Tender water

1986 views
6 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Tender water
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 01, 2004 11:59 AM
Is there a guage glass on the tender front to allow the fireman to check remaining water, or does he have to climb up on top and open a hatch.
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 6:54 AM
I seem to remember something called a "sight glass" on the inside of steam locomotives. The purpose of the glass was to show the water level in the boiler and to keep the water level above the "crown sheet" to prevent a boiler explosion. I haven't heard about water gauges on the tender, tho.

Erik
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 9:52 PM
You're referring to a gauge glass. This is used to determine boiler water level. I imagine tender water use depended on how hard an engine was working and the engineer used his experience to determine when to "fill up".
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 07, 2004 12:41 AM
and he notes -

To my knowledge there were no gauges on tenders. If the fireman thought the water was low, he'd crawl over the coal pile and open the hatch and look.

On most roads, tenders were watered at regular stops, more to top them off rather than fill them. It takes too long to fill a tender while running a scheduled train so in practice, they were never run low.

It did happen, of course but water facilities were usually positioned close enough to keep the cisterns filled. The New York Central had track pans every forty or so miles between Harmon and Chicago but they had problems with double headers where the second tender didn't get enough water. But there were water columns at stations if they had to take on water.

More than once, freight (and some passenger) engines with water scoops would run out if they ran too far off the main line and have to dump the fire. Trains using NYC engines running between Cleveland and Detroit were especially vulnerable as there were no track pans north of Toledo. So they dare not miss a water stop in case they ran low. Inexperienced crews had the same problem with NYC engines assigned to the Big Four.

Incidentally, when the practice of scooping water began in the 19th Century. it was called "jerking water", and obious cliche given to towns where pans were located and the train did not stop there - thus the "Jerkwater Town".

Letting the tender run low usually meant that the Fireman caught hell...

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 9:26 AM
Historically, steam locomotive tenders were not equipped with water gauges and, as noted by other posters, the way for the fireman to check the water level in the tank was to crawl over the top and lift the lid on the filler hatch.

Recent changes in Federal Regulations have required the installation of a "device which permits the measurement of the quantity of water" in the tender, which can be viewed from the cab or the tender deck. 49 CFR part 230.115.
  • Member since
    June, 2004
  • From: Over yonder by the roundhouse
  • 1,224 posts
Posted by route_rock on Friday, July 09, 2004 10:04 AM
261 has as an orginal appliance a tender water gauge. Some locos may have some may not.Ours is you take the bratty fireman(usually a youngster)and dip him head first in.If you hear screaming your low if you see bubbles your just right[:-^][(-D][(-D][:-,]

Yes we are on time but this is yesterdays train

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 12, 2004 2:51 PM



Dear Sirs,


Depending on Outdoor Temperature, an Ungloved Hand moved Vertically on Outside of Tender Water Space will determine the Level of Water in Tender Tank.


Usually the Lower, Water-Filled Portion will be Cooler, and on Hot Humid Days, may even Sweat if Water from Water Spout very Cool.


If Lifting Injector Leaks Steam back to Tender Tank, Water will become Warm even Hot, and Injectors may not Work. Quick Cure, Take Water and Cool Tender Water Down.


Full Tender means Lifting Injector need not Lift that far.

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