (tank cars) tied on behind the tender.



Date: 01/20/07 17:54
Re: Water stop question
Author: NYCSTL8

If more roads had used canteens, as N&W and IC did, modern steam would have fared better against the diesels. For example, an N&W Class A with a big coal bunker and canteen could run Portsmouth to Columbus non-stop with about 14,000 tons in tow, while a C&O 2-6-6-6 had to make a fuel and water stop between Russell and Columbus, with a train of 12,000 tons-or-so. Big modern steam power on most roads never achieved the performance that was attainable if canteens and larger fuel supplies and more efficient servicing facilities had been used in the N&W manner.



Date: 01/20/07 18:11
Re: Water stop question
Author: agentatascadero

SP 4400's had 23,000 gallon water capacity. I just read a Doyle Mc Cormack quote that, on a 300 mile run, 30,000-35,000 gallons of water would be used...no problem with the extra water tender...which could hold 30,000 gallons itself. Nothing in my library confirms my childhood recollection that the Daylights were serviced only in San Luis Obispo...the 1955 TT lists only 3 minutes for what I recalled was a 7 minute service stop....let's see AMTRAK, or ANY railroad accomplish that today. As I recall, it was a real flurry of activity, addressing the entire train, 18 or more cars in those days, as well as the locomotive At Doyle's stated water use rate, the Daylight would be just about dry on a 220 mile run, but I do not recall servicing at either Salinas or Santa Barbara, yet it does appear more than one watering would be necessary on this 470 mile run. AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 01/20/07 18:22
Re: Steam / Water stop question
Author: MTMEngineer

The spacing of tanks was approximately half the range of most of a roads engines, in order to protect against (a) misjudging water consumption by an engine crew, and (b) a tank being taken out of service temporarily for maintenance/cleaning.



Date: 01/21/07 07:24
Re: Water stop question
Author: ts1457

tomstp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Longest run without taking water on the T&P was
> New Orleans to Alexandria La 192.1 miles. But
> they cheated. The USRA 2-8-2's had 12000 gallon
> tenders but also had two 10,000 auxillary water
> cars (tank cars) tied on behind the tender.

Interesting - was that done to tradeoff against the cost of treating poor quality water?



Date: 01/21/07 08:02
Re: Water stop question
Author: NYCSTL8

Back in 1955 - I think - TRAINS mag had a big photo story about the SP Coast Line which featured a nighttime shot at SLO of the servicing of either the "LARK" or the "Starlight" that very clearly depicted the "flurry" of activity going on around and on the big 4-8-4. IIRC, the caption indicated that just 3 minutes were allotted for this procedure, something hard to imagine today.



Date: 01/21/07 09:42
Re: Water stop question
Author: Steamjocky

I would have thought that all of the passenger trains (and locomotives) got water when stopped at SLO.

In 1989, the 4449 left West Colton with, I assume, a full or close to full tender of water. By the time we got to Mojave, 114 miles later, we had about 2.5 or 3 ladder steps of water left in the tender. We didn't get water at Mojave as the water service department didn't show up to help water the tender. By the time we got to Bakersfield, the first thing we did after cutting off of the train was fill the tender from a fire hydrant that was next to the private car spur where the engine was kept on her first night in Bakersfield.

JDE



Date: 01/21/07 12:38
Re: Water stop question
Author: Frisco1522

I think servicing stops were most likely dependant upon rods and valve gear needing doping along with water requirements. Look for those stops around 100-125 miles, or a division point in steam days.
As MTM pointed out, water tank spacing was important, and on roads with coal burners, coal chutes.
On 1522, our tender carried 11,700 gal water and 4500 gal oil. Depending on tonnage, we averaged between 10-13 gal per mile on oil, and 100-150 gal water. In RR service, the Frisco didn't use canteens on the 1500s and timed water stops with passenger stops. They shot rods at division points and probably took oil every 220-300 miles.



Date: 01/22/07 11:33
Re: Steam / Water stop question
Author: JohnSweetser

mikado wrote:

>Again using the L.A. Basin as a model was there water at Fullerton? Oceanside, etc.?

According to a Santa Fe 1949 Los Angeles Division timetable, there were water facilities at Fullerton, Santa Ana, Serra (a siding 2 1/2 miles south of Capistrano), Oceanside and Sorrento (a siding 5 miles south of Del Mar).

Santa Ana had two of the Santa Fe cylindrical water tanks, 60 feet and 61 feet high, respectively. Oceanside had two cylindrical tanks, 60 and 64 feet high. I don't have any specific info about the water facilities at Fullerton, Serra and Sorrento.



Date: 01/22/07 18:43
Re: Water stop question
Author: JohnSweetser

agentatascadero wrote:

> SP 4400's had 23,000 gallon water capacity. I just read a Doyle McCormack quote that, on a 300 mile run, 30,000-35,000 gallons of water would be used...
At Doyle's stated water use rate, the Daylight would be just about dry on a 220 mile run, but I do not recall servicing at either Salinas or Santa Barbara, yet it does appear more than one watering would be necessary on this 470 mile run.


At the higher usage rate of 35,000 gallons of water per 300 miles, a Daylight 4-8-4 would theoretically run out of water in going from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo (distance: 222 miles).

I've seen two photos showing steam engines on the Coast Daylight taking water at Santa Barbara (one photo can be found on pg. 124 of Huxtable's "Daylight Reflections Volume 1").



Date: 01/23/07 05:05
Re: Water stop question
Author: NYCSTL8

All of which makes one wonder why at least one builder or r.r. didn't commission a condensor-equipped demo to see what could be accomplished.



Date: 01/23/07 13:05
Re: Water stop question
Author: CZ10

Condensors are large and bulky. Why haul all that extra weight around when it was cheaper just to build tanks?



Date: 01/23/07 14:50
Re: Water stop question
Author: filmteknik

I think it would have made a lot of sense compared to frequent stops for water not to mention the difficulty in supplying it in some areas. Santa Fe would have been a natural for condensing locomotives.



Date: 01/23/07 15:31
Condensors
Author: MTMEngineer

NYCSTL8 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All of which makes one wonder why at least one
> builder or r.r. didn't commission a
> condensor-equipped demo to see what could be
> accomplished.

The UP built one in 1938, the C&O built one in 1947, and the N&W built one in 1949.



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