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 Post subject: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:13 pm
Posts: 151
Location: Southold NY
Gentle Forum Members,

LIRR G5s Steam Locomotive #39 is undergoing restoration of her firebox at the Strasburg Railroad Company. A discovery has been made of two, 3/8” copper tubes, that pass through two staybolts, above and just left and right of the firebox door opening. These tubes run from outside the backhead, through the backsheet and terminate in the firebox.

Image

Upon investigation, LIRR G5s #35 has the identical tubes as does PRR G5s #5741 at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum.

Image

The #5741 was investigated by personnel from the Strasburg Railroad Company. The copper tubes are visible from and terminate inside the firebox. The copper tubes are NOT visible outside the lagging and cover sheets on the backhead. This leads us to believe the tubes make right angle turns as they exit the backhead and go somewhere! Short of disassembling #5741’s backhead, (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN), we have no idea what the copper tubes are for or where they go.

Many conversations have been held on Long Island with old heads who had experience with the G5s. No one can remember the use or necessity of these mysterious tubes. Looking at copies of original Altoona engineering drawings, there are references to “tubes” on the drawings, but nothing more to indicate what they were for or where they ran.

Does anyone have any ideas or knowledge of these copper tubes on the G5s? If you do, please respond in this thread and share your knowledge with us or contact me at dfisher@rmli.us Your assistance and interest in this mystery is appreciated.

Image

Image

Thank you,
Don Fisher, President
Railroad Museum of Long Island


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3723
Location: Maine
I was thinking of ventilation for moisture between the backhead and backsheet, but that seems kind of illogical with temperatures in a coal fired firebox. Is the topmost photo what 5741's cab looks like? If so, I'd have expected it to have been preserved with more intact. Does this same feature appear on the K4, or other PRR steam?

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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:13 pm
Posts: 151
Location: Southold NY
Hi Dick,

No, that first photo is #39s backhead before the cab was removed and the assembly trucked to Boilermatic at Medford, NY.

We've pretty much ruled out thoughts of venting systems or sampling systems for firebox gases.

BTW, you can see the larger picture of each thumbnail by clicking on the little icon in the lower right hand corner of each photo.

de Don n2qhvRMLI


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5250
Location: southeastern USA
Maybe snot drains from the lubricator - burn the nasty stuff rather than slop it out in the ROW? Other possibilities might include a steam jet for clearing smoke from the door area for inspecting the fire. If you ever find out the real story, please post it here......

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:02 am
Posts: 28
Location: South Central PA
I'm by no means an expert on this sort of thing, but my guess would be what the Pennsylvania Railroad called a "smoke abatement device." Here's their drawing of one from their 1949 Fireman's Examination book. Sorry it's such a crappy drawing, I grabed it from an on-line copy of the book, rather than a scan. I think there's enough there that you can get the idea of placement and installation.

Steve Zarick
Attachment:
smoke abatement device.JPG
smoke abatement device.JPG [ 15.55 KiB | Viewed 4355 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1100
Location: South Carolina
Steve- Looks like you found it. Is that a connection to a steam supply at the upper left of the drawing?

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The Ultimate Steam Page
http://www.trainweb.org/tusp


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3723
Location: Maine
Another reason why this board is an essential piece of railroad preservation. Who knows when an answer might have been found without the resource of many directed minds. Thanks for supplying the logical and most likely answer!

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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:13 pm
Posts: 151
Location: Southold NY
Thank you Steve!

I'll be sending this along to Rick Musser at the Strasburg Shops. Your data answers the $64,000.00 question. Thanks for your help.

dee Don n2qhvRMLI


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:42 am
Posts: 375
Location: Haslett, Michigan USA
I wonder how these were intended to work?

It appears a bit similar to the overfire jets on some engines that used steam nozzles through the side sheets (labeled "smoke consumer" on PM 1225's turret valves). One purpose of these was to disturb the airflow in the region over the fire, to slow it so that more coal would be burned before the air moved backward behind the brick arch and through the combustion chamber and tubes. These overfire jets also drew in outside air, which doesn't seem to have been possible with the PRR design. I wonder if the PRR installation was intended to disturb air flow around the back end of the arch? Maybe leaving the firedoor cracked open a bit (as was done on the SAR Red Devil by welding a stop in the door) would have provided additional combustion air.

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The Steam Railroading Institute
P. O. Box 665
Owosso, Michigan 48840-0665


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:13 pm
Posts: 151
Location: Southold NY
Gentlemen,

It appears that the two tubes are connected to a "blower" and are used for forcing air into the firebox. Reference is made on pages 58 and 59 of the Examination Booklet to use the “blower” while the engine is idle or the throttle is closed.

. . . . . . Smoke Prevention:–Black smoke consists of small
particles of unburned carbon suspended in the gases
and contains a large percentage of the heat value of
the coal.

Excess smoke can be avoided if the fire is in good
condition, if coal is supplied to the fire box in the
proper amount, and if the coal is evenly distributed
over the fire bed.

Black smoke is an indication of a waste of coal and
is the result of over-crowding the fire, or in other
words, feeding coal to the fire box in such a quantity
that a sufficient supply of air cannot be obtained to
burn the fuel.

The proper use of the blower when engine is idle
and at other times when the throttle is closed, will
assist in eliminating smoke. The smoke abatement
device (Fig. 38A, page 59) should, be used when coal
is being added, to the fire when the locomotive is idle
and at other times when the throttle is closed.

Excess smoke will be produced when the rate of
firing exceeds the rate of burning. Don’t overload
the fire box.. . . . .

In Richard J. Harrison's book, "Long Island Rail Road Memories - The Making of a Steam Locomotive Engineer" ( Quadrant Press Inc. 1981 ISBN-0-915276-36-4) there are many references to the engineer telling him, (the fireman), to put on his "blower" as they slowed into a station. This must be it!

Following is the pdf of the subject text.

http://prr.railfan.net/documents/Machin ... n-1949.pdf

Thank you all!
de Don n2qhvRMLI


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:32 pm
Posts: 44
Steve,

Thank you for bringing this to light, we've all been stumped until now. The pipe in pipe arrangement involves a approx. 3/4 in. tube in the location where there was probably once a rivet holding on the backhead doubler prior to this device being installed. You can see the other doubler rivets in a horizontal row to both sides of the tubes in question. There are two such tubes passing through the water space above both corners of the door ring. The tubes are fillet welded at both ends on the outside of the backhead and fire side of the door sheet. To clarify, it is not a copper tube, but a length of 1/8 steel pipe the runs through the larger tube and projects slightly into the firebox. Again, thanks for locating this and bringing to light another all but lost aspect of our industrial history.

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Brendan Zeigler
Strasburg Rail Road Locomotive Dept.


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:44 pm
Posts: 25
Nothing to add except that I would think "Steve" , for providing the answer or lead, is do a cab ride once the G5s is riding the rails.....Gary


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 Post subject: Most Importantly...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 7:17 pm
Posts: 542
Location: Ballard, WA
Smoke is fuel wasted.


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:23 am
Posts: 436
Location: Strasburg, PA
n2qhvRMLI wrote:
... In Richard J. Harrison's book, "Long Island Rail Road Memories - The Making of a Steam Locomotive Engineer" ( Quadrant Press Inc. 1981 ISBN-0-915276-36-4) there are many references to the engineer telling him, (the fireman), to put on his "blower" as they slowed into a station. This must be it!


Yes and no. Every steam locomotive has draft inducement in the form of a "blower", that is, a jet, usually steam, that drafts up the stack creating a vacuum in the smoke box and pulling air through the fire. "Get the blower on!" is a command that every rookie fireman has had screamed in his ear.

This G5 arrangement is something special, befitting its design and use as a commuter engine in metropolitan areas when sharp-eyed city smoke inspectors kept watch for careless engine crews that they could cite. We were debating whether the line was originally connected to the blower turret line - the diagram looks like a Pennsy blower valve - or a main reservoir air line. I was arguing that air would give better combustion than "steam disturbing", but it does look like the blower turret line.

The devices probably fell into disuse as G5's ended up on work trains, branch lines and other roles outside of their original design.

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Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Mysterious copper tubes on a G5s!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:06 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:23 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Florida's Forgotten Coast
S. Weaver wrote:
n2qhvRMLI wrote:
... In Richard J. Harrison's book, "Long Island Rail Road Memories - The Making of a Steam Locomotive Engineer" ( Quadrant Press Inc. 1981 ISBN-0-915276-36-4) there are many references to the engineer telling him, (the fireman), to put on his "blower" as they slowed into a station. This must be it!


Yes and no. Every steam locomotive has draft inducement in the form of a "blower", that is, a jet, usually steam, that drafts up the stack creating a vacuum in the smoke box and pulling air through the fire. "Get the blower on!" is a command that every rookie fireman has had screamed in his ear.

This G5 arrangement is something special, befitting its design and use as a commuter engine in metropolitan areas when sharp-eyed city smoke inspectors kept watch for careless engine crews that they could cite. We were debating whether the line was originally connected to the blower turret line - the diagram looks like a Pennsy blower valve - or a main reservoir air line. I was arguing that air would give better combustion than "steam disturbing", but it does look like the blower turret line.

The devices probably fell into disuse as G5's ended up on work trains, branch lines and other roles outside of their original design.


I was growing up on Long Island when the LIRR Dieselized, and the G5's were used to the end on passenger trains East from Jamaica. The LIRR also had H10s 2-8-0's to the end that it used for work trains.


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