Author Topic: WW&F Roundhouse Fire  (Read 16104 times)

Mike Fox

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WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« on: December 03, 2008, 12:50:09 PM »
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I also believe the WW&Fs roundhouse fire contributed to the RRs eventual colapse.

Vincent, I never looked at it that way but you may be correct. The loss of 3 locomotives and no funds to replace them created a big burden on the railroad, which deepend with the failing economy.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 01:10:40 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Wayne Laepple

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WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 01:06:56 PM »
However, both no. 6 and no. 7 were stored out of service in the roundhouse. Both were in need of major repairs, if I recall correctly, and as they were the largest engines the railroad owned, were the most expensive to operate and repair. I suspect they had been parked at least partly because they were so costly to use and there wasn't enough traffic to justify the cost of repairs. Correct me if I'm misinformed.

Vincent "Lightning" LeRow

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 03:11:32 PM »
Event still, the locomotives and the building were assets that could have shouldered some leans.  And I am pretty sure at that point the railroad had little or no insurance.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 03:14:52 PM by Vincent LeRow »
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Ken Fleming

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 09:44:45 PM »
Another good reason to build the roundhouse and car barn from steel.  I would bet that if the W.W. & F. Ry had had that choice, they would have chose it.  I know we want everything to look as the original, but we could keep the color scheme and go for safety.  By the way, a quote for an all steel 25' x 100' car barn was around $39,000.  Even with super insurance, we could never replace the equipment that we could loose in a fire.

Eric Bolton

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 11:04:42 PM »
Steel car barn yes but the roundhouse? The car barn is going to be more out of sight. The roundhouse is going to be one of the first things people see when they get to the museum. Unless there is some way to completely hide the steel structure under a wooden skin I would have to say no to a steel roundhouse. Not that I have any real say in it. One way to prevent a fire is to never put a hot engine in the house. Dump the fire first. A banked engine is much easier to get going in the morning but with the small size of the WWF's motive power starting from scratch is no big deal.
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Vincent "Lightning" LeRow

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2008, 11:29:41 PM »
At the MNG we can't put banked engines in our little engine hut, but what we do is water wedging.  We fill the boiler until the ingectors begin to knock, and then dump the fire.  we usualy get the engine put away at 115-120 psi on the needle (max pressure 125).  then the next morning even though the needle is down the boiler is still warm, and it only takes a small wood fire to start the pressure climbing.  We do however put a cover on top of the stack for any residiual parts of the fire that may have escaped the dump and to help keep the heat in, preventing the draft.
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Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 02:03:33 AM »
Steel car barn yes but the roundhouse? The car barn is going to be more out of sight. The roundhouse is going to be one of the first things people see when they get to the museum.

What about wooden walls and a steel roof? Steel framing inside, less to catch fire and it would still look authentic.
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Eric Bolton

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 07:59:17 PM »
That could work I'm just saying if your going for the "authentic" look then a metal roundhouse just wont work. That building along with the turntable will become one of the centers of attention. What about the installation of a fire suppression system installed in the building? Just my 2 cents.
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2008, 09:16:04 PM »
There are (vintage looking) fire resistant building materials available so we can build the roundhouse to resemble the one that was in the upper yard at Wiscasset.  I agree that the structure will be the center piece for the Sheepscot Yard.  Like the EBT, early arriving visitors will be able to watch as an engine is steamed up, backed on to the turntable, turned and readied for the days work.  One reason to have a real roundhouse is to be able to fire up inside.   The smoke jacks can be modern pull-down insulated pipes that make steaming up safe.   Many round house fires started in the roof timbers or roof surface so we can protect this area with modern fire resistant material.  It isn't seen by visitors so we have more flexibility in construction. 

The fire suppression system is a good idea but will be hard to do.  There are choices of a "wet" sprinkler system which is charged with water all the time or a dry system which is charged with air with water ready in the main reservoir.  I doubt that our roundhouse will have heat so the dry system would have to be installed.  The sprinkler heads would have to be well spaced and set with high threshold links to not be set off by a locomotive.  The water source is the other issue, with no town water we would need a holding tank rated for the size and flow rate of the system.  The system is charged by a fire pump that would have to kick in automatically.  I have seen electric and diesel powered fire pumps, diesel would be better if the power is out for some reason.  Of course the system has to be tested and maintained on a regular basis.   There was a suggestion on the old Forum of using the water tank for the resevoir but it gets drained for the Winter.  The fire tank would have to be underground with the discharge feed going directly to the pump which would also be underground.  All this stuff takes alot of $$.  Build with fire resistant materials and add a suppression system if the time and funds are available. 

The roundhouse will be the most expensive building we will have, containing some of our best assets so it's worth doing it right the first time. 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 09:22:30 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Mike Fox

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2008, 11:24:14 PM »
Very nice size-up Stewart. I think we got into the details on the old forum. Firing up a steam engine in the building would be better than leaving one banked overnight. And to keep things on the outside looking authentic, we can sheath a metal frame with board & batten.
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Vincent "Lightning" LeRow

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2008, 11:38:35 PM »
excelent!  doing the board and batten on the metal frame would work just the same as the short term walls in office buildings.  for those who aren't familiar, they instal metal runners in the floor and cieling and have metal snap-in 2x4's.  then the drywall is screwed directly into the metal studs with special screws

perhaps for a banked engine you could hook it up to the ventalation system and just leave the blowers on low or something....
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2008, 11:49:09 PM »
Thanks Mike,  I went through fire protection specs when we designed the social hall addition on our town firehouse a few years ago.  The station is on a well and has three sprinkler zones.  One zone is in an unheated area so the set up would be the same for the roundhouse.  Our system was $65,000.  The underground cistern was already there so we had to build a new vault for the fire pump and it's control system right next to it.  We drilled through the concrete and ran the cistern feed right into the pumps impeller.  That way you get water as soon as the system starts up.  The roundhouse would probably have an  underground cistern if we built such a system.  That's the best way to keep it from freezing.

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2008, 11:55:42 PM »
Vincent,  Our fire station was built with steel studs, rafters and floor stringers.  It is sheathed with plastic wood siding so it matches the 100 year old buildings around it.  Yes the roundhouse could be built that way.  Regarding the smoke jacks, there are double lined chimney pipes that can be adapted for use as an adjustable flu.  That what I was referring to, it would allow for safe firing up inside the building.

Vincent "Lightning" LeRow

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2008, 06:12:02 PM »
and out of the weather.  I love firing steam engines, it is such an exhilerating experience.  However the freezing wind and rain are not so exhilerating.....
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Mike Fox

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Re: WW&F Roundhouse Fire
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2008, 06:23:48 PM »
I'm sure that the fabrication department could make a smokejack that is retractable that would sit down over the stack and keep all smoke headed out of the building. There are enough talented people there that if someone can come up with a reasonable idea, it can be built.
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