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 Post subject: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversary
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:59 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:33 am
Posts: 94
Yesterday was the 25th Anniversary of the infamous Gettysburg Railroad accident. In the 25 years since, do you think the 15 Year Inspections and increased regulation has been successful in preventing a repeat of the crownsheet failure at Gettysburg? Has the accident helped improve railroading safety culture?

For reference the federal investigation report from the event: https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-stud ... t5eed2vVtU

Note today is the 25th Anniversary of Nevada Northern Railway 93's head on collision with a loose train car. 1995 was obviously a rough year for historic railroad accidents. Its fortunate that 93 is still in steam with us (I saw it running last weekend, 25 years later going strong!)


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 119
People complain about the cost of the rules this incident put in place. If you can't pay that cost, you should not be running steam. I think that it's been great for the industry. It sets a standard for everyone to follow. And it's not a half assed standard either. Personally I think all operators of steam should follow these rules....regardless of insular status or not


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:04 pm 

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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks for making me feel old.

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 24
Appears from the photo that the "Crown Stay" holes may not have been welded in the damaged area? and the damage starts/stops at the row of "Welded" crown stays; the welded Crown Stay Bolts held and contained the damage from being much worse.

This does not excuse the scaled up water glass valves, just presents a question.


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 522
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Greetings:
The "bulge" began at the rear tube sheet knuckle and extended back to the first row of button head crown stays. The four rows of crown stays between the rear tube sheet knuckle and the first row of button head crown stays were straight threaded, they failed as intended.
Be well,
J.David

PS: When I explained to the NBIC the purpose of alternating rows of straight threaded crown stays with rows of button head crown stays they were a bit incredulous and upset: "in our world you can never design a portion of a pressure vessel to fail". JDC


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:30 pm
Posts: 24
Faller? wrote:
Appears from the photo that the "Crown Stay" holes may not have been welded in the damaged area? and the damage starts/stops at the row of "Welded" crown stays; the welded Crown Stay Bolts held and contained the damage from being much worse.

This does not excuse the scaled up water glass valves, just presents a question.


May I suggest reading the report. I did and it's pretty thorough. In regards to your question, see page 14 of the report, 1st paragraph, and also page 46 paragraph 1 on what the NTSB thought about that kind of boiler construction.


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:17 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:28 pm
Posts: 244
xboxtravis7992 wrote:
Yesterday was the 25th Anniversary of the infamous Gettysburg Railroad accident. In the 25 years since, do you think the 15 Year Inspections and increased regulation has been successful in preventing a repeat of the crownsheet failure at Gettysburg? Has the accident helped improve railroading safety culture?


Yes and no. For those railroads subject to FRA regulation, I think the answer is definitely yes. It probably did eliminate some operators that probably shouldn't have been running steam to begin with, and that's a good thing for the industry.

For those places that are still running under state boiler inspectors--especially threshers reunions and such--I'm not sure if it has had much effect at all. Some of those places are good and have a respectable culture of safety. Others, not so much. Some of those engines would have to be taken down if they came under FRA regulation.

Whenever the next incident happens, and I do think it's a when--not if--it's likely going to be on a non-FRA operation. In the meantime, we should all be thankful that the Gettysburg incident was only a partial crown sheet failure and not a boiler explosion. I'm not sure if we would be having this conversation otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:55 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 118
What Gettysburg didni't bring about, Medina did......


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:38 am 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 257
Great Point ! A tragic steam tractor explosion that occurred in Medina, Ohio.

Kevin K


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:52 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 24
May I suggest reading the report. I did and it's pretty thorough. In regards to your question, see page 14 of the report, 1st paragraph, and also page 46 paragraph 1 on what the NTSB thought about that kind of boiler construction.[/quote]

Ed Horan, of course I've read the report; let me repeat the question...: The Crown Stays that failed appeared to not have been "Welded" as most of the rest of the area that didn't fail; from the photo, it's hard to tell the difference between the "Button Head" and the straight that are welded from the photo; I've been in many steam locomotive fireboxes and welded many Crown Stays. This is the question Ed Horan!


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1915
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
IMHO there's no one more qualified on the subject of steam locomotive boilers than our own J.David Conrad. If J David tells you something about a steam locomotive boiler you can bet the farm on it.

We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the MLW design engineers whose good work incorporated the fail safe feature built into the CPR G-5 locomotives. The Gettysburg disaster demonstrated in real life that it would release a very limited amount of steam/water ( plenty by far to kill the fire) in a controlled manner and thus negate a full blown crown sheet collapse which would instantly release the entire contents of the boiler with catastrophic results.

IMHO had this locomotive had a full crown sheet failure there's a strong probability that it would have ended railroad steam in the USA.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:34 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Warren, PA
I'm sure that there's likely some technical and possibly personal issues with this, but overall... it's a pretty good review to have to explain to the general public what happened, along with diagrams. It's been 25 years, and that's a good thing, but periodically we in the industry still have to explain why "Gettysburg" means something different to the steam preservation community and it's long shadow it cast.

https://youtu.be/7TJPmkcPer8

I think it was a good thing in retrospect; I've been in the position to have to take two steam locomotives out of service - immediately - as a result of what happened there since that happened, over the last 25 years. And that was a good thing, because what I saw was equally alarming. The good news is that it was only two, and the owners didn't argue.

TRAIN did a meeting where they actually had the lead NTSB investigator, Russ Quimby, make a full blown video and technical presentation of the final report, and it means even more when the guy that did the investigation presented it. That created an enduring respect for the process with me.


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:28 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:51 am
Posts: 2
Is the bulge in the sheets still present to this day or was it removed? I'd love to see some higher quality pictures of the damage than what's in the report.


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:58 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1824
Location: Strasburg, PA
J.T.C wrote:
Is the bulge in the sheets still present to this day or was it removed? I'd love to see some higher quality pictures of the damage than what's in the report.
A large part of the bulge was removed in 1995, I assume as part of the investigation. It now sits in the locomotive's cab in the Age of Steam Roundhouse. These photos are from 2017. You can see the stress corrosion and the crack on what had been the knuckle, and how the sheet was starting to pull off the top row of tubes when thankfully it stopped.

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Railroad Steam Engine Failure 25th Anniversar
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 119
I've always wanted more pictures of the whole Firebox. You can tell from the one ntsb picture the while crown sheet warped and rippled. I noticed at least 1 broken crown stay where the crown started to buldge out below the staybolt. Always wanted to see more detail of the rest of the sheet


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