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Steam & Excursion > Another suggestion from sad times in the ‘old days’

Date: 05/22/23 01:39
Another suggestion from sad times in the ‘old days’
Author: wcamp1472

I offer another suggestion for the new turntable pit 
at ORHF.  (Or any non-equipped, frequently used TT).
Unless, it's been thought-of..

My suggestion is to equip ALL the approach pit-tracks
with flop-off, permanent derails at each pit approach track.
Make sure they are securely spiked and cannot be knocked
off of the rails by heavy rolling equipment.

They should be installed far enough back, away from the TT
pit to allow several truck-lengths for errant cars to come 
a stop before dropping into the TT pit 

These should always be 'in place' on the rail-head and locked.
Future, inexperienced staff may not be familiar with the purpose,
but old-timers will nod, approvingly, of the installation.

An errant, free-rolling car can easily become a rolling disaster...
so keep them out of the pit!

After the intended move is complete, be sure the applicable 
derails are replaced on the railhead and locked.

The old "Ounce of Prevention"  ( prevents tons of regret) Rule...

Wes Camp


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/23 01:46 by wcamp1472.

Date: 05/22/23 02:35
Re: Another suggestion from sad times in the ‘old days’
Author: LarryDoyle

Good point, Wes.

Along with that, strict rules and enforcement of wheel chock placement, throttle chaining, opening of cylinder cocks and house cocks, and lining and locking nearby turnouts away from the pit. Do not depend on handbrakes - few steam locomotives even had 'em, and when they did they were seldom effective.


Date: 05/22/23 06:05
Re: Another suggestion from sad times in the ‘old days’
Author: Frisco1522

All of the above, plus engine on center.

Date: 05/22/23 08:55
Re: Another suggestion from sad times in the ‘old days’
Author: wcamp1472

Engine on center of turntable, or valve gear 'centered'?

( Remember: depending on position of drive wheels,
   the valve gear LEAD is a fixed number*; so, one or more,
   valve ports will be open for 'admission' ..... a slightly open
   throttle can build-up pressure and result in powered driver 

    Once under way, an engine can run with the reverse
    lever 'centered' --- as long as it's not uphill, even slightly.
    However, on a TT,  just because the valve port is 'open',
    the throttle  should be closed --- no steam flowing -- while standing ).


   (* LEAD  is defined, Measured in fractions of an inch.... 
       "LEAD"  is the dimension that the admission port is OPEN,
        with the piston at its 'dead-center'  ---- piston located at a
        cylinder head, so than any further movement moves the
        piston AWAY from. the nearest cykinder head..  
        LEAD will be a number between 5/8" and 1/8 inch,  as may be
         reported on the locos's design drawings.  LEAD is a constant
         amount;  but, the engineer has a 'range' over the cut-off timing
          of the steam admission port.  It varies from the LEAD amount,
           at the minimum, to a typical maximum amount of  about 85%
           of the piston stroke.  Longer admission strokes are used in
           starting a train.  Long admission strokes are also used 
           when the.locomotive is rolling at cruising speeds with a
           closed-down throttle. ---- as when running downhill, or 
           when preparing for a station stop.   
            Such rolling with the throttle closed is often called 'drifting'
             Drifting means that enough steam flows to the piston face
             to provide lubrication carry-through to the pistons.  Locos 
             equipped with mechanically-driven lubricators only deliver
             valve oil to a 'spoon' in the path of the live steam flow....

              If you are drifting with the throttle closed, the pumped valve 
              oil simply drools off of the 'spoon', and dribbles down the port
              port walls towards the cylinders.

              Drifting with the throttle slightly cracked-open,  the live steam flow 
              heats the spoon up to boil-off the liquid valve oil and carry the 
              the lubricant as a blue smoke to the pistons.... similar to 
              the way greasy hamburgers coat the smoke-hood and exhaust 
              ducts of fast food restaurants.... Only, in restaurants build-up
              creates extreme fire hazards.   

              We always appreciate locos that are operated properly,
               while "drifting".   Unfortunately, locos like 4014, in routine running
               rarely get any decent "lubrication distribution" ---- because
                there is rarely any benefical, or great, steam-flow to
                 provide proper ' blue-smoke'  lubrication...either because
                diesels are doing the "work", or the train-weights  are a fraction
                 of the designed capacities of large locos.  in such situations,
                 there is insufficient fire-drafting to generate superheated steam...
                 the steam that is produced is heat-saturated at the boiling point.
               On the way to the cylinders, the lower pressures ( and lower
               steam temperatures) result in a portion of the steam flow to condense,
               and precipitate water production when under pressure ....
                [ You had better-have steam-closed cylinder cocks ---
                    they pop-open when there's water at the piston! 
                     No other cylinder cocks are self-relieving] 

                It can be painful to watch 4,000 to 6000HP. steamers slogging-
                around, with little or no trailing weight ---- whether it's the 611,
                or other under-used engines.  They rarely get to the 'blue smoke'
                state while in such service..
                I much more appreciate watching the NKP 765, or Reading 2102,
                out there, pounding down the main, with a wide throttle, and a
                 "Power cut-off setting" of the valve gear, or even down on their knees,
                  fighting up a stiff hill, wide-open!   NOW THAT'S something 
                  to take-in!  Best observed on board the train.... or in the loco Cab!
                  Been there.
                   Done that.
                  Got many tee shirts!  
                  From Bellows Falls, to Portland, Or.
                   And from Alexandria, La. to Canada 😆. )

Date: 05/22/23 10:56
Re: Another suggestion from sad times in the ‘old days’
Author: Frisco1522

Sigh............OK, down in the corner.

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