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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 248
Funny story about steam generators,

My father worked as a Locomotive engineer/fireman for the NYCRR.

For a year or so he worked as the fireman on the "Commodore Vanderbilt" from Syracuse to Buffalo (in the 1950's).

Seems that one of the fellows that worked the train from Albany to Syracuse was quite "portly". The steam gens where "stuffed" in the back of the E7/E8 locos and hard to reach/work on. the E7/E8 units had two.

My father swore that he could tell who was working the train before him because every time the "portly" guy was working the train the steam gen alarm was sounding when it pulled into the Syracuse station.

The alarms told you when the steam gen was not working, the "portly" guy just ignored the alarms since he could not fit into the space required to get them working again.

Also, the "ignition" system (they used something like a spark plug) was notorious for failing when out on the road. Dad just used a lit fusee and threw it in the firepot through the viewing window to get them started again.

They are cantankerous beasts that need lots of attention when out on the road.

I tip my hat to anyone that gets one working these days..

Cheers, KevinK.


Last edited by NYCRRson on Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 165
midwest fred wrote:
Is this list supposed to be locos with relatively complete steam generators in them or a list of locos with just anything left of the steam generator ? LI 467 only has the rotten boiler tank in it. Nothing more. No piping no wiring no controls. literally nothing of the steam generator except a rotting boiler tank. I would suggest you remove the loco from your list since I promise you the rest of it will be gone in the spring some time.


Hello Fred this list does include locomotives with relatively complete steam generators. The underlying factor is that the locomotive has to have the boiler itself intact which in my mind qualifies as having a retained steam genny. Hope this helps you better understand,

Cameron


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:25 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:48 am
Posts: 30
Cameron,

Thanks for the clarification regarding the 213.

The LIRR required steam in winter operations for their P-54 coaches, and for their mixed-fleet of lightweight cars (coaches and sleepers used as parlor cars). Most of this equipment was retired during the late 1960s - early 1970s.

BTW, as another has pointed out, steam generators do NOT have crown sheets, but when properly maintained, they gave surprisingly good service.

Their main coil was vulnerable to accumulation of calcium salts, which obstruct flow and impair heat transfer. Regular boiler washing and use of prescribed treatment was critical.

The biggest mess I can recall involving use (misuse) of steam generators was discovered at St. Louis in 1975.

A well-meaning (but inexperienced) Amtrak manager decided to save a few bucks by taking the portion of Union Station then in use off its commercial steam supply. He saved a few bucks and was doubtless proud of his accomplishment.

The former GM&O support yard west of the station was filled ("choked", actually) with E and F units, all retired and awaiting orders for trade-in or scrap. Many of their boilers, however, had been pressed into service - continuously - to heat the station!

The scheduled trains, including #21-22 (the Inter-American, in particular), were all showing signs of serious neglect in their maintenance and complaints were "piling up"!

The real problem was plain to see: much of the maintenance force, including some very capable people, were detached to maintain continuous water and fuel supplies, dragging hoses everywhere, make "patch" repairs, and every so often, switch the "graveyard" to trade units that were truly "dead" for others that were "less dead"!

We immediately restored the commercial steam and returned the force to attend to the condition of the passenger equipment (as should have been done), with instant good results.

These boilers (mostly Vapor, a few Elesco) were an ingenious and effective solution for train heat (and AC on some roads with steam-ejector AC cars) that got us through the transition period of the 1950s as steam motive power was finally retired.

A return to steam heat today, though physically possible, I suppose, would be a daunting task - especially when one adds into account the task of finding/making steam-rated materials for the cars to be used.

With best wishes,

Paul.


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:17 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:21 pm
Posts: 19
Add VIA 6309 (FP9u) and CN 6765 (FPA4), both preserved at Exporail / Canadian Railway Museum, as locomotives which still have their steam generators. In both cases, they are not operable.


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 165
And here gentlemen I have some new images of the inwards of PRR 8479's short hood, enjoy


Attachments:
Boiler 1.jpg
Boiler 1.jpg [ 116.21 KiB | Viewed 1573 times ]
Blower 3.jpg
Blower 3.jpg [ 122.22 KiB | Viewed 1576 times ]
Dome 1.jpg
Dome 1.jpg [ 119.84 KiB | Viewed 1576 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:18 pm
Posts: 64
Fascinating topic!

This sparked a question:
Which RR or transit agency in North America was the last to use steam-heated passenger cars in regular service, and when did they stop doing that?

CalTrain used the SP’s steam-heated Harrimans (really Suburbans) and gallery cars until June 12, 1985. These cars were pulled by the SP’s GP-9s, SD-9s, GP40P-2s and SDP-45s, all equipped with steam generators. (Howard Wise's ex-SP GP-9 5623 was used in commute service.)

TIA!


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 165
MargaretSPfan wrote:
Fascinating topic!

This sparked a question:
Which RR or transit agency in North America was the last to use steam-heated passenger cars in regular service, and when did they stop doing that?

TIA!

Well Margaret, the last known revenue train to use steam heat was Via Rail's own "Ocean" in the early spring of 1993. By then service had seen a drastic increase in frequency seeing not one but two steam gen cars along with your F9 or occasional FPA-4. This however also meant the end for conventional steam heating on passenger trains as it was deemed too insufficient and costly to manage especially with the new equipment Via was receiving (LRCs,F40PH,etc). Here on Long Island our last steam heated services ended around 1977-78 coinciding with the retirement of the Alco hood units san C420s. I'd recommend watching the video of the last train with steam heat, it's quite good, enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueozEfRshRE


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:18 pm
Posts: 64
Thanks, Cameron! My railfan son thought VIA was the last in N.A.

I wonder what operation was the last in the US?


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1197
Location: Chicago USA
If an SP commute train was the last that may be and I do not know otherwise but just speaking in general the commuter trains switched to HEP before intercity trains because the old system was a lot more trouble since the speeds and distances did not allow for much power generation from axle-generators.

So you needed not only a steam generator for heat, but also a power hookup on the locomotive. Naturally, electro-mechanical A/C from axle generators was out of the question so that pretty much meant Waukesha Ice Engines (propane-fueled engines). I don't know if steam-ejector was used on commuter trains. That is a lot of machinery to maintain for heat, light, and A/C. HEP allowed getting rid of a lot of junk.

My own little page about steam generators from years ago.

http://home.earthlink.net/~stevekraus/vapor.html


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:21 pm
Posts: 19
While no steam generator equipped locomotive were used, the CN (now AMT) Deux-Montagnes operation had steam-heated coaches until June 1995. For the non-MU trains, CN made use of steam-heated cars which were hauled by electric locomotives.

Because none of these locomotives were equipped with steam generators, CN would heat up (some times over heat them!) the cars in Central station and then disconnect the lines and off the trains went. When the trains got to the end of the line, they would be somewhat colder to say the least! As archaic as this arrangement was, the commuter did put up with it for close to 80 years!


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:57 am
Posts: 151
MargaretSPfan wrote:
Thanks, Cameron! My railfan son thought VIA was the last in N.A.

I wonder what operation was the last in the US?


I think a possible contender may have been the Grand Canyon Railway. I seem to recall that most, if not all, of their ex VIA, nee CN FPA4s still have their steam generators. When I hired on and started train service in late 2010, the steam generators and associated elephant trunks were still distastefully discussed as a recently removed nuisance.


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:36 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:58 pm
Posts: 6
Via Rail's Atlantic was not the last steam heated train on the system. It was indeed the last transcontinental train to be so equipped. The Ocean's consist got HEP equipment first (this might imply that the Gaspe train got it too, but I'm not sure if they were running togeter to Amqui at that point or not).

Other regional services used steam heat for another few years. The Winnipeg-Churchill train continued for awhile as well as the Jonquiere and Senneterre services. The remote Quebec trains were the last to be HEP'd. They were converted in April of 1996 at the change of card. It was also at this time that they became day trains. They are enjoyable trains to ride and give you a glimpse into old style railroading with flagstops in the middle of the woods, with anything and everything loaded and unloaded from the baggage car -groceries, construction supplies, hunting spoils.

The scenery is good and both trains have seen the occasional Park car as part of the consist, either for charter groups or when passenger loads were high and no coaches were available.


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:03 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:32 pm
Posts: 157
Dont forget, many of the extant MRS-1s are boiler equipped.


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 165
via6765 wrote:
Via Rail's Atlantic was not the last steam heated train on the system. It was indeed the last transcontinental train to be so equipped. The Ocean's consist got HEP equipment first (this might imply that the Gaspe train got it too, but I'm not sure if they were running togeter to Amqui at that point or not).


I may correct myself, you're very right indeed. Forgetting the commuter operations in Montreal it's a silly mistake nonetheless. Also if I understand correctly the Ontario Northland was still using steam gen equipped FP7s and heater cars. Did GO transit ever take the opportunity of using steam heated equipment or was it all HEP by then? In Florida there is a ex-GO F7 cab car which is (i think) equipped with a genny, perhaps that'll answer my question,

Cameron


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 Post subject: Re: Retained Locomotive Steam Generators
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:12 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Stow, MA
The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie's commuter train between Pittsburgh and College Hill, PA was discontinued on July 12, 1985. The P&LE covered the one round trip daily with one of their 2 remaining boiler equipped GP7's. That might have been the last steam heated commuter train in the US.

Tom Coughlin
Stow, MA.


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