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 Post subject: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:33 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:56 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Ontario, Canada.
This is not a preservation topic so the moderators can give it the boot if they chose.
Curious if there is information of the percentage of boiler capacity it took to generate steam for passenger car heat?
In say a modern Hudson or Mountain Type engine, steaming at 250 to 275 psi, and a 10-car train, how much work was added to maintain steam through the train?
Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:48 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2293
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I don't have the exact answer to your question, but don't forget that steam heat was a strategic control variable for the crew. When capacity was tight, they could cheat a little by reducing the steam heat. When the engine was hot and they needed to cool down (avoid safety valves popping), they could increase the steam heat.

In my experience with our steam heat, the consumption is low. We usually charge the train with heat at the origination station, and after departure cut back the amount of train heat. This would be less acceptable if the coaches use steam heat for hot water in the toilets, kitchens, or have steam-ejector air conditioning. These systems would not function well on reduced pressure steam heat.

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0szHqIXQ2R8

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:18 am
Posts: 122
Location: B'more MD
Thank goodness it has been a long time since I had to worry about dispatching a diesel powered train which still had steam heat. I remember a rule of thumb about needing 10 or 12 pounds of steam per car. Of course, that depended on how tight the train was, how cold it was, and how many steam traps were leaking.

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George F.Payne
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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:40 pm
Posts: 223
Location: San Francisco, CA
back in the early 1990s, the Western Railway Museum ran their Wildflower trains up to the Jepson Prairie Nature Preserve with heavy wight cars with steam heat provided by a US Navy Surplus Navy Diesel. The shop found the water tank full of stale Diesel fuel. After the fuel was cleaned out; it appeared that the steam generator had never been used. I do remember the steam escaping from the steam traps in the two passenger cars. Later the decision was made to operate electric passenger trains to the south. The two Navy Diesels were traded to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum. I do not think they have operated there.

I have head that in recent years the Snow Trains at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum have steam-heated their winter trains.

The Illinois Railway Museum has bought a Canadian National steam generator car; but I have not heard of any restoration work being done to it. I am guessing that when the finish building their new Visitor Center; they may try operating winter trains again; thus the need for heated cars.

The popular Polar Express trains may create the need for heated cars in the museums and tourist railroads. Time will tell.

Ted 66


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:36 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
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The number I found was an average of 200-230 pounds per hour per car. 100 pounds in mild weather. If I am reading it correctly, I believe that means pounds of water evaporated into steam.

According to my latest night time book, on average, the whistle uses more steam than is required to heat a car. Of course these are 1942 numbers.

To put that into perspective, at a high firing rate, a PRR L1s. 2-8-2 was capable of evaporating 1,250 pounds of water per hour per square foot of grate area.

E


Last edited by EWrice on Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:41 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:56 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Ontario, Canada.
Thanks to everyone for the responses.
I have good memories of the comfort of steam heated coaches on a cold winter's day.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 185
Location: Philadelphia, PA
But then, I recall trip on 31 to Pittsburgh in a snowstorm. We stopped somewhere on the Middle Division, having tripped a detector (low steam connector?)

I sighted down the train; you couldn't see much of the cars for the steam - no high pressure leaks, just traps and the usual connector leaks drifting up. I was reminded of an old adage: some roads run steam through the train; others run the train through the steam.

This day, Amtrak was running 31 through the steam. I must say, we WERE warm.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:04 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2442
Location: Northern Illinois
EJ Berry wrote:
I was reminded of an old adage: some roads run steam through the train; others run the train through the steam.



Then there were some roads that did neither. I can still recall being a kid going to Florida with a school group on the City of Miami, shivering my a$$ off in my seat while we were stopped somewhere in the middle of nowhere while the crew tried to thaw a frozen steam connector and get heat to the rear of the train.

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Dennis Storzek


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 185
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I recall coming out of NY Penn Sta on the 9PM "clocker." This train ran through to Washington and carried sleepers for several "Thru Trains South." Our P70 was on the hind end and there was ice on the inside of the windows.

Granted, the GG1 fireman wasn't allowed to turn up the heat in the oil-fired steam generator while in Penn Station, but still...

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 266
Location: San Diego area
Slight topic drift, but on the San Diego & Arizona Eastern, a 10,000 gallon tank car full of water was kept at a spur track in Carriso Gorge, adjacent to the Goat Canyon trestle, a wood structure, for fire protection. The tank car was equipped with a steam driven pump. Special Instruction 2(b), under Instructions in Case of Fire, reads, " Steam hose must be coupled and steam cut through to rear of passenger trains at all times regardless of weather conditions. This is in order to handle fire-fighting car at Tunnel 15 Spur at rear of train." (TT 74, May 7, 1939). It should be noted that temperatures in the Gorge reach 120 degrees in the Summer!


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:47 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1698
Location: Southern California
Dennis Storzek wrote:
EJ Berry wrote:
I was reminded of an old adage: some roads run steam through the train; others run the train through the steam.
Then there were some roads that did neither. I can still recall being a kid going to Florida with a school group on the City of Miami, shivering my a$$ off in my seat while we were stopped somewhere in the middle of nowhere while the crew tried to thaw a frozen steam connector and get heat to the rear of the train.
I recall watching both the Santa Fe and Union Pacific passenger trains here in Southern California during the late 1960s and to the coming of Amtrak. At one point in time, the Santa Fe trains seemed to always have a leak at a steam connector. But UP was always tight. Which reminds me of the day the railroad was adding a business car at the East Los Angeles depot -- the carmen had an awful time making the steam connection, they were banging around for minutes with their hammers.

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Brian Norden


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:59 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 875
Location: NJ
I'm going to throw in another curve here, a marine one. Maybe ten years ago, I was talking to one of the operators of the sternwheeler 'Belle of Louisville'. Not operating that day, unfortunately, and the fellow was all alone and couldn't leave the office to give me a tour. But there was a lot of glass that let you see into the engine room from the dock.

I asked about the big diesel genset, visible through the windows. The reply was that the boat was fully air conditioned for passenger comfort. They had tried to use a turbo generator for ships service electricity but found out that they were using almost half the steam produced to generate electricity! This, in turn, robbed power from the wheel. So they went with a diesel genset.

Just look at this as kind of a reverse parallel to the issue of providing steam for heat.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:51 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2293
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
EDM wrote:
I'm going to throw in another curve here, a marine one. Maybe ten years ago, I was talking to one of the operators of the sternwheeler 'Belle of Louisville'. Not operating that day, unfortunately, and the fellow was all alone and couldn't leave the office to give me a tour. But there was a lot of glass that let you see into the engine room from the dock.

I asked about the big diesel genset, visible through the windows. The reply was that the boat was fully air conditioned for passenger comfort. They had tried to use a turbo generator for ships service electricity but found out that they were using almost half the steam produced to generate electricity! This, in turn, robbed power from the wheel. So they went with a diesel genset.

Just look at this as kind of a reverse parallel to the issue of providing steam for heat.


That is correct. Even before the air conditioning, which was added about 2012, the steam turbo was a fuel hog. For the most part, they burn home heating oil or diesel, because the traditional heavy bunker is no longer a local stock item. So you are burning a river of diesel to make steam to make electric, when the internal combustion generator uses a trickle.

The new diesels took some space, so they removed one steam turbo and they removed the old walking beam fire pump.

You also missed another addition from 2011-2012: they installed a backup beeper triggered by the reverse gear. They had a dockside collision in the late 2000's due to confusion or inexperience, engine motion set in wrong direction. The reverse beeper is loud enough that the pilot knows which way the wheel is turning.

They also now use electric pumps in the boiler room, which I think is cheating.

My favorite steam vessel in the USA is the Sabino at Mystic Seaport. There is no diesel on it, and electric comes from batteries. The boiler is coal fired. When resting at dock, it is dead silent.

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Heat
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:38 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Steam heat consumption definitely depends on the heat generation capacity!

When we ran our 4-4-0 on the winter trains, running a heavy train and steam heat was definitely noticeable on the back end of the shovel! Now when we run our 2-6-4 tank, I would argue that you will never notice the addition of steam heat for the same size train. It also depends on the design of the steam traps between each coach and how frequently they vent.

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Nordsjællands Veterantog
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