Home Open Account Help 233 users online

European Railroad Discussion > UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???


Date: 04/10/22 14:05
UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: DKay

Just came across this on a news site down here in Australia. 
Any truth to it ,or just usual media BS.Sounds a bit of a stretch to me. 

End of the line? Vintage train journeys at risk as coal supply fails (msn.com)

Regards,DK



Date: 04/10/22 16:53
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: goduckies

We have plenty of coal in the US to give....

Posted from Android



Date: 04/10/22 17:32
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: railsmith

DKay Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just came across this on a news site down here in
> Australia. 
> Any truth to it ,or just usual media BS.Sounds a
> bit of a stretch to me. 
>
> End of the line? Vintage train journeys at risk as
> coal supply fails (msn.com)

The article, in The Guardian, quotes some very reputable sources in the heritage railway business. The newspaper didn't simply dream this up -- the article is driven by those sources.

This was already an issue before the question of Russian supply came up, owing to the almost total closure of the British coal mining industry. Not a stretch, by any means.  Cost and quality are issues, as well.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/22 17:45 by railsmith.



Date: 04/10/22 19:31
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: krm152

No coal does not have to mean the end of steam.
Union Pacific converted #4014 from a coal to oil fuel during restoration.
I know most purists would not like the idea. However, it does offer long term practical advantages.
ALLEN

Addendum:
Post WWII a rather large number of British steam locomotives were converted from coal to oil.
A film was made in 1946 about this conversion. An excerpt is on YouTube.
To see this excerpt, copy and paste the address below in your browser:  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qISLfouQJIw



 



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/22 21:35 by krm152.



Date: 04/10/22 20:46
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: NDHolmes

What sort of coal are British steamers designed to run on - eg, BTU/ton, moisture, ash, etc?  Or is it more like the US roads, where each carrier is tuned to what was available along the line?
 



Date: 04/11/22 07:38
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: Hexagon789

NDHolmes Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What sort of coal are British steamers designed to
> run on - eg, BTU/ton, moisture, ash, etc?  Or is
> it more like the US roads, where each carrier is
> tuned to what was available along the line?
>  

Yes, each of the pre-1948 Big Four companies had their fireboxes and engines essentially tuned to prefer certain types of coal.

The GWR had plentiful supplies of high calorific Welsh coal, which is probably the best quality you'd find in the UK. Other companies had to do with poorer quality, the LNER fireboxes even on their top A4 streamliners could get by on literally a fine layer of dust but obviously for sustained power sizeable lumps were better, they burn much longer.

By the end of steam proper lumps were in short supply in the late-1960s there are tales of engine crews literally raking through piles of coal dust trying to find any decent lumps to build the fire on. In many cases the dust was polluted with rubbish and other detritus, the need to ensure reasonable supplies of fair quality coal being over.



Date: 04/11/22 09:26
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: PHall

This could actually be a blessing in disguise since the maintenance and facility requirements for oil fuel are much less then what are required for coal.
 



Date: 04/11/22 19:53
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: railsmith

krm152 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Addendum:
> Post WWII a rather large number of British steam
> locomotives were converted from coal to oil.
> A film was made in 1946 about this conversion. An
> excerpt is on YouTube.


Just 93 -- that's hardly a "rather large" number.  BR had 8,000 steam locomotives at nationalization, so that was 1% that were converted -- and not for long. 

The following is from http://www.greatwestern.org.uk/m_in_gwr_oil_fire.htm, which gives more background on the post-war coal situation

"The scheme was sufficiently promising to prompt the government to sponsor a large scale programme to convert some 1200 engines in all railway companies to help overcome the coal shortages. By 1948 when the railways had been nationalised, a total of 93 engines had been altered, including 36 on the Great Western, but the government realised that they had insufficient foreign exchange to pay for the additional costs of oil fuel, estimated to be £300,000 per year, and with this in mind, all locomotives were switched back to coal within nine months."

 



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/22 20:02 by railsmith.



Date: 04/12/22 04:14
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: 86235

The Ffestiniog converted to oil and then converted back, given the cost of pil and the costs of conversion I suspect most heritage railways will seek alternative supplies of coal first.



Date: 04/13/22 13:26
Re: UK preserved Steam running out of coal ???
Author: krm152

railsmith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> krm152 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> > Addendum:
> > Post WWII a rather large number of British
> steam
> > locomotives were converted from coal to oil.
> > A film was made in 1946 about this conversion.
> An
> > excerpt is on YouTube.
>
>
> Just 93 -- that's hardly a "rather large"
> number.  BR had 8,000 steam locomotives at
> nationalization, so that was 1% that were
> converted -- and not for long. 
>
> The following is from
> http://www.greatwestern.org.uk/m_in_gwr_oil_fire.h
> tm, which gives more background on the post-war
> coal situation
>
> "The scheme was sufficiently promising to prompt
> the government to sponsor a large scale programme
> to convert some 1200 engines in all railway
> companies to help overcome the coal shortages. By
> 1948 when the railways had been nationalised, a
> total of 93 engines had been altered, including 36
> on the Great Western, but the government realised
> that they had insufficient foreign exchange to pay
> for the additional costs of oil fuel, estimated to
> be £300,000 per year, and with this in mind, all
> locomotives were switched back to coal within nine
> months."
>
>
I was paraphrasing the information that was in the report posted on YouTube.
The real point is that conversion from coal to oil is something that has been done before in Britain.
I already knew of such conversions in U.S.
ALLEN.
   



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0464 seconds