If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Sub Zero Temperatures

Discussion in 'Locomotive Engineering M.I.C' started by johnofwessex, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    2,119
    Likes Received:
    1,084
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Obviously in a Diesel you can fill the radiators with anti-freeze but how do you protect a steam loco in sub zero temperatures - I have seen the gauge glasses on a laid up ship burst in sub zero temperatures.

    Following on from that how are active locos treated when they are 'laid up' over winter? Are the boilers and tenders drained?
     
  2. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,000
    Likes Received:
    2,514
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Certainly steam locos are "winterised" - all water drained from boiler and tender. What is done more short term I don't know.
     
  3. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    13,498
    Likes Received:
    3,914
    Location:
    1012 / 60158
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Not all diesels reacted well to use of anti-freeze. This may have been down to BR using cheap after market liner seals in the past, but BR frost precautions for many years seemed to be to let everything run on tick over constantly. Bet the neighbours loved it.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    2,007
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Probably more important is getting all the water out of the pipes and fittings. Burst injectors aren't cheap to replace. Keeping service locos indoors helps a bit but only if the building is well insulated. Other things done include wrapping all vulnerable bits in a thick layer of rags. Watch out for ice in cylinders if moving a dead loco as ice is just as incompressible as water and won't come out via the drain cocks.
    Running steam in winter is such fun!
     
    jtx, LMS2968, Wenlock and 1 other person like this.
  5. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    491
    You could always light a fire in a steam engine.

    One other problem area is for those involved in PW works.
    Concrete sleepers sticking to each other when being lifted.
    Ballast frozen in the hoppers.
    Chairs breaking when trying to key up.
    Cant find the railway due to it being buried in 4ft of snow, although I might have an answer for that one.
    All experienced in the last 6 years on the NYMR
     
    Sheff, CH 19 and g8bvl like this.
  6. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    2,007
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Not necessarily true if it is frozen.
    Steam heated coaches can be fun, too.. Introducing steam into a frozen up pipe will not clear it as there is no flow.
     
  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    6,779
    Likes Received:
    4,009
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    in some cases injector cones are removed, and pipes covered to prevent build up of ice, and in the case of locos needed to be in service we used to light braziers next to the engines a few days before to keep the temperature above freezing and light warming fires in the loco over a 24hour period before lighting up
     
    flying scotsman123 likes this.
  8. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,621
    Likes Received:
    360
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Wrap the injectors and lubricator up, fill the lubricator with oil, open the injector foot valves (if it has them) open the steam heat cocks
     
  9. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,861
    Likes Received:
    743
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Happily retired
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    One of the easiest ways to prevent problems, if you have people willing and able to do it, is just to maintain a small fire in the firebox. A dozen shovels, (in a big engine), will cook nicely, with doors and damper shut, for hours. Experience will tell how long. Returning to the engine, with one or two red embers left, a lump of wood and the back damper open for short time, will re-ignite the fire, then you can top up again, with a dozen, or more shovels, and if you can find some slack in the tender, pack it on top.

    You are not looking to make steam, just keeping the water tepid. A boiler with a small fire in, will not freeze, neither will any ancillary kit, like sight feed lubricators / gauge glasses, becuase they are bolted to the boiler backhead, which will remain slightly warm.

    It is surprising just how little heat is required to stop somewhere freezing. In the grim fifties, our outside toilet was kept frost - free by a small oil lamp, little more than a candle in a glass. It smelt a bit of paraffin, but it didn't freeze.
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    2,007
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    That's what I tend to do if a loco has to stand outside. Still need to be wary of low positioned injectors and pipework if it gets really cold, especially if there is no steam to leak through valves. A problem I've found with small locos is that if you don't raise steam to get the blower on, the tubes can soon block up, creating a different problem.
    I often wonder how they coped in Scandinavia and similar countries.
     
  11. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,446
    Likes Received:
    932
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired Engineer & Heritage Volunteer
    Location:
    N Warks
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It's interesting to note the differences in loco's imported from colder climes - eg some S160's and the WD at the KWVR.

    e.g In the case of the Chinese S160's they are fitted with lifting injectors so no low-level pipework full of cold water to freeze up.
     
  12. AndyY

    AndyY New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    149
    I believe some of the loco on the Swiss narrow gauge railways are fitted with an electric immersion heater in the boiler to keep the water warm without a fire.
     
  13. huochemi

    huochemi Active Member Friend

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    332
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    UK
    I suspect the S160s/KD6 in China lost their original Nathans to mainline locos (and their DV4 lubricators). QJs originally had a lifting injector on the fireman's side but these all seem to have been replaced in later years or fitted ab initio to new builds relatively early on.
     
    Sheff likes this.
  14. Romsey

    Romsey Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,072
    Likes Received:
    69
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired SPM
    Location:
    Close to Spike Island
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes, the SLM/DLM rack locos for the Brienz Rothorn Bahn, MGN and OBB (Schafberg) built in the late 1980's were fitted with immersion heaters to keep the boilers warm overnight and reduce prep time.

    None of these lines operate in the winter months.

    Cheers, Neil
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017

Share This Page