Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

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johnpenn74
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Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by johnpenn74 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:40 pm

As I opened the most recent copy of TM Gazette I got to wondering about the upcoming 2018 Triennial and made a quick thoughts about attending. Sadly the answer is no, as I am all grates and solid fuel. Oh well,...

But this led me to ask the question, why isn't there a single run, once a year for solid fuel/ oil types at TM?

I retreated the video archive where I recall watching an old video by Jack Lucks where he makes mention of "fire watch positions" at GVLS in California. Pretty sure they had fire issues and this was done in order to make sure no incident occured or got out of control. I even recall being put on watch on the WB&S and make the hourly lap on the 00 to check potential problems. Seems to work there also..

Sure TM is bigger but is it beyond our faculty to staff, spot, and intercept fire? Does this part of Oregon have a wet season? It does snow there right?

Seriously, how many folks from the solid fuel/ oil crowd would attend the "once a year solid fuel meet" it it you could bring and run your equipment?

???

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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by Harlock » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:52 pm

Seems winter would be a good candidate for that. I don't mind running in cold weather at all. Good condensation makes for great photos. Although the risk is that it could be downright rainy on any given weekend, so planning in advance is difficult for people coming from out of town.
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by mattmason » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:24 pm

I'm good with rain (or snow). I'd be up for it and would go up to run in late winter/early spring. Might even join again and go up since it would be a group of us rock burners.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am --slightly-- on the coal bandwagon. (I will hold a hot dog over my friends who are steaming up on dinosaur farts. We all have fun with it.) But this is a TM decision. I don't agree, but it is theirs to make. They will balance the decision between if it hurts or doesn't mean anything. I understand their reasoning during the summer. I don't run coal during the summer and my risk is significantly less than theirs, but winter just seems stupid to me. Questioning is OK, but please don't make this personal and hate those who made it.

P.S. DId I say that I like the idea of a solid fuel/oil event? Honestly, just south of the road for the event would be MORE than plenty for me. And I'll take a shift on fire patrol for two hours during it.
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by Oktrainboys » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:17 am

John Haines' Tintern Abbey is now a coal burner, and she has not been to TM since about 1998. I would LOVE to attack the serpentine with her on a chilly calm morning. Does anybody know the min radius of curvature of the track from the offloading bay to the serpentine? Is it 60 feet plus?
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by jabsteam » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:49 pm

I believe the tightest radius curve at TM is 75 ft.
I don't think TM will go for a "Coal Meet" , Waaay too much liability with the State of Oregon…
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cp4449
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by cp4449 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:07 am

I have never been to TM, but I would go to help with a fire watch. I do not nderstand why you could not get a couple speeders with a trailer behind. On the trailer could be a small tank with water, a small gasoline engine/pump combo and a 50’ hose. There could be regular runs behind a group of rock burners. C&TSRR did this for years, running a speeder spraying water on both sides of the ROW after the train went up the hill. Every photo of TM I have seen the ROW is pretty cleaned of the pine needles. The have a rail mounted sweeper to keep the track clear.

Maybe I a missing something here. This can be handled.
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jcbrock
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by jcbrock » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:06 am

As someone who's run coal and oil burners at night, been to TM half a dozen times, and also done ag field burning in Oregon back in the day, I feel qualified to comment. The place is too big. It's not the fire watching that is the problem, it is the fire fighting. By the time you say 'hey there is a fire over there' and get equipment to it, it will be out of control. I agree that a winter or early spring run might be feasible, but the people at TM have had experience with fire and based on that experience have made a set of rules that work for them. Creating a dual fuel system for your coal burner is not that difficult if you wish to run at TM, the guys at the St Croix do it every 3 years to attend the Triennial.
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by ccvstmr » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:12 am

CP...it's been 15 years since I was last at TM. The RR was big then...even bigger now. If you've never visited TM, I can understand why you might not grasp the fire hazard concern.

Having "fire watch trains" that follow coal burning locomotives wouldn't be practical. Too many trains...too large an area to protect. While I'm a propane burner...I understand the frustration coal burners must have. TM is a place that every live steam should experience at least once! Still, in this case...PREVENTION would be the better coarse of action compared to REACTION. There's too much at stake to let ANY fire get started among the pine tree needles or other tree debris. Carl B.
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NP317
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by NP317 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:14 am

37 miles of track on 2200+ acres.
I have seen that place "absorb" >200 trains and still look sparse.
Train Mt. is too big for effective fire prevention, as stated above. Central Oregon is a tinderbox in the summer.
And often snowed in during parts of winter.

I purposely set up my locomotives for propane firing so that I can enjoy running there, and other tracks too.
And I also like coal burning.
~RN

cp4449
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by cp4449 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:43 pm

Thanks Carl and RN. Did not know the scope of things.
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OSUMiner
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by OSUMiner » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:49 pm

I certainly understand the need to ban the coal engines during any kind of dry period/season but that being said, I hate to see an all out ban on solid fuel. :cry: I understand sometimes it's just easier to say "no" than to deal with the additional issues, heck some of us parents some do it all the time! Maybe someday they'll reconsider and allow, on rare occasions, coal during the damp season and if they do, I'd certainly consider making a trip to that event.

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Fender
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Re: Fire watch, solid fuel run at Train Mountain?

Post by Fender » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:40 pm

Sparks? What sparks? I don't see any sparks.
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