Boiler Inspections

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CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Just wondering, well maybe a bit more than that! Before I retired I worked in a plant that had a lot of steam equipment. I remember every so often on a scheduled basis all pressure vessels had to be inspected and pass certification by a regulating agency.
In the case of the model steamers, do they also have to pass an inspection and certification?

Cheers Willis
 

LiveSteamer

Chessie System Railroad
CBCNSfan said:
Just wondering, well maybe a bit more than that! Before I retired I worked in a plant that had a lot of steam equipment. I remember every so often on a scheduled basis all pressure vessels had to be inspected and pass certification by a regulating agency.
In the case of the model steamers, do they also have to pass an inspection and certification?

Cheers Willis
Hi Willis, in some states where there are live steam clubs it is a state law that all live steamers must have there boiler checked and certified before they can operate on the clubs layout. I know here in Pa, we don't have that, yet. But i think it is a good idea that they do that.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi Matthew, the reason this came to mind, is when I moved to this location in 76 there was a live steam loco at a park nearby. The loco was similar in size to the locos in your club. A few years later they converted it to a gasoline engine with a cock and bull story about a garage station sponsoring the rides (which were in fact paid by the passengers). I guess it's always been at the back of my mind that it had more to do with boiler inspections and the fact it was operated in an amusement park. It didn't take long before it was no longer popular, a roaring one cylinder gas engine just doesn't capture the imagination when used with a loco that was supposed to be steam. I wonder whatever happened to it.
Cheers
 

LiveSteamer

Chessie System Railroad
CBCNSfan said:
Hi Matthew, the reason this came to mind, is when I moved to this location in 76 there was a live steam loco at a park nearby. The loco was similar in size to the locos in your club. A few years later they converted it to a gasoline engine with a cock and bull story about a garage station sponsoring the rides (which were in fact paid by the passengers). I guess it's always been at the back of my mind that it had more to do with boiler inspections and the fact it was operated in an amusement park. It didn't take long before it was no longer popular, a roaring one cylinder gas engine just doesn't capture the imagination when used with a loco that was supposed to be steam. I wonder whatever happened to it.
Cheers
A live steam engine should always be run on coal or oil. That's what makes it live steam, not gasoline. Maybe the gas station was sponsoring it and didn't want to spend the money on coal. I can see why it lost interest. For all anyone knows it could have got scrapped or maybe someone had bought it.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi matthew, I didn't believe the gas station story then or now, this is a private fun park. The outside of the loco was left intact, siderods and all, however they must have used a lawnmower engine with a centrifugal clutch, it looked and sounded stupid. If a person was not looking in the direction of the train when it was starting out, they soon turned to look as the high piched roar of the gasoline motor ( probably full throttle) and the slow movement of the side rods and turn of the drivers looked and sounded like something out of sync. as the loco picked up speed the revs and sound of the motor decreased. My thought at the time was "Ridiculous". I can't recall being much interested in it, a real shame as the loco really looked great. Too bad it belonged to people with little imagination.
Cheers Willis
 

LiveSteamer

Chessie System Railroad
Hi Willis, Ah Ok, At least they left the outside alone. But i can see what you mean by it and it sure does sound ridiculous. Your right it is a real shame. There those type of people out there with no or little imagination. Like those people.
 

robjacox

New Member
Here in Oregon we have one of the strictist boiler codes in the nation. I should know, as I just spent five years (through an apprenticeship program, not just studying for the test) getting my Class V Boiler & Pressure Vessel license.

Anyway, I've been amused by the lack of inspections for "Hobby Miniature Boilers".

Here is the Building Codes Division partial exemption for model live steam locomotives:

Part II – Exemptions

918-225-0390

Hobby Miniature Steam Boilers

(1) Steam boilers of a miniature model locomotive, boat, tractor, or stationary engine are exempt from ORS 480.510 to 480.665 if:

(a) Constructed and maintained for hobby use, and not for commercial use;

(b) Has an inside diameter not to exceed 12 inches and having a grate area not to exceed 1-1/2 square feet;

(c) Has a working pressure not to exceed 100 psi;

(d) Equipped with an ASME-approved safety valve of adequate capacity, together with a water level indicator and a pressure gauge;

(e) The boiler is inspected and approved by the Division prior to initial operation; and

(f) The boiler is found by the Division to be substantially in accordance with the minimum safety standards for material, design, and fabrication in existence at the time the boiler was manufactured.

(2) This exemption continues as long as:

(a) There is no explosion;

(b) No alteration or repair is made to the boiler affecting its strength or safety.

(3) If alteration or repair is made, the boiler must be requalified for the exemption.


The bold about the explosions is mine, not the boiler code.

I do very little boiler work, my license is mainly for (large) commercial refrigeration installations. What boiler work I do is partially-exempt cooking boilers, and I wish Oregon required routine inspections on them. It is a lot easier for the state to force repairs and retirement of old boilers than it is for me, the contractor!
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi robjacox, that is a very interesting post, actually good information to have. In regard to the steamer loco I posted about, there could have been another fly in the ointment, " insurance". This was a fun park catering to paying customers, also it is privately owned, so it could have the cost of inspections, failed inspection, or insurance. Honestly I really have no idea why it was re-motored, but if there was a gasoline sponsor, I wonder where the advertisements were.
Cheers Willis
 

modelbob

Administrator
Insurance, maintenance and liablity has been the death of many a good steam park train.

As much as I love steam, I'll be the first to admit that I understand why an amusement park prefers a "choo-choo train" that you can start in 30 seconds by pushing one button, train just about anyone to run, and at the end of the day you just turn the switch and walk away.

Fortunately some parks out there know that real steam is a drawing card, but too many, like a lot of the six flags parks, put an infernal combustion engine in and call it good.
 

Old 97

Hogger
modelbob said:
Fortunately some parks out there know that real steam is a drawing card, but too many, like a lot of the six flags parks, put an infernal combustion engine in and call it good.

We have a small theme park over here in WNY called Martin's Fantasy Island.
It features a gas powered "steam" engine that was built by the Allan Herschell
Company.

While I ride it around the theme park as much as possible, it just isn't the same as steam. :(
 

westernbound

New Member
Old 97 said:
We have a small theme park over here in WNY called Martin's Fantasy Island.
It features a gas powered "steam" engine that was built by the Allan Herschell
Company.

While I ride it around the theme park as much as possible, it just isn't the same as steam. :(
Hey im new to the board, but a bunch of us are building small mining locos to run off of a gas engine. The only reason were doing that is we have safety in mind. Because with small children they always like to touch things when they wanna see and we dont want them burning their hands and growing up to hate trains. Its not the same as steam your right. But I know for a fact im running this in my future plannd lay of track around my home and I have young family members that will swing by to take a ride and I dont want them burning their hands. Same gos for club meets as well. You can make these pretty quick and if your in a tight budget, it dosnt cost you as much at all!. So while saving up to build that steamer, you can have something in the mean time to ride.-JA
 




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