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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Sat 19, 2019 6:21 pm 
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Mark D wrote:
... However, I will state right here that true steam is incredibly dangerous. A steam leak might not even show because until it begins to cool it is invisible. One has to be VERY careful when working around live steam. It's that heat energy that makes it so powerful as it expands. Mark D.
Mark, years ago I was told by a boiler engineer that workers around super-heated steam pressure vessels and pipes carry a wooden wand ahead to them to detect any invisible but lethal super-heated steam leaks from holes as small as a pinhole. Can anyone confirm this?
Cheers,
Roger

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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Sat 19, 2019 11:53 pm 
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Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
No, I had no knowledge of that. In our world I guess if one of us got into superheated steam, and we do use superheated steam, we would just have to suffer the consequence's.
But the superheated steam only exists when we're running and it turns to saturated steam as soon as it leaves the cylinders. All steam in the cab is saturated as are all the accessories such as the dynamo, the whistle, the bell ringer, the injectors... everything. Except the power in the cylinders.
Saturated steam can be very painful too, but unless one were to get a huge blast it probably wouldn't necessarily do much damage. You still wouldn't like it. That's why the water glasses have a glass tube inside a cast cage that has thick windows to look through. Sometimes the water glass will start to leak. The cage keeps it where it belongs until repairs are made. We carry spare water glass tubes.
Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Sun 20, 2019 2:15 am 
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Location: Rockbridge Ohio 43149
Many years ago I worked as an electrician in a paper mill, the common way to look for super-heated steam leaks was with a straw broom. A leak would cut the straw off cleanly! Better than your fingers! :lol:

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Sun 20, 2019 2:21 am 
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Location: Tyler, Texas 75707-4212
Oilfield has a similar risk, kind of two phase. H2S can leak at extremely high pressure and I've heard of people losing limbs walking too close to a leak. It's invisible even after entering atmosphere, plus it's highly toxic. Most rigs require hands to wear a meter. I have one. I've had it sound off too....kind of scary. I've never had to deal with a leak, but I have friends and family in the H2S safety business......not a game for me!

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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Sun 20, 2019 5:01 am 
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hockingcountyhillbilly wrote:
Many years ago I worked as an electrician in a paper mill, the common way to look for super-heated steam leaks was with a straw broom. A leak would cut the straw off cleanly!... Steve
Just by coincidence, I am reminded that it was on a paper-mill project that I first heard about this. However, I was working on paper-machine instrumentation and and control, nowhere near the boilers.
Cheers,
Roger

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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Sun 20, 2019 11:59 pm 
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RobertL wrote:
"Big Boy" was in Tucson yesterday. I went to see it. I was surprised at the turnout.

There were a lot of people at the depot, but that wasn't all of them. There were groups of people along the track coming into town reporting it's progress by cell phone to those further down. I'm sure the same thing happened on the way out. There may even have been people pacing it in their cars although the track is on the wrong side of the freeway to get a good view. Westbound trains can create a traffic tie-up.

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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Mon 21, 2019 3:20 pm 
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Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
After the Big Boy stopped for a day at St. Paul, MN. Union Station they went on to Duluth. Our fearless leader, being good friends with the U.P. steam crew, advised them about a curve in Duluth that will be very tricky to get that beast around a specific curve. Not wanting to derail that beast they took him along up to Duluth where he did help them out at that curve. They made it around the curve, but the Big Boy wanted a bit wider curve and the flanges on the pilot and lead 8 drivers shoved the outer track out to where it was a bit happier. Never mind the fact that the BNSF, the owner of that track, had added spikes to keep the rails in place. They were all ripped out. But it never derailed.

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Mon 21, 2019 5:24 pm 
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RobertL wrote:
"Big Boy" was in Tucson yesterday. I went to see it. I was surprised at the turnout.


I took the day off work last Wednesday and saw the train at Shamut, between Gila Bend and Maricopa. I also took the family down South for the weekend and saw it on display in Tucson. Also caught it arriving in both Benson and Bowie in Arizona. Even in Benson the size of the crowd surprised me. Only about a hundred of us in Bowie though. Pleasant lunch at the Rafter G restaurant in Bowie then off to Apple Annie's for corn maze and pumpkin picking. Granddaughter loved the entire weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Mon 21, 2019 5:35 pm 
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Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
I have a question for those of you who are just now getting to get up close and personal to that beast.
Are they still running the other U.P. operable steam locomotive #844 (a 4-8-4 similar in size to our engine) behind the Big Boy? If it's around, you should take a look at that one too. It's never been taken out of service save for needed overhauls. U.P. bought it new and never stopped using it. They just changed its job from hauling freight to pulling their passenger cars for big wigs and inspectors who ride the rails to check out how the infrastructure is fairing, and sometimes public excursions. During the northern tour of Big Boy it was always nearby if not in the consist.

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Mon 21, 2019 6:00 pm 
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Mark, The 844 is not tagging along on this excursion. I saw it in 2012 when it also passed through the state east to west celebrating the Arizona centennial. As I remember the driver's are a larger diameter and it has a higher top speed, but somehow not as impressive as the 4014.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Mon 21, 2019 10:25 pm 
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jbrill1976 wrote:
Mark, The 844 is not tagging along on this excursion. I saw it in 2012 when it also passed through the state east to west celebrating the Arizona centennial. As I remember the driver's are a larger diameter and it has a higher top speed, but somehow not as impressive as the 4014.


Eh, to me any large steam locomotive is impressive.... when it's HOT. Nothing to look at when it's in the barn, even the Big Boy. Without a fire in its belley it's just a bunch of steel placed properly to form a steam engine shape.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 1:41 am 
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Mark D wrote:
... to me any large steam locomotive is impressive.... when it's HOT. Nothing to look at when it's in the barn, even the Big Boy. Without a fire in its belley it's just a bunch of steel placed properly to form a steam engine shape.
Absolutely right, Mark! The same applies to a range of mechanical and electrical collectibles. Old radios should play, vintage A/C should fly and steamers (locos and ships) should steam. That which is in good enough shape should be kept working and not be just static displays!
Cheers,
Roger

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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 5:09 pm 
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Mark D wrote:
Eh, to me any large steam locomotive is impressive.... when it's HOT. Nothing to look at when it's in the barn, even the Big Boy. Without a fire in its belley it's just a bunch of steel placed properly to form a steam engine shape.


I didn't say the 844 was not impressive. When I say I saw the 844 in 2012 it was not just a coincidence. No rail traffic goes through Phoenix, we are just a spur. As I did with the 4014. I burned a PTO day to drive 1 hour south of Phoenix to a section of rail that twists through some foothills just outside of Gila Bend. I am rather stingy with my PTO and would not have wasted the day off if I didn't think seeing a live steamer was not going to be impressive. It is just that the 4014 was more impressive. Also, when the Big Boy was on static display in Tucson over the weekend, it had a fire in it's belly as they were generating enough steam to sound the whistle occasionally. I was standing in almost the exact location as the photographer in the shot above when they sounded it once. Every cell in my body resonated as it was blowing. I videoed it but the sound capabilities of my handheld camcorder could not do it justice.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 10:37 pm 
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Because heating and cooling over and over again is harmful to the steel that makes up the firebox and boiler they will keep the fire hot 24/7 until the beast goes back in the barn, where it will wait until it goes out again. Then they will very slowly warm up the boiler and that includes the firebox. They'll start heating it a couple days before train time. Over night they might or might not have a ''watchman' , or night hostler, which means you got the benefit of the laws of physics that makes it so it has to be kept hot all night. You got to hear the whistle. That is always way cool. Did they give cab tours?

When I'm on our engine over night and people come along and want to see in the cab, I generally let them come up. I might not if there's a problem I'm trying to attend to or I'm just simply tired and don't want to deal with it. At that time I shut the cab doors and close the windows and suffer the heat in the cab until they move on. That doesn't happen very often.
I'll bet all of you who went to see it are glad you did it, eh?

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Wed 23, 2019 5:21 pm 
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
Mark D wrote:
They just changed its job from hauling freight to pulling their passenger cars for big wigs and inspectors who ride the rails to check out how the infrastructure is fairing, and sometimes public excursions.


I think the 844 was originally designed for fast passenger service, much more than for freight, although it could do that in a pinch with light loads on the flat, too. It was designed to run safely at 100 mph. The Challengers and later Big Boy were for dragging heavy freight up hills without helpers or double-heading, slowly.

When you see them in the same train, the Big Boy, with the small driving wheels, is furiously flailing to try to get up to speed, and the 844 with the large drivers is just idling over. Just two wildly different applications.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Wed 23, 2019 5:46 pm 
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Brett, you are absolutely and totally correct. U.P.'s 844 was built to be actually a dual purpose engine. Freight OR passenger. Like our engine, which is nearly identical with the exception that our engine burns coal and they're engine burns oil. (That Big Boy was a coal burner but was converted to oil during the re-build) Our engine was originally built to haul the Milwaukee Road Hiawatha passenger trains. However, it also wound up pulling freight trains and did a credible job there too. It's the same with the U.P.'s 844.
However, back in the day you would never see an articulated engine pulling a passenger train.

I have a prediction that after a few years of that Big Boy running around to show off the U.P. 'colors' it will wind up in the barn most of the time and the 844 will be back out on the high iron pulling its coaches with the dignitaries riding. Just as it was a few years ago.

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Thu 24, 2019 12:00 am 
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However, back in the day you would never see an articulated engine pulling a passenger train.
+
Really? My dad took a movie of a Southern Pacific cab-forward pulling a passenger train. I need to find it.

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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Thu 24, 2019 2:08 am 
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IIRC, those cab forward engines were not articulated. At least I've never seen a photo of one that's articulated.
If so, very rare.
Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Thu 24, 2019 1:21 pm 
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Location: 42001 KY
3985 is a massive beast too, it is in for an overhaul and not running at the moment. Steve Lee who retired as head of UP steam said that over the years bean counters at UP would try to kill off the steam program. It would not die and they kept getting more money for it.

Now UP is glad they did not kill it. They made the biggest PR move in my opinion in their history to rebuild a Big Boy.
Ed Dickens and crew have been great ambassadors for UP and the steam program. I think there were a lot of people who thought UP was crazy wanting to rebuild a Big Boy, but it is paying off in PR dividends for the UP big time.

I should have gone to see it when it was in Chicago but I was too busy at the time. This round it will come close to me at North Little Rock Ark. in November on the return trip back to Cheyenne. I might be able to go see it, I might not.

The only steam cabs I have gotten to tour are SP 4449 Daylight and one on the Texas State Railroad.

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 Post subject: Re: Choo Choo
PostPosted: Oct Thu 24, 2019 1:26 pm 
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Location: 42001 KY
Mark D wrote:
IIRC, those cab forward engines were not articulated. At least I've never seen a photo of one that's articulated.
If so, very rare.
Mark D.



All SP cab forwards were Articulated engines.

https://www.steamlocomotive.com/locobas ... oad=sp#344

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