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Steam & Excursion > "Mighty Mike"


Date: 12/26/18 11:56
"Mighty Mike"
Author: scoopdejour

Photographer:  Harold Webber
Publisher:  Hank Webber
Date:  October 1981




Date: 12/26/18 14:34
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: Goalieman

WOW!! That appears to be one large firebox - and, as a result, one Rocky Balboa of an locomotive!!! Thanks for posting.

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/26/18 14:38 by Goalieman.



Date: 12/26/18 16:36
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: PHall

Goalieman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> WOW!! That appears to be one large firebox - and,
> as a result, one Rocky Balboa of an locomotive!!!
> Thanks for posting.
>
> Posted from iPhone

Designed to burn hard coal.



Date: 12/26/18 20:39
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: CPR_4000

Did the rear cab engines also have two firedoors or were the stokers modified to cover all that real estate?



Date: 12/27/18 01:56
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: wcamp1472

To the best of my knowledge, no locos designed with Wooten-style fire boxes were equipped with stokers. The allure of anthracite,
culm, was that it was an
un-marketable grade of coal—— largely fines and dust— as such, the fuel, if it could be successfully burned was virtually a “free” fuel. Back the day, before anti-trust rulings, the “anthracite roads” also owned the coal mines— sweet!

There still remain large mountains of culm (from the breakers). In northeastern Pa. If they could successfully burn the culm in locomotives, the RRs could benefit from free fuel...

Works well in modest size locos with low steam demands, but soon the hard-coal locos became obsolete—- although the D&H tried for years ( into the 1930s) to continue to wring every pound of steam out of hand-fired, 2-8-0s. According to Jim Shaunessy, they found that a fireman could fire a loco, successfully—-- over 16 hours, any loco that was under 2500 hp. More power than that, a single fireman was over-taxed.

Stokers are designed for rapidly oxidizing soft coals.  Anthracite,
a hard coal burns with a low, blue flame, under very light drafting conditions and the heat is mostly intense, radiant ( infrared) energy.  The crown sheet is a gently curving sheet that arches from one side of the firebox to the other.  They use no brick arch, and no ‘arch tubes’.

The firebed for anthracite burners is a glowing grate area with short, blue flames ... Because Anthracite is reluctant to spread laterally, the bed takes a long time to build correctly: it’s flat and the heat is RADIANT, there’s not much convected heat because there is no long flame-path.  “Conducted” heat would be materials, like copper, that pass along the heat to neighboring molecules.

Once properly built, the Anthracite bed does not require constant feeding, like if burning soft coal.
The anthracite coal burns steadily, then goes out...feeding it requires a lot of experience.... you want to add coal near the end of the burn time of the coal on the grate... too soon, and you smother the fire; &  too late.. and the underlying bed dies out before bringing the fresh, cold fuel up to combustion temps....

All-Anthracite firebeds do not do well with stoker-fed engines. According to George Hart, Reading crews had a running contest to see if they could load enough anthracite to run from Philly to Jersey City(NYC), making the station stops, without ever having to add coal en route.

You can’t do that with bituminous coal!!

The BIG engines like the one pictured, were stoker-equipped, and burned mostly a mix of 80% soft coal with with a little hard coal thrown-in.   Large grate areas are always a benefit with soft coal.   These locos were built with brick firebox arches, stokers ( possibly of the Standard B-type, MB ( Modified B) type, or the HT-type stokers.  

They were superheated, equipped with feed water heating hevices and were free steamers.   They were also precursors to the 4-wheel trailing trucks.

Thses enginges came along just before the perfection of the cast, one-piece, ‘Delta’  trailing trucks produced by General Steel Castings.   That perfected-design led directly to the 2-8-4, Berkshire designs.

These older locos, like one one above, were as big as could be supported on a two-wheel trailing truck.  But, evolution of newer designs and methods always goes through a trial and error design period.  The early, weight bearing capacity of the 4-wheel trucks was fraught with frames cracking, journals too small, and other problems associated with new designs —- they had to be service-tested before succeful designs were developed....

The 4-wheel trailer truck allowed the use of much larger driver diameters, and higher track speeds.
 Soon, the engines had to be improved with the change to larger diameter drivers & 4-wheel pilot trucks...

Next Chapter...

W.



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/18 15:26 by wcamp1472.



Date: 12/27/18 14:56
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: Goalieman

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To the best of my knowledge, no locos designed
> with Wooten-style fire boxes were equipped with
> stokers. The allure of anthracite,
> culm, was that it was an
> un-marketable grade of coal—— largely fines
> and dust— as such, the fuel, if it could be
> successfully burned was virtually a “free”
> fuel. Back the day, before anti-trust rulings,
> the “anthracite roads” also owned the coal
> mines— sweet!
>
> There still remain large mountains of culm (from
> the breakers). In northeastern Pa. If they could
> successfully burn the culm in locomotives, the
> RRs could benefit from free fuel...
>
> Works well in modest size locos with low steam
> demands, but soon the hard-coal locos became
> obsolete—- although the D&H tried for years (
> into the 1930s) to continue to wring every pound
> of steam out of hand-fired, 2-8-0s. According to
> Jim Shaunessy, they found that a fireman could
> fire a loco, successfully—-- over 16 hours, any
> loco that was under 2500 hp. More power than
> that, a single fireman was over-taxed.
>
> Stokers are designed for rapidly oxidizing soft
> coals.  Anthracite,
> a hard coal burns with a low, blue flame, under
> very light drafting conditions and the heat is
> mostly intense, radiant ( infrared) energy.  The
> crown sheet is a gently curving sheet that arches
> from one side of the firebox to the other.  They
> use no brick arch, and no ‘arch tubes’.
>
> The firebed for anthracite burners is a glowing
> grate area, with shirt blue flames ... the bed
> takes a long time to build correctly, it’s flat
> and the heat is RADIANT, there’s not much
> connected heat because there is no long
> flame-path.
>
> Once properly built, the bed does not require
> constant feeding, like burning soft coal. The
> anthracite coal burns steadily, then goes out...
> feeding it requires a lot of experience.... you
> want to add coal near the end of the burn time of
> the coal on the grate... too soon and you smother
> the fire, too late.. and the underlying bed dies
> out before bringing the fresh fuel up to
> combustion temps....
>
> All-Anthracite firebeds do not do well with
> stoker-fed engines. According to George Hart,
> Reading crews had a running contest to see if they
> could load enough anthracite to run from Philly to
> Jersey City(NYC), making the station stops,
> without ever having to add coal en route.
>
> You can’t do that with bituminous coal!!
>
> The BIG engines like the one pictured, were
> stoker-equipped, and burned mostly a mix of 80%
> soft coal with with a little hard coal thrown-in.
>   Large grate areas are always a benefit with
> soft coal.   These locos were built with brick
> firebox arches, stokers ( possibly of the Standard
> B-type, MB ( Modified B) type, or the HT-type
> stokers.  
>
> They were superheated, equipped with feed water
> heating hevices and were free steamers.   They
> were also precursors to the 4-wheel trailing
> trucks.
>
> Thses enginges came along just before the
> perfection of the cast, one-piece, ‘Delta’
>  trailing trucks produced by General Steel
> Castings.   That perfected-design led directly to
> the 2-8-4, Berkshire designs.
>
> These older locos, like one one above, were as big
> as could be supported on a two-wheel trailing
> truck.  But, evolution of newer designs and
> methods always goes through a trial and error
> design period.  The early, weight bearing
> capacity of the 4-wheel trucks was fraught with
> frames cracking, journals too small, and other
> problems associated with new designs —- they had
> to be service-tested before succeful designs were
> developed....
>
> The 4-wheel trailer truck allowed the use of much
> larger driver diameters, and higher track speeds.
>  Soon, the engines had to be improved with the
> change to larger diameter drivers & 4-wheel pilot
> trucks...
>
> Next Chapter...
>
> W.

Thanks Mr. Camp for another gem of a post. I always learn a metric ton of info from you!! Happy New Year!!

Mark V.
Fort Wayne, IN

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/28/18 15:50
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: agentatascadero

This got me to reflecting on the proverbial Christmas lump of coal......a gift I was threatened with throughout my childhood.  

Well, this lump (the essay by Wes Camp) went to heaven and lo and behold.......became a precious gift to many of us here at TO.  Keep the great lessons coming, ld guy, and thanks for the great gift.

AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 12/28/18 16:20
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: Frisco1522

To quote Crocodile Dundee "Big Mike, that's not a big mike.  THIS is a big mike".

Until the GN O-8s came along, these were the biggest mikes in the world.  Frisco ordered them in 1929 and then the depression hit and they tried to cancel the order but Baldwin already had material and had started on them.  They were monsters and its hard to find an action shot of one of them for some reason.




Date: 12/28/18 17:08
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: wcamp1472

AA,

Thanks.

In my early career with steam, I came across many puzzling aspects of steamers.
Sometimes, I’d ask old timers ‘why’, and a lot of times I’d be stalled by B.S. answers.
Or,  other facts would put the lie to earlier explanations, experiments, and wrong ways of doing things.

The result is that I was good at constructing ‘experiments’ with fire building, loco management.
So, see folks with many of the ame questions that I had pondered.

A lucky resource for us, in the Western Maryland (Hagerstown, Md, shops, was several complete sets of 1945-vintage ICS Corresponce School Steam Locomotive course materials.  
Very complete and accurate write-ups.  While HICO crews spent several months there, local workers dug thruough their attics and brought compete ICS sets to us..   We eagerly overpaid, the going price became $75.00 per set.
Both parties to the “deals”  celebrated our good fortunes...

Doyle is the proud owner of such a set.... he’s a terrific student, to this day.

Wes.



Date: 12/28/18 19:14
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: Txhighballer

Frisco1522 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To quote Crocodile Dundee "Big Mike, that's not a
> big mike.  THIS is a big mike".
>
> Until the GN O-8s came along, these were the
> biggest mikes in the world.  Frisco ordered them
> in 1929 and then the depression hit and they tried
> to cancel the order but Baldwin already had
> material and had started on them.  They were
> monsters and its hard to find an action shot of
> one of them for some reason.

I've always liked Mikes, but I must say the 4200's are better looking than the O-8's! I think Trains did an article on the O-8's years ago, but can't find it anywhere. One of my secret desires if I won the lottery would be to retrieve the ATSF 4000 Class in the Kaw River, if it can be found...



Date: 12/29/18 08:01
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: wcamp1472

I like the raised water hatch on the auxiliary tender. It’s purpose is dedicated.

We used the same raised-hatch technique for NKP 759’ s small-ish ex-N&W tender, last used in wreck train service.

W. 



Date: 12/29/18 08:30
Re: "Mighty Mike"
Author: scoopdejour

I, too Wes, have a set which is invaluble. Be nice to have another reason to dust them off as we did 50 years ago!
Hank



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