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Date: 05/15/19 16:41
Smoke on the UP
Author: jbwest

I noticed on my recent chase of the 4014 and 844 east from Ogden they ran with a very clear stack almost all the time.  Obviously this is the way it is supposed to be when properly fired, so the firemen get an A.  But equally obviously a lot of photographers were disappointed with the lack of any visible exhaust, it does not make for dramatic pix.    I am curious if the UP has any kind of policy about this.  There are environmental issues that undoubtedly suggest the UP wouldn't want their steam engines doing any more visible smoking that necessary.  But at the same time I'm sure the steam crew knows the photogs want smoke, not necessarily billows of unburned oil, but perhaps just a bit darker than an economy haze.  I'm just wondering if any thought has going into what kind of balancing act is appropriate for public outings of the steam engines.

JBWX



Date: 05/15/19 16:54
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: train671

On one of the TO videos "BB" is starting out when a huge plume of black smoke is
emited from the stack (probably just sanding) but there was definitely lots of smoke
for a short distance.....



Date: 05/15/19 17:01
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: LJohnson

jbwest Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I noticed on my recent chase of the 4014 and 844
> east from Ogden they ran with a very clear stack
> almost all the time.  Obviously this is the way
> it is supposed to be when properly fired, so the
> firemen get an A.  But equally obviously a lot of
> photographers were disappointed with the lack of
> any visible exhaust, it does not make for dramatic
> pix.    I am curious if the UP has any kind of
> policy about this.  There are environmental
> issues that undoubtedly suggest the UP wouldn't
> want their steam engines doing any more visible
> smoking that necessary.  But at the same time I'm
> sure the steam crew knows the photogs want smoke,
> not necessarily billows of unburned oil, but
> perhaps just a bit darker than an economy haze.
>  I'm just wondering if any thought has going into
> what kind of balancing act is appropriate for
> public outings of the steam engines.
>
> JBWX

I chased them for two days and it was clean most of the time. I would call that good firing.
Luke

Posted from Android



Date: 05/15/19 17:05
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: agentatascadero

Maybe the clean stack was a product of the switch to oil for fuel.  There is ample evidence of huge smoke plumes from the days of coal power, including videos of UP steam "paving the countryside" with thick smoke, from back in the day of steam operations.

AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 05/15/19 17:09
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: HotWater

LJohnson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jbwest Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I noticed on my recent chase of the 4014 and
> 844
> > east from Ogden they ran with a very clear
> stack
> > almost all the time.  Obviously this is the
> way
> > it is supposed to be when properly fired, so
> the
> > firemen get an A.  But equally obviously a lot
> of
> > photographers were disappointed with the lack
> of
> > any visible exhaust, it does not make for
> dramatic
> > pix.    I am curious if the UP has any kind
> of
> > policy about this.  There are environmental
> > issues that undoubtedly suggest the UP wouldn't
> > want their steam engines doing any more visible
> > smoking that necessary.  But at the same time
> I'm
> > sure the steam crew knows the photogs want
> smoke,
> > not necessarily billows of unburned oil, but
> > perhaps just a bit darker than an economy haze.
> >  I'm just wondering if any thought has going
> into
> > what kind of balancing act is appropriate for
> > public outings of the steam engines.
> >
> > JBWX
>
> I chased them for two days and it was clean most
> of the time. I would call that good firing.
> Luke

That plus:

1) light load, i.e. no full throttle with heavy drafting.
2) Good quality fuel, specified in advance for such a high level, extremely visible event.
3) Not much need to sand flues/tubes with high quality fuel and lighter loading, i.e. the flues & tubes are NOT getting all sooted up.



Date: 05/15/19 17:42
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: jbwest

My question is not technical, it is a question of the trade-offs associated with playing to your audience.  

JBWX



Date: 05/15/19 17:46
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: wcamp1472

The low rate of combustion-air draft through the firebox can only burn so much quantity of fuel
For maximum heat from any heat (fossil fuel) engine, the typical combustion-ratio of air quantity to fuel is 16:1,  much more fuel than that you’re into dense, black clouds of unburned fuel...

In BB, the cold water in the boiler, from the low firing rate generates & attracts the unburned carbon-strings ( in the dense smoke) to stick to the interior surfaces of the fire-tubes and to the exterior surfaces of the superheater units ....
A thin layer, about 1/16”  thick forms a perfect insulation barrier between the ((slow)  gas-flow and the steel surfaces that’s supposed to heat up the water and add superheat...sooty fires ain't your friend.  
Sooted-up flues and tubes will kill any hoped-for heat transfer...

Not only that, ‘sanding the flues’ don’t work either , because you need a very strong  [ read: UPHILL) draft to pull the sand through that humongous boiler.. ...right now, they don’t have enough load behind the tender to pull the kind a draft BB needs to keep himself with clean flues..

The clean stack is not a true choice, it’s a necessity ...sooting up the inside of the boiler and firebox sets up a death-spiral into a disaster for making steam. It shows how little fuel through the firebox is necessary to pull tye current handful of roller-bearing equipped cars,—- and poor 844 is ‘stuck” with the same dilemma .....

Sorry about that, you can easily make smoke with a coal burner, cinders scour the flues nicely....fir the few trips they’ll make this year thy’d Have been better off to buy a half dozen hopper loads of Virginia Pocahontas coal ....burns clean and at end of a day’s hard driving you only got a wheelbarrow full of ashes.

Its not a matter of putting “Lionel smoke pills”  down the stack ...this is the real-life consequences of a loco that’s 
built for generating 6,000 HP —— at modest speeds for climbing the 65-mile grade up the Continental Divide....
True High HorsePower-machine....with ‘no load’  you can’t fake the power, with  in real life..l

Did you all really expect that BB would be as exciting and could put on a show to equal a NKP Berk?
Its easy for a 700 to grab sixty cars of freight and romp with them, in The Grand Tradition,  
BIG BOY demands the best and heaviest...  
We’ll find out if this crowd is up to those demands...

BB is hungry for a decent sized train, an a long up-hill fight.... Ain’t gonna see THAT, any time soon.

W.



Date: 05/15/19 17:50
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: HotWater

jbwest Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My question is not technical, it is a question of
> the trade-offs associated with playing to your
> audience.  
>
> JBWX

Well, speaking from experience, I never gave a crap about the "audience"!  When firing SP4449, UP844, or UP3985, my goal was to maintain proper steam pressure, proper water level in the gauge glass, and keep the stack as clean/clear as possible. I can not ever recall someone complementing me on how much smoke I made.



Date: 05/15/19 18:22
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: kurt765

I think the only time consideration is given to making a smoke show is for photographic charters where the photography is the objective. For instance, when I was at the Nevada Norther back in February by request we had the engineer open up the throttle at a certain point to make a bigger plume. Of course, it was freezing outside so a big white plume came free of charge but some black smoke mixed in there too.



Date: 05/15/19 18:49
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: callum_out

Yup, 5 grand for riding up the hill behind a diesel, such a deal!

Out



Date: 05/15/19 20:08
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: CPRR

Thank Wes and Hot Water for the GREAT comments. Once Ed & Company bring them both back to the barn, and try to fix the cylinder packing, and other items I sure, what are the chances of them pulling a freight for a distance?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/15/19 20:17
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: callum_out

I would think that Ed's ego would want to outdo the 3985 pull on the stacks.

Out



Date: 05/15/19 21:05
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: Xander24

I would think any human being who found himself the UP Steam Program manager would would want to take the BB up Sherman with a mixed freight. That isn’t ego, it’s wanting to play with the new toy. That’s pretty normal and a bad example of “Ed’s ego”.

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would think that Ed's ego would want to outdo
> the 3985 pull on the stacks.
>
> Out

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/15/19 21:15
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: jbwest

I should have worded my question more clearly.  I am wondering if concern about pollution complaints has resulted in the UP steam crew being under some pressure to keep smoke to an absolute minimum.

JBWX



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/19 21:57 by jbwest.



Date: 05/15/19 22:11
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: asheldrake

I am a strong advocate of a clean stack for photo charters or whatever......some photo charter folk ask for more smoke for their photos....that is not what our communities will tolerate.    Arlen



Date: 05/15/19 23:24
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: kurt765

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would think that Ed's ego would want to outdo
> the 3985 pull on the stacks.
>
> Out

If you had an operational Big Boy what would you do with it? I think anyone would want to hook it up to 3,600 tons or whatever the exact weight of train that the 4,000 class used to haul in regular service and see what happens unassisted.
Who wouldn't want to see what it could do, seriously?



Date: 05/16/19 04:52
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: HotWater

Xander24 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would think any human being who found himself
> the UP Steam Program manager would would want to
> take the BB up Sherman with a mixed freight.

To be clear, hauling a good sized freight westbound, i.e. up Sherman Hill, would be an operational nightmare. Why?  There is no place to turn ANY steam locomotive in Laramie!

That
> isn’t ego, it’s wanting to play with the new
> toy. That’s pretty normal and a bad example of
> “Ed’s ego”.
>
> callum_out Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I would think that Ed's ego would want to outdo
> > the 3985 pull on the stacks.
> >
> > Out
>
> Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/16/19 13:57
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: Copy19

Back in the early days of 8444 excursions the engine was a stepchild of the  mechanical department.  In fact a UP officer commented in The November 1969. issue of TRAINS magazine in the article “Living Legend” that “they aren’t putting much back in her..”. 

When I came on board in April 1980 I had the impression that just enough work was put into the 8444 to get her through one more trip.  Hence smoke du juror was the order of the day for railfan excursions.  Today everyone knows better.

John Bromley - Omaha



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/19 14:06 by Copy19.



Date: 05/16/19 17:37
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: Check_A1E_Perf

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yup, 5 grand for riding up the hill behind a
> diesel, such a deal!
>
> Out


Truth. Ill wait for Mr Scholl's video to come out (assuming there is one??) and relax on my couch. $5000 buys a lot of popcorn.



Date: 05/16/19 19:59
Re: Smoke on the UP
Author: callum_out

I don't think that Greg was anywhere the 4014 trip, so unless he'd use "leased" footage you'll have
to look elsewhere.

Out



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