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

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    psr
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    Default 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 at 10:18 AM.
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    Moderator antz.bin's Avatar
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    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.

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

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    Quote 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.

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

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    psr
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    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 at 11:17 AM.
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    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.

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    psr
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    Quote 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.
    Quote Originally Posted by shoeb2015 View Post
    Really interesting,learning something new everyday.
    You are a living treasure trove for us
    Quote 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.

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    psr
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    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 accumulator which is charged with steam (actually water at high temperature well above the boiling point, 212 F/100 C) from a stationary boiler. Fireless locomotives were used where there was a high fire risk (e.g., in oil 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 at 11:18 AM.
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