Home Open Account Help 243 users online

Steam & Excursion > N&W 611 Update

Date: 06/23/22 17:38
N&W 611 Update
Author: akpsteam

There was recent update on the N&W 611 today that the 5-year inspection on the flexible staybolts and staybolt caps (2,537 total) and machining of all new caps was completed after a successful test fire last week on June 14. Insulation and reassembly is soon to follow.

Date: 06/23/22 17:48
Re: N&W 611 Update
Author: HotWater

akpsteam Wrote:
> There was recent update on the N&W 611 today that
> the 5-year inspection on the flexible staybolts
> and staybolt caps (2,537 total) and machining of
> all new caps was completed after a successful test
> fire last week on June 14. Insulation and
> reassembly is soon to follow.

Interesting. Must admit that I'm not aware of an FRA requirement of a "5-year inspection on the flexible staybolts and staybolt caps". The FRA requirements are generally annual hydostatic inspections and 1472 or 15 year re certifications.

Date: 06/23/22 18:38
Re: N&W 611 Update
Author: callum_out

Yup, that's what 230.16 addresses stay and staycap inspection, 5 year intervals.


Date: 06/23/22 19:38
Re: N&W 611 Update
Author: wcamp1472

1472 is made up of 48 months of service days + 12 months for out of service credit.
1472 divided by 365.25 = 4.03 years (+ 12 mos [ out of service credits]  = 5 years.)

Flannery-type flexible staybolts, if they pass the continuity test of their full-depth of
the tell-tale holes, need not have their caps removed.   Indeed, some are fitted with 
hemispherical caps ( called "biscuits") welded to the external firebox sheets.  They rely solely on
a successful hydro test, and opened telltales, to remain in service with their welded caps intact.

So, only flexible stays without tell-tale holes, or any Flannerys with obstructed (full-depth) tell-tale
holes, need to have the caps REMOVED.

( Flannery flexible stays have a tell-tale hole the extends from the firebox opening into 1/3 diameter  the
   ball head.  For proving that the hole is open to its full depth, the Flannery bolts had the tell-tale
   hole copper-plated for electrical conductance.  A long, continuity test probe, with an insulated sleeve,
   tip-only exposed, is inserted in the tell-tale hole to its full depth.  When the test probe contacts
   the copper-plating at the extreme far end, the battery illuminated test-light shines,  
   That satisfies the inspector that the tell-hole is open its full length.
   Following the completion of a 'tight' hydrostatic test, the open Flannery test holes are closed
    by a pourous ceramic ( tapered ) plug, tapped into place with a wooden mallet  Back in the day,
    Flannery sold staybolt plugs in two colors:  light blue & buff.  When all plugs were installed,
     the opposite color was to  be used ----- so that a visual inspection by a compliance inspector
    would be satisfied that all the plugs had been replaced --- [and recorded on the blue, annual
    FRA inspection forms].

    It is vital that the copper-plated test holes be fitted with the plugs, or the test holes will become
    solidly obstructed with caked carbon particles ..... thus, the electrical test probe's conductive tip
    will be prevented from contacting the copper plating at the end of the hole that's in the ball head
    of the bolt.  
    AGAIN, if fools resort to drilling-out the plugged holes, they risk removing the copper
    plated bottom of the hole..... that means a possible obstruction of corrosion that prevents a
    successful 'continuity test' .  Any Flannery bolt that fails the continuity test, is considered to be
    "blocked" , and must be replaced as if it was a broken bolt.  Any hydrostatic pressure test
     that reveals a water stream out the test hole, is a 'broken bolt' & must be replaced.

     The ceramic Flannery plugs are chipped/broken-out. using a small chisel for that purpose,
     and hammered to crumble the staybolt's plug -- followed by an air lance to blow out the entire
     length of the test hole.
     Between 12 month hydrostatic testing periods, the Flannery test holes are plugged with a pourous,
     ceramic plug that allows water pressure ( from a broken stay) to seep through the plug -
     --- alerting boiler inspectors that the Flannery bolt has a fracture.  
      And, if defective, the plugs will blow steam at any time through the pourous plug,
      with the boiler under pressure.)

The 5-year staybolt work is followed by the hydrostatic test pressure of 125% of MAWP
( maximum allowed working pressure).   The hydro test will stretch the flexible staybolts'
 length by pulling away the firebox sheets from the outer wrapper..  Such pressure will open
any cracked stays, causing hydro-pressure water to spray out the telltale holes of defective

The purpose of the hydrostatic staybolt test is to find broken or cracked firebox stays.
Not all flexible bolts are Flannery style.  they may be ball-head, solid bolts, so those
must have their caps removed.  The purpose of the 5-year staybolt & hydro test is
to stretch-open any cracked staybolts, the hydro test wil do the stretching, the water 
leaking out the telltales will be te proof of a 'broken bolt".

Some rigid stays, short ones, are drilled at each end, to a depth of about 1-inch 
beyond the sheet thickness... To serve as tell-tale weep holes.

The repeated flexing of the firebox sheets, from constant thermal cycles, tends to tear
the staybolts at their firebox threaded ends.  Any water out the tell-tales condemns the broken

They must be tested under pressure, and stretched.  The flexibles ( without tell-tales)
have their heads tested without the screwed-in caps in place.

 Flannerys do NOT need to have their caps removed, if the copper-lined  telltale holes are open
and each bolt passes the electrical continuity tests.  

             ( NEVER use a power operated drill to clean out Flannery staybolt telltale holes...you'll
              peel away the copper plating and then getting such a ruined bolt to pass the 'electrical test'
              is difficult.   Any Flannery that cannot pass the conductivity test, is considered a 
               "broken-bolt", and it MUST be replaced. To be 'legal' all Flannerys must be tested with
                continuity tester, after the telltale holes are opened and blown clean ).

All broken, or suspect, staybolts must be replaced, and the whole boiler successfully tested before returning to service.

That's what's behind the '5-year test'

( Hopefully, the 5-year flue removal period coincides with the same interval as staybolt cap, 5-year testing period..).

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/22 03:33 by wcamp1472.

Date: 06/23/22 20:22
Re: N&W 611 Update
Author: callum_out

Equals 4.03.


Date: 06/24/22 05:15
Re: N&W 611 Update
Author: SeaboardMan

Another reason why dismals became so popular.

Date: 06/24/22 05:18
Re: N&W 611 Update
Author: grlhughes

So is it operational soon or next year? Think they need to test it on the Reading and Northern where they have room to run at 40 mph.

Date: 06/24/22 05:59
Re: N&W 611 Update
Author: wcamp1472

"Reason"... continued

Big reason was elimination of the need for multiple 'shop-crafts'...
diesels needed only electricians & machinists ( a couple of boilermakers for wreck repairs).
They didn't need all the other varied, specialized shop crafts...that populated the roundhouses..
Some had 12 or more shopcraft unions....  and as fewer & fewer steam locos remained on the
rosters, it became harder to keep a lot of folks on the payrolls, with less and less to do.

That meant large payroll reductions ( greater cash retention), and less 'withholding tax' money
had to be sent to the gummint every 90-days.   


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/22 06:06 by wcamp1472.

Date: 06/29/22 08:01
Re: N&W 611 Update
Author: Keystone_Ed

Whether we can ride behind 611 or not I'd like to take my grandson to Strasburg to see his favorite locomotive. Does anyone know if 611 is outside where it can be seen by the public?

[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0518 seconds