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 Post subject: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201706260025.html

Video at the link.

Apparently the second one to be made operable using only compressed air. Dozens of these locos (yes, Mikados!) survive in Japan and even Taiwan, but only two are fully steamable:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JNR_Class_D51


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:52 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Wikipedia says over 170 of this class are preserved in Japan, and gives a list. That is impressive. No shortage of preserved examples of this engine!

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
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Location: Faulkland, Delaware
I seriously doubt that it is operated for any real distance. I'm guessing a couple of hundred feet at most. It is not really a bad idea for something in a museum. How cool would it be to see the President Washington running on 200-300 feet of track at the B&O Museum!

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
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It's interesting to see it emitting smoke while sitting still. Makes me curious about what's actually going on here.

Rob

UPDATE: Note to self, read captions. ;-) It's the world's largest seuthe!

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Last edited by robertjohndavis on Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
Posts: 67
I don't see much need for curiosity. The photo caption states "is shown with steam created for effect from its funnel" and it's operated "by air pressure made with machinery". That's about as complex an answer as you're likely to get from a reporter. Even Lionel figured out smoke generators a long time ago. Both photos in the article show the engine coupled to something behind the tender - probably the "machinery" that makes the air pressure, like Head End Power for a steam engine. Nothing more than a big compressor and a small generator to run the lights. No good for high speed/mainline running, there's no steam 'atmosphere' and there's no heat in her belly, but it makes it move for the masses. Better than dead and rusting in an empty lot in Pittsburgh I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:17 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
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Location: Northern WV
I prefer Japanese Mikados to run on coal like this 1969 view at the Ishakawacho? station. Transportation to Japan courtesy of the US Navy. Notice the fellow next to the signal filling the switch pots. I re-edited and added a view of the pots being filled on the other side of the station platform which somehow ended up being the first photo. Only photos I ever took of active switch pots.


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:40 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:10 pm
Posts: 1
First post, and apologies for bumping an old-ish topic.
I live quite near the private site where the Mikado in question, D51827, was stored for 44 years.

Compressed air operation of static display locomotives has become a bit of a fad in Japan lately. I will provide a list of examples that I am aware of below. These are listed in chronological order of their air-powered restorations.

D51561: Class D51 2-8-2. Located in Kawaba village, Gunma. Operates on 200 meters of track left behind when several Class 20 sleepers coupled behind it were scrapped.

C12167: Class C12 2-6-2T. Located at Wakasa Station in Tottori. The Wakasa Railway plan to eventually restore the locomotive to full steam operation.

49671: Class 9600 2-8-0. Located at Moka station. Rare locomotive in that it has been converted to right-hand-drive, in order to ensure visibility when working the docks at Aomori, which curve sharply to the right. Most Japanese steam locomotives have the driver controls to the left.

C12244: Class C12 2-6-2T. Located at Akechi Station in Gifu. Similar story to her sister C12167. Akechi Railway also plan to restore C1274, another member of the class preserved in a nearby library.

D5270: Class D52 2-8-2. Located in Yamakita, Kanagawa prefecture. Class D52 were one larger than the more popular D51. Think USRA heavy mike as opposed to light mike. They actually built a section of display track so this locomotive can do one-and-a-half turn of its driving wheels on compressed air.

D51827: Class D51 2-8-2. Purchase directly from JNR by a private owner immediately after retirement and stored indoors in Jimokuji, Aichi prefecture for 4 decades. Achiha Corporation purchased the locomotive last year and plan to take it all over Japan to do demonstration runs.

Additional 'animate' preservation efforts include D51320 in Oiwake, Hokkaido, which is pushed by a diesel switcher out of its shed on select weekends, Tobu Railway No. 5 4-4-0 and JNR C5766, a class C57 pacific, that spin their drivers on rollers.

Yuki


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:30 pm
Posts: 21
So what all is involved in doing something like this? And what would be the cost? Say a museum had an engine that the running gear was still in good order, but the boiler was shot. Figure running it on level ground for short distances. For special events as an added draw. What would it take?


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 555
Plumb air directly into the throttle box no need to pressurize the boiler. A big compressor and a big reservoir. As much air hose as you need.


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:09 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 428
This is how the Northern Pacific ran a Steam Locomotive into the park on compressed air.

http://www.nprha.org/Stevenson%20Photo% ... 0-1405.jpg

-Hudson


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:24 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:30 pm
Posts: 21
From the picture it looks like there is a humongous air compressor sitting on the tender and yet there is smoke coming out the stack. Hard to tell exactly what's going on in the picture.

So at the SE Railway museum we've got a 4-4-0. Hm, looking thru the locomotive roster, https://www.train-museum.org/locomotive ... comotives/ it was built by Baldwin in 1919. And it was in 1961 that Stone Mtn rebuilt it to look like the General. Didn't realize it was a real engine. Thought it might be a replica or something. I wonder if there are pictures of it before Stone Mtn rebuilt it.

But in looking up that info I stumbled on this.

0-4-0 Fireless Steam Switch Engine NCR Dayton - This engine was built in 1913 by Lima for National Cash Register’s Dayton, Ohio plant and is a fireless steam engine requiring a steam “charge” from an external source (aka “fireless cooker.”). It was donated to the Museum in 1965. Status: In storage

I have no idea where this is hiding at. I'm going to have to go looking for it now. But this reminded me there were fireless steam engines. So when they charged one up, how long would it run for? And they were using it to do real work. Move loaded cars around. Not just the engine. Must have been able to run for a good little bit.

So as far as energy content, is there any difference between compressed air and steam at the same pressure other than one is cold and the other hot? What size tank and what pressure would you need to run say a 4-4-0? How far could you go on a tank? I'm thinking we could clear a 300 ft section of track to go back and forth on.

I need to look to see how many people you could get in the tender and if we would need seats or they could just stand. I bet you we could get $5 a person. Heck, charge $10-15 to get to run the engine. It's running on compressed air a few miles per hour. What could they break?

And half the trip could be, after everybody is loaded, say about 10 people, somebody could go over the controls and what they do, and how you actually operate it for a few minutes. Then when the newbie engineer was ready, somebody could start ringing the bell, toot the whistle, and off slowly down the track you could go. It would be so cool.

It would just be something you could do a few times a year at special events. As an added attraction. I bet you could sell a $1,000 of tickets a day.


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
There is a large difference between energy content of air and steam. Air loses pressure directly as the volume changes, (piston moves). Steam has internal heat energy. As the volume expands, the pressure loss is compensated some by the heat causing the water vapor to expand again to maintain the pressure. You get more pressure over a longer stroke with steam than air.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
During steam days, it was fairly common to charge an engine with compressed air from the roundhouse air line, so the hostlers could make a move or two. That's about all you could do without blowing up again. But, those times when you didn't have an extra hot engine to dinky with, or maybe if you wanted to move something big (like a C&S 2-10-2) that wouldn't fit on the table with the switcher you had, it was often done.

You can also charge an engine with air by dragging it with another while the reverser is positioned OPPOSITE the direction of movement. I did this in Guatemala when my bosses wanted an engine towed to a remote location, THEN fired up. I would have enough boiler pressure to light off without an external source of compressed air. I don't know if you could do that on a coal burner, though. Maybe...

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:24 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:30 pm
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So when they would charge an engine with compressed air, would they do it to say 200 psi, or just enough to move it around the roundhouse?

So is there any info on the nuts and bolts of what exactly the Japanese are doing? The details.


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese steam loco restored to run on compressed air
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
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Location: Byers, Colorado
Our roundhouse air lines were usually 160 psi, as were the lines out between the tracks for charging cuts of cars.

BY THE WAY, to charge an engine while dragging it with another, you not only need to position your reverser opposite the direction of movement, but you need to open the throttle...

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