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 Post subject: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:34 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Brewster, Ohio
Is there a PRR engine anywhere with this system intact https://youtu.be/UGasliRFLWs


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 Post subject: Re: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:47 am 

Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 10:03 am
Posts: 119
Maybe PRR 5901 at the RRMPA?


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 Post subject: Re: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Hmmm. 5901 might still have it. It spent its entire career in road passenger service (including NY&LB) for PRR and PC, usually based at Harrisburg Enginehouse (HEH)

When 5901 was taken out of service it was placed in HEH which is where it was when RRMPA bought it from CR.

Should RRMPA ever reopen that might be a curatorial question.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1538
I surveyed 5901 many years ago for a program on the design progression of EMD E-units and F-units. I don't recall seeing any remnants of this type of system on 5901 at that time.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I'll take Preston's word for it.

Do you think PRR's complicated fire suppression system was a solution for which there was no problem?

For those keeping score at home, PRR's EMD E7A's 5900-5901 were that road's first road diesels in 1945. 5901 was renumbered 4201 in anticipation of Penn Central. 4201 continued in main line passenger service into the 1970's; after Amtrak came in, it worked NY&LB from South Amboy to Bay Head, and Mail trains from Meadows to Harrisburg (the NY&LB motors were based at Harrisburg and worked the Mail trains to get there and back)

4201 was out of service at Harrisburg for several years and flowed to ConRail, who sold it to the RR Museum of PA. By 1976, PC still had 3 E7A's in NY&LB service. They ran reliably so they remained in service.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:24 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:42 am
Posts: 22
Location: Either behind my desk or on my phone
EJ Berry wrote:
I'll take Preston's word for it.

Do you think PRR's complicated fire suppression system was a solution for which there was no problem?
...
Phil Mulligan
It was very reasonable at the time, probably saved a lot of money in the short term, and the thinking has evolved. That film is from 1955. You all may have noticed that even the firefighters didn't have full PPE (Just helmets and maybe boots) and there wasn't an air bottle to be seen. That would not be the case at all today. According to my dad (who has been a volunteer firefighter since the 1970s) the first thing which you need to know about approaching a fire other than its hot is that breathing black air is bad and breathing any other color is even worse. The fireman was instructed to enter a smoke filled room with no PPE and no breathing air to deal with the problem. That would never pass a health and safety review today. As an attorney I can easily see a lawsuit for a work related cancer or lung problem if that were the policy today.

The two extinguishers now found on most locomotive are to facilitate escape, not save the locomotive. They are there so the crew can get out. A fixed system protecting some components does make sense (I know of one planned for a restoration) but the long term human cost of the active fire fighting is just too high. The reasonable long term medical and support costs can easily be greater than the value of the equipment saved.

Now the proper action for a crew is to stop the train where there is access to the locomotives, cut off if possible if the train is passengers or HazMat, then find a tree to sit under while waiting for the fire department.

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Meghan

Subscribing to my grandfather's philosophy that no case is so weak or cause so harebrained that somebody cannot be found to handle it in exchange for a sufficient retainer up front.


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 Post subject: Re: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:21 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:34 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Brewster, Ohio
I know from my time as a volunteer firefighter if your going in or near it mask up. Gotta give props to the PRR for thinking of a surpression system in the first place. Thanks for the information guys and gals!


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 Post subject: Re: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Philadelphia, PA
In those days even our City firefighters did not have good PPE; they also stood on the outside of the Apparatus enroute to the fire as did the Duncannon PA volunteers in the PRR movie. Note they were wearing helmets but no other turnout gear. Nobody had SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus).

It was a different era.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: PRR fire suppression system
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9599
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
For that matter, watch an episode of "Emergency!" from the early 1970s. Over 40 years later, the differences between firefighting and paramedic technology between then and now is somewhat staggering, and what was portrayed then was state-of-the-art for big-city systems back then but in some cases archaic now. (I recommend showing these episodes to young people to show them life before cell phones, let alone smartphones.)

One of the big problems with fire-suppression systems is that although a good CO2 system can knock down a fire, let loose a dry-chemical extinguisher and watch the stuff get sucked into the engine, and you have major headaches. And the availability of such a system has to be weighed against its routine maintenance and the possibility of accidental discharge.

I've hauled large dry-chemical extinguishers in my cars for over 30 years; in those 30 years, I've pulled them out for use only three times on other people's cars, and none on mine--twice when I was able to beat the local FD to the car fires and hand the extinguisher to the first volunteer to beat the truck to the scene, and they refilled and serviced the extinguisher on my behalf.


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