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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1214
Location: South Carolina
Henschel built some very high pressure (1233 PSI) advanced fireless locomotives.

Swiss steam builder DLM restored a modern fireless steamer a few years ago and made proposals for the construction of new fireless steam locomotives, trucks, and other vehicles. This document, unfortunately for me written in German, provides comprehensive information on fireless steam:

http://www.bfe.admin.ch/php/modules/ene ... 0000290878

Cross sections of several fireless steamers are included. The 1233 PSI Henschel locomotive, which looks much like a modern diesel, is covered on page 47.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:24 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
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Location: Ipswich, UK
This one took me by surprise at Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic a few years back. They used a pair of them at a cereals plant and were only replaced by diesels in late 2014 (I think).

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A couple of places in central Europe still use fireless locos.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 85
Regarding FRA and fireless locomotives. See 49 CFR Part 230.8 and the definitions for both "steam locomotive" and "service day".

Steam Locomotive - "A self-propelled unit of equipment powered by steam that is either designed or used for moving other equipment. This includes a self-propelled unit designed or used to carry freight and/or passenger traffic".

Service Day - Any calendar day that the boiler has steam pressure above atmospheric pressure with fire in the firebox. In the case of a fireless steam locomotive, any calendar day that the boiler has steam pressure above atmospheric pressure.

MD Ramsey


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
But I imagine FRA compliance for a fireless is a lot easier to maintain. I mean, no tubes to pull, no staybolts.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:07 pm
Posts: 26
Great thread on Fireless Locomotives!

My input from North East, PA/Lake Shore Rwy Museum:

Running a fireless loco on compressed air is a lot of work for not a lot of return. The 'demonstration' we ran which was captured on video and posted to Youtube and other sites was one of only three times we have done this since that locomotive arrived here in the 1970's (and all have been since 2002).

As noted, compressed air has many hundreds of times **less** energy than an equivalent pressure/volume of steam, and as such you do not get much run time from it. On 100psi air we got about 15 minutes of operation, back and forth, on our 1200 feet of track. Using a decent diesel powered rental compressor took about 30-40 minutes to charge our tank to 100psi. Of note, the locomotive ran fine on 10psi tank pressure and made to cooooolest long drawn out steam locomotive noises doing so.

Our Heisler fireless was designed to operate on 400 - 500 psi steam. The information we discovered suggested that the tank was first 3/4 filled with super heated water from the source boiler (in our case, the main boiler from a Cleveland Illuminating Company power plant). The remaining space was filled with high pressure steam from the same source boiler. Again documentation suggested that the charge could be up to 400 psi. Steam pressure was transferred through a pressure reduction valve delivering about 10psi to the throttle. As the loco slowly sipped off the 10psi to operate, the pressure in that non-water portion of the tank would drop until the super-heated water could boil, producing more steam and more pressure. Cleveland Illuminating and the Heisler paperwork both said our locomotive could work for 6 hours on a full hot charge, shifting loaded and emptied coal cars through the CEI Ashtabula (ohio) plant.

Thoughts on getting ours 'to run' on air and things not covered /considered in the thread so far --

*LUBRICATION: under steam, grease/oil and the the like are moved and applied by steam application as one would recognize on a 'regular' steam loco. under air, many of those mechanisms do not work correctly or at all (steam is hot and will move grease-oil, while air is not hot--stuff doesn't move too well). We added large amounts of 'machining oil' to the tank before *each* re-airing. We also opened up cylinder plugs to add some oil and added grease/oil everywhere anything moved.

*BRAKING: under steam, the air compressor runs and makes compressed air for the loco and train brakes (and for the whistle, automatic bell, and greasing mechanisms, generator, etc). Compressed air from the tank will not power an air compressor to make compressed air for the brakes!! Rather than re-plumb the locomotive to supply air from the tank to the brake reservoir, we employed brakemen on the towed caboose and used of the Johnson bar. I would not want to do that if I were regularly using the thing to move cars around. No air brakes on the loco was a wonderful excuse though for rebuilding the air and hand brakes on the caboose which both now are great! BTW- the only piping on the loco that had rotted over the years was the AIR system from the air compressor, so we couldn't have converted to running the brakes off the main tank without rebuilding and modifying things.

*Air/Steam Supply -- way back lost in time-c1976(?), Lake Shore purchased and owned an ex-Amtrak steam generator car. Last we knew, it was still at Indiana Railroad Museum. It was bought and kept for supplying the Heisler when/if anyone ever got around to putting it back together (another story -- the fireless came on its own wheels-sans driving rods-on the ex-NYC Waterlevel Route). It was also envisioned that the steam car could be used to heat the many Pullman cars that Lake Shore owned and leased out at the time. Flash forward to the 2000's and we toyed with ideas to create an 'air tender' to pull around with the fireless. In that time period, Lake Shore did not have an operable locomotive and the fireless Heisler seemed like a cool way to solve that need. However, the fireless uses so much air that only a really huge air compressor could keep up with demand. And, we considered that if we broke the thing, where do we go to get parts? We never did justify that investment in time and money and instead found a little critter locomotive to use to move things around at the museum.

Today: No direct plans to demonstrate the fireless this year, but you never know. A lot of prep work and planning would need to be done ahead of time.

Open to questions on or off the RYPN board. Good luck to all -- be safe and have fun.

[rayg]

Ray Grabowski, Jr.
Lake Shore Railway Historical Society
North East, PA


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 798
Location: Warren, PA
Thanks Ray. One of the better things about RYPN is that the people that actually know something still post, rather than people that don't know anything post anyway. I think you still hold title to the only operable fireless in a museum setting on this side of the pond anyway.

One of the things I haven't seen mentioned is that some of the fireless locomotives I've seen in the field have an incredibly thick layer of asbestos lurking under the jacket. Just sayin'.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 1088
Mention in this thread of the two fireless 0-6-0's at the Shamokin Dam power plant brings to mind something I always found amusing and a bit disconcerting. One of the two engines was fitted with remote control equipment, and it always surprised me to see it shuttling about the coal yard with no one in the cab. It could start, stop and change direction with no one aboard.

The other locomotive was not so equipped, so an engineer and brakeman were both necessary. In periods of high electrical demand during cold weather, both engines would be working. One would place and pull carloads of coal from the thawing shed, while the second would run the cuts of cars through the rotary dumper.

The power plant, one of the oldest still around, is currently being converted to gas turbine generation. Ironically, due to restrictive curvature and a low-rated bridge, new turbines and other dimensional loads cannot be delivered directly to the plant by rail. Instead, they are brought by the local short line to a location at Winfield, four or five miles away on the other side of a substantial ridge, where they are transferred to multi-wheeled road vehicles for final delivery.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 270
There is definitely some good material on this thread especially regarding the Heisler operations at the Lake Shore museum. While I'm not a member I believe the folks up at the R&GVRRM have a fireless by the name of CL&P #37. It's an 0-4-0 if I can recall correctly and has been stored on the property for some time now. I think Otto Vondrak however would be much better discussing this particular locomotive than me.

http://www.rgvrrm.org/about/railroad/clp37/


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:07 pm
Posts: 26
from RandyG:
"One of the things I haven't seen mentioned is that some of the fireless locomotives I've seen in the field have an incredibly thick layer of asbestos lurking under the jacket. Just sayin'."

Very true about many of the Fireless Locos regardless of the builder. They had to have thick layers of insulation to save the heat for propulsion.

None of that special "vitamin A" left in Heisler at Lake Shore. It was removed many years ago and replaced with fiberglass and horsehair back when they were considering re-powering it with the steam car. Today, who cares if the air gets cold? One item of concern we have discussed is that the newer stuff might be getting wet and holding water. When the volunteers in days of old replaced the insulation, they also replaced the nearly rotten/gone old jacket. Fortunately/unfortunately, they used heavy gauge (but donated) galvanized steel for the replacement jacket. As I mentioned to Wayne L in an e-mail a few days ago about this very same topic, that galvanized steel has held up to the weather super well, but it refuses to reliably hold paint--and we HAVE used all the different ways to etch and prime the stuff!!

[rayg]

Ray Grabowski, Jr.
Lake Shore Railway Historical Society
North East, PA.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 376
The 0-4-0 fireless locomotive at the R&GVRR museum is a nice little locomotive. It is fairly modern (1945 IIRC) and in overall good condition. There is some pitting at the bottom of the pressure vessel (maximum depth ~ 1/8" in 7/8" steel plate).

I was part of the "recovery team" that prepared it for transport to the museum.

I was also part of the team that prepped it to be "stabilized" by removing the Magnesium Silicate insulation (not asbestos, but still requiring careful handling), at significant expense I might add.

A small modern boiler was donated to the museum from a local college with the plan being that this boiler would be used to "charge" the locomotive for operation with actual steam.

There was at one time a reasonable plan to restore this locomotive to full operation under steam.

But, as we all know, plans don't always go smoothly.

Cheers, Kevin


Last edited by NYCRRson on Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 376
Ray wrote;

"Fortunately/unfortunately, they used heavy gauge (but donated) galvanized steel for the replacement jacket. As I mentioned to Wayne L in an e-mail a few days ago about this very same topic, that galvanized steel has held up to the weather super well, but it refuses to reliably hold paint--and we HAVE used all the different ways to etch and prime the stuff!! "

Regardless of what paint manufacturers say about their product sticking to galvanized steel it just ain't so (In my experience).

I did a locomotive restoration using "Galvanneal" which is a special type of galvanized steel that is specifically designed to be painted.

The original drawings (yes we have a copy) from ~1919 specified "Sheet Iron". Sheet iron forms a hard protective oxide layer that holds paint very well. Just like the outer "skin" on cast iron. Unfortunately "sheet iron" is very hard to get these days, nobody has manufactured it for many many decades.

I used the Galvanneal steel with an etching primer. It held up for a while. I have not checked on it recently.

See here;

http://www.onealsteel.com/carbon-steel- ... ealed.html

The whole purpose of plain galvanized steel is for the zinc to slowly "rot" away from the surface of the steel and "willingly give it's life" to protect the steel. Kind of like a secret service agent..... This is known as an intentional "sacrificial layer".

This "rotting" of the Zinc makes it exceptionally difficult to get the paint to "stick" for very long. The paint sticks to the Zinc, but the Zinc "sheds" from the steel (as the Zinc coating is designed to do).

Galvanneal is (of course) more expensive than plain galvanized steel.

Cheers, Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:41 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 936
Location: NJ
Just to add to the 'air instead of steam' discussion, back in my Morristown and Erie days, we moved the 148 from one shop track to another on air. We used shop air to charge the main reservoir for brakes and power reverse. The track crew had a good sized compressor on a push car, and that got chained to the rear coupler and moved with the engine.

It took seemingly forever to charge the boiler; once the compressor went to idle we made our move, backing up. Just as soon as the throttle was opened, the compressor loaded up, and the 'steam' gauge dropped like a rock. Once clear of the points, we went forward, and used just about the last of our stored up main reservoir air to stop. (In retrospect, we should have run a line from the boiler to the main reservoir, so the big compressor could also supply the brakes and power reverse.) So, it can be done in a pinch, but its very inefficient.

The other 'air for steam' story I was marginally involved in had to do with another tourist line that 'borrowed' a turbogenerator from another engine, to insure steam power on opening day. The steam pipe from the turret didn't even come close to lining up to the generator, and either because of time, or not having the proper pipefittings and tools, the decision was made (and NOT by me, I was just a go-fer-) to run the generator on air.

A length of heavy construction hose was run from the drain valve at the bottom of the main reservoir to the generator. OK, it worked, there were headlights and gage lights, the engine was legal, and there was steam on opening day that season, but it beat the crap out of the cross-compound! I wasn't there that particular weekend, but was told that the compressor never shut off, and got so hot that it turned blue.

Bottom line, compressed air is a lousy substitute for steam!

EDM
Boomer, NJ


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9898
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
G. W. Laepple wrote:
Mention in this thread of the two fireless 0-6-0's at the Shamokin Dam power plant brings to mind something I always found amusing and a bit disconcerting. One of the two engines was fitted with remote control equipment, and it always surprised me to see it shuttling about the coal yard with no one in the cab. It could start, stop and change direction with no one aboard.

The other locomotive was not so equipped, so an engineer and brakeman were both necessary. In periods of high electrical demand during cold weather, both engines would be working. One would place and pull carloads of coal from the thawing shed, while the second would run the cuts of cars through the rotary dumper.


Here's a photo of this beast from the Snyder County Historical Society archives, which I'm guessing was a PP&L PR photo. The remote gear sits in the boxes in the running board and the control unit is hanging on then guy's front. That's #2, Porter 8190, 1949. Seen off to the right is the cab of loco "C", a smaller 0-6-0F, Porter 7993 of 1946, which came to this plant after the Pine Grove PP&L plant was closed.

I recall that I never actually witnessed RC use of the steamers that I know of--its use was reported in a 1975 article in the Sunbury Daily Item, as I recall, but the word I had was that the RC units were unreliable. My gut suspicion is that the railroaders trusted their gut and butt on the seat more than the RC when dealing with any distance or larger number of cars. Seemingly identical gear had been fitted to the Alco procured from the West Pittston & Exeter after the June 1972 flood took out that line, and that RC was used at least around the rotary dumper (a slow, tedious, one-car-at-a-time job). RC gear (I believe the next generation) went into the ex-SP SW900 that replaced both the Alco and the steamers in early 1989.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:30 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:28 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Florida
Is there any technical information available about this remote control set up?


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 1096
Back in May 1969 I took a steam excursion from Baltimore, MD to Harrisburg, PA. Somewhere along the Susquehanna River we stopped to watch a fireless loco switch around a power plant. The next year I caught site of one working a power plant in the Washington DC aria. I never got a good look as there was nowhere to park and the plant was well secured. Just found a photo of the one along the Susquehanna River. It was a Porter 0-4-0. It looks like D129 on the cab.


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