TM 2021 Prep

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Gra2472
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:02 pm
Location: Monte Rio California

TM 2021 Prep

Post by Gra2472 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:34 pm

Here we go with another topic. There is a lot to discuss in here so bear with me.

I have not been to TM yet, since my full time railroad job as prevented it. That, and getting married (best decision ever), buying a house, traveling, and all of that other non-railroad related life goal stuff. But now I finally have the opportunity to go to TM for the big show in 2021. I am planning on taking my complete stable of horses with me. The Allen Mogul, and three Baldwin-Westinghouse electrics. To accomplish this I am making a list of repairs, modifications, and preparations for the trip. I am not planning on running this year at all, except for maybe a test run or two next winter. This year it is time to go through the whole shebang from end to end.

As with any pie-eyed newb at TM, I am hoping to run the whole length of the railroad at least once while I am there. Hopefully skipping the most of the growing pains if I can. To do that, I think that I should ask for some help from those who have been there done that (you guys).

I am wondering if an auxiliary water car is necessary. I have one, it is made entirely out of oak, holds about 10 gallons, leaks a little, and is very heavy. I am wondering if I should invest some time into rebuilding it for TM. Building a new auxiliary tender is more than I do this year. Any thoughts?

Propane question. I run two 30lb tanks on a custom made car. I am considering the possibility that I might need another car for fuel. Of course, there is the law of diminishing returns. More train mean burning more fuel. I still have to make a few critical modifications to the burner set up in the locomotive as suggested by CBrew and others (Thank you gentlemen). I think that the suggested modifications will make a huge difference in my fuel consumption. But when it comes to running out of fuel at the far far reaches of the galaxy, that's a non-starter. I'd like to make it back without having to endure the ignominy of a tow. Additionally, how do you refuel at TM? Do they have propane there, or does local supplier get over-run with greasy live steamers in search of go go juice?

Brakes question. I have steam brakes on the mogul which work pretty well. However, I plan on pulling a 5-7 car train (if I get busy building a new car or two). I am thinking that I should at least put air brakes on the tender, and maybe on the fuel car. I've ordered a Kiem pump for this project, as well as a small battery powered compressor to help. Since all of our cars are going over to the rip track for overhauls and upgrades over the next year, now is the time to add brakes. Thoughts?

On to the electric locomotives. They have dynamic brakes, but not regenerative braking. I am thinking that my father, the guru of our electron powered locomotives, should rewire them for true regenerative dynamics. Otherwise we might not get all the way around the railroad. We can get about 10-15 miles out of one locomotive per charge with a couple of flat cars on relatively flat ground. If we are pulling the whole consist, 5-7 cars, with three electrics, we might be on the edge of our range at TM. Perhaps regenerative dynamics would help with that. We are even considering bringing extra batteries for the trip. However, the superintendent of the railroad (my lovely wife) has pushed back on this idea and for good reason. It's an expense that we would like to avoid.

I thank you all in advance for your help. I am sure that I will have few more questions as time goes by.

Garrett Augustus
Willow Creek & Western Railroad
Monte Rio CA
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jcbrock
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 7:50 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by jcbrock » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:53 pm

Two words: comfy seats.

Two 30 gal of propane should get you out and back, they do have propane at the track or at the casino across the highway. There are water stops along the ROW, just keep filling up. An Allen tender will get you between them. It's never a bad idea to have a few gallon jugs of water with you for drinking, firefighting or emergency tender fills. Brakes are a very good idea. You can get through at least a half day on your batteries, but charging outlets may be at a premium. Send in your registration early.

Personally, the last triennial I am not sure I even was on a train. Spent most of the time volunteering or shooting the breeze.
John Brock

Berkman
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by Berkman » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:04 pm

do many people make temporary propane conversions from coal for Train mountain? Not sure what the best way to do a temporary propane setup would be for a 4-6-0, pacific etc?

Gra2472
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:02 pm
Location: Monte Rio California

Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by Gra2472 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:11 pm

I used a locoparts burner for my mogul. It was pretty simple to install.

Berkman
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by Berkman » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:13 pm

Was it a temporary install? How were the lines/valves routed since temporary?

jtdute
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Eastern North Carolina

Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by jtdute » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:31 pm

LocoParts does make a temporary install burner that will fit through the fire door. The burner goes in the firebox through the fire door and sits on existing grate supports.

Berkman
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by Berkman » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:23 pm

For something with a wider firebox ie a Mikado or hudson etc will that work? As the burner will be much more narrow than the firebox.

jtdute
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Eastern North Carolina

Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by jtdute » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:28 pm

is is still made for each particular locomotive. it is not one size fits all.

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Bill Shields
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Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by Bill Shields » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm

I have two propane tanks of the size you show in your picture.

My 2-8-0 runs on 8 solar-type (loco parts) burners and will run the entire weekend (14 hours pretty much non-stop) and have a little left over....but then I do not haul a load....and the firebox is specifically setup to run propane which will probably be a bit more efficient than just putting a burner in a firebox / pan setup for coal...

Running on propane well requires a bit of a different setup than coal. it isn't rocket science, but requires some forethought.

you can always tag on another car that carries a couple of BBQ tanks that you can exchange most anywhere...better safe than sorry..
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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cbrew
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Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by cbrew » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:13 pm

Bill Shields wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm
My 2-8-0 runs on 8 solar-type (loco parts) burners and will run the entire weekend (14 hours pretty much non-stop) and have a little left over....but then I do not haul a load....and the firebox is specifically setup to run propane which will probably be a bit more efficient than just putting a burner in a firebox / pan setup for coal...
Bill, 8 burners? you must not work that locomotive very hard?
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

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NP317
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Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by NP317 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:20 pm

My Allen Ten Wheeler hauls a horizontal forklift propane tank of 8 gallons, 36 lbs.
When running with several cars + 1-2 passengers, and cruising to the top (north end ) of Train Mt., I average 8 hours of running from that single tank, with gas to spare.
So my burn rate is less than 1 gallon/hour.
Water is never a problem at Train Mt. I just refill before the Big Grades, and when ever needed.
Of course I always hook up the valves to ~50% to increase operating efficiency. The Ten Wheeler can easily hold that up the 2% grades. Sounds sharp, too.

Not sure how my 90-ton Mikado will perform fuel/water wise, but I will find out in several months.
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Harlock
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Re: TM 2021 Prep

Post by Harlock » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:51 am

Heya, veteran of TM triennials since 2009 here.

Don't bother with an extra water car that big. The map shows you where the water stops are and you should be fine. You might carry an extra two gallons in jugs if you have the room, in case you get yourself lost and need an emergency supply to get to the next tank, but that's as far as I'd take it.

Those two propane tanks should also be very sufficient for a day of running on an Allen Mogul. There is propane sold on-site, so yes easy to top off. You can even bring your train up to the area where the big tank is. I think they still do rent propane cars if you would like more capacity but you'll need to check with them. My advice would be to bring a spare set and leave them at the bays, and swap them out so you don't have to schedule a refill so often. The big tank is not always attended and sometimes it can be difficult for them to chase the person down on radio when things are busy. Do you find you can run for a weekend on a club track with those two tanks? If so you will be fine for a day's run or more at TM on one tank fill.

My 3" scale MEG Wendy with 14 locoparts type burners will make it there and back again with a decent amount left in two standard 20lb BBQ tanks. I carried spares the first time but now no longer worry about it. Similarly had no troubles refilling my 11 gallon saddle tank with water along the way.

The nice thing about the Mogul is that it has big drivers, making it ideal for TM's big runs in terms of efficiency and speed. If your engine is well timed, run in cutoff rather than in the corner and you'll realize significant fuel savings. I always run the Wendy as far back towards neutral as I can and it sips steam.

Regarding the electrics - an electric with modern motors and regen controller (SyRen, 4QD etc.) will easily go out and back again with battery to spare. Are these three electrics from a West Valley Live Steamers build with the original relay circuits in them? Those are extremely inefficient except at a few power settings, and do not have regen braking. They also used surplus windshield wiper motors at one point which were pretty terrible. On a friend's West Valley Electric, I preserved the relay setup for historical purposes and added a SyRen 50 motor controller and new motors that are a higher wattage and more efficient. With two deep cycle marine batteries the thing has lots of range. You can also throw a few switches and it will activate the old relay setup instead of the new controller for fun. With three of those on a modern setup ganged together, they will be hardly working and you'll have plenty of power when you come back.

The biggest bit of advice I can give you is to register as soon as registration opens, and ask for a steam bay area that will accommodate your entire train without having to stage some of it in the main yard. (if you have a longer train, this usually means the Crisp yard rather than the turntables.) It is generally first come first serve, with an emphasis on also maximizing efficient use of steam bay area. Although your electrics may end up in the main yard in order to be close to an electrical supply. Keeping up with the expanding popularity of electric locomotives has kept TM on their toes in terms of finding and providing enough power to charge them all.

When I had to park some of my train in the main yard it was a very long process to make my way over there, pick it up and then head out again. The next time I had everything in one place, and I could simply head out from the steam bays to the main junction, and similarly come back home without adding an extra 30 - 40 minutes to the process on each end.

Here's my train at the very end of track past Hope Circle in 2015, with my speeder behind it that followed the whole way. It's definitely a bucket list trip for any 7.5" gauge live steamer and you will have a great time.

Photo two shows me refilling at one of the many water plugs you can find along the track.

Photo 3 shows a typical view from the cab out on the line!
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