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An INTRO to Locomotives..Steam /Diesel Electric / Electric.

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  • An INTRO to Locomotives..Steam /Diesel Electric / Electric.

    This thread is the result of interest shown by members in Locomotives and their functioning.For a start Basic Information will be shared and details into the specific functioning will be on interest shown by members.

    Steam Locomotives...

    Prior to steam locomotives , the carriages of a train on rails were drawn by horses.




    An alternate means of reliable, powerful and faster Motive power was required and so the search and inventions began....

    When steam was discovered as a means of power to be utilized in Industrial Environment, other specific areas like Railroad, shipping, light and heavy road vehicles were also simultaneously explored...thus in 1804 the first successful Single cylinder steam Locomotive saw operation in England.It was made by Trevithick and ran on rails on 21st February 1804..

    Simultaneously other venues of water and road also saw vehicles using steam power.....On rail specific advances by Stephenson were made ,in producing a more powerful,and reliable steam engine . Stephenson's rail Engine named " ROCKET" won a endurance and speed trial and thus became the leader.... The Picture of "ROCKET "preserved in museum....


    While the Trevithick Locomotive was run through a series of Gears , Stephenson's was driven directly by the steam cylinder, reducing losses and improving on power delivery...
    The place for driver of the Locomotive was always precarious and unprotected from elements....he has to stand at the tail end of the locomotive in the open..and if he slips his footing while the train was on the move.....he will be dead ,run over by the train.

    The first improvement in protecting the Driver came in the form of a enclosed cab which even boasted of a makeshift seat..



    The number and size of the cylinders were increased to enhance the power to pull heavier loads and to go longer distances...This also meant that the storage of water for the boiler steam, and coal for heating the water had to be made, and should come along with the Locomotive....so came the bogie to store both....it is seen immediately after the locomotive in above picture...
    As the power of the cylinders improved with increasing steam pressure,and volume, more wheels were attached to the drive cylinders to gain better grip for traction..this is essential for higher Kinetic energy to pull heavier loads and sustained speeds....Here is an animated picture to explain the different movement of the Cylinder and the wheel eccentrics...The Pink/red portion in the cylinder is the hot working steam,while the greenish area is the spent steam .




    More to come...
    Last edited by psr; 04-11-2013, 10:18 AM.
    When Was The Last Time,You Did Something For The First Time.

  • #2
    Off Topic Discussion Approved

    Thank you PSR sir for the article. Now we can continue the discussion here.
    Advice is a form of nostalgia.
    Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

    Antz Travelz!! | South India Exploration Ride | Leh Triplog (Work in progress)

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice.I always had a thing for locomotives, especially these contemporary machines...now that the thread has started, I can gather information about them!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by antz.bin View Post
        Off Topic Discussion Approved

        Thank you PSR sir for the article. Now we can continue the discussion here.
        Thanks for the quick approval
        When Was The Last Time,You Did Something For The First Time.

        Comment


        • #5
          For a moment, I went back and checked if this is xBhp.

          And I say its really interesting article from PSR sir. Look forward for more discussion.
          HH Karizma (Current) || CBF Stunner PGM-FI || Honda CB Unicorn Dazzler
          Honda Aviator || Kinetic Flyte || Kinetic Blaze || HH Splendor

          Two ZMAs, 9 Days in Western Ghats

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          • #6
            Really interesting,learning something new everyday.
            You are a living treasure trove for us

            Comment


            • #7
              While all the innovation and improvements were all happening in England, the US of A was at it's infant stage....so it imported a "Rocket" model engine in 1829 and started using it. It was so reliable that it ran till 1879 and a total of 300,000 MILES before being retired...By now the interest in US had become infectious and , of the many companies,two companies stood out in the manufacture of steam Locos. One was Baldwin and the other was ALCO(American Locomotive Company)..ALCO is the father of the WDM Diesel units India imported first and later started to manufacture in quantity....
              The Rocket steam Locomotive the US imported from England...


              The first of the Baldwin Loco was made and run in 1880 and later on was retired from service to rest in museum...


              Later models of Steam Locos had bigger fire box, bigger Boiler with longer water circulation tubes, and bigger Cylinders,and wheels...all this was done to improve power and range...
              A cross section of the steam Loco and it's different parts.

              1. Furnace, 2. Ash-bin, 3. Water (inside the boiler); 4. Smoke box; 5. Cabin, 6. Coal-Tender, 7. Dome steam 8. Safety Valve, 9. Regulator, 10. Superheater header in the main duct of steam 11. Piston, 12. Steam outlet nozzle; 13. Drive assembly, 14. Operating lever of the regulator; 15. Drive Frame, 16. Rear bezel, 17. Front Bezel 18. Bearing and shaft sprocket, 19. Crossbow, 20. Brake shoe, 21. Air brake pump 22. Front stop, 23. Whistle, 24. Dome sandbox.....

              With more Industrial Activity , the pressure to improve Power,Range and Efficiency were constantly on the Locomotive design team. Their approach hence changed to bigger , longer and Faster Locomotives. The World War 2 brought on tremendous pressure on transport industry to build bigger faster transporters for the troops.Thus the Biggest of Commercial viable Steam Locomotive named "Big Boy" was made by ALCO. It's power, size ,and resource consumption was awesome.Another Loco "Challenger" was also made for medium power and range..




              BIG BOY in action...



              The Challenger a relatively smaller engine is still in use in US and had been converted to oil fired ..Here is a picture of the challenger steam Loco..



              The Big Boy cost US$ 265,000 in 1947, had 6,000 HP (peak power 7,000 HP)capacity, can pull 5,360 tons in the plains and 4,000 tons on 1.4 incline,
              top speed 70 Mph,carried 24,000 gallons water and 28 tons of coal or oil,
              consumes on max load 9,980 gallons of water and 9.6 tons of coal per hour..for more on Big Boy.....
              Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" Locomotives

              for more on American steam Locomotives..read Donald Nute's "steam Locomotive Page"
              Donald Nute's Home Page

              The BIG BOY and the CHALLENGER were the Biggest and powerful engines in their day..
              But the Fastest was a diminutive looking Engine which was Aerodynamically designed for superior speed and Efficiency...we will discuss about it in next post...
              Last edited by psr; 08-13-2012, 11:17 AM.
              When Was The Last Time,You Did Something For The First Time.

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              • #8
                Wonderful and well explained one sir...this is what the experienced person can do, putting things step by step and any brain dead person can also understand how it all started and what it can do.

                Thanks PSR sir, will now follow this thread, though locomotoves never interested me, but am going to follow just for the sake of engineering wonders and to know the history on how it all started and where it is now
                Never Give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about.

                Cheers
                Ramesh Madhavan

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ravi@17bhp View Post
                  For a moment, I went back and checked if this is xBhp.

                  And I say its really interesting article from PSR sir. Look forward for more discussion.
                  Originally posted by shoeb2015 View Post
                  Really interesting,learning something new everyday.
                  You are a living treasure trove for us
                  Originally posted by rameshmadhavan View Post
                  Wonderful and well explained one sir...this is what the experienced person can do, putting things step by step and any brain dead person can also understand how it all started and what it can do.

                  Thanks PSR sir, will now follow this thread, though locomotoves never interested me, but am going to follow just for the sake of engineering wonders and to know the history on how it all started and where it is now
                  Thanks for the kind words of appreciation....the volume of data I have is enormous,and I am trying to keep the posts as concise as possible , to maintain reader's interest...where the volume of content is high I will be giving the link for the reader to go through without congesting Xbhp
                  When Was The Last Time,You Did Something For The First Time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Credit for being the Fastest Steam Locomotive goes to Locomotive called MALLARD. It did a whopping 126 MILES per hour(approx 202 Kmph).



                    Even this Steam Loco could not keep up with the demand of fast emerging world's requirement of efficiency and speed...It was finally retired in 1963 after completing approximately 2.4 Million Kms service.
                    For more info on Mallard .
                    .LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                    Variants in steam Locomotives....
                    The Articulated Locomotive....
                    a steam locomotive with one or more engine units which can move independent of the main frame. This is done to allow a longer locomotive to negotiate tighter curves. Articulated locomotives are generally used either on lines with extreme curvature—logging, industrial, or mountainous railways, for example—or to allow very large locomotives to run on railways with standard track curvature.

                    Geared Locomotives...
                    For uses where a high starting torque and low speed were required, the conventional drive approach was inadequate.So a Direct Gear drive was configured.
                    Fireless Locomotive...
                    In a fireless locomotive the boiler is replaced by a steam accumulatoroil refineries) or where cleanliness was important (e.g., in food factories). The water vessel ("boiler") is heavily insulated as is a fired locomotive. Until all the water has boiled away, the steam pressure does not drop except as the temperature drops. Another class of fireless locomotive is a compressed air locomotive.
                    Steam Electric Locomotive...
                    Where steam is used to spin a generator which produced electricity to drive motors of the wheel...More or less like the Diesel Electric Locomotive...It was soon given up due to less efficiency and complexity.

                    The efficiency of the Steam Loco is approximately 6 to 10 percent ..with the advent of Diesel Electric Locos from the late 1940s and early 1950 the Steam locos steadily lost it's place to the more powerful, less maintenance and more efficient Diesel Electric locos...Till 1960s skeleton service were maintained , before they became part of museum or play parks...some steam locos were even abandoned on their tracks and soon vegetation engulfed and insects and reptiles turned them into their home...

                    A fate which even the diesel electric locos suffered later on.
                    Last edited by psr; 08-13-2012, 11:18 AM.
                    When Was The Last Time,You Did Something For The First Time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sir, always had a fascination towards the steam locomotives,
                      I suppose radio controlled jet propulsion would soon make it to xbhp as well?
                      ______________________________________
                      sigpic

                      Dream big and Dream hard,
                      coz life's all about chasing down ur dreams and living them...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brat View Post
                        Sir, always had a fascination towards the steam locomotives,
                        I suppose radio controlled jet propulsion would soon make it to xbhp as well?
                        Ha ha I can guess what you are referring to....it is too complex ..and I do not know if i have the capacity to simplify it...
                        I will be moving on to the Diesel Electric locos and much later Electric locos ...
                        Last edited by psr; 05-30-2012, 06:28 PM.
                        When Was The Last Time,You Did Something For The First Time.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Subscribed

                          Ok ok so i have some questions and it may sound nubile.

                          The exhaust steam is used to superheat the steam? i always thought that the superheater in steam locos takes the wet steam from the water chamber and runs it in front of the exhaust from the fire tubes only, and that this superheater is a seperate unit instead of being integrated along side with the fire tubes. So most of the boilers are designed like so with the superheating being done by the exhaust steam injected/ flowed thru the water chamber?

                          Thought the soviet 2-3-2b was the monster of the locomotive world, big boy takes the cake.

                          the 4-8-8-4 means that the engine has 4 articulated parts? the front guide wheels then the front driving wheels , then the rear driving wheels and then rear guiding wheels? or does the 4-8-8-4 notation just indicate the wheel arrangement and does not indicate the articulation as well?

                          Never knew about Fireless Locomotives

                          erm hehe I guess enough nubility for now.
                          When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Your queries are not of a nube ,and I welcome it.....
                            Here is the 4-8-8-4 configuration arrangement..The Big Boy had Mallet type articulation..which means the front ,leading set of 4-8 are on a pinion swing articulation while the trailing 8-4 are fixed.
                            Of course the front 4 are for weight support and guide , while the next 8 wheels are the powered ones., followed by 8 driven(powered) wheels and four non powered ones.





                            the most common form of superheater is the fire-tube type. This takes the saturated steam supplied in the dry pipe into a superheater header mounted against the tube sheet in the smoke box.The steam is then passed through a number of superheater elements—long pipes which are placed inside special, widened fire tubes, called flues. Hot combustion gases from the locomotive's fire pass through these flues just like they do the firetubes, and as well as heating the water they also heat the steam inside the superheater elements they flow over. The superheater element doubles back on itself so that the heated steam can return; most do this twice at the fire end and once at the smokebox end, so that the steam travels a distance of four times the header's length while being heated. The superheated steam, at the end of its journey through the elements, passes into a separate compartment of the superheater header and then to the cylinders as normal.Here is an Image to clarify.......


                            The fireless Locomotive is always a long boiler like in shape in which either very hot water/steam or compressed air is stored under high pressure and used for Locomotion.
                            Hope your doubts are cleared..
                            Last edited by psr; 08-13-2012, 11:20 AM.
                            When Was The Last Time,You Did Something For The First Time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ok so there is only one articulated joint in the engine chassis. This articulation works only on the horizontal axis? or is there some articulation provided along the vertical axis as well, or is the job totally left to the suspension? if it is left to the suspension alone, wont it stress the pinion swing joint?

                              Also asking just to be sure, the pistons of the front and rear are not pressure linked, or mechanically linked, are they? do they work in synchronisation eg: like two v8s mechanically coupled or are they mechanically dis sync v8s having independent gearboxes and transfer-cases? In case the driver gave too much throttle and the wheels of the front driving unit starts to spin and lose traction the rear unit will still maintain traction due to the load transfer?

                              if the answer to the vertical articulation is yes then the rear wheels will be the ones spinning (just statics assumption )

                              Psr sir the pic of the superheater isnt showing.

                              Boiler type mountings will be used on the steam accumulators of the fireless locomotives and boiler accessories will be used in the stationary boiler/ steam plant. But are some of these accessories also used in the locomotives as well? or are there specific 'accessories for steam accumulators', which are used on the locomotives?
                              When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car

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