Page images


potential power contained in coal and

wagon top," " straight top," “ extended other fuel into power, the steam boiler wagon top,” “Belpaire,” and “wide must be used. For this reason the steam firebox." The extended wagon top, wide boiler will always be with us.

firebox and Belpaire are the later designs The boiler has kept pace with other im- in locomotive boiler building and were provements. Some of the first resembled introduced in the order named. In my and were not much larger than a teaket- first 20 years of locomotive work they tle. These original teakettle affairs had

either “ straight top double arched bottoms, sloping sides and dome- domed” or “wagon top single domed” like tops. In all of the old original type boilers. of boilers the heat was applied from the Special advantages are claimed for difoutside. The first inside heat that might ferent patterns of boilers, which of be termed such came when the first boil- course, are based on the service, kind of ers were invented that contained one or coal and water used. The extended more large flues for the hot gases to pass wagon top was designed principally for through. Later boilers were designed more steam space. The wide firebox was with smaller tubes for the return of the invented by Wooten and was built for the heat. As the engine was improved the de- purpose of burning “slack" or the refuse mand for power increased and boilers from the coal mines. were built to withstand a pressure of 60 In the summer of 1881 the Northern to 70 pounds to the square inch. This was Pacific purchased a number of Wooten for a long time considered a dangerous firebox engines expecting to be able to pressure and has not been increased much effectually burn the lignite or “baby in the common multi-tubular return flue mine” coal which was found in large boiler where the heat is applied below the quantities in the bad lands of Dakota. shell.

These wide firebɔx engines proved a misFor locomotive purposes it became nec. erable failure in their attempt to burn the essary to design boilers that would with- lignite, as did every other engine that stand a pressure as high as 120 pounds, was compelled to try to do business and and for years this was considered the burn that stuff. maximum for locomotive service. All I spent the summer of 1881 trying to the older locomotive men will remember get trains over the Dakota division of the how they used to hold down the scales to N. P. with “ baby mine " coal and alkali force the steam pressure up to 128 or 130 water, and my experience there was pounds when the chances were that they something fierce. The Brothers who would lay down” if they did not in- were there before me and who crease the pressure a few pounds. The mained in that company's service are older enginemen will not forget when deserving of something more than a the 16 and 17-inch cylinders came, and a pension in their old age, and should have mæximum boiler pressure of 140 pounds a few extra strings on their harps when it was established. As long as the scales or comes their time to perform celestial “monkey tails” were in service the en- duty. ginemen of that time took the chance of I would like to see a cut of one of the N. disrupting their boiler rather than double P. “ dirt burners” in the columns of our hills. With the introduction of the JOURNAL, and wish it was possible for me "pop," or safety valve, the scales dis- to get a little history from the N. P. appeared and the practice of "holding her Brothers regarding the length of time down” for a few pounds more had to be those engines were kept in service and given up.

what final disposition was made of them. Locomotive boilers are of the hori- The Belpaire boiler, or what might zontal multi-tubular class with internal more properly be termed the Belpaire firefirebox. At the present time there are box, was the invention of Belpaire, a five different types in general use-the native of France. This construction of



firebox was adopted to have

coal-burning engines of today copper sheet and top of shell parallel and thereby ferrules are placed between the tube and have the staybolts at right angles to the sheet, which permits of expansion and sheets. The advantages claimed for the calking without injury to the sheet. Belpaire firebox are that more steam and In the present day types of boilers the water space is created and that it gives greatest efficiency is required to meet the the crown sheet a chance to expand and demand required by larger cylinders and contract with less damage than when the higher speed. The limit in size has been crown sheet is supported by crown bars. reached on many lines where tunnels,

In the Belpaire firebox the top of shell bridges and buildings must be considered. can move in conformity with the crown Not many years ago the stack that was sheet. I am not prepared to make any not five or six feet in length looked out of extravagant claims for the Belpaire fire- proportion to the boiler. Today if the box, as I have no data at hand that would stack is longer than an ordinary plug hat aid me. I do claim, however, that the the boiler looks out of proportion to the principles involved are good ones.


stack. When the boiler and firebox limits seven years I worked behind a Belpaire are reached more and smaller tubes are firebox and during that time I found no inserted in order that the necessary crown sheet leaks nor bulges, and if my amount of heating surface can be created. choice was to be considered I would ask The term heating surface includes all for that form of firebox.

surfaces in the firebox and boiler that are In my talks with “boss" boilermakers exposed to the heat. In figuring the I do not hear anything of importance heating surface the crown, back and side against the Belpaire invention and yet sheets and tubes are considered. The this form of fire is but little used. Per. front or flue sheet is not included in the haps there are conditions which will not measurements. Of the surfaces exposed admit of the Belpaire construction in the to the heat the crown sheet is the most larger and higher power type of loco- effective, the other firebox sheets next, motive boilers. As this article on boilers the tubes last. will be continued, I hope in the February Experiments made some years ago number to give the views of some able showed three times as much heat per boilermakers on the merits or otherwise square foot in the firebox as was shown of the Belpaire invention.

in the firebox end of tubes, and more The tubes of locomotive boilers are than twelve times as great as shown in usually made from sheet iron lap-welded that portion of the tubes at the front or together. Steel tubes are used which are smoke arch end of boiler. drawn solid from the metal. Steel tubes The efficiency of the heating surface is can be made thinner than the iron and governed largely by boiler conditions. are in consequence of greater advantage Where scale and mud prevent the heat for the reason that the thinner the tube reaching the water the boiler cannot the more readily the heat is conveyed to evaporate the proper amount of water. the water surrounding it, also more water The heating surface of a boiler is called space is created.

direct and indirect. The firebox measureTubes are generally two inches outside ments are called the direct, while tubes diameter; to decrease from that size will and front tube sheets are figured as the admit of more being used, which will indirect heating surfaces. increase the heating service, bat com- In designing a boiler heating surface is plications then arise on account of their proportioned in accordance with the being easily stopped up.

piston displacement. Experience has In the old days of wood-burning loco- taught that the number of square feet of motives, flues were made of copper with heating surface should be about 500 times a cast iron thimble driven into firebox the piston displacement in cubic feet, end to keep flue tight in sheet. In the but one piston to be counted. To find the

amount of heating surface for a modern 20 x 26 bituminous coal burner the following method is used: Multiply the diameter of the piston by itself and the stroke in inches; then multiply the product by the decimal .24. Example: 20 x 20 x 26=10400 X .24=2496 feet of heating surface, which would be considered nearly right. However, this ratio of heating surface to piston displacement is being increased. The tax put upon boilers for larger air pumping capacity, heating the trains by steam and running a motor for the electric headlight calls for a more rapid evaporation of water. In figuring out the right proportion of grate surface to heating surface, in engines burning soft coal, about one square foot of grate to 70 square feet of heating surface is generally considered sufficient. To find the great surface needed for the 2496 feet of heating surface given for the 20 x 26 cylinder locomotive, you would divide 2496 by 70, which would give about 35%, square feet of grate surface. Grate surface is varied on account of a difference in the kind of coal used. Difference in opinion by the mechanical “push” causes quite a variation in the amount allowed grate as compared with heating surface.

In the past year a record of new locomotives shows as follows: B. & O. 2-8-0 have 49.1 square feet of heating to one of grate surface; Wabash 4-6-0 have 83.4 heating to one of grate; M. K. & T. 4.6-0 92.8 heating to one of grate; Monon 4-6-2 66 to 1. This is a record of only four of the soft coal burners illustrated during 1906. Note the difference in amount of grate surface given.

In the years gone by it was the universal belief that most of the boiler explosions were caused by low water, or some mysterious influence. When boilers exploded it was generally charged to the engineer who, as a rule, went up and out with his boiler. Of late years thorough tests have been made and the low water theory is now very seldom given as the cause for boiler explosions.

Some years ago when the United States Government was making boiler tests Dr.

Coleman Sellers stood by the boiler after furnace sheets were heated red hot. He held a piece of wood against the boiler to convince himself that sheets were hot enough to char the wood. He did not leave the boiler when cold water was turned into it and found that the only effect was that sheets shrunk so that the boiler leaked all pressure away.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company made tests years ago along the same lines as given above. A locomotive that was condemned to be "scrapped” was run out on a side track in the woods and experiments made upon it. The plan was to fill the boiler with water, raise a high pressure of steam, then run off the water until crown sheet was exposed; then after crown sheet became hot, pump in cold water. In the first experiment the boiler blew up before they left off any of the water. They tried again with another scrap heap. The water was drawn off and after waiting long enough for the crown sheet to get red hot, they forced in a supply of water by means of a fire engine and nothing happened except that the seams leaked. Experiments along these lines were made repeatedly with exactly the same results.

Boiler explosions are always due to the fact that some part of the boiler is too weak to withstand the pressure. The design of the boiler may be defective, or there may be defects in the material or work. The shell may be weakened by corrosion, pitting and grooving. Excessive pressure may be created by safety valves not lifting when they should; crown sheet may have been weakened by allowing water to get too low. It is claimed that weak boilers have exploded by the sudden opening or closing of the throttle.

There may be other reasons why boilers explode, but the evidence is with us that when boilers are properly designed, well made, given proper care, regularly in. spected, repaired when they should be, and taken from the service before their age makes them dangerous, the danger from explosions is reduced to the mini


Results — With Engines Pooled.

In making ordinary running repairs on pooled engines they figure that any kind of an old job will do. If it happens to be a regular assigned engine it is figured that Billy So and So runs that engine and if a good job is not done you certainly will hear from him, and perhaps from the old man too.

Consequently, pooled engines go to pieces quicker and do not make the good showing that regularly assigned ones do.

There is another matter that is affecting the staying qualities of engines that lies with the builder, cheaper material being used and less care taken in construction; also an increased steam pressure. We had an illustration of this recently when a large locomotive works in the United States sold new engines to Japan. These engines were new and supposed to be in first-class shape for service, yet the Japanese complained that they had to put them all through the back shop before placing them in service. They particularly criticised the careless work done on the boilers. Fraternally yours,


Ft. Scott, KANS., Dec, 12, 1906. EDITOR JOURNAL: I noticed on page 1055 of the December JOURNAL an article written by Bro. J. A. Talty. He says in part: “When engines are pooled enginemen become careless and do not take the interest in maintaining locomotives they do when regularly assigned.”

It seems to be a prevailing opinion among railroad officials that engineers are to blame for the poorer showing made by pooled engines. Nothing could be farther from the real facts. Let us look into the question and see how much the engineer really is to blame.

First. Do we run pooled engines faster or work them harder than regular assigned ones? Surely not. Pooled engines, as a rule, are not in shape to stand the harder rapping.

Second. Does the engineer neglect to properly oil and inspect the pooled engine before starting out? We all know that a pooled engine gets a most careful oiling and inspecting before starting, the engineer not taking any unnecessary chances in making trouble for himself in the way of heated bearings, loose nuts, etc.

Third. Does the engineer neglect to report the necessary work to be done on engine at end of the trip? Well, I rather guess not. My rience and observation has been that the average engineer reports from three to five times as much work on pooled engines than on a regular assigned engine. What makes this necessary? Simply this: The work reported on a regular assigned engine is done and usually in first-class shape. On a pooled engine it is either not done at all or is done in a very inferior manner. Instances have come under my notice where the engineer on his arrival at terminal reported enough work on the engine to keep her tied up for at least ten hours, yet I have seen this same engine leaving town on a "drag" in less than three hours after arrival. Perhaps they were short of power. Admitted. Then why blame the engineer for conditions over which he has no control?

Drivers Slipped with Steam Shut Off.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Dec. 4, 1906. EDITOR JOURNAL: In a recent issue of the JOURNAL I wrote an article, “Do En. gines Slip with Steam Shut Off ?" It was claimed by one of our oldest engineers that such was the case with his engine. At first, the idea seemed along the line of being ridiculous. However, he al. I his fireman strongly maintained that such was the case, and that it was almost a daily occurrence. Through their repeated assertions that such was the case I decided to give the matter some thought. On investigation, I found the slipping took place when the steam was shut off and the brakes applied to make the station stop

My personal experience with this engine was that frequently the driver brake would not apply when setting the train brakes. The schedule was very fast-requiring a speed of 60 miles per hour between stations. The tire on the driving

wheels was very hard. The counterbal- insulated, water-cooled type, which transance in the wheels was perfect. My con- forms 60,000-volt three-phase current clusion was that when the brake was down to a 11,000-volt single-phase current being applied on the train, the drive Difficult problems were encountered at brakes did not apply—the speed of the Avon and Rochester in supporting the train was being checked while the speed trolley wires, over the tracks through the of the driving wheels did not check on railroad yards, and a new style of overaccount of the driver brake not applying head span wire construction has been deThe result was that the drivers would signed to overcome the difficulty of carryslip for a short distance until the momen- ing such heavy trolley construction where tum was checked.

it is impossible to place poles between LEROY A. OGDEN, Div. 286. tracks. In place of the steel bridges used

for this purpose on the New Haven road

a system of “tripartite" steel poles and Electrification on the Erie.

double spans have been adopted, and is Westinghouse, Church, Kerr & Co. believed by the Erie to be fully as effective have been authorized to prepare estimates

a type of construction as the other to meet for the complete electrification of the the conditions; to be far cheaper, and Rochester division of the Erie Railroad

much quicker to erect. between Rochester and Corning, N. Y.

Electric equipment is being placed in Ninety-five miles electification of the 24 six passenger coaches of the interurban miles of this division lying between

type. Three coaches were built by the Rochester and Avon and Avon and Mt.

St. Louis Car Company, being 54 ft. long Morris was begun last summer and is now

and seat 56 persons. The equipment connearly finished. The installation is sin- sists of four 100-h.p. motors and Westinggle-phase, similar to that which is being house electro-pneumatic control. The placed on the New York approach of the

cars are designed for a maximum speed of New Haven road. Power will be sup

from 45 to 50 miles per hour and will plied from the single sub-station to be lo

be able to haul one trailer under any of cated at Avon, N. Y., which is about 19

the conditions of service that are likely to miles from Rochester and 15 from Mt. prevail. The trolleys are of the PantaMorris. The power is to be derived from

graph type, consisting of a horizontal the lines of the Niagara, Lockport & On

crossbar, which makes the contact with tario Power Co., which receives the cur

the overhead wire, and is raised or lowrent generated at the new station of the ered by a light jointed framework Ontario Power Co. at Niagara Falls, and

mounted on top of the car, controlled by it now transmitting it at 60,000 volts as air pressure, and making sliding instead far east as Syracuse, where trolley cars of of rolling contact. the local electric railway system receive

The schedule now being prepared proit. This long transmission line, which is

vides for an hourly service in each direcbeing constructed in duplicate, crosses the

tion between Rochester and Mt. Morris.Erie Railroad at Mortimer, about five

Railway Gazette. miles south of Rochester, and from that point the power company is building a

The Engine Crew. branch line about 14 miles long, which is to supply the sub-station at Avon.

On the highest authority we have it in The sub-station building, of brick and effect that no man can work for two masreinforced concrete, is now nearly com- ters. Yet the engine crew gets orders pleted, and the electrical apparatus which from the master mechanic, the roundit is to contain is being shipped from house foreman (not to mention the call Pittsburg. The equipment of this sub- boy), the superintendent, the trainmaster, station is extremely simple, consists of the dispatcher, the conductor, and indi. three 750-k.w. transformers of the oil rectly, the traveling engineer,

« PreviousContinue »