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Steam & Excursion > What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?


Date: 03/04/21 05:29
What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: wcamp1472

Ok!

So,  why do folks that repaint steam locos paint every handle in the cab,
and all around the loco, with red paint?

Back before 1960, I never saw, then active, steam locos 'decorated' with
all handles decorated with red paint...all over the place..
It makes no sense, and is distracting, superfluous,  as well as useless.

While we're at it, what's wit' painting the inside loco bells 🔔 red?
Is there something subliminally libidinous, fetishistic about the bright
red 'decorations'?

In my opinion ,  it's terribly distracting and serves no purpose, except to the
whims of the painter.

On active locos, it soon wears-off of active, worn handles...

W.



Date: 03/04/21 06:29
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: LocoPilot750

Myself, I'd rather see red handles, than white tires. Every Santa Fe bell I've had in my collection had old red paint inside.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/04/21 06:55
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: Frisco1522

Frisco always painted the bell mouth red.  A majority of them were front mounted and the red was sort of an additional warning device.
As for the red valve handles, who knows?  Never bothered me.  Striping, whitewalls and white running board edges and handrails on engines that never had them in service DO bother me, but if I don't have a dog in the hunt then I have no control over it.



Date: 03/04/21 07:10
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: BoilingMan

Well you won’t like this- during the ‘76 leg of the AFT tour I was the Whim Master.
There was a small tin of red paint in the tool car. Whenever the 4449 was down and cold for some service that didn’t involve work in the cab, I would touch up the red detail in the cab. Usually about once a month or so, if I recall.
SR

I will brace myself for serious stink eye if ever our paths cross again.



Date: 03/04/21 07:31
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: HotWater

Wes,

I'm pretty sure that the "red handle" practice was pretty common on western railroads, such as UP and SP, during the "days of steam".



Date: 03/04/21 08:06
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: Mouse

Perhaps the red was to remind you that it's NOT a grabiron or somrthing to hold on to.



Date: 03/04/21 08:14
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: HotWater

Mouse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Perhaps the red was to remind you that it's NOT a
> grabiron or somrthing to hold on to.

No. The "red" was/is a much more visible color, especially in the dark of night, for operators & workers to recognize something on an all-black locomotive. A good example are the large diameter hand-wheels (painted red) on the various UP large coal burners, that operate the bottom doors on the ash-pan hopper.



Date: 03/04/21 08:36
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: MP4093

The red inside the bell was an additional visual warning, if you heard it at a distance and looked around you could see the flash of red, and brass if it was clean, telling you which loco was moving. It was fairly common practice on the railroads around here Wes. 



Date: 03/04/21 08:43
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: co614

A very with it old timer told me that the reason bells interiors were painted red was that the speed of light ( vision) travels MUCH faster than the speed of sound ( hearing) and that if there was a locomotive coming at you in the distance you could tell by its red interior if its bell was swinging a warning. Made sense to me and I think it dresses up the bell.

   As to red handles in the cab............sorta dresses up the place and doesn't hurt. Just my 2 cents worth. 

   Ross Rowland           



Date: 03/04/21 08:52
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: BoilingMan

Again from my AFT days...
If I remember correctly there were a few valve handles I would paint blue- those that were associated with cold water, not under pressure, like the water fill valves on the tender (The 4449's tender was set up so that it could be filled at ground level from a source like a fire hydrant). 
Red generally implied some level of consequence (danger or damage) if open or closed unintentionally-  in other words: Don't open or close this if you don't know what you're doing!
SR

I had the idea of painting yellow on the caps of fill points, like lube oil resivours, to make them easier to find at night time service stops.  But I don't recall if I ever went that far.



Date: 03/04/21 09:35
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: wcamp1472

Re: hydrant fill connections..

Ask Doyle, but I'd bet that the hydrant connections 
DO NOT simply connect at the tender's steel bottom.

When  Joe added the hydrant connections to the 759's main tender, 
in 1969, the hydrant fill-pipes extend upward through the water space,  
to an inverted U- pipe at the top.  

That way the only water in the hydrant pipe, at disconnecting 
time,  is limited to only whatever water is in the pipe,  we had applied pipe
drain-down valves, to empty the fill pipes of standing water.
 The cistern water is NEVER in the fill pipe.
There were no shut-off valves in the hydrant-fill pipes.

I'd bet Joe made a similar, "safe-fill" arrangements to the 4449's tender.

Alternatively, the tender-to-tender connections were equipped with shut-offs, at each 
end of the connecting tank hoses . .. those hoses are connected at the base 
on each tender's water space.    When separating the two tenders, both valves
(at each end of the hoses) must be closed, and water flow stopped.

There is always the risk that one, or both hose-valves might be overlooked at "connect-up
time".... so the deliberate verification of OPEN valves should be made to ensure that the two tender's 
hose connections are fully opened and secured.

W.

( I hadn't looked closely at 4449's hydrant set-up, but I don't remember
seeing shut-off valves in the hydrant connections at the rear of the tender,
the two times when I've been to Portland).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/21 09:45 by wcamp1472.



Date: 03/04/21 09:56
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: BoilingMan

Yes, the fill on the 49's tender was set up as you described (with the internal fill pipe), but I'm pretty sure there's a valve for it just under the ladder at the rear of the tender.   My description of track level filling point only meant to say just that.
SR



Date: 03/04/21 10:02
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: HotWater

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Re: hydrant fill connections..
>
> Ask Doyle, but I'd bet that the hydrant
> connections 
> DO NOT simply connect at the tender's steel
> bottom.

I'm pretty sure they do, i.e. connect directly into the bottom of the tender, on both sides.


> When  Joe added the hydrant connections to the
> 759's main tender, 
> in 1969, the hydrant fill-pipes extend upward
> through the water space,  
> to an inverted U- pipe at the top.  

I've seen such arrangements. However, it makes it pretty difficult to drain the water out of the tender, if required.

> That way the only water in the hydrant pipe, at
> disconnecting 
> time,  is limited to only whatever water is in
> the pipe,  we had applied pipe
> drain-down valves, to empty the fill pipes of
> standing water.
>  The cistern water is NEVER in the fill pipe.
> There were no shut-off valves in the hydrant-fill
> pipes.
>
> I'd bet Joe made a similar, "safe-fill"
> arrangements to the 4449's tender.
>
> Alternatively, the tender-to-tender connections
> were equipped with shut-offs, at each 
> end of the connecting tank hoses . .. those hoses
> are connected at the base 
> on each tender's water space.    When separating
> the two tenders, both valves
> (at each end of the hoses) must be closed, and
> water flow stopped.
>
> There is always the risk that one, or both
> hose-valves might be overlooked at "connect-up
> time".... so the deliberate verification of OPEN
> valves should be made to ensure that the two
> tender's 
> hose connections are fully opened and secured.
>
> ​W.
>
> ( I hadn't looked closely at 4449's hydrant
> set-up, but I don't remember
> seeing shut-off valves in the hydrant connections
> at the rear of the tender,
> the two times when I've been to Portland).

The main tender, as well as the auxiliary tender, have shut off valves in each water supply line from a 21/2" fire hose connection, pus shut off valves for the interconnecting hoses for the auxiliary water tender.



Date: 03/04/21 10:27
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: LarryDoyle

In EVERY water storage tank there should be an air gap between the top of the water level and the supply pipe to prevent siphoning back into the supply.

-LD



Date: 03/04/21 10:36
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: Bob3985

UP Steam locomotives had red and yellow handles deoending on the purpose of that handle/valve.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 03/04/21 10:45
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: Earlk

I've seen yellow handles on the steam lvlaves associated with the emergency steam lines to the power reverse gear.



Date: 03/04/21 12:49
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: Dreamer

The most import part of a steam engine is paint! Some people want green steam locomotives because they can not afford a John Deer tractor. Others complain about mweather or not the color is the right shade. Nevermind the history or mechanical changes made. It is paint that is important!

Dreamer

Posted from Android



Date: 03/04/21 12:53
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: wcamp1472

"Da Air Gap..."

A good point to follow...

On 759, Joe used schedule 80 6" pipe, clear through the top deck.
He welded two 90's , to make the 180 , and redirected the tank top....all external
and above the water.

There had been two deck-drain pipes in the rear corners, on the
original from Lima --- Joe opened the hole to suit and installed the 
fill pipes.

At the lower end he fitted a wye pipe and attached two female,
Nat'l Std., firehose-thread , ends ( + tethered caps) to accept the hoses from the pumper.

( There are many city-specific firehose thread dimensions to the 2 1/2" hoses, so in conference
with several fire departments, they all agreed that their trucks carry adapters to fit NS threads .... so 
that's was we applied... We stenciled the "NS"  near the hose attachment piping, two fittings --- each side,
ground level.  Some departments used both sides of the tender, and filled us with four hoses.)

W.


 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/21 11:56 by wcamp1472.



Date: 03/08/21 11:43
Re: What’s wit’ all the red painted handles on steamers?
Author: steam290

All I can think of is 630's recently painted red cab roof... 
 



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