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Steam Engine equipment

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  • Member since
    April 2003
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Steam Engine equipment
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2003 2:56 PM
Who can tell me what the valves or vents on the bottom of the cylinder's are for? Generally these are not found on model locos, unless added or the loco is done in brass. Some of my video tapes show these valves venting steam, and this appears especially at low speeds. I have both Westcott's Steam Locomotive Cyclopedia and Kalmbach's Guide to North American Steam Locomotives. Niether of these books descibe these valves. Also, what is a good book describing the actual operation of a steam loco, from either the Engineer and/or Fireman's point of view?

DeSchane
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2003 4:29 PM
I'm pretty sure that those valves you're reffering to are drain valves for the steam cylinders. As the steam cools it turns to water which can accumulate in the cylinder. Water doesn't compress so in theory if enough water is in the cylinder, the front of the cylinder could blow off as the piston compresses it.
Ed
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 31, 2003 7:08 PM
Gladhand has it right. They're called "cylinder cocks" and are operated by the engineer to vent condesate to the atmosphere.
  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Monday, November 3, 2003 7:49 AM
If you ever see an excursion steam locomotive start out you'll see these valves in action. For general info on steam locomotives I recommend the Linn Westcott book from Kalmbach. It is pricey but I see them on sale at swap meets from time to time
Dave Nelson
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    September 2002
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Posted by ndbprr on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 4:09 PM
When a steam engine starts the cyliners are cold and cause condensation to form. Water will not compress and the clearance of the piston head to the cylinder head has caused some engines to blow the cylinder head off the engine from the compression. These valves offer a way to heat the cylinder and vent the water. There is an additional valve on some engines or those can be used to equalize steam flow to both sides of the piston. If an engine has a slightly leaking throttle valve it can walk away at a pace no one can see from going through the steam cycle. By opening a connecting pipe to both side of the piston the pressure builds up equally and the steam engine stays put. On the PRR these are the star shaped items on the steam delivery pipe above the cylinder chest and are called snifter valves.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 17, 2003 11:23 PM
Trains mag, early 90s, had an article about running UP 3985, exactly what happened, etc. It's worth a look.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 19, 2003 7:38 PM
you want to learn all there is about firing a steam loco, or operating it? if you live near a tourist line that runs steam excursion trains, you can learn all about firing and operating a steam locomotive by becoming a volunteer part-time helper. you get around trainmen, ask the right questions, and then wonder how you will ever get them to quit talking. you can learn all you want to about the care and keeping of steam locomotives.

tom
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 19, 2003 11:17 PM
And the next thing you know...you're addicted to it.

--John
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    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 19, 2003 11:26 PM
Then you'll finagle a ride the cab shoveling coal....
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 6:34 PM
And the fireman will show you how to read the water glass, and how to blow it down... and the engineer will show how the water level is judged by using the tri-cocks....
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: WV
  • 1,249 posts
Posted by coalminer3 on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 8:20 AM
Some road's steam locomotives had cyclinder cocks arranged so that they would exhaust under the locomotive rather than to the sides.

work safe

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