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Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:06 pm
by Marty_Knox
Kimball McGinley wrote:have you ever seen anybody towing an extra car of coal behind them?
I used to run with a hopper full of coal right behind the tender.
BRP 20.jpg

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:18 pm
by NP317
I totally understand and respect Mike's explanation for his decision. I also understand marketing.
That said, I chose propane for fuel in order to operate at any live steam track in the western US region.

Having rebuilt, maintained and operated 4 full-sized oil-burning steam locomotives, I also admit to having zero desire to replicate the oil/coal smoke, soot, and maintenance required for a miniature locomotive! This is solely my decision, with full appreciation of the fun of operating oil/coal locomotives.

As much as I would enjoy meeting vendors in person, I always feel free to email/call/etc. for contact, thanking the internet for what it offers in communications.
It is more important for the vendors to stay in business, employing any means necessary to do that.

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:13 pm
by chiloquinruss
"I received a call from a manufacturer that deeply concerns me and I would like to know how to answer this kind of situation in the future. We love to have manufacturers at our bigger meets. However we have had to limit our steamers to propane only because of extreme fire danger most of the operating season. This manufacturer regrettably will no longer come to our propane only meets." This is my original posting. I said IT DEEPLY CONCERNS ME, I also said that this manufacturer REGRETTABLY won't be coming back. These are my true feelings I am concerned and will regrettably miss having Mike here in the future.

I want to publicly thank Mike sincerely for coming on board and stating it was him that called. Little Engines is a great vendor to our hobby and Mike is also a straight up guy who is also good for our hobby.

I know the financial implications of coming to one of our Triennials. I was on the committee for the 2000 IBLS as the Vendor Chairman and have been for every major event since then. So I realize what an investment is required, not to mention the unaccountable loss due to being out of their shop for such a long period of time.

Those that have taken the time to explain their positions here have not gone on deaf ears. I have copied every posting and even the fire breathing emails I received as PM's. These will be presented to our BOD next week and also to the fire chief and the local forestry service.

I agree we should take another look at trying to come up with a workable, safe Southside running compromise, if at all possible.

I really do want to thank all of you for answering my posting, as I have said before it is much appreciated. Russ

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:54 pm
by Smokey N Steamer
Glenn Brooks wrote:
Smokey N Steamer wrote:
Glenn Brooks wrote:Our local club near Seattle also has had to adopt a propone only policy also, because of seasonal fire danger. Around Seattle the outlying suburban areas are intermingled in northwest spruce forests. Our local fire department for years now, worries about the nightmare scenario of a summer fire crowning out in the tree tops and burning out 100,000 to 200,000 people, or more, in the space of a few hours. Very serious worry throughout the summer...

Which one is that, Glenn? Kitsap or the GN&C?

Great Northern allows coal- Kitsap LS is propane only.


Aww, that's a shame. Maybe the in-progress Rainier LS and the proposed track in Bainbridge Island are coal/oil-friendly.

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:55 am
by JohnHudak
Russ, When the wife and I visited both the Durango and Silverton, and the Cumbres and Toltec RR's We noticed a "fire" train following the regular trains about a half mile or so behind them.. Basically a speeder towing a trailer that had two large water tanks strapped to it.. I was told that it follows each train to keep an eye out for fires started by the locomotives.. Maybe something could be done like this at TM..? Along with two or three paid firemen from the local fire department.. Teach them how to operate the fire trains, and let them run around the track.. I'm sure paying these firemen wouldn't be a huge burden for the club with as many visitors you get, I'd think you're only talking about a few dollars more for every coal operated steamer who want's to run.. Just a thought..

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:45 am
by chiloquinruss
a "fire" train following the regular trains - Maybe something could be done like this at TM. 2015 Triennial, 109 steamers, 37 miles of track of which over 20 miles of it is mainline. I think we would need a few more volunteers! :D

Like I said I will pass along all of the feedback from here along with other data I have been gathering to our BOD and we will go from there. Once again thank you all. Russ

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:58 pm
by cbrew
I always joked about a small herd of goats will take care of the issue also :)

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:30 pm
by Greg_Lewis
I would not fault TM if they decide to keep the policy in place. It's hard for folks who live in wetter climates to understand how quickly a fire can spread in dry brush. I've seen it first-hand and it's very scary to see how fast flames can move in 60 seconds. And TM could face a tremendous legal and financial liability for anything that got out of control.

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:55 pm
by Fender
I will say that this past summer at Eagle Point the fire danger was extremely high, and there were many wildfires in our area. Very unusually dry for our area. Our club did not officially change our policy, but out of prudence I didn't fire up my coal burner, even though it has a spark arrestor.

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:48 pm
by Smokey N Steamer
Part of me believes TM and Kitsap's adoption of "propane-only" policies are the consequences of the clubs being in one of the most politically correct, arch-liberal and environment/climate change conscious region of the county. A coal dealer in our state is about as common as a VCR in the 1970's. Locals react to any fossil-fuel related activity in their region as if a cylinder of pure uranium managed to get out of a nuclear reactor and end up in an urban or suburban neighborhood. And word on the street is that our governor's ultimate motive is to put a statewide ban on all export hydrocarbon traffic so as to combat climate change.

So if any of my fellow Pacific Northwesterners want to continue to pursue the live-steam hobby in the area, you're going to have to start worrying. You maybe not be able to operate a coal-fired live steam engine anywhere in the PNW in the near future, all because of some BS like this!

Just my two cents.

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:58 pm
by chiloquinruss
So here is the rest of the story. The ONLY way we can run ANY vehicle in a PRIVATE forest in Oregon during the summer season is on a graveled road. If you look at any of the many pictures of Train Mountain you will notice our ballasted track is 8 feet wide for single track and 12 feet wide for double track, IE a graveled road. Also little ol' Oregon is ranked #2 forested state only second to Alaska. Therefore OUR rules will be different than other states. BTW the state with the highest wildfire rate in the US is Texas. During fire level extreme and protection level 4 you are required by state and federal law to carry the following Fire Fighting Equipment; 1 Shovel with an 8” wide blade and a handle of at least 26”, 1 double-bit axe or a Pulaksi with a 2lb head and 26” handle, a 2.5lb fire extinguisher and one gallon of water. This includes in your pickup, or your atv, or your whatever. Train Mountain has this equipment in stocked gondolas for members use during those extreme times. We have had two fires in our 30 year history and are not looking forward to any more.

Once again my original post was not directly about our state mandated fire rules but about are there any of the parts interchangeable between a coal fired steamer and a propane fired steamer. To those that answered my original post thank you.

BTW the most coal / oil fired steamers at ANY Train Mountain meet was less than 15% of ALL steamers present at that meet (5% of all attendees), so I think live steam in the Pacific Northwest is still in good shape. Russ

Re: Question: parts for a steamer

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:24 pm
by NP317
For many years Kitsap Live Steamers, and the British Columbia Society of Mechanical Engineers (BCSME track is in Burnaby) have been a hot bed of propane burner development. (All puns intended.) I believe that -more than other reason- is responsible for the plethora of propane-burning steam locomotives in the NW.
Politics has nothing to do with this. We're talking about the Live Steam fraturnity.