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Steam & Excursion > The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!


Date: 02/20/21 02:58
The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: LoggerHogger

Early morning was a good time for railfans to capture images of their favorite steam locomotives.  The low morning sun angle would light up all the details of steam motive power that may be lost in the noon day sun.  In September, 1947 one railfan caught the light just right in the Western Pacific yards in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here we see WP 4-6-6-4 #401 under steam and ready for her days work. Built in 1938 as the first of only 7 Challengers owned by the WP, she operated on 265#s of boiler pressure and produced 99,600#s of tractive effort.  These impressive locomotives were used exculsively between Salt Lake City and Elco, Nevada.  They were all coal burners.  Sadly these huge machines were all retirec by September, 1950 and scrapped in 1952.

Martin



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/21 03:09 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 02/20/21 08:35
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: MacBeau

Couldn't help but notice all those overfire jets on the firebox. Thanks for the look.
—Mac



Date: 02/20/21 09:52
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: wcamp1472

Commonly applied only to coal burners...

The simple jets are covered with 'silencing-cans'...
probabky pack with loosely formed, fireproof noise-deadening
material to adbsorb the higher frewuency noises from the the 
Venturi jets.

In my experience ( with un-muffled) overfire jets, you don't have to 
set them for more than a gentle breeze, to get tge benefits 
of fresh oxygen into the flames.

Loud, roaring jets are not any more effective.   Their most common 
use is in engine terminal areas where many  engines are sitting with
fires at varying levels of fire intensity.   The common practice with engine watchmen
( keeping fires lively) was to be maintaining live locos ---like 20 or more--
sitting with banked fires.

Sometimes the fires would get very low, and watchmen would apply a new,
heavy charge of green coal, then go to the next engines...  After a while, that
'heavy charge' would would combust all at once.... producing dense clouds of 
freed black carbon and CO gas.   

Terminals in cities would become choked with the sloppy practices...
Overfire jets were used to add oxygen at lazy rates into the smoke and combustible 
carbon released into the flames lingering over the calm firebed.

There was little or no training provided to the fire-watch crew members on the intent & use of the jets.
So,  jet use was spotty at best.  Folks,including the firemen, didn't know how best to manage the
science of more complete combustion of low-draft fires.... when sitting idle..

Engine-watching was one of those jobs where you worked long and hard, running from
engine to engine, or you used you head,  set the proper firebed conditions on each parked
engine, then only checked on them every 3 or 4 hours.

Early in the first trips with NKP 759, we had completed the first season, in 1968, on the way from Roanoke
to Conneaut, Ohio.  We had a light engine and the HICO locker-body pick-up truck.  
We were scheduled for a night's layover ar Williamson, WVa and were parked at the depot, downtown,
overnight.

The HICO crew ( Doyle,  Al, etc.) stayed at the hotel overnight [ across the street] , and the N&W had
arranged for a watchma to care for the fire ovenight.  
He was a cheerful, big black fellow with a big grin and take-charge manner:
 '" I've GOT this! ", he said,  "You fellows go to the hotel, shower, eat well, get a full night's rest... I'll take over!"
He confidently ran the injector, the stoker etc, like it was just yesterday... He was ready, and so were we!

What a BIG relief he was for us.   He had been good at it from the 50s, and had a chance here, 10 years later
to enjoy thethe opportunity, one more time!

He explained a little about his firing experiences on the N&W of 50s, and we ( HICO) were tired,
hungry and grungy...  overnight, we'd slept well; up early, full breakfast and over to the depot
and simmering 759.

In the morning 'Grins' was there, fresh and ready---  and the engine, fire, & tender water were
all perfectly 'set' and sizzling.

He'd done a wonderful job:  cleaned the cab, washed the windows,  polished all the  brass,
hosed down the coal pile, filled the cooler with fresh ice!
What a joy that overnight at Williamson was... 

As we departed, with the light engine, we waved good-bye... and headed into the morning Mountsin-mists...
That was a truly memorable experience ....he probably had 'visitors' ( as a steady steam) all night,
and I'll bet he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity .... all night long.
Just a glimpse from the past, the way it used to be...

Thank you, Bob Claytor !

W.



Date: 02/20/21 10:18
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: tomstp

Nice story.



Date: 02/20/21 13:15
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: PHall

There was no "WP Yards" in SLC. They used the Rio Grande Roper Yard.



Date: 02/20/21 20:41
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: Elesco

At the beginning of the WP, it was effectively part the Rio Grande, WP being the "western extension."  So it makes sense they would have shared the same yard at Salt Lake City.



Date: 02/21/21 04:14
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: masterphots

A question for Wes.  One night we paced NKP 765 for a few miles around Stateline, GA/TN as the SR excursion train left Chattanooga for Atlanta.  There were holes in the side of the firebox where we could see the fire.  Were those overfire jets without the mufflers?  Never thought to ask until I read your explanation above.



Date: 02/21/21 05:16
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: HotWater

masterphots Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A question for Wes.  One night we paced NKP 765
> for a few miles around Stateline, GA/TN as the SR
> excursion train left Chattanooga for Atlanta. 
> There were holes in the side of the firebox where
> we could see the fire.  Were those overfire jets
> without the mufflers?  Never thought to ask until
> I read your explanation above.

Those "holes" are where the overfire jets used to be. All the piping and the "jets" (don't believe the NKP used mufflers) were removed when she was first restored to operation, in the late 1970s.



Date: 02/21/21 08:50
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: wcamp1472

You can also see those 'holes' on photos of 
UP 4000s which were built with two rows of 
those tubes --- feeding fresh air into the flame path 
over the firebed.

On the 765. the jet-equipped holes, 3 on each side, with off-set streams,
are typical of the usual arrangement.  The jet-equipped holes 
were intended for use while sitting around engine terminals ----- with lots 
of engines & high-smoking, low draft-rates through the grates.  
The available oxygen was consumed in the firebed,  leaving virtually no oxygen into the
flame path... resulting in dense smoke and high amounts of CO.

The Alco builders of the UP 4000s simply used more non-jet assisted fresh air holes....
gaining the fresh air benefits without using jets.  However, being non-jet equipped they
were not intended to mitigate smoke & gasses while sitting around, but they helped a little bit.

The 'air holes' on the 4000s are short sections of boiler tubes, replacing individual staybolts;
thus, providing sidesheet supporting, and, fresh combustion air.

Being non-jetted, the rate of fresh air supplied is proportional to the strength of 
the draft, (and the trailing load--- ), they were a self-regulating feature of the
4000s "combustion  holes"... while hauling freight.

And yes, the fresh air supplied DOES increase the firebox temperatures, 
by more thoroughly combining the oxygen and hotter-burning oxidation to CO2, 
while clearing the smoke.

W.

(
On the wwweb, Look-up the comparative BTUs generated by 'reduction' ( burning) down to
CO rather than to CO2...CO2 yields much hotter flame temps --- along with black smoke---than
burning to CO --- interestingly, our lungs absorb CO more readily than O2.... suffocation occurs
more quickly...!)



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/21 10:30 by wcamp1472.



Date: 02/24/21 10:37
Re: The Moring Sun Catches This Steam Brute On The Ready Track!
Author: jimeng

The NKP Berkshires had three overfire jet nozzles in each side of the firebox.
As built, these nozzles were nothing more than steam jets penetrating the holes in the side of the firebox.
The NKP later reworked these to consist of a steam jet, air entraining nozzle surrounded by a 4-1/4" diameter can which was open only on the side nearest the firebox. The can stood off the firebox wall 1" and the air entered in this gap. Acoustic sound deadening material was installed in the outer end and circular part of the can. This design actually drew mostly air and not just steam into the combustion space.
Jim Kreider
 



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