Have a railway-related question? Post it in this thread. and some SIF members will certainly provide you with an answer - or two - or three...
But before you post your question...
Here's a useful link for all things railway, sponsored by the U.K. Heritage Railways Association Railway Glossary and Technical Pages Either the glossary or technical articles will answer your question at least 8/10 times.
A brake van is the British name for a caboose. While there are differences between the American and British vehicles (for the same reasons that there are differences between the two countries' locomotives, carriages etc), they are essentially the same thing.
What exactly are firebars? Do they have anything to do with linking the firebox to the boiler?
Simple answer - no! Complicated answer - the firebars form the bottom of the firebox, which the fire sits on. The gaps between the bars allow air in, to create a draft on the fire - remember a fire needs a plentiful supply of oxygen to burn effectively. This is called primary air.
The ashpan sits below the firebox, and is there to catch any falling ashes or lumps of the fire, to prevent slipping through onto the sleepers, and possibly causing a fire. The ash from the fire collects there - this ash has to be raked out at the end of each working day on a steam locomotive, which is a pig of a job to do on shed, for the crew - a menial chore, but one which has to be done.
Of course, disaster strikes if a firebar (or firebars) falls out. This allows part of the fire to drop straight through into the ashpan, causing a gaping "hole" in the fire. This hole has the effect of a rush of cold air - which seriously impairs steaming on the locomotive. Air is needed for combustion - but not too much; in this case the fire would soon be a smouldering heap. The solution is to find a large lump of coal from the bunker or tender, and balance it above the missing firebar - this (in theory) prevents the cold air from getting in, and allows the fire to be built up again. This, of course, is exactly what happened to Gordon in the story "Fire Escape", in Chris Awdry's "Gordon the High Speed Engine".
Post by Chris The Xelent on Dec 11, 2005 0:04:05 GMT
Well, my answer to that question is this:
All steam engines have one thing in common with each other.... the boiler. This is made up of three sections. The smokebox, the firebox and the barrell. They are linked together with a series of tubes that run through the barrell, transferring the heat from the firebox to the chimmny and in turn boiling the water in the barrell. The heated water obviously becomes steam and rises to the top of the boiler. With most of it collecting in the dome on some engines. And the dome contains the regulator valve. When the driver opens the regulator in the cab, the regulator valve opens up, sending steam down to the cylinders (now we're getting somewhere). The cylinders each contain a piston and a slide-valve on top. As the steam is forced into the cylinder, it moves the piston to one end of the cylinder. Then the slide valve changes direction, feeding steam behind the piston and moving it the other way. In turn, pushing the used steam though a hole in the side of the cylinder which directs it to the blastpipe, and up through the chimney. Whilst all of this action is going on with the cylinders, the engine is moved by the coupling and connecting rods which link the pistons with the wheels.
It sounds fairly complicated when out into detail, but the principle is very streight forward.
"Where would we be without a sense of humour? Germany" - Willie Rushton
Post by FlyingScotsman on Dec 12, 2005 12:58:44 GMT
The tubes carry hot air from the fire that is used to heat the water- like the heater element in an electric kettle. And you're right, steam does always go up- unless there's nowhere else for it to go. If there's enough steam in the boiler, it will be forced down into the cylinders.
From what I know, the blower is said to be located in the smokebox, and uses steam to help draw air into the fire, and increase the steam pressure alot quicker then normal.
Actually, the vaccum is produced by something called a venturi effect, which occurs when anything flows through the right shape of pipe. In a steam engine, that pipe is the smoke stack, and the exhaust steam from the pistons is blown into it to get the flow needed to create the vaccum. That vaccum sucks the smoke in the smokebox out with the steam, which pulls fresh hot smoke into the boiler, and also pulls air through the fire, to keep it going.
When the engine is not moving, there is no steam flowing from the piston exhaust, so another source of steam is needed to keep the air flowing so the fire dosen't go out, and so hot smoke gets to the boiler. That pipe that supplies enough steam to keep a draw going through the boiler is the blower.
Post by henrythegreen on Dec 17, 2005 12:31:42 GMT
I have a question. What were the circumstances surrounding the fact that several LMS, GWR, and Southern steam locos made it into preservation via places like the Barry scrapyard, but LNER locos virtually disappeared with the exception of famous examples like the "Flying Scotsman" or "Mallard"?
OJ: Sad news everybody. Peter Fonda has died. He was 79. RIP.
Aug 16, 2019 22:39:38 GMT
Zorgoth: You're kidding? I didn't even know he was ailing (or was it just natural causes?) Either way, that's real disheartening to hear. R.I.P. Mr. Fonda.
Aug 16, 2019 22:53:19 GMT
Dungeon Master: To quote Scooter, "IT'S THE WEEEEEK-EEEEEEEEND!" -- and so, the next instalment of ERS #9 "Dockside Engines" has now dropped! This latest instalment opens the second Book of the novel and introduces the -next- element of the story behind Tidmouth Harbour.
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Dungeon Master: Head on over to the ERS Library - Novels section to find out more! Bon appetite.
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Odd: i would like to wish a very happy birthday to 01Salty, no doubt one of the best artists in the fandom, cheers!
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TheIsraeliSudrian: He died of respiratory failure due to lung cancer. R.I.P.
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Ian: It's been a while since he last penned for the series, so it's great to see the latest ERS offering from long-term SiF member stuart7 is now available to read in the Library... and we're off to Wales for this one!
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Madness: Happy belated Birthday to 01Salty .
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gambo1946: is it wrong that i have only seen Fonda in magic railroad? i unfortunately haven't seen easy rider. But it is really sad that he has passed, at least he was almost 80, that is a reasonably long life, and he is back with his dad, Henry, two screen legends
Aug 20, 2019 3:25:55 GMT
gambo1946: -back together
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ScarletSpider: My friend has decided to downgrade from Bluray to DVD. I just got.. a Bluray player, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman 5 B;u-Ray collection, Justice League Dark, Flashpoint, Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke, Bad Blood,
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ScarletSpider: Throne of Atlantis, and New Frontier for a total of £50
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gambo1946: today is my 18th birthday, my sister hannah's too, officially a grown up
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Ten Cents Too: Happy Birthday to you and your twin!
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