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How Does Water Get From The Tender To The Locomotive?

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How Does Water Get From The Tender To The Locomotive?
Posted by NYC John on Thursday, February 09, 2017 10:31 PM

I know there are at least a couple of large hoses for water, that run from the back of the Lcomotive to the front of the Tender ... but is there some sort of pump involved to move the water from Tender to Locomotive?  I'm interested in adding these final details to my Broadway Limited NYC J1-e Hudson.  It's rather tough to find any good clear photos or even good clear illustrations, and written text on how this functioned.  It's not even mentioned in the Alvin Staufer's "Thoroughbreds".  So ... an inquiring mind wants to know.  Thanks!

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Posted by pajrr on Friday, February 10, 2017 3:54 AM

Most steam locomotives use what is called an injector. This device picks up water from the tender using boiler steam pressure like a siphon, like a garden sprayer that picks up the chemical from the jar with the water pressure. The injector funnels down to a small opening (like putting a small nozzle on a garden hose) which produces a pressure greater than the boiler pressure. If a boiler is at 200psi for instance, the injector may convert the 200psi to 250psi thus forcing the water into the boiler. On newer locomotives with feedwater heaters and other gadgets, there would be a water pump which would normally provide water to the boiler. Even on these locomotives there would always be injectors in case the pump failed. There were always 2 injectors, one for the fireman one for the engineer. If water couldn't get to the boiler somehow, it was almost certain death for the engine crew. Google "steam locomotive injectors" that will produce info and even a video that demonstrates how they work.

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Posted by BigJim on Friday, February 10, 2017 7:37 AM

NYC John
 I'm interested in adding these final details to my Broadway Limited NYC J1-e Hudson.  It's rather tough to find any good clear photos or even good clear illustrations, and written text on how this functioned.  It's not even mentioned in the Alvin Staufer's "Thoroughbreds".  So ... an inquiring mind wants to know.  Thanks!


John,
I am thinking that BLI has detailed your Hudson more than you realize. read on.
In the case of your J1e, the NYC used the "Lifting" type injector and it is hidden under the jacketing right in front of the engineer. On the fireman's side, look between the rear driver and the bottom front of the firebox at about axle level for the cold water pump that is part of the feedwater heater system.
The "Lifting" type of injectors are mounted high on the boiler side just in front of the cab so that the operating levers can come through the cab front in order to be operated.
The "Non Lifting" type of injector is mounted under the cab of the locomotive. If there is only one it should be under the engineer's side. If two are used, the other is mounted under the firemnan's side. 
A lot of cold water pumps are also mounted under the fireman's side. However, the mounting position of all of these appliances can vary.

Federal law required two means of suppling the boiler with water. That can be either, two injectors or (contrary to the above post) one injector and one feedwater heater system which includes a water pump.

To learn about Injectors look here: http://www.icsarchive.org/icsarchive-org/bb/ics_bb_508d_section_5236_locomotive_injectors.pdf

To learn about feedwater Heater Systems look here: http://www.icsarchive.org/icsarchive-org/bb/ics_bb_508d_section_2517_locomotive_feedwater_heating_equipments.pdf
*Note these are large files and might take a long time to load. But, wait for it, you'll learn a lot!

 

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Posted by NYC John on Friday, February 10, 2017 8:57 AM

I can't thank you two enough for the education!  I figured there had to be something, somewhere, that moved the water ... and this makes it clearer than ever.  The BLI J-1e Hudson does have a lot of little details on the body ... but not knowing what I'm looking at hasn't helped! LOL!!! I've detailed the cab, and added a friction wheel and cam box for the Loco Valve Pilot on the Engineer's side ... and the hoses are the last bit of detailing I want to add.  

I have been able to find some drawings regarding many parts that are numbered, but alas, have no index as to what the numbers represent ... thus my quest or information from those who know. Wink   

I will check on the links and will google for the information mentioned as suggested here.

Again, thanks again for the help and information!

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Posted by RME on Friday, February 10, 2017 10:46 AM

There are articles, and some discussions in forum threads here, about different kinds of feedwater heater -- if I remember correctly, some J1es received different installations 'later in life' so you may want to compare prototype photos, by date, of the specific road number you have.

The law required two methods of supplying the boiler with water.  One was almost always an injector, which is a relatively reliable device with a minimum of moving or adjustable parts.  This came in two flavors, 'nonlifting' (which was mounted low down, where the water to it could flow 'solidly' with enough natural flow by gravity) and 'lifting' (which could develop suction even when unprimed that could lift water up from where it could be (gravity) fed from the tender.  The lifting injectors needed more careful adjustment and operation to work, as there is a delicate balance between steam and water mass flow.

The feedwater-heater system, when present, is considered one of the two mandatory methods, and its use would be preferred over the injector because it has better thermodynamic efficiency.  An injector IS a feedwater 'heater', but it can't work with hot water close to boiling because the induced vacuum causes nucleate boiling or 'flashing' of hot feedwater, which ruins the injector 'action'.  Heater systems, on the other hand, can heat water up to close to the saturation temperature of the boiler water (which, remember, can be above 338 degrees on modern road locomotives) and can recover a significant amount of otherwise-wasted energy by using exhaust steam.

The J1es were built with Elesco feedwater heaters (the cylinder at top of the smokebox; you can get a better idea what the exchanger looked like by seeing it 'exposed' on locomotives like the Lima A-1 Berkshire prototype) which is a 'closed' type heater.  Later systems, notably from Worthington, were 'open' type, where the exhaust steam actually mixes with the feedwater and condenses there (giving a bit more heat recovery plus the water contribution in the steam, not a trivial amount!)  The trick with open FWH is either to remove any lubricant from the exhaust steam or treat the boiler water so carried-over lubricant won't cause foaming, priming, or other issues.

What you'll have 'fun' modeling is the hose from the tender to the 'cold water pump', which of course is fairly hefty in diameter.  I recommend that you make this up with appropriate 'set' and then equip it (at the pump end, or both ends) with small magnets (the same approach used with some P:48 air-hose gladhands) so that it can be installed and removed depending on how much 'running' detail vs. curve negotiation you need.  The rest of the piping from the cold-water pump up through the heat exchanger should be modeled fairly well on the Broadway Limited engine to the extent it's visible, although you may want to superdetail it better (for example with detailed universals on adjustment rods and so forth).

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Posted by timz on Friday, February 10, 2017 12:15 PM

NYC John
is there some sort of pump involved to move the water from Tender to Locomotive?

None-- right? Just gravity?

Then after the water's on the locomotive the injector or FWH goes to work.

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Posted by NYC John on Friday, February 10, 2017 4:41 PM

RME
What you'll have 'fun' modeling is the hose from the tender to the 'cold water pump', which of course is fairly hefty in diameter.  I recommend that you make this up with appropriate 'set' and then equip it (at the pump end, or both ends) with small magnets (the same approach used with some P:48 air-hose gladhands) so that it can be installed and removed depending on how much 'running' detail vs. curve negotiation you need.  The rest of the piping from the cold-water pump up through the heat exchanger should be modeled fairly well on the Broadway Limited engine to the extent it's visible, although you may want to superdetail it better (for example with detailed universals on adjustment rods and so forth).

Yes ... between the descriptions in the text of the PDF's I downloaded, I have been able to locate the various pumps and lines on the body of the Locomotive.

My main concern was the attachment of the large hoses seen in old photos, and newer photos of some of the large Locomotives, and Canadian Hudsons that are still running.  I have been thinking up some sort of swivel device at least on the front of the Tender attachment.  I think I can fabricate something in this respect.  If not, the magnet idea sounds, well ... pretty sound!  I have several scale sizes of small black rubber tubing to try out for this.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

Again, thanks for all the helpful information!

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Friday, February 10, 2017 7:49 PM

RME
Heater systems, on the other hand, can heat water up to close to the saturation temperature of the boiler water (which, remember, can be above 338 degrees on modern road locomotives) and can recover a significant amount of otherwise-wasted energy by using exhaust steam.

Good luck with that.

To get close to the atmospheric boiling point of 212 F let alone the water/steam saturation temperature that you quote of 339 F at boiler pressure, you probably need some 2-stage scheme, possibly even compound expansion where you divert some of the steam from the intermediate pressure receiver into a feedwater heating stage.

A feedwater heater is helpful in not only reducing fuel consumption  but also reducing the "water rate" by 7-10 percent.  This may reduce fuel consumption by even more because you are placing less demand on the firing rate to the grate and hence may get less carbon caryover up the stack.

But to get anywhere close to the boiler saturation temperature, you may want to employ an "economizer" extracting heat from the flue gases.  There was that Franco-Crosti scheme tried in England and other places that was "Rube Goldberg" and had the added problem that it took too much heat from the flue gases that you got acidic condensation and wrecked equipment.  A much better scheme was devised by Chapelon, I believe, and considered by Wardale for the unfunded 5AT mainline "tourist train" locomotive scheme.  '

You just put a barrier inside the boiler water space to reduce the mixing between the front part of the boiler where the flue gases have cooled a little and the back part of the boiler, and you pump your feedwater into the front part.  That allows the downstream flue gases to give up more of their heat and cool closer to the atmospheric boiling point by heating feedwater below the boiler saturation temperature. 

You don't want to cool the flue gases below the atmospheric boiling point because then you are back to the maintenance problems of the Franco-Crosti system.  A good closed-shell feedwater heater will get the feedwater close to the atmospheric boiling point, and from there the economizer takes over (sometimes also called a "feedwater heater" in descriptions of the Franco-Crosti setup, but the proper term of art for extracting energy from downstream flue gases to raise the temperature of the feedwater is "economizer" ).

Oh, and you probably want a combustion air preheater while you are at it, using heat from exhaust steam just like a feedwater heater and also condensing some of that diverted exhaust steam and achieving additional water rate savings.  You probably cannot preheat the air any closer to the 212 F atmospheric boiling point with exhaust steam than you can preheat feedwater.  But if you can get the intake air closer to 212 F from the bottom end, and if you can get spent flue gas closer to 212 F from the top end in the economizer, you stand to approach 100% boiler heat transfer efficiency (at least with respect to the "low heat value" of the fuel because gosh no, you don't want to start condensing flue gases in a steam engine even though you do that in your home high-efficiency furnace.

In theory, "closed shell" heat exchangers used for either feedwater heating or combustion preheating (never implemented on locomotives but talked about) could go higher than 212 F.  Using check valves, you could receive the "blow down" steam just as the exhaust valve opens at somewhat higher than atmospheric temperature, especially when the engine is working hard at long cutoffs and wide open throttle.  But owing the required temperature differentials in practical heat exchangers, exceeding 212 F deriving heat from cylinder exhaust in a simple-expansion engine is a difficult proposition.

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Posted by RME on Friday, February 10, 2017 9:02 PM

Paul Milenkovic
RME

Good luck with that.

This is an example of what happens when I have two somewhat unrelated things in one sentence and then forget to edit properly before posting...

Rather obviously the amount of heat transferred from exhaust steam (at something like 14-18psi) is not going to be anywhere near saturation at boiler pressure.  As Prof. Milenkovic notes, for this you need a combustion-gas heater (aka 'economizer') which, in turn, requires some form of effective pumping to pressurize the feedwater to keep it from 'steaming' (look up shipboard 'steaming economizers' for a case where that phenomenon might be desirable, and consider the reasons why it would not be on a locomotive).  That system might be a positive-displacement pump or the kind of pitot pump used for some "BFP" applications on once-through/supercritical powerplant boiler setups.

To get close to the atmospheric boiling point of 212 F let alone the water/steam saturation temperature that you quote of 339 F at boiler pressure, you probably need some 2-stage scheme, possibly even compound expansion where you divert some of the steam from the intermediate pressure receiver into a feedwater heating stage.

With the aforementioned point that there is some effective 'superheat' in exhaust steam at 'back pressure' relative to 212F, which allows a somewhat higher temperature from the hot-water pump into the boiler, yes, you'd need bleeds.  However, I doubt there is much to be gained at 'typical' locomotive compounding pressure, contrary to the situation in a good powerplant heat-balance arrangement with bleeds taken directly from turbine interstages to implement both steam reheat and feedwater heat.

Even in a compound arrangement, expect boiler maintenance to become progressively prohibitive as you get much above 310-315psi; I think this would be true even if 'fillet-welded staybolt' installations turn out to work as desired in large North American fireboxes.  Here the interstage (receiver) pressure is not likely to be terrifically high: in fact, I suspect just the opposite procedure is likely to be used (the injection of boiler steam, at working-pressure saturation temp and hence effective superheat, into the receiver proportionally so that the working thrust for the LP balances that from the HP correctly).

A feedwater heater is helpful in not only reducing fuel consumption  but also reducing the "water rate" by 7-10 percent.  This may reduce fuel consumption by even more because you are placing less demand on the firing rate to the grate and hence may get less carbon carryover up the stack.

Note that you need to arrange in a closed FWH to recompress the heat-exchanger condensate to get the water-rate gains.  I think it is much easier to use an open setup where the hot-water pump only has to deal with one 'feed source' that runs at whatever pressure the mix of exhaust steam and tender water develops within the heater, although the necessary venting of air creates a certain unavoidable loss of steam/water too.

The point about reducing firing to a level well short of the grate limit is a good one, related to the principle behind using a large, wide firebox (with full circulators) and all the extra carried weight that construction implies -- it is the primary reason for those six-wheel trailing trucks in Lima designs -- and I want to encourage recognition that the less carryover of any kind is wasted up the stack, or in premature combustion quench producing sooting, the better.

There was that Franco-Crosti scheme tried in England and other places that was "Rube Goldberg" and had the added problem that it took too much heat from the flue gases that you got acidic condensation and wrecked equipment.

Not as Mickey Mouse as it seemed (and part of the answer, if you find it useful to get the thermo gains, is to use dolomite or a similar sulfur-fixing additive in the fuel or make components in the 'cold end' of the gas path out of noncorroding material).  Note that there are advantages in Rankine-cycle recovery of gas-plume heat well below the effective dew point of 'sulfuric' acid compounds.  There's also great advantage (getting a bit ahead here) in incorporating some of the air preheat into the same shell used for countercurrent economizer heating; this may work well for some of the secondary air requirements.

A much better scheme was devised by Chapelon, I believe, and considered by Wardale for the unfunded 5AT mainline "tourist train" locomotive scheme.  You just put a barrier inside the boiler water space to reduce the mixing between the front part of the boiler where the flue gases have cooled a little and the back part of the boiler, and you pump your feedwater into the front part.  That allows the downstream flue gases to give up more of their heat and cool closer to the atmospheric boiling point by heating feedwater below the boiler saturation temperature.

This is one of those Porta things (IIRC he called it part of his 'sectional boiler' approach) that looks really good until you start figuring the differential stress on parts of the boiler and tube/flue system.  Joe Burgard did some good preliminary calculation on this setup for the T1 Trust's locomotive, and the 'leaky partition' winds up being only a couple of feet from the front tubeplate.  When you factor in gas speed and heat transfer at that point in the flow, across that distance, the actual heat drop in the gas and hence the amount of incremental feedwater heating from the arrangement may not be "that" substantial.  What it gives you more of is a controlled way to introduce relatively high feedwater flow (for high steam-generation rate) without shocking the boiler or creating weird internal flow changes in convection-section circulation.

You don't want to cool the flue gases below the atmospheric boiling point because then you are back to the maintenance problems of the Franco-Crosti system.

Let me repeat that the critical gas temperature is nowhere near as low as the atmospheric boiling point of water.  It's the sulfuric acid condensation point, perhaps complicated by presence of SO3, that is the concern.  The problem for any Franco-Crosti heater of 'conventional' design is that different firing levels result in the gas plume reaching this temperature at different points within the heater shell; if the heater is designed 'never' to reach that point even in idling operation, anything close to full output will be throwing away enthalpy at heroic rates...

Oh, and you probably want a combustion air preheater while you are at it, using heat from exhaust steam just like a feedwater heater and also condensing some of that diverted exhaust steam and achieving additional water rate savings...

Actually, what you may do 'best' with is a Snyder preheater, which is essentially a closed heater made out of loops of plain pipe suspended in the primary-air spaces between the ashpan and the water legs.  Exhaust steam here (which is what Snyder proposed to use) should produce air temperature very close to saturation temp at effective back-pressure in the tube circuit at normal primary air flow rates, with little effective need for moving parts.  The setup was tested on C&O in the late Forties, with what I remember as upward of 10% efficiency gain (one thing it does is heat the 'inert' nitrogen component of the primary air without drawing any of the combustion heat from the firebed, a decidedly nontrivial effect).

... if you can get the intake air closer to 212 F from the bottom end, and if you can get spent flue gas closer to 212 F from the top end in the economizer, you stand to approach 100% boiler heat transfer efficiency (at least with respect to the "low heat value" of the fuel because gosh no, you don't want to start condensing flue gases in a steam engine even though you do that in your home high-efficiency furnace.

The 'correct' approach to intake-air preheat (apart from Snyders in the primary airflow), in my opinion, is to use the economizing principle together with direct FGR; this is something that can be facilitated by some of the 'usual' layouts for Franco-Crosti equipment.  It's a little like an 'open FWH' for the combustion air, and the recycled 'spent gas' has the effects noted in powerplant operation, but without the large overhead in weight and packaging volume involved with most FGR arrangements there.

In theory, "closed shell" heat exchangers used for either feedwater heating or combustion preheating (never implemented on locomotives but talked about) could go higher than 212 F.  Using check valves, you could receive the "blow down" steam just as the exhaust valve opens at somewhat higher than atmospheric temperature, especially when the engine is working hard at long cutoffs and wide open throttle.  But owing the required temperature differentials in practical heat exchangers, exceeding 212 F deriving heat from cylinder exhaust in a simple-expansion engine is a difficult proposition.[/quote]

Perhaps a better source -- one that I hadn't really considered -- might be to take the exhaust from actual boiler blowdown, including continuous blowdown, and perform the final stage of feedwater heating, just before admission to the boiler through check valves, with countercurrent flow.

I do not think you can effectively capture the momentary high pressure of compression in most piston-valve setups ... at least, not cost-effectively for the additional level of thermodynamic 'savings' available.  Might be different for a proper arrangement of poppet valves, or if Carter's reversible compression storage arrangement is in operation (you would bleed off the 'high-pressure' steam selectively rather than modulate it back into the cylinder and tract).  I tend to look at compression optimization for smoother running at high speed/high cyclic, so I haven't tinkered with the idea for a fiddly additional bit of thermodynamic enhancement.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Sunday, February 12, 2017 2:21 PM

How do they maintain the purity of the water as to not foul the bolier tubes? There is hard water in coal country.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Monday, February 13, 2017 6:51 PM

CandOforprogress2

How do they maintain the purity of the water as to not foul the bolier tubes? There is hard water in coal country.

 

 

In answer to your two-part question 1) they don't maintain water purity and 2) the water does foul the boiler tubes.

The standard way of dealing with hard water is to use frequent "blow downs" where you discharge water from the boiler so the minerals don't build up too high inside the boiler.  This consumes the coal needed to heat the water that replaces the water that was discharged by blow down.  The second part of this is frequent boiler washdowns to remove as much of the scale as they can, and at some point condemning a boiler and replacing it with a new one.

Another way is to chemically treat the water by adding chemicals to the tender.  The French had this treatment system they called TIA that was said to extend boiler washout intervals and boiler life, and Livio Dante Porta in Argentina developed his own version of it.  Instead of trying to remove the minerals, you use chemicals to keep them in suspension, forming a kind of boiler soup that is said to fight scale formation.

In The Red Devil and Other Tales of the Age of Steam, David Wardale tried to use such a treatment system in South Africa, but it had problems.  This boiler soup will start forming a head of foam unless you have the right kind of anti-foam chemical, and the anti-foam the chemists at the South African Railways dispensed for his locomotive either didn't work or wasn't mixed correctly by the crews.  His book expresses his frustration regarding the resulting "foaming and priming" that served to make the superheater ingesting that water to start leaking.

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Posted by BigJim on Monday, February 13, 2017 7:27 PM

Paul Milenkovic
This boiler soup will start forming a head of foam unless you have the right kind of anti-foam chemical

Funny, when cooking, I just use a small bit of margarine in my pots to keep them from foaming! Wink

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Posted by Dr D on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 12:00 AM

NYC John,

The Lionel 700E model was an example of the New York Central J1e Hudson 4-6-4 locomotive and used an external water pump mounted on a frame bracket just ahead of the rear four wheel locomotive truck - on the firemans side.

This was a bracket cast into the frame extending out behind the rear drive wheel.  Lionel replicated this detail by a small screw and simulated pump mounted through a hole in this bracket.  The detail supply pipes also attached to some degree to simulate the actual pump design.

The Lionel 700E had these details which were eliminated on the more simply detailed Lionel 763E and later 773 post war Hudson locomotives.

Al Staufer in "Thoroughbreds" has some fairly good photos of the system if you know what to look for.

--------------------

I personally was able to work on a similar feed pump on the Pere Marquette Berkshire PM 1225 2-8-4 in East Lansing, MI and later in Owosso, MI.  This was the real feed water system in which a large pipe and tap was located on the front firemans side of the tender.  A shut off valve would allow working on the system without draining the tender.

This large tap - about 5" in diameter was connected to a rubber type flexable hose and on to a similar diameter pipe attached to the left side of the engine and piped to the feed water pump mounted on a similarly designed frame bracket - just ahead of the rear four wheel locomotive truck as discribed above.  I believe the pump was centrifical and was steam powered from the engine. 

Consequently there was a similar output supply pipe system to the feed water heater.  Also steam supply lines to the pump to operate it and also suitable shut off valves to control the pump with operational gauges indicating the pressure.  This was controlled by the fireman.

--------------------------

One of the most spectacular discriptions of the failure of this fairly ordinary water feed system occured with the boiler explosion of a C&O 2-6-6-6 in 1954 I believe.  You can Google the details by looking up the ICC accident report and photos which is still located in the goverment ICC accident investigation site for 1954.

At any rate the engine had repeated failures of the feed water system in service, and was written up by several engine crews.  This system was overhauled repeatedly without remedy.   This ment that the safety of the crew depended on the back up water injection system controlled by the engineer.

The engine was working under power - pulling a coal train - when the low water alarm sounded because of water supply failure - the engineer was trying to get the injector to supply the engine needs and apparently it was also failing.  The engine suddenly blew killing both crew members. 

One railroad witness who observed the accident saw the engine pass by him moments before and heard the low water alarm sounding while both engineer and fireman were hard at work to remedy the problem.  They never knew what hit them! 

A towerman who was watching the train approach simply stated - the engine just blew up.  Why they never jumped is a question never answered.

The locomotive boiler was blown about 1/4 mile down the track.  The locomotive did not derail but the track upon which the train was operating was moved out of alignement - I believe about 6 feet to the side.

C&O paid the widow $10,000 for her loss.

---------------

The feed water system was a simple but highly important part of locomotive design.

- Doc

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Posted by NYC John on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 3:40 PM

Hey Doc,

I appreciate your reponse.  While I appreciate all the in-depth, detailed information contained in the previous responses - which were above my pay grade LOL - you provided an answer I can make something out of.

With the other responses I learned the how, where, and why of water moving from Tender to Locomotive ... most important and informative.  It also helped me look for the parts that are included on the model ... the feedwater pump and injector ... well, on the NYC Hudsons they were located under a panel door on the side of the boiler.

What I needed, and unfortunately guess I didn't make clear in my original post, was ... what was connected to the hoses in their connection to both Lcomotive and tender.  However, from the technical explanations, and your model explanation, I have really been able to put two and two together, and come up with the understanding needed to make this connection happen.

I have seen the photo in "Thoroughbreds" where the hoses connected on the Hudsons, and after finding some of the current, out-of-service AT&SF Hudsons, clearer color photos have assisted even more!  Now granted, they differ some from the NYC Hudsons, but the connections are what are important to their recreation in miniature.

AT&SF Hudson on display at L.A. County Fairgrounds - Pomona,CA - 07-11-14

Canadian Pacific Railway #2860 Royal Hudson - 01-16-10

Actual NYC Hudson details

Power Live Steam Hose

Steam Exhaust Hose

NYC J-1 Hudson - Water Hose Close-up

It's just a matter of personal pride to 1.-Learn all I can about the real thing, and 2.-Recreate these features in my model Steam Locomotives.  

Finding photographic information regarding the J-611 and Big Boy - my other two Steamers - is MUCH easier, as these two are still around and well-documeneted photographically!

So, from here on, I feel I am well on my way to finalizing hose details and such on my BLI NYC J-1e Hudson ... without making it an actual steam powered Locomotive! Wink  LOL!!!

Thanks again to all who offered up useful, and in-depth information!

 

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Posted by NYC John on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 11:02 PM

"The Mighty NYC Hudson" ... a vintage film, shows all the goodies discussed here, including testing and treatment of the water!  A fascinating old film!

RME
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Posted by RME on Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:47 AM

Dr D
A towerman who was watching the train approach simply stated - the engine just blew up. Why they never jumped is a question never answered.

The likely reason for the prompt explosion was the presence of Nicholson syphons.

You may remember that these were touted as 'helping prevent crownsheet failures in low water' by pumping water via the syphon effect from the throats over the crownsheet.  What actually happens is that the water flows randomly over the crownsheet, with the Leidenfrost effect active, continuously partially quenching the waterside of the crown sheet in random patterns that may then be rapidly heat-cycled.  This is a recipe for prompt and effective crownsheet failure on a scale that propagates dramatically fast once it starts anywhere.

The crew was likely dead before any recognition, let alone any pain signals, made it up the nerves to the brain.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:57 PM

Dr D

One of the most spectacular discriptions of the failure of this fairly ordinary water feed system occured with the boiler explosion of a C&O 2-6-6-6 in 1954 I believe.  You can Google the details by looking up the ICC accident report and photos which is still located in the goverment ICC accident investigation site for 1954.

At any rate the engine had repeated failures of the feed water system in service, and was written up by several engine crews.  This system was overhauled repeatedly without remedy.   This ment that the safety of the crew depended on the back up water injection system controlled by the engineer.

The engine was working under power - pulling a coal train - when the low water alarm sounded because of water supply failure - the engineer was trying to get the injector to supply the engine needs and apparently it was also failing.  The engine suddenly blew killing both crew members. 

One railroad witness who observed the accident saw the engine pass by him moments before and heard the low water alarm sounding while both engineer and fireman were hard at work to remedy the problem.  They never knew what hit them! 

A towerman who was watching the train approach simply stated - the engine just blew up.  Why they never jumped is a question never answered.

The locomotive boiler was blown about 1/4 mile down the track.  The locomotive did not derail but the track upon which the train was operating was moved out of alignement - I believe about 6 feet to the side.

C&O paid the widow $10,000 for her loss.

---------------

The feed water system was a simple but highly important part of locomotive design.

- Doc

http://specialcollection.dotlibrary.dot.gov/Document?db=DOT-RAILROAD&query=(select+4157)

If you read through the contents of 'Locomotive Inspections' http://specialcollection.dotlibrary.dot.gov/Contents

you will find reports of a number of boiler explosions for various reasons - as well as a few 'broken rod' accidents.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Dr D on Monday, February 20, 2017 12:57 AM

BaltADC,

Thanks for the accident report citations on the Department of Transportation files of Intersate Commerse Commission ICC.

--------------------

Being a New York Central fan I was quite interested in reading the accident reports from that railroad filed at the very end of steam locomotive operation in the United States.  Only about three or four accidents involving steam locomotives happened on the New York Central after the year 1950. 

One of the most heroic occured near Oneida, NY about two months after I was born in October 19th, 1950.  Apparently, a full 11 car Pullman passenger train #21 northbound pulled by NYC 5422 a J3 4-6-4 "Hudson" locomotive wrecked at high speed!

I mean this accident was right out of the "Twilight Zone!"  Apparently the 11 car passenger train consisting of a baggage car a combination coach baggage car another coach and two pullmans followed by a second coach and five more pullmans running at over 80 mph. 

At about 1:30AM - passenger train 21 on track 1 followed and passed a 126 car NYC freight train Extra 3124 West going the same way on track 3. 

An empty automobile boxcar #9103 owned by C.&W.C. Railroad built in 1919 - decided at a very inopertune moment - to drop a defective boxcar door.  Right onto the mainline track in the path of the speeding "Hudson" locomotive and its passenger train No 21.

Well the "Hudson" hit the boxcar door at 83 mph which went under the pilot - aka cowcatcher - after traveling 53 feet and derailed the front truck at speed.  Which front 4 wheel locomotive truck grabbed the fallen boxcar door and drove it down the track where the friction cut the door into three pieces.  500 feet from the impact with the door the train went into emergency - the middle piece then got under the locomotive drive wheels derailing the speeding locomotive now slowed to 60 mph and throwing it on its left side and killing the engineer and fireman and derailing 10 cars and wrecking the train 2,000 feet from first impact.

A train traveling at 80 mph covers 120 ft per second.  Within 1/2 second the door had derailed the front truck - within 3 seconds the engine was on its side and came to a stop at 2000 feet within what? ten seconds?  Night time obstruction on the track 10 seconds to live!

----------------

Just imagine this - you work your entire career and become a NYC passenger engineer - then in one ordinary trip with the passenger consist running at high speed on the 4 track mainline "like a swiss watch" at 80 per - the headlight suddently flashes on a maroon boxcar door on the track ahead - and before you can throw the brakes and shut the throttle the whole shebang goes on its side killing you and your fireman! and sending you to the "promised land" and 9 others to the hospital!

---------

Unbelievable story about the common and unremembered dangers of RAILROADING!

Anyone got a picture of 4-6-4  J3 "Hudson" NYC 5422?

------------

- Doc

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Monday, February 20, 2017 6:28 AM

Yikes

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Posted by NYC John on Monday, February 20, 2017 11:09 PM

CandOforprogress2

How do they maintain the purity of the water as to not foul the bolier tubes? There is hard water in coal country.

 

While they chemically treated the water as best they could, as needed, I have learned that there was a "strainer" at the end of the hose that lead the water to the boiler.  I can only guess this - as most strainers - kept out any pieces of heavy sediment and/or rust flakes that made their way through the hoses.  This kept that 'junk' out of the boiler.

The strainer is seen at the juncture of the water hose and the suction pipe in this vintage NYC Hudson photo ...

And seen here too, in this photo of the juncture of the water hose and the suction pipe, on an AT&SF #3450 ... 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, February 20, 2017 11:36 PM

Water - and the costs of treating and maintaing a supply where it was needed is one of the overlooked costs that spelled doom for continued steam operation.  With the size of most tenders, two tanks of water were needed for every single load of fuel.  YMMV.  Tank towns were more numerous than tipple towns.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7:46 AM

As most of us know, water was one of the reasons that Santa Fe was so anxious to dieselize.  Consider that Santa Fe had to haul every drop of water into Hackberry AZ to support steam operations.  FT's must have looked like a gift from heaven in such a situation.

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 Dr D on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:04 PM

QUESTIONS ASKED AND ANSWERED - water water everywhere and not a drop to drink!

-----------------

"Water supply from the tender" - and consequent danger of not getting this. The following story from Alvin Staufer's Thoroughbreds -

Joseph N Merchant, Framingham, Mass.

"Yes I fired the 600's (NYC J2 "Hudson" 4-6-4) from 1939-1942.  I fired for Fred Bennet on Train 26, The 20th Century Limited (New England State after 1938) for over a year out of Boston to Springfield and return on Train 40 to Boston.  We never had a failure!  I was set up in January 1942 and stayed on the spare board until after the war.  I had the pleasure of running the 600's many trips while on the spare board."

"I remember one night Train 26 came into Springfield station over 12 hours late.  the temperature was near zero.  There was a bad snow storm out through New York State with high drifts and cold weather which delayed the train.  When Train 26 came into Springfield station it was about 2 a.m.  The traveling engineer helped us clean the fire and we finally left town.  Going up Springfield hill, we discovered the water pump was not putting water in the boiler; the supply line was frozen.  I immediately put on my injector and blew steam back through the supply hose to keep it thawed out.  It was so cold the ceiling of the cab was white with frost.  We finally made it without loosing any time from Springfield to Boston."

"I really enjoyed running this class of engine.  It was so nice and easy to operate and could get a train over the road beautifully.  When the Change-over was made from the 600's to big Diesels, we seemed to loose interest in railroading but we had to keep up with progress."

"My railroad service was from 1912 to 1957."

--------------------------

NYC 5422 -

Regarding the wreck of NYC J3 "Hudson" 5422 in Oneida, NY in October 1950.  Alvin Staufer in Throroughbreds has a picture of the wrecked locomotive with caption that "We have no details of this accident..."  This lost story has finally been told in this Trains Magazine Forum post this week!

NYC 5422 was wrecked by hitting a box car door at 80 mph.  The engine went on its side.  The Staufer photo taken by Ed Nowak of the New York Central Railroad photographic department shows why the engineer and fireman were killed.  The left side of the cab was entirely torn off in the wreck.  Likely both enginemen fell into the disintigrating cab and thus under the wrecking train and engine.  (Staufer p.254)

A photo of NYC 5422 in "brand new as built" condition is also included in Thoroughbreds on page 180 pulling the Albany Express in Peekskill, New York.  In happier days.  Yes we have here the un-noted birth and death of a New York Central J3 "Hudson" 5422.

As famous 1940's radio broadcaster Edward R. Morrow would say - "And now you have - the rest of the story!"

--------------

- Doc

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:02 PM

Dr D
As famous 1940's radio broadcaster Edward R. Morrow would say - "And now you have - the rest of the story!"

--------------
- Doc

Thought it was Paul Harvy that became famous with 'the rest of the story!'

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

RME
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Posted by RME on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:53 PM

Yes, but his name was Paul HARVEY ... and the broadcaster was Edward R. MURROW. 

Sure, the names sound almost the same as misspelled when you hear them on the radio or on TV soundtrack, and maybe it doesn't matter any more in this age of faux news, but Murrow is almost the archetype of what a broadcast journalist should be, and Harvey had one of the longest careers in the field.

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Posted by NYC John on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:55 PM

BaltACD

 

 
Dr D
As famous 1940's radio broadcaster Edward R. Morrow would say - "And now you have - the rest of the story!"

--------------
- Doc

 

Thought it was Paul Harvy that became famous with 'the rest of the story!'

 

Yes, it was ... "Paul Harvey - Good day!" Wink

"Good night, and good luck." Edward R. Murrow
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/edward_r_murrow.html

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Posted by Dr D on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:31 PM

"The rest of the story" -

Ok you guys jogged my aging memory - It was my great aunt who was a Christian Scientist who would listen to Paul Harvey at about 1PM every summer day when I stayed at her Mullet Lake farm in the summer - would listen to Paul when we ate lunch.

Within sight of the NYC main line - I loved that farm on the lake!

Yah I could hear the steam whistle of "Hudson" and "Mohawk" all day long and just go out the kitchen door to the front road and watch steam pass down at the crossing every day.  If I went up in her corn field - on the hill behind the out house I could watch the NYC pass in review behind the farm.

I particularly remember the B-Liner - RDC rail car with baggage and coach - M497 New York Central.  Man, I thought that slick stainless steel streamline passenger car was the "Way of the Future."  I was sure the Central had a hit there!  Little did I know that Al Perlman with his "surly" train crew was on his way to shrinking the Central into oblivion.

One comforting fact I eventually found out - was that Perlman in an act of incredulity took that stainless steel RDC M497 - my beloved rail car and mounted a couple of Westinghouse Jet engines on the roof and set a NYC rail speed record of 183.68 mph with it between Butler, Indiana and Stryker, Ohio on July 23, 1966. 

NYC got experimental on us just before its demise.  Yah they should have preserved that M497 Budd rail car too - but instead just scrapped it - with all the rest of the famous NYC power for the "Great Steel Fleet."

--------------------

Well, my aunt Prudence Ferris Powers - was her name - she was born in 1897 - had a collage education when few women did and taught school in the one room country school house - all 8 grades in one room - and took no sass from anyone!  She had a stare that would put the
fear of God" in you!  She had no children but "adopted" me in the summers - what a great place to grow up - her missing kid! 

Well she would always listen to Paul Harvey at noon - and his heroic human interest storys which always concluding with the famous line "And Now You Know - The Rest of the Story!" 

Man, I should have remembered that!

Radio broadcaster Walter Winchell was famous for the line "Good Evening Mr. and Mrs. America and All the Ships At Sea!" in his evening radio broadcast.  He could make or break a politician with his pointed acidic commentary - talk about media spin - Trump has no idea what Walter Winchell held over America!

-----------------

Edward R. Morrow was famous for "This Is London" during World War II and also for "Good Night and Good Luck!"  Morrow was famous for radio and early television where he was a national figure for several decades. Morrow was known for his courage and honisty.

Thanks for the memories guys -

Doc

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Posted by NYC John on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:54 PM

Hey Doc,

Thank YOU for YOUR memories!  It reads like a scene from a wonderful movie!  Man, I envy memories like that!  Me ... I had one of the most dysfunctional families I knew of!  Staying with one of my aunts was a summer escape for me ... but it was in a Queens, NY apartment complex. Confused  Back then we didn't have the term 'dysfunctional' ... we just called it f---ked up!  No wonder so many movies and early TV shows were such a means of escape!Hmm   

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:18 AM

New York Central's RDC's were called "Beeliners" and were listed as such in the Official Guide.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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