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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:05 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
Nathan,

The Swiss (nor any other country on that side of the globe that we work with) do not inspect every 200 days. They require an annual inspection, Hydro test and steam test (much like we do here). My inspector wants to know why we require this......"one thousand four hundred and seventy two day" inspection. He seems to think the rule is a bit strict.

Under his rule (Swiss Rule); A steam locomotive is repaired as the need for repair becomes evident. The Germans, much the same. Once the vessel requires repair, subject the material to testing, inspect it and determine if the material is worthy of future life, repair as needed, and continue operation or replace in kind.

Your comment about inspection every 200 days.....I don't really know where you got it or where you want to go with it. The reality is, our rule is the most stringent and the least scientific in approach.....explain that to my inspector!

You will struggle to argue with me on this final point. Our rule, as it is now, is a consequence of failed realities in our industry, driven by one man who saw a need for change and made it happen (another story for another day). Our rule is not and was not driven PRIMARILY by scientific reason and explanation. Don't get me wrong, there is science behind our rule and there is science to support it. May I be very clear......the rules of other countries are dictated more by science than by industry failure.....yet we claim ourselves to be world leaders in technology? Seems a bit backwards....at least from the travels that I find myself in!

John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors

http://www.wrrc.us

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Wasatch Railroad Contractors


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:16 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:57 am
Posts: 183
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Meiningen uses late Russian Skoda practice of straight shaft stays rather than profiled stays of the West German type that distribute the bending load across the shaft more evenly. It would be interesting to see if the bolts are breaking just inside the waterspace of the sheets with a crack orientation indicating failure due to bending rather than tension (what is typically calculated for.) Also, if there is a pattern to the breakage that is consistent with areas of high bending stress as per Tross's analysis given in his papers (available at Wasatch's website.)


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:38 pm
Posts: 54
John E. Rimmasch wrote:
Nathan,

The Swiss (nor any other country on that side of the globe that we work with) do not inspect every 200 days. They require an annual inspection, Hydro test and steam test (much like we do here). My inspector wants to know why we require this......"one thousand four hundred and seventy two day" inspection. He seems to think the rule is a bit strict.

Under his rule (Swiss Rule); A steam locomotive is repaired as the need for repair becomes evident. The Germans, much the same. Once the vessel requires repair, subject the material to testing, inspect it and determine if the material is worthy of future life, repair as needed, and continue operation or replace in kind.

Your comment about inspection every 200 days.....I don't really know where you got it or where you want to go with it. The reality is, our rule is the most stringent and the least scientific in approach.....explain that to my inspector!

You will struggle to argue with me on this final point. Our rule, as it is now, is a consequence of failed realities in our industry, driven by one man who saw a need for change and made it happen (another story for another day). Our rule is not and was not driven PRIMARILY by scientific reason and explanation. Don't get me wrong, there is science behind our rule and there is science to support it. May I be very clear......the rules of other countries are dictated more by science than by industry failure.....yet we claim ourselves to be world leaders in technology? Seems a bit backwards....at least from the travels that I find myself in!

John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors

http://www.wrrc.us


John,

What are the inspection intervals used in Switzerland? What inspection methods are used to determine what repairs are needed? Do they have a time limit for how long the tubes can be in service?

Ed Ripp


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
Great questions!

Other than the annual internal inspection, the annual steam test and an annual operating test, there really is no formal "required deep inspection" (what we would call a 1472 day inspection).

Germany has a required "deep tear down and inspection" I defer to Matt Janssen on that one as he is more familiar with the German rules.

During the annual Swiss inspection of the interior of the boiler, the inspector is looking for signs of damage, impending damage, existing damage or signs that there could be a problem down the road. If he finds nothing, he orders the Hydro test. If the hydro produces nothing of grave concern, he orders the steam test and ultimately the operating test (usually done at the same time).

I have seen many locomotives in France, Germany and Switzerland in my three years of travel to and from our project. You may want to sit down for this next comment;

I have seen engines that have had the same tubes for 65 years! Never removed, inspected annually, no problems internally, Hydro is fine, steam test fine, operation test fine.....no problems! The answer to your question "how long are tubes good for". I hate to have to say this; They are good for as long as the inspector says they are good.

Case in point, our project; In December the locomotive suffered a minor tube failure in the front tube sheet. Nothing major, we made it home, no problems, but the owner was concerned and he wanted it fixed right....so we inspected it, found that the front bottom portion of the tube sheet was thin, the tubes had rooted away from the smoke box (fire) side of the tubes and they had cracked due to lack of material and other causes.

We wrote a report, included our findings and presented it to the Inspector for review. His general comment...."fix what needs to be fixed; consider changing all of the tubes...but you make the call." I questioned; "When will you make us remove the rest of the tubes if we do not change them now?" He said, "When I feel they need to be changed or when the boiler fails and tells us they need to be changed...could be next year, could be five years, could be twenty years.....none of us know."

Now, we in American pay more attention to our own news than we do to world events. Question to all of you; This country (Switzerland) allows foreign engines to operate on public tracks, it has no "formal 1472 day rule" It requires operators to follow the rules, submit to inspections and testing and pay user fees for operating on the system. They run the railroad to the second (with-in ten seconds) they have no radio system in the cab of the locomotive, they work off of strict train warrant control and time tables and now the shocker; They have very few accidents. We have not heard of a Swiss boiler failure of any sort in a number of years. The "volunteer" crews are allowed to operate....again a nearly perfect safety record and yet my question to all of you....do we really have a better system?

A UK owner buys a locomotive, sends it to Switzerland to operate, is welcome to do so, hires American Contractors to maintain the engine, hires volunteers to operate it, we have had no accidents, no violations and a great running record.....who in their right mind wouldn't want to operate in that kind of a system? Sorry to say guys....I have loved being the cabs of the big steam here in the states but, to date, the 568 is by far my favorite....more for the great operating conditions of the country than for any other reason. We really could take a lesson or two!

Oh....and you want to see perfect track....wow! Another subject for another day!

John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors

http://www.wrrc.us

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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:47 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:57 am
Posts: 183
Location: Sandpoint, ID
I am not clear on the criteria for tear-down in Germany but the inspection is more comprehensive than ours when it occurs in terms of material testing. When it needs major repairs, they take the boiler off and roll it around to put a firebox in it and do it right or they replace it.

As per the longevity of French boilers especially, you can attribute it to TIA water treatment.


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:54 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
I don't think we need to rehash the cultural differences - but the technology is similar enough that it does show us what is not only theoretically but practically possible in replicable conditions. I'd hope that some of our insular captive operators might find a close look worthwhile to see what operating practices might be adopted to achieve this kind of longevity. Now if we could only commit to adopting them.......

dave

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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:25 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:53 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Seattle, WA
Interesting concept. 65 year old tubes. No manatory inspection . "Change the tubes whenI tell you to or when the boiler fails...."

I wonder what the FRA, ASME, State Boiler Inspectors or insurance company would think of those proposals? We could certainly eliminate a lot of boiler inspectors, consultants, suppliers, boiler makers jobs.

You wrote below that in December you inspected the engine and "found that the front bottom portion of the tube sheet was thin, the tubes had rooted away from the smoke box (fire) side of the tubes and they had cracked due to lack of material and other causes."

The inspector's comment ...."fix what needs to be fixed; consider changing all of the tubes...but you make the call." doesn't sound very authoritative or definative"

John, I have a question for you. With all their advanced, enlightened and invovative thinking on locomotive boilers and testing, why do they fly your team half way around the world to do pretty routine work on the engine (feed water heater system, minor boiler repairs, etc)? Lack of local expertise?


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
Barry,

Our customer is based in the UK, he is English speaking. I personally speak a little German (language spoken in Switzerland) as does my right hand man Mike Lewis begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting. The locomotive is US built and operated in France. The locomotive was modified by the SNCF (French National Rail System). Wasatch has been and continues to be a student of the work that Andre Chapelon promoted.

The UK customer, in his review of Wasatch Railroad Contractors found all of our attributes to be positive; Wasatch works on and continues to work on some of the biggest steam in the US. Wasatch is well aware of the standard practices of the three big US builders (Baldwin, Lima and ALCO all aided in the production of the 141R's for the post war efforts). Wasatch has an extensive library of standard practices and operating procedures. We speak a little German, we speak a little English (I am not talking about the American that we speak very well and by the way, we here in the States do NOT speak English, we speak American!). We have been able to educate our customer on American Standards, we are team players, we work well with the locals and we have not done anything to sway or miss-lead our customer. All of that not to mention our perfect safety record.

Your question: Why does he fly us over to take care of his steam locomotive; In his own words, he feels we are the most qualified company in the world to maintain his project. (paraphrased quote). Additionally, he has hired nearly all of the local contractors, some we still use when we need them, however, he (our customer) maintains us as his "Primary Engineering and Repair Agency". It is an honor to serve this customer who has also become a very good friend and mentor!

John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors

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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:04 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 68
John, the remarks about 65 year old tubes and FRA's requirement for removal after 1472 service days or 15 years whichever comes first got me to thinking that actually FRA part 230 doesn't limit the age of tubes, but rather wants the tubes removed to do a thorough internal inspection, not specifically to replace the tubes. If I understand correctly boiler flues/tubes can be reused if suitable for reinstall once the a few inches are welded back on that had to be cut for removal. Is this correct?


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:16 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
Great question!

I will give you a few references direct from the 49CFR Part 230. I have admitted in the past, I am not so great at posting attachments and quotes to my postings.......so I will be a bit crude here.

If any of you want to read the rule, go to this web page;

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/te ... ain_02.tpl

With-in this file you will find the entire CFR or Code of Federal Regulations. You can down load a PDF version of the rule for free. I maintain one on my lap top for quick reference at all times.

The rule in question is 49 CFR Part 230.31 Flues to be removed, which is as follows;

§ 230.31 Flues to be removed.
top
(a) Inspection of the boiler interior. During the 1472 service day inspection, the steam locomotive owner and/or operator shall remove all flues of steam locomotive boilers in service, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, for the purpose of inspecting the entire interior of the boiler and its bracing. After removing the flues, the steam locomotive owner and/or operator shall enter the boiler to remove scale from the interior and thoroughly clean and inspect it.
(b) NDE testing. If the boiler can be thoroughly cleaned and inspected without removing the superheater flues, and it can be shown through appropriate NDE testing methods that they are safe and suitable for service, their removal may not be required at this time. Their removal may be required, however, if the FRA inspector, or the steam locomotive owner and/or operator, considers it necessary due to identifiable safety concerns.

What the rule does not CLEARLY state, however, may be considered "standard practice" is the process of "safe ending" tubes and reinstalling them. Two things. A.) the rules does not specifically say you can. B.) it does not specifically say you can not.

"Standard Practice" of many roads tells us that we would remove tubes/flues, install them in a "tumbler" which removes all of the scale from the tubes/flues, inspect them, safe end them (weld on a new end) anneal them and stock pile them for use again in another locomotive. As I like the UP so much, they did this and as the tubes naturally got shorter, they were installed in shorter boilers. For example, tubes from a 2-10-2 would go into a 2-8-2 and the a 2-8-0 and then a 2-6-0 and then an 0-6-0 for example. In some cases, they did not safe end them as they simply made them shorter every time. Though this is not a detailed and complete explanation, it is an example of how most roads solved the issue.

I think, and I am sharing this as speculation from conversations I have had with ESC members; The practice you mentioned was excluded from the rule as the rule already states that we perform repairs to "accepted national standards or accepted railroad practice." Further, the rule clearly states, the flues must be left in a safe and suitable condition. So.....it leaves it to you as the operator to decided what to do.

Now, say you were my customer and you said, I want you to safe end my tubes and re-use them. I would say...."Fine, but you will pay me more to do that according to standard practice than you will to have me take them out, cut them up and install new." The reality is, the labor associated with safe ending say....200 tubes, is FAR more than the cost of buying 200 new tubes! In 1944...at the end of steam....when you had thousands of people on the pay roll and you loathed buying new supplies for steam that was dead in ten years any way.....safe ending was the way to go. Simply not the case in 2010.

From what I have been told, the conversation at ESC went something like this....."I guess if somebody wants to spend the money to safe end tubes, and inspect them and follow standard practice, they can, but why would they spend the money?" Thus the rule was left somewhat un-clear and vague.

John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors

http://www.wrrc.us

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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:35 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Shelton, Washington
John;
Great point about the economics of some repair jobs. Things that may have been standard practice 60 years ago may not be practical today due to pure economics.

The 1937 Flannery Bolt catalog has many really neat items, but to put all of them back into production is simply not viable. At NWSB, we produce a simple line of products that meets 90% of the needs of industry, and help generate a modification for the other 10%. The idea is...yes, money is an object. Very few projects have unlimited funds.

Regards, Nathan


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 572
John,

I have two questions. How does your Swiss inspector feel about feed water treatment and how does he feel about inclusions in steels?

Respectfully,

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
Robby,

It has been a pleasure discussing both topics with our Inspector in Switzerland. It should be noted that our inspector is also the Chief Inspector for the country. He is very well known and very well respected in the steam industry of that region of the world.

In respect to water treatment. A.) He wants to know that you have some type of system, though not required. Their view is; If you want to ruin your boiler for lack of treatment, that is your business. If you fail to meet the inspectors standard in terms of boiler hygiene annually, he can "enforce" a program to ensure that he can inspect the boiler interior. B.) He believes that a treatment program should address the issues that you have, not a general "snake oil" program all in one chemical. If your water has oxygen problems, treat for that. If it has TDS problems, treat for that....so on.

Your other question regarding inclusions; Robby, I sat with the inspector last month while he looked at the syphons of the locomotive with his Kraut Krammer (GE) UT scope (sorry if I spelled it wrong). He clearly noted inclusions in the syphons. Not only did he point them out, he questioned if I viewed them as problems. I asked him if he viewed them as being a problem? He responded that he viewed the inclusions as a natural aspect of the steel for the time and period that it was produced. Unless he saw a large area, with a very consistent void or inclusion, he had no exception to take on the minor inclusions that were clearly visible on the screen. You will find that even in the States, a level II examiner is trained to locate an inclusion and determine if the inclusion constitutes a defect, or simply is noted as an artifact. The Swiss are the same way.

The biggest difference I saw in his inspection methods, against those that I follow or would expect to have followed.....his UT machine spoke German and all of the words were in German....it was amazing how they taught that GE machine to speak such great German! Still amazed....I wonder if my machine can do that?

Thanks, Robby

John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors

http://www.wrrc.us

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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:13 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:39 pm
Posts: 55
John E. Rimmasch wrote:
...He clearly noted inclusions in the syphons. Not only did he point them out, he questioned if I viewed them as problems...Unless he saw a large area, with a very consistent void or inclusion...

John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors


What do you or your inspector use to compare your readings to? ASME Section I, PW-52 has the acceptance standards for ultrasonic examination used in new construction. Switzerland is not a member of the EU, so I imagine PED standards do not apply (I know little about the PED). Was this an evaluation based on comparison with some local standard or a subjective opinion based on experience? The best ASNT Level III ultrasound examiner with decades of experience can't tell you whether a reading is acceptable or not unless he knows what the acceptance standards are.

Just curious.

S.O.


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 Post subject: Re: From the TRAIN News Blog (Re: New Locomotive Boiler Code)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:37 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
Stan,

I was shown no formal evaluation criteria for the inspection that was performed. I can tell you that experience was a driving factor.

I have sent the question to the Swiss Inspector direct....I will post his response once I have it. Sorry that I do not have a better answer at first stab!

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