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Date: 01/05/13 08:29
Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: KeyRouteKen

Last night I was watching "Last of the Giants"--Part Two-- featuring the writer that was involved with the UPRR when the film was made. He was standing alongside UP 4014 in Pomona.
How 'bout that !!
During the video, several former engineers and firemen are interviewed. They thought that the 4000's were outstanding locomotives.
One of the guys talked about shoveling 27 tons of coal "by hand". Stoker must have been inoperable. Then he said they dropped down one time to 165 lbs of steam so they threw some creosoted pieces of crossties in the firebox to raise steam again. That was funny.

And the best story was the guy who would open the firebox door and hold his shovel there to make a vent. Great, except when the hogger pulled back on the throttle, and the entire shovel was sucked into the firebox ! (grin!)

KRK



Date: 01/05/13 10:31
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: Bob3985

KeyRouteKen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Last night I was watching "Last of the
> Giants"--Part Two-- featuring the writer that was
> involved with the UPRR when the film was made. He
> was standing alongside UP 4014 in Pomona.
> How 'bout that !!
> During the video, several former engineers and
> firemen are interviewed. They thought that the
> 4000's were outstanding locomotives.
> One of the guys talked about shoveling 27 tons of
> coal "by hand". Stoker must have been inoperable.
> Then he said they dropped down one time to 165
> lbs of steam so they threw some creosoted pieces
> of crossties in the firebox to raise steam again.
> That was funny.
>
> And the best story was the guy who would open the
> firebox door and hold his shovel there to make a
> vent. Great, except when the hogger pulled back
> on the throttle, and the entire shovel was sucked
> into the firebox ! (grin!)
>
> KRK

The fireman who hand fired the Big Boy was Dillard Hill and they indeed had broken the stoker auger and could not auto deliver the coal to the firebox so they set their train out and made a run for the Laramie roundhouse keeping the steam up by hand. He said he thought he was the only fireman to hand fire a Big Boy. I can relate to his story as I hand fired the 3985 when we first fired it up to get enough pressure to get the auger to break free and deliver coal to the firebox. That was an experience.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 01/05/13 12:58
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: RD10747

Prthaps never a big boy west of Yermo...



Date: 01/05/13 13:29
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: lwilton

Anyone know the firebox grate dimensions/shape in a Big Boy? I know it is about 150 square feet, but that could be 10 x 15 or a lot of other shapes.

For comparison, what is the shape of the grate in 3985?



Date: 01/05/13 15:20
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: up3985

Wow, that would be something! I never thought any one man could have the strength, willpower, or capabilities to feen one of those beasts, but aparently that's what it takes to become a great railroader!

I always wondered how that huge amount of coal could just stay loose in the tender for the stoker screw to feed it into the fire, and I guess it's always wise to have a shovel on those beasts!

I would like to see one of those beasts restored, but at the same time I don't want the 3985 to lose it's prestigous title

"World's Largest Operating Steam Locomotive"!



Date: 01/05/13 15:39
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: HotWater

up3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> "World's Largest Operating Steam Locomotive"!

Well now, lets calm down a bit. The UP already HAS the world's largest operating steam locomotive, and has since 1981! It is called the Challenger, #3985. Now, if we can just get the current manager of the steam shop to put poor 3985 back into operating "service", all this crap about a 4000 class would/could be put to bed.

Now, as far as hand firing any locomotive equipped with a stoker, it really isn't THAT big of a deal. Just because the stoker auger doesn't work, does NOT mean that the steam distributing table doesn't function. All that is needed is for one or two men (Fireman & Headend Brakeman) to continuously shovel the coal onto the distributing table, and the steam jets will blow the coal to the necessary portions of the firebox. I speak from experience! It works on any steam locomotive equipped with a stoker.



Date: 01/05/13 16:31
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: 6088

yea but.... "to continuously shovel the coal" could kick a lot of butt!



Date: 01/05/13 16:51
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: spdaylight

HotWater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Now, as far as hand firing any locomotive equipped
> with a stoker, it really isn't THAT big of a deal.
> Just because the stoker auger doesn't work, does
> NOT mean that the steam distributing table doesn't
> function. All that is needed is for one or two men
> (Fireman & Headend Brakeman) to continuously
> shovel the coal onto the distributing table, and
> the steam jets will blow the coal to the necessary
> portions of the firebox. I speak from experience!
> It works on any steam locomotive equipped with a
> stoker.

Love this website. . . you learn something new almost every day. Thanks HW!

Craig



Date: 01/05/13 17:02
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: tolland

Jack, I know you have fired more steam engines than just 844, 3985 and 4449. Which engines did you fire that were coal burners?



Date: 01/05/13 17:48
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: up3985

X



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/13 20:30 by up3985.



Date: 01/05/13 18:07
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: HotWater

tolland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Jack, I know you have fired more steam engines
> than just 844, 3985 and 4449. Which engines did
> you fire that were coal burners?

Jim,

I started learning about cleaning fires and servicing steam locomotives at South Amboy, NJ in 1957, on PRR K4s and K4sa locomotives. I actually learned to fire hand fired coal burning steam locomotives on the Buffalo Creek & Gauley RR in 1962/1963. I also "tried" to hand fire Kentucky & Tennessee 2-8-2 #12 (more famously known as SR 4501) in 1963, which looking back was the most difficult coal burner I EVER tried to fire (the K&T didn't use the nice coal they shipped, but used some sort of dirt crap for locomotive fuel!). During the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was fairly active with the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society on NKP 765. The last coal burner I have ever fired was 3985, and she was actually easier to fire as a coal burner than all the subsequent years I have fired her as an oil burner.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/13 18:14 by HotWater.



Date: 01/05/13 18:11
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: HotWater

up3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------


> My source ( a current UP steam boilermaker) said
> that the 3985 is on hold until word on the 4000
> comes.

THAT is just plain STUPID!

The cost to do the FRA 1472/15 Year inspection and "repairs" on 3985, would be insignificant compared to rebuilding a 4000!



Date: 01/05/13 18:12
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: Bob3985

up3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wow, that would be something! I never thought any
> one man could have the strength, willpower, or
> capabilities to feen one of those beasts, but
> aparently that's what it takes to become a great
> railroader!
>
> I always wondered how that huge amount of coal
> could just stay loose in the tender for the stoker
> screw to feed it into the fire, and I guess it's
> always wise to have a shovel on those beasts!
>
> I would like to see one of those beasts restored,
> but at the same time I don't want the 3985 to lose
> it's prestigous title
>
> "World's Largest Operating Steam Locomotive"!


I believe they picked up a section crew along the way to assist with the hand firing. I will have to check on that.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 01/05/13 19:11
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: up3985

X



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/13 20:29 by up3985.



Date: 01/05/13 22:19
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: UP6936

The 844 is having a lot of work done. They are replacing superheater hangers and doing work on the air brakes and the firebox. So yeah 3985 is coming too the roundhouse once the track that goes into the roundhouse is finally back in service. I think the stall they are putting 3985 in is so they can still work on it.



Date: 01/06/13 00:58
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: cp1400

lwilton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyone know the firebox grate dimensions/shape in
> a Big Boy? I know it is about 150 square feet, but
> that could be 10 x 15 or a lot of other shapes.
>
> For comparison, what is the shape of the grate in
> 3985?


1. I don't know what the dimensions of the firebox are on the 4014 but here is a look inside from Sept 2009. I've seen Tokyo hotel rooms smaller than this!

2. And 4014 as it was displayed in Sept 2009.


cp1400






Date: 01/06/13 02:36
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: GN599

Either way the U.P. has a fine steam program and there's always something to look forward too.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/06/13 06:24
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: Spikes

That 2009 4014 pic is Great! My speculation: Although the new UP Steam group leader seems energetic and skilled when I met him, in light of two engines he must care for and two trip incidents last year, I do not feel he generated the big boy idea, so it may have come from the mysterious third party mentioned, who must have interest and or funds to provide? Just thoughts.



Date: 01/06/13 08:02
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: up3985

GN599 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Either way the U.P. has a fine steam program and
> there's always something to look forward too.
>

Here Here!

Posted from Android



Date: 01/06/13 08:29
Re: Big Boy "tidbits"
Author: 6088

Yes, the UP Steam Crew does a great job.. sure loved seeing 844 through So Cal in 2011. One thing I thought was odd with the 4000s is the front coupler that swivels back. Would seem to me that these locos were built for freight, and seemed like a lot of extra work for a freight loco. Sure I can see it on a pax loco.



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