What if Santa Fe pre-1930 Steam Locos Had Belpaire Fireboxes

835 views
6 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August 2006
  • 213 posts
What if Santa Fe pre-1930 Steam Locos Had Belpaire Fireboxes
Posted by SPer on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 1:35 PM

What if Santa Fe had steam locomotives built before 1930 to be equipped with Belpaire fireboxes like,say 3751-class 4-8-4s or Hudsons.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 2,254 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 2:22 PM

I doubt it would have made any difference one way or another, performance-wise.  Some railroads liked the Belpaire firebox, the PRR being the most famous example, I think because maintanance was theoretically easier, most didn't bother with it.

  • Member since
    July 2016
  • 602 posts
Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:01 PM

SPer

What if Santa Fe had steam locomotives built after 1930 to be equipped with Belpaire fireboxes like,say 3751-class 4-8-4s or Hudsons.

 

They would have been ugly and nobody would want to preserve any of them.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 8,885 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 10:27 PM

SPer
What if Santa Fe had steam locomotives built after 1930 to be equipped with Belpaire fireboxes like,say 3751-class 4-8-4s or Hudsons.

Reading between the lines in Stagner's (Jr) book on ATSF power in that general era, the designers were already well over permissible weight just in attempting to accommodate higher pressure in designs (with heavier boilerplate); a Belpaire firebox, especially one with circulators/syphons, is going to represent thousands of pounds of additional weight, which would require compromise in other areas of the design.

I also suspect the internal volume may be relatively less suited to high-mass-flow oil firing especially with respect to the necessary tradeoff of hot spots vs. early quench.

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • From: Hong Kong, Z├╝rich and Los Angeles
  • 1,228 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 28, 2019 4:15 AM

Backshop

They would have been ugly and nobody would want to preserve any of them.

(((LMAO!)))

ATSF's 4-8-4s were arguably one of the best looking Northern Type amongst all size of Northern type, including those smaller, shorter (in height and length) 4-8-4s in the States. If equipment of a Belpaire firebox provide no benefit in terms of overall performance, why bother? Smile

  

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Along the Big 4 in the Midwest
  • 536 posts
Posted by K4sPRR on Thursday, February 28, 2019 6:53 AM

Overmod
I also suspect the internal volume may be relatively less suited to high-mass-flow oil firing especially with respect to the necessary tradeoff of hot spots vs. early quench. Add Quote to your Post

Overmod brings up some good points particularly with oil firing.  As to the PRR usage of the Belpaire design it enabled them to increase the square footage of the firebox without extending the overall length of the locomotive. For example the N2 when converted to the Belpaire from the USRA design increased the firebox by 252 sq ft., avoiding additional length to an already cumbersom locomotive (99" boiler) that was restricted to Lines West. This was strongly considered back then due to the tight curvature of the mainline, particularly on the Middle and Pittsburgh divisions.

As to maintenance, the boiler plates were parallel to one another avoiding curvature found in normal firebox's.  Maintenance was easier but overshadowed by the increased number staybolts required and the expense was another consideration.  As stated in other posts, if it was not necessary why bother.

   

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • 213 posts
Posted by SPer on Thursday, February 28, 2019 12:24 PM

Locomotives that would have Belpaires includes the early Northerns,Santa Fes,Mountains,Pacifics,etc.

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter