Passenger train steam heat

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NYC_George

Well-Known Member
In the past passenger trains were heated by steam. In the steam engine era only a whisper of steam was allowed to be diverted back to the train. In the diesel era, diesel engines came with a steam generator onboard. The steam generator and it's water supply were housed near the back of the engine. The water supply tank stood upright and on a cold day held enough water for about a four hour trip. In Example, the trip from Brewster to Grand Central was 1 hr 50 mins. The round trip for the engine with the wait time at Grand Central was about 5 Hours. When you returned to Brewster you were out of water. The engine was fueled and steam generator water was added. That's the reason the fueling pad had two high pressure large hoses as part of the serving element. Most of the time you had two engines and only one of the generators was working. That's the way it was. Other times you had two engines and no steam generators working. If this happened the conductor would call on the radio and ask where's the heat. I have 1500 passengers all complaining it's cold. If you were a fireman you go back and maybe with a piece of wood block the steam generator's relay's closed hoping that would do the trick. If not then you would explain to the engineer it's no use it won't run. Some times he would say unloosen the sight glass, turn on the fuel and throw a fusee in there. I would reply " I'm not throwing any fusee in a boiler full of fuel, I'll run the train you go do it. The passengers will just have to freeze".
E7's and E8's had two steam generators and two water supplies onboard. One day in the summer the 20 Century Limited passed by with a small bit of steam trailing from the last car. I said to the engineer what's the deal with the steam. He replied it for the hot water in the rest rooms.

NYC_George
 
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
That's cool info! It gives us laymen a since of what it's like day to day working in large scale. ;)
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
Steam Heat

Thanks for the info George Can imagine freezing on that train !!!!
Some times things are beyond your controll. Every once in a while the passengers forze. Speaking of freezing two weeks ago my partner at work was on the 43 floor in 60 mph winds. They said it was 18 below with the wind chill. Well he got frozst bite and hasn't been back to work since and they say he may never come back.
One more thing Paul. I think you misunderstood me the other day. The reason they had the steam on the passenger cars at night was so that the steam lines in the cars woodn't freez, same with the engines. The reason they had the yard air on the cars was because it would take less time for the engines to charge the air brakes in the morning when they coupled on.

NYC_George
 




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