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What is this trackside release?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Northern New Mexico
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What is this trackside release?
Posted by rjemery on Monday, May 5, 2008 7:19 PM

Please refer to the photo (1.4 MB) at http://rjemery.googlepages.com/Lamb-AlamoofSteam.jpg

The photo was scanned from page 33 of Steel Wheels Rolling: A Personal Journey of Railroad Photography by J. Parker Lamb, 2001,  Boston Mills Press, ISBN 1-55046-331-4.

I'm curious as to what is being released by this rolling N&W locomotive at trackside.  It appears to be steam.  I would appreciate any one knowledgeable about steam locomotive operations explaining to me what is depicted in this photograph.  Thanks.

 

RJ Emery near Santa Fe, NM

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Posted by dldance on Monday, May 5, 2008 9:37 PM

Most likely it is steam from the dynamo (generator) - but since it looks to me like there are two sources of steam, the other one is most likely steam from the whistle warning the photographer to pay attention.  The safety valves are at the same location - but if those are venting the steam shoot much higher as it is under greater pressure.  The whistle and the dynamo both issue used, cooler steam with much less pressure.

dd

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2:31 AM
 dldance wrote:

Most likely it is steam from the dynamo (generator) - but since it looks to me like there are two sources of steam, the other one is most likely steam from the whistle warning the photographer to pay attention.  The safety valves are at the same location - but if those are venting the steam shoot much higher as it is under greater pressure.  The whistle and the dynamo both issue used, cooler steam with much less pressure.

dd

The Y's whistle is located on the side of the steam dome, and the four (count 'em) safeties are directly behind the steam dome.  Look directly above the third handrail stanchion, where the whistle is definitely NOT releasing steam.  The generator exhaust is all over the front of the cab, possibly due to the speed of the wind over the locomotive.

Down along the railhead, the forward plume looks like a leaking cylinder drain.  Exactly what the several drain tubes at the front of the firebox might be connected to, deponent saith not.  The steam plume farthest aft looks as if it's coming from the vicinity of the stoker engine.

Operating steam locomotives could vent steam from a remarkable number of places, including some that weren't supposed to.

Chuck

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Posted by rjemery on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 3:07 AM

If this locomotive truly is a Y6b, shouldn't the wheel arrangement be 2-8-8-4?  I count 2-6-6-4, making it a Class A.  Compare with  http://spec.lib.vt.edu/imagebase/vahist/03VT/screen/03NS0005.jpg

 

RJ Emery near Santa Fe, NM

  • Member since
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  • From: Southwest US
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Posted by tomikawaTT on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 8:23 AM
 rjemery wrote:

If this locomotive truly is a Y6b, shouldn't the wheel arrangement be 2-8-8-4?  I count 2-6-6-4, making it a Class A.  Compare with  http://spec.lib.vt.edu/imagebase/vahist/03VT/screen/03NS0005.jpg

This locomotive truly is a Y6b 2-8-8-2 - note the humongous, "Looks like it has mumps," front cylinders.  The front driver of the lead engine is just to the left of the rail joint, and the rear driver of the rigid engine is behind that collection of drains.  The arrangement of pipes, tanks and pumps is an exact match for the photo of 2171 in MR Cyclopedia - Volume 1, STEAM LOCOMOTIVES.

Also, the boiler-tube pilot is a giveaway.  The A's had sheet metal pilots with concealed front couplers.  The final nail is the clearly-visible number.  An A would have a 1200-series number.  The 2100 series was filled out with Y's, and anything above 2171 was a Y6b.

There's more to locomotive-spotting than counting not-too-visible wheels.

Chuck

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Posted by dldance on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 7:41 PM
 tomikawaTT wrote:
 dldance wrote:

Most likely it is steam from the dynamo (generator) - but since it looks to me like there are two sources of steam, the other one is most likely steam from the whistle warning the photographer to pay attention.  The safety valves are at the same location - but if those are venting the steam shoot much higher as it is under greater pressure.  The whistle and the dynamo both issue used, cooler steam with much less pressure.

dd

The Y's whistle is located on the side of the steam dome, and the four (count 'em) safeties are directly behind the steam dome.  Look directly above the third handrail stanchion, where the whistle is definitely NOT releasing steam.  The generator exhaust is all over the front of the cab, possibly due to the speed of the wind over the locomotive.

Down along the railhead, the forward plume looks like a leaking cylinder drain.  Exactly what the several drain tubes at the front of the firebox might be connected to, deponent saith not.  The steam plume farthest aft looks as if it's coming from the vicinity of the stoker engine.

Operating steam locomotives could vent steam from a remarkable number of places, including some that weren't supposed to.

Chuck

I just looked at the obvious - not a track side.  I agree with your assessment.  I know about leaks where there are not supposed to be leaks.  One of our steamers has a bad check valve and we are getting a little steam leakage there.

dd

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  • From: Roanoke, VA
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Posted by BigJim on Thursday, May 8, 2008 4:51 AM

The A's had sheet metal pilots with concealed front couplers. 

Yes, they did, however, the original A's were built with boiler tube pilots. The cast pilots came later.

And yes the picture is Y6b #2183. Didn't anyone read the caption below the picture?

.

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