Shortest steam up in history

Discuss park gauge trains and large scale miniature railways having track gauges from 8" to 24" gauge and designed at scales of 2" to the foot or greater - whether modeled for personal use, or purpose built for amusement park operation or private railroading.

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Topics may include: antique park gauge train restoration, preservation, and history; building new grand scale equipment from scratch; large scale miniature railway construction, maintenance, and safe operation; fallen flags; track, gauge, and equipment standards; grand scale vendor offerings; and, compiling an on-line motive power roster.
Glenn Brooks
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Shortest steam up in history

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:59 am

Or, you could say “Railroading for the Busy Executive”. busy schedule? No time for Railroading? Just grab a shot of air. 2 minutes before dinner! Nothing to it.

https://youtu.be/YNsoHdz7NWU

Actually, I set up the boiler for a shot of air to test out my check valve repair and got the fun idea to see if the Loco would actually run down the track with 100 pounds from the air pump. 5 minutes start to finish. A lot quicker than firing for 2 hours and running till the coal burns out.

What fun!

Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

James Powell
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by James Powell » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:09 am

We had you beat with steam. Record was about 30 seconds to engine running, 90 seconds to having nothing left. Coal fired too... (well, charcoal for that short a stint...the coal never even caught fire).

How? Abner's coal fired flash plant. 2 loops of 1/4" tubing, outer was Stainless, inner was copper. 1 rather thick shell with about a 1/4" water space. Flood superheater with water. Fill box via chute with finely broken charcoal soaked in gasoline. Put blower on top. Drop lit match down chute. Open valve, flick over engine. Close pump bypass. Hope for pressure to stable at less than 175 PSI, and temp at lower than anneal safety valve. (we learned, put the safety valve on the inlet of the superheater...)

It was a little bit _wild_ of a plant to operate, but fun...

James

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Bill Shields
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by Bill Shields » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:15 am

Really inspiring video.

I have seen more than one 'steamer under construction' going around a track, dragging an IC powered air compressor on a flat car.

It's a good (and cool) way to troubleshoot all sorts of problems.

There are very few things less manageable than a hot steam locomotive.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:55 am

James and Bill- :D
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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steamin10
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by steamin10 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:26 pm

Outstanding!

In a famous monster movie, the wild face declares "ITS ALIVE!!!"

I would have too much temptation to play at this point. Steam or no steam.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

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NP317
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by NP317 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:22 pm

Glenn:
THAT was FUNNY!
~RN

rkcarguy
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by rkcarguy » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:25 pm

I like it, maybe the answer to my fast fire steam question...cheat and don't have steam sometimes lol:)
How much air compressor HP would one need to run a steamer though?
Question for you Glenn, how are the condition of your valves?

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:39 pm

Ryan, good question re : compressor HP . Short answer is I don’t know. You can run a fairly large live steam Loco at 40 PSI, so long as it’s not pulling anything. Might be a question to post on the live steam page. Plenty of folk have run their locos on air.

I suppose one could calculate air consumption according to PSI and volume of the cylinders. Then figure out how many pounds of air you would need for sustained operation. But that’s way to complicated for my needs.

Also. There are some legitimate air power locos around, where all,this has been engineered. tommynThompsons Loco in Anacortes started life as a compressed air Loco as I recall...

Don’t know what shape the valves are in, as I haven’t lifted the covers to look. However assume they are original - 68 years old... The Loco starts from a dead stop easily in the third notch, so I am assuming pretty good shape - although the ‘bark’ is more of a swoosh during my first three firings.

Glenn

Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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Bill Shields
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by Bill Shields » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:38 am

the fellows that I have seen run are doing it on a lot less than 40 HP.

I don't know exactly, but I would guess 5 HP or less....with no load drawbar load except the compressor on a flat car

James Powell
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by James Powell » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:39 am

Marie & Charlie Meyer's had HOSS (4077), which was one of the ex Hosmer (BC) Porter Air engines, I think they used a compressor towed behind rather than a HP system. That is a 3' gauge railway- it was for sale in the Dells, Micheal their son posted about it on here. I'd suspect you would need about 5 HP like Bill figures, to be able to cover the losses. I know my 4" Traction can be moved around with my 1.5 HP (15 amps) compressor, but it's a just thing. It won't run all the time on that, at least not to move it about. That's moving about 1800 lb, so I'd guess that 5 HP would be enough to do a decent job of motivating.

I know that there have been some 7.x gauge locos built specific to run on air, I think one was featured on here as well. 2-8-4, I think, I want to say GA, and owned by a lawyer ? Again, from memory, something like a 11 HP Honda engine was used at the far end of the train to drive the compressor, then it plumbed through to the engine.

I'm also aware of the use of dry ice to produce CO2 powered 2.5" gauge engines...another interesting inefficient way of doing things :)

James

rkcarguy
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by rkcarguy » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:10 pm

I noticed that it didn't have the crisp break I've heard in some steam locomotives, might need a lap job. Then again though, you don't have much for grades there and I'm a fan of the "if it isn't broke don't fix it" saying:)
I was thinking maybe 5-8HP would do it for a compressor, I'll have to weigh my options and see which way I want to go once I'm up and running.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Shortest steam up in history

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:12 pm

Ryan, several other people commented on this as well.

I opened up the steam chests today and found the lead was around 3/16” or better. So adjusted the D valve to close that down on both sides, and it sounds a bit more crisp.

The exhaust ports at the petticoat are large as well, around 3/16th as well, or more. So a lot of volume of steam can be exhausted each stroke. But the cylinders are large, 2 3/4” x 4” so a lot of volume to move.

Also opened the front of the cylinders to look for signs the rings aren’t working properly. Nothing unusual jumped out at me, and of course the cylinders and piston are fairly tight, so short of pulling the piston, really didn’t see anything amiss.

Put it back together and am going to run it again in a day or so, see if adjusting the d valve and lead made any difference. I am not inclined to chase possibly imaginary problems without some solid indication something is amiss.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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