For steam lovers

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For steam lovers
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, September 14, 2019 9:30 AM

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, September 14, 2019 1:48 PM

Many of the early World Land Speed Records were set by steam-powered automobiles since early internal-combustion engines had a terrible power to weight ratio.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 14, 2019 2:35 PM

Love it! Amazing speed and it is fun for me to watch the wheels bouncing under the simple leaf spring suspension. 

Some random steam-powered vehicle photos and videos. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 14, 2019 7:53 PM

Amazing fun stuff!  You know, "Steam is dead!" has been said so many times, but it just won't stay buried, will it?

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, September 14, 2019 9:20 PM

Higher tech steam from 1925

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Posted by Enzoamps on Sunday, September 15, 2019 1:56 PM

Cool.

In the 1970s I was in a rock and roll band named Stanley Steamer.

Steam is still around, a couple miles down the road from me is the Michigan Steam Engine and Threshers Club.  They have annual gatherings and also appear here and there.  They are sometimes in our small town parades here in Mason, MI.

https://www.michigansteamengineandthreshersclub.com/index.html

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, September 16, 2019 1:06 AM

If the Stanley can be compared to a steam locomotive, here is a streetcar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhnjMdzGusc

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 16, 2019 1:11 AM

BaltACD

Higher tech steam from 1925

Interesting! If I were Rudolf  Bauer, "my" 1937 Duesenberg SJ Town Car would be steam-powered. If the car body was too heavy, just made the engine room longer!

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 16, 2019 8:52 AM

Duesenbergs are cool, but why not ask Mike to look over Bugatti history and find pictures of the T50 that was converted to steam power.  Or the T74 project (during the War) with modular groups of 4-cylinder motors.  Or more of the history behind this:

Of course if you are discussing 'steam trolley equivalents' why not go directly to the historical source, the Unit Railway Car Company?

The part 2 to the Steambus! video is available, and can be searched from YouTube: I can't post the link directly because I can't get YouTube to display correctly on the system I'm using, but searching "california steam bus pt 2" from the window that opens to show part 1 should produce it in short order.

There is a good discussion on the bus project on SACA that interested people should read after perusing the final report linked in the video description.

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 16, 2019 10:05 AM

Overmod

Duesenbergs are cool, but why not ask Mike to look over Bugatti history and find pictures of the T50 that was converted to steam power.  Or the T74 project (during the War) with modular groups of 4-cylinder motors.  Or more of the history behind this:

Bugatti! From Bugatti Royale to type 57, love them all!

And of course, the Bugatti Autorails, my favorite railcar (New Haven Comet was great too):

Overmod

Of course if you are discussing 'steam trolley equivalents' why not go directly to the historical source, the Unit Railway Car Company?

I am not sure if this is the company you mentioned, but this is an interesting thing that I cannot randomly found on google search!

SELF-ENERGIZED MULTIPLE-UNIT RAILROAD CAR TRAIN

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2844107?oq=Unit+Railway+Car+Company

Thanks for that, Mr. Overmod.

I have been thinking about starting a post about steam tram, but steam trolley was probably not a common thing in the States, so I gave up.

Double-decker + steam-powered = perfect!

Overmod

The part 2 to the Steambus! video is available, and can be searched from YouTube: I can't post the link directly because I can't get YouTube to display correctly on the system I'm using, but searching "california steam bus pt 2" from the window that opens to show part 1 should produce it in short order.

There is a good discussion on the bus project on SACA that interested people should read after perusing the final report linked in the video description.

 

 Are you working on an alien spacecraft again? Anyway, here is the video Coffee:

6:19-6:20 Mr. Overmod on the steam bus?

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 9:58 AM

Jones1945
And of course, the Bugatti Autorails, my favorite railcar (New Haven Comet was great too)

There were also four-wheel railbuses with a suspension that to me eerily predicts what Wickens would design in the mid-Sixties for true high-speed stability.  One of those with proper resilient wheels might be an interesting replica project...

 

I have been thinking about starting a post about steam tram, but steam trolley was probably not a common thing in the States, so I gave up.

In America most of the effort went -- quite sensibly, in my opinion -- to the use of steam 'dummies' pulling more or less conventional cars, instead of all-in-one steam-powered tramcars.  At least in theory that allowed horses and engines to coexist on the same system during any transition, and saved the investment in passenger cars.

As recounted in White's American Passenger Car and a couple of other sources, there was a brief flurry of interest in self-propelled railcars (a larger version of 'tram'; the early ones in the 1850s were actually small fairly high-speed locomotives built into the forward end of a passenger-car structure, replacing one truck).  These had reached a fair amount of sophistication by 1860, but were essentially killed off by the Civil War and the type of development that characterized the years afterward.  By the time interest had redeveloped, the type of plant used had changed (cf. Ganz cars) and of course once internal combustion motors had reached a decent stage of development we went to McKeen, GE cars, and of course EMC.

This begs the question a bit of why we didn't see GAS dummies for street railways, in lieu of electrification.  You are of course familiar with the Dan Patch lines; to me it would make great sense to use a small external power unit to push/pull a vehicle whether or not some part of its service involved wire.  But I know of no successful example -- I think, again, much of this is circumstantial.

 

[quote]Double-decker + steam-powered = perfect!

But not as perfect as the same idea on the Boynton Bicycle Railway, something that I think deserved much more consideration...

 

Regrettably, I was just a few years too young to be involved in the steam bus project, and in those years came the OPEC embargo and all the concomitant weaselry that killed steam as an antipollution option.  As it works out, it's a good thing Mr. Pritchard didn't get his million dollars from Ford, as we'd have nothing like the last couple of decades' advance in performance and economy out of any practical external combustion system.  (I will grant you that there's some promise in ultrasupercritical systems, but it's a bit like the old National Lampoon comment about the Metroliners -- "speeding America into the Fifties!" -- in that normal gas cars are now capable of road economies possible only to hybrids in my not-too-distant memory.  Not to mention that some form of steam-retention tank is almost de rigueur for a sensible roadgoing design ... and that counts both as a pressure vessel for maintenance and as an explosion hazard.

Ah well -- I have been advised that ALL the drawings necessary to spec and build the de Dietrich steam Bugatti have survived and are at the de Dietrich castle in Reichshoffen.  There is still enough knowhow running around in SACA to work any remaining bugs out of the design, take advantage of modern improvements, etc. (for example, I would never build a prompt-control monotube when a LaMont produces so much better quality and mass flow much more safely...)

Just say the word... 

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Posted by Fr.Al on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 10:54 AM

As you folks know, I'm too technologically challenged to post links. If you check out YouTube, you will see that Jay Leno owns and drives a Stanley Steamer. My respect for the guy soared.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 2:24 PM

Fr.Al
As you folks know, I'm too technologically challenged to post links. If you check out YouTube, you will see that Jay Leno owns and drives a Stanley Steamer. My respect for the guy soared.

If you noticed the first post was of Leno's Stanley Steamer.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 9:52 PM

Overmod
to me it would make great sense to use a small external power unit to push/pull a vehicle whether or not some part of its service involved wire.  But I know of no successful example -- I think, again, much of this is circumstantial.

In 2005 I rode a rail group's trolley in Astoria, Ore.  The restored trolley got its power for the traction motors from a small attached 4 wheel car that had a generator and was low profile so the motorman could see over it on the reverse trip.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:31 AM

MidlandMike
The restored trolley got its power for the traction motors from a small attached 4 wheel car that had a generator and was low profile so the motorman could see over it on the reverse trip.

This has famously, or perhaps infamously, been discussed several times on RyPN.  I understand there were some commuter or regional trains in Italy that used 'power stations' -- self-contained electrical genset plants -- to power what was essentially electric MU equipment 'beyond the wire' or adapt them to unelectrified service.

This is different from what I was musing about in that you have the complete capitalization and maintenance of the electric equipment on the car itself for propulsion, plus the capitalization and maintenance for the separate power unit and its connections, plus the power disadvantage of having to 'tow' the power unit itself.  There is also the concern of economical power operation, with the genset having to put out 600VDC whenever the car calls for power, but perhaps not doing 'load following' at the times the contactor is closed -- it may not be sufficient to have automatic regulation of the genset engine when load is detected, or provide a button or control to load the genset before moving the car.

In the Astoria case it permitted the car to retain full 'historic fabric' while operating in a service where it was economically impossible to put in overhead wire; in the Italian case, it permitted "adaptive re-use" of equipment built for one service, without expensive modification.  

I was thinking more of something with a relatively small IC motor and perhaps mechanical drive that would move a streetcar (or the sort of rolling stock used with steam dummies) whether or not it had motors or high-voltage controllers.  "Transition" to wire would involve shutting down or idling the combustion motor and putting its 'transmission in neutral' and then raising the pole and operating normally on the controller just from that point.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 12:30 PM

Baldwin built a pair of "Soda Motor" steam dummies in 1886 for the Minneapolis Lyndale and Minnetonka, a suburban line in Minnesota.  Charged with steam from a stationary boiler, they used lye and caustic soda to keep the heat up.  Fred Westing's comment from his book on Balwin's output: "History doesn't record the reason for its demise, but probably it burped once too often."

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 1:27 PM

I found a brief video of that Astoria trolley with its power unit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDuGJBS9ds8  

Certainly not a perfect solution to the "juice" issue but certainly a lot cheaper than stringing overhead wire and building a power house to supply it.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 9:44 PM

Overmod

There were also four-wheel railbuses with a suspension that to me eerily predicts what Wickens would design in the mid-Sixties for true high-speed stability.  One of those with proper resilient wheels might be an interesting replica project...

Reminds me of those railcars we discussed in this thread:

http://cs.trains.com/ctr/f/3/t/272833.aspx?page=1

 

Overmod

...As recounted in White's American Passenger Car and a couple of other sources, there was a brief flurry of interest in self-propelled railcars (a larger version of 'tram'; the early ones in the 1850s were actually small fairly high-speed locomotives built into the forward end of a passenger-car structure, replacing one truck).  These had reached a fair amount of sophistication by 1860, but were essentially killed off by the Civil War and the type of development that characterized the years afterward...

I found this steam rail car from 1861 on the web, predecessor of the doodlebug from the "ancient world?

 

Double-decker + steam-powered = perfect!

But not as perfect as the same idea on the Boynton Bicycle Railway, something that I think deserved much more consideration...

The Boynton Bicycle Railroad reminds me of my daydream in the classroom of using a "light rail" railway system like the rollercoaster in a dense and mountainous city with limited space, using minimum resources, occupy minimum space to build a mass transit railway system.

I agree that the concept of the Boynton Bicycle Railroad still has potential, or maybe had even more potential than 100 years ago with all the state of the art technology available nowadays. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, September 19, 2019 7:07 PM

Fr.Al

As you folks know, I'm too technologically challenged to post links. If you check out YouTube, you will see that Jay Leno owns and drives a Stanley Steamer. My respect for the guy soared.

 

I think I also saw him drive another car on an episode of Modern Marvels.

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, September 19, 2019 9:49 PM

Jay's also got some stationary steam engines, the oldest of which is (if I remember correctly)  an English one from the 1830's.  Still works too.

I saw a show on the Speedvision Channel several years ago where he demonstrated it.  He's got a steam generator on the premises to run the stationarys.

Absolutely beautiful pieces of 19th Century technology!

But for big English steam, you can't beat this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuHJBIMj_rs  

I'm not sure about this, but I think that particular engine is seen in the engine room shots of the 1958 film about the Titanic,  "A Night To Remember," or something very similar to it somwhere in Britain.

Tea, cakes, and live steam, the Brits sure know how to throw a party!

*  The Cricklewood Pumping Station, Dollis Hill, London.  Still in use but now electric powered.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:05 PM

Flintlock76
But for big English steam, you can't beat this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuHJBIMj_rs  

I'm not sure about this, but I think that particular engine is seen in the engine room shots of the 1958 film about the Titanic,  "A Night To Remember," or something very similar to it somwhere in Britain.

Tea, cakes, and live steam, the Brits sure know how to throw a party!

What was the economic purpose for the engine being constructed in the first place?

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:07 PM
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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 20, 2019 8:11 AM

BaltACD
What was the economic purpose for the engine being constructed in the first place?

Municipal waterworks (located in Kempton)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 20, 2019 8:55 AM

BaltACD

 

 
Flintlock76
But for big English steam, you can't beat this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuHJBIMj_rs  

I'm not sure about this, but I think that particular engine is seen in the engine room shots of the 1958 film about the Titanic,  "A Night To Remember," or something very similar to it somwhere in Britain.

Tea, cakes, and live steam, the Brits sure know how to throw a party!

 

What was the economic purpose for the engine being constructed in the first place?

 

It was a municipal water supply pumping station.  They also built some behemoth steam engines for sewer system pumping as well.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, September 20, 2019 8:59 AM

Miningman

Love the song, and that straightforward slogan. If the early steam cars didn't require almost an hour of work to starting, they would have been more popular. I guess. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 20, 2019 9:49 AM

Jones1945
If the early steam cars didn't require almost an hour of work to starting, they would have been more popular. I guess. 

What makes you think it took anywhere near that long?

As early as 1911, White (which used a blue-flame gasoline burner arrangement) would take no more than a very few minutes to get up steam from 'cold' -- limited mostly by minimizing differential expansion effects.  When warm I believe steam would be raised for running within a minute (I have seen this done during steam-car 'meets').

A good Doble monotube, of course, would have steam raised within a few seconds of firing, and this will be true of other flash systems.  The fact that the steam generator is throttled on and off to maintain pressure in a reservoirless setup will tell you that initial steaming will not require much more time.

Naturally this presumes a fuel that hasn't frozen or gelled in the tank or lines, and that you have warm feedwater.  These could be difficult requirements to meet in many places turn-of-the-century cars would be garaged.

Just for the record: I prefer the idea of a LaMont steam generation setup to any kind of once-through 'critical' monotube setup, in part because turndown can be made so simple.  This has a fairly large (can be very large if desired) reservoir of overcritical water, which has to be heated in circulation before you get effective throttle steam at the separators.  For this I propose an analogue of a locomotive direct-steaming setup, which is essentially a pressure-rated water heater with electric or gas heating that is brought up to pressure before the car would be used (by timer, for example) and is then connected to the car under nitrogen pressurization to transfer the treated water at reasonable pressure.  Heating from there to working pressure (in a proper LaMont) is very rapid, and of course steam stripping is continuous as a function of forced circulation (the rate of which is independent of steam demand)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 20, 2019 10:52 AM

That was it Mr. Jones.  According to Jay Leno and others as good as the steam cars were they couldn't get around the time it took to build up steam pressure before you could start driving.

Not like a gasolene car where all you did was turn a crank or later push a starter button.  

So, that was the end for Stanley Steamer and others.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, September 20, 2019 2:36 PM

Steam Calliope

 
Not Stompin Tom. But it's the Good Old Hockey Game
 
 
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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, September 20, 2019 7:26 PM

Flintlock76
* The Cricklewood Pumping Station, Dollis Hill, London. Still in use but now electric powered.

http://www.british-film-locations.com/scene-1ad/A-Night-To-Remember-1958

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