High speed boosters

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High speed boosters
Posted by Krokodil on Friday, February 01, 2013 11:40 AM

I m searching for information. Is there any preserved locomotive in the US with any kind of working or non working booster.

Can somebody send me a picture of this detail on the engine.

 

Thank you!.

 

Best regards from Austria.

 

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Posted by selector on Saturday, February 02, 2013 11:48 AM

Krokodil, I am unaware of any instance in which N. American steamers used booster engines above 27 kph.  In that respect, your title is a bit confusing.....?

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, February 02, 2013 2:47 PM

Several surviving steam engines were built with booster engines, but all were used for starting.  The boosters were often on the trailing truck behind the drivers, often looking just like trailing trucks without boosters.

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Posted by Krokodil on Saturday, February 02, 2013 4:20 PM

Thank you.

Basically this is one of the confusing point. In many descriptions (for eg. in Product catalog of Franklin) they use the description of high speed booster running up to 37 mph. I just heard, that on the preserved  C&O 614 it is even working up to 20 mph.

We could not find any description about the difference (maybe the gear ratio?) between the "normal" booster and the "high speed booster".

What about the #490 in the B&O museum? I know it is not running, but in the specs, they also talk about the high speed booster.

Thank you for your help.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, February 03, 2013 4:30 AM

Dod the NKP and other VanSwerigan Birkshires (2-8-4's) have boosters?   Several are preserved.

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Posted by henry6 on Sunday, February 03, 2013 8:38 AM

Stop calling them speed boosters!  They were power boosters not for speed but for traction when starting and sometimes cut in on heavy grades.  They never contributed to the speed per se but the ability for the train to get moving or keep moving on grades.

Boosters were usually on the trailing truck, yes, but also some locomotives had them on the tenders!

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Posted by Krokodil on Sunday, February 03, 2013 9:11 AM

That is fact, but the history is written, we cannot change this. Almost in all specs, they are talking about the high speed booster:

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/hudson/?page=co

"A four-wheel trailing truck with a Franklin type E-I high speed booster, capable of operation up to 35 mph. "

 

SmileBig Smile

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, February 03, 2013 12:03 PM

I checked the spec sheet on the posted link, and the "up to 35 miles-per-hour"  could be the key to the term "high speed booster", since most boosters were supposed to cut out around 20mph or so.  As one of the other posters said the boosters were only there to supply additional tractive efffort for starting and not to be run continuously.  Certainly "high-speed" couldn't have referred to the passenger train speeds that C&O Hudson was capable of.

I've seen the "Yellowbelly"  #490 at the B&O Museum in Baltimore, but whether it's got a booster on it I don't know, I never thought to look since passenger engines typically didn't have boosters, only freight engines.  Next time there I will look, my curiosity's been aroused!

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Posted by Krokodil on Sunday, February 03, 2013 2:34 PM

Thank you!

(I also missed this detail when I visited the museum in Baltimore.  Big Smile  )

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Posted by West Coast S on Sunday, February 03, 2013 3:05 PM

I presume 4449 still has one intact and operable, static displayed 4460 probally has one, SP was big on trailing truck boosters on most of its late model steam, they also had Franklin tender versions on select cab forward models in the late twenties, these were short lived applications however.

Dave

 

 

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Posted by MJChittick on Sunday, February 03, 2013 9:36 PM

The NKP Berkshires DID NOT have boosters.

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Posted by selector on Sunday, February 03, 2013 11:58 PM

Again, I'm no expert, but I do know that some of the NYC Hudsons had boosters.   I can't imagine they kept them running at speeds higher than 15-20 mph....but.....

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Posted by Krokodil on Monday, February 04, 2013 12:29 AM

This was not a question.

The speed range was always limited to about 0-35 mph.

My question was; why did they differenciated the boosters to normal and high speed ones?

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, February 04, 2013 3:30 AM

Boosters were just as frequently applied to passenger locomotives as freight.  All New York Central Hudsons were originally equipped with boosters, both J-1 and J-3, and the Boston and Albany J-2.

Also, the fact that the Nickel Plate Berkshire's did not have boosters interests me.   But if the C&O's Hudsons had them, then their Kanewah 2-8-4's, otherwise nearly identical to the Nickel Plate Berkshire's had them also.

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Posted by Krokodil on Thursday, February 07, 2013 2:17 PM

Who knows how did they work. I mean what operated the engineer during the motion. During start they opened the steam valve to the steam engines, but what happend when the locomotive achieved the critical speed?

Was there some kind of mechanism what disconnected the gears? (some kind of clutch).

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Posted by timz on Thursday, February 07, 2013 2:50 PM

Right-- an idler gear moved to connect/disconnect the booster-engine gear and the axle gear.

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Posted by Krokodil on Thursday, February 07, 2013 3:46 PM

Thank you!. Was it automatic idle gear (controlled by the speed - free-runner clutch) or was it manual?

(A forgotten booster could be heavily demaged).

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Posted by BigJim on Thursday, February 07, 2013 9:46 PM

You may find this helpful:

http://www.icsarchive.org/tp/2355-1944.pdf

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Posted by Krokodil on Friday, February 08, 2013 2:19 AM

Thank you Jim!

 

It explains many questions.  Bow

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Rikers Yard on Sunday, February 10, 2013 12:55 PM

I don't have a pitcure ava. but the Il. Railway Museum has an LS&I 2-8-0 with a tender booster on display. The booster is instaled on the lead truck of the tender. Outside cranks and rods connect the axles. There is an extension of the truck frames rear end the support the booster engine. I couldn't get a good look under the truck to see how it all went together.

                                               Tim

 

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Posted by Tweedy on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4:02 PM

A very belated thank you. Seriously, I've always wondered how boosters worked and this link certainly answers the question. My wonder started in 1945's high school commute between Los Gatos & Redwood City CA.  Many, at least , of the SP 24xx Pacifics  on the SF/San Jose run were so equipped. A real plumber's night mare, it would seem, and not particulary user-friendly either. But, they were certainly noticed when engaged on start up.

 

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, March 09, 2013 5:10 PM

Krokodil

My question was; why did they differenciated the boosters to normal and high speed ones?

 

Boosters for passenger engines and freight engines would have served somewhat different purposes. On a freight rain, the booster would have helped in starting and for climbing the ruling grade. Passenger boosters would have been used for acceleration as start to stop speed depends on getting up to speed as quickly as possible. A rapid acceleration would mean that the booster would be drawing steam for a short time and could make use of the latent heat in the boiler water.

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Posted by Geared Steam on Saturday, March 09, 2013 6:18 PM

St. Louis-San Francisco ("Frisco") #1522 Baldwin/1926 Mountain was equipped with a booster. 

As soon at the St.Louis Transportation museum (a must see for anyone train lover) 

 Geared Steam's Blog

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