Hi Bill,Bill Shields wrote:Do you guys find that a steamer is more or less efficient in cold weather...or cannot tell one way or another?.
One of the joys of living here are the four seasons. You can't fight or ignore winter so you might as well learn to enjoy it and this applies to live steaming.
Like many clubs, a few of us hearty (or foolish) souls like to run in the winter. This is not new in Montreal nor unique to MLS but we sometimes take it to extremes.
One year the snow was so deep that we couldn't drive in to our club so we placed the engines and tool boxes on toboggans and pulled everything in. There were a couple of drifts up to the rails on the highline!
The coldest running was two years ago when we ran two steamers on New Year's Eve on Bernie Grow's backyard track. It was -16˚C with a stiff windchill (about 3˚F + windchill) and engineers lasted about 20 minutes max before handing off the throttles to the next.
The biggest problem was any drop of water that hit the rail froze almost instantly and made traction challenging. Lizzzy's 0-6-0 did very well as the feedwater was always heated to piping hot (Anyone care for a cup of tea?).
The DB Atlantic brought over by James Scott had some issues with freezing tender hoses IF she was kept idle for too long. This engine was built with a small steam heat pipe through the mechanical lubricator. Neat!
The engines steamed well but I feel that it is wind more than air temperature that challenges the engineer.
Visibility is always a problem at colder temperatures but at least your beer stays cold.
Here are a few photos from Jan. 10/07 at Montreal. Who else runs in the cold? Let's see your photos too!