Author Topic: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators  (Read 17402 times)

John Kokas

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Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« on: August 01, 2008, 05:49:49 PM »
Just a quick question - can anyone tell me the type of compressor lubricators that either #9 or #10 use?  I assume they are mechanical link driven.

John
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James Patten

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2008, 06:40:53 PM »
Neither #9 nor #10 has compressed air.  #10 has steam brakes, on the locomotive only.  #9 will have vacuum brakes, which might someday be extended to brake the entire train (we're hopeful).

John Kokas

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2008, 10:42:04 AM »
james,

thanks for the info, but this raises another question.  how are we going to handle the "FRA" issues regarding future issues of compliance?  as far as i know, hand brakes or an "Eames" style of vacuum brake is not legal.  although not prototypical, wouldn't a small "AB" or at least "ABD" type system be installed.  pumps and parts are available.  your thoughts................

jk
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Ira Schreiber

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2008, 12:10:43 PM »
As I interpert FRA regulations, (yes, I have read them more than once) we have no problem as the regs apply only IF you have air brakes. We are not part of the national system, therefore the air brake section does not apply to our operation.

The are many rumors flying about FRA and if you have the time, please  contact Allan Fisher or myself for clarifications.

Ira Schreiber

James Patten

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2008, 12:19:39 AM »
John,

I appreciate your concerns about FRA compliance.  We have several volunteers with us who are quite familiar with FRA, one which helped to "write the book" on it - Allan Fisher was involved in crafting the NORAC rules, I believe.  Museum management has everything under control.

Ken Fleming

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2008, 09:13:49 PM »
Are vacuum brakes, for #10, a two foot gage thing?  Were the original brakes on #10 steam?  Why not air brakes?  Is the valving/control for vacuum brakes simpler? Are the components for vacuum brake system readily available? For engines and cars in the future?

Ken Fleming

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2008, 09:18:51 PM »
In my post about vacuum brakes, I meant #9, but questions would apply if we maintain a uniform braking system.

James Patten

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2008, 01:16:20 PM »
#10 was originally constructed for a LA sugar plantation.  I doubt she had any brakes at that time.  I assume it was Edaville that added the steam brakes, likely because #3 and 4 also had steam brakes and steam brake equipment may have been lying around or easy to come by.

As for #9, the WW&F shop crew added the vacuum brakes when she arrived on the property.  Again, they likely had some vacuum equipment lying around unused from other engines.  At one time the WW&F had other pieces of equipment with vacuum brakes.

As for vacuum brake equipment availability, I don't know.  The Ffestiniog in Wales runs with vacuum brakes for their whole train, so either they know a place to get equipment or fabricate their own.

Ken Fleming

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2008, 05:33:50 PM »
James, thanks for the information.  In my 52 years of running steam locomotives, I have run several with steam brakes, but none without any brakes or with vacuum brakes. Even cane trains need to have a means of stopping.  I'll have to Google some information on vacuum brake systems. 

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2008, 01:36:40 AM »
Steam brakes were quite common on smaller steam industrial locomotives. Using steam for the brakes meant one less system to maintain, since you didn't need air or vacuum to operate the brakes. Some of the earlier logging locomotives had three brake systems: steam for the engine, air (independent for the engine) and automatic air for the train. At least one of the remaining "original" Shays at Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia still has all three. Steam cranes and shovels operating on rails also were often fitted with steam brakes for the same reason. In fact, the steam brake valve on the little Shay in Bradford, Pa., came off a steam crane.

John Kokas

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2008, 01:36:51 AM »
James, Ira, et al.

Have contacts with FRA myself and "rumor" issue of having non-connected RR's coming under FRA jurisdiction - has not gone away.  When it comes about is anyone's guess but it would be wise to be preparing a "Plan B" if this does come about.  As I read the reg's, one could probably get away with a "6" brake under a historical equipment clause.  Better safe than sorry.......................

JK
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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2008, 07:27:10 PM »
Strictly speaking, I don't think the FRA is OK with the use of vacuum brakes or straight air brakes, as there is no failsafe. That having been said, they also have a lot more important fish to fry. It's cut and dry that to meet the legal requirements if you cross a public grossing at grade,  you to have automatic air brakes of some sort, this was required by law by one of te railroad safety appliance acts around the turn of the century.I always thought a good way to get a hold of the parts would be to buy some of those Chinese 6-ET copies that they use over on those SYs and QJs.
Trevor Hartford
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2008, 08:15:46 PM »
Yesterday, I had the good fortune to visit the Foster Brook & State Line Railroad in Bradford, Pa. Its owner, Doug Kuntz, has a lovely 12-ton, 24-inch gauge Lima Shay of 1920 vintage. He showed me a brand new steam brake valve he just had made for it, using as a pattern the steam brake valve from one of the Shays at Cass. I sent a photo of the valve to Stephen. Perhaps he can post it, since I am clueless.

The big problem with fitting our locomotives with air brakes, as I see it, is the air compressor would use a substantial amount of steam, and, with our tiny boilers, well, you can see the potential problem.

By the way, I don't think the necessity for air brakes if you cross a public thoroughfare goes back to the original Railway Safety Appliance Act. Until 1967, a narrow-gauge mining line crossed two public roads in Wanamie, Pa., with only the lokies (also Vulcans) equipped with steam brakes, just like no. 10. These were  the last survivors of the hundreds of anthracite haulage lines that crossed many a street or road in northeastern Pennsylvania, and there were quite a few logging railroads in Pennsylvania that did the same thing without benefit of train air.

Finally, not to dispute James, but I believe no. 10 probably had a steam jam brake when built. Even in the flat cane fields of Louisiana, there is sometimes a need to stop at a specific location. 

Stephen Hussar

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2008, 09:52:53 PM »

Jon Chase

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Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2008, 10:10:59 PM »
Trevor Hartford wrote:

"Strictly speaking, I don't think the FRA is OK with the use of vacuum brakes or straight air brakes, as there is no failsafe."

Trevor, it is incorrect that 'vacuum brakes or straight air brakes' have no 'failsafe,'  assuming that you mean what I believe you do by each of these terms.

The 'vacuum brakes' once used by many American railroads, including most if not all of the Maine two footers at one time, are more properly described as automatic vacuum brakes, in which the reduction of the vacuum in the train line (i.e., the introduction of atmospheric pressure) causes the brakes to apply.  "Straight air brakes," in obsolete railroad usage, are essentially the reverse, in that a reduction in the train line pressure directly causes a brake application.  Both systems are "automatic" in that an emergency application results from any unintentional break in the trainline, such as the train uncoupling while in motion. 

Steam brakes, which are sometimes referred to as "jam brakes," use steam pressure to apply the brakes on a locomotive, similarly to the air brakes used on highway trucks.  Neither of designs these would "failsafe" if used on rolling stock coupled together.  If the cars were to pull apart unintentionally, the brakes would be completely released. 

Early railroad straight air brakes were superseded following the invention of the Westinghouse "triple valve," the ancestor of the K and AB freight car systems and the passenger variants such as PC and UC.  In these systems, a reduction in the trainline causes pressurized air stored in reservoirs under each car to be released with great force, resulting in the application of the brakes with considerably more effect and thus facilitating the introduction of larger locomotives and higher speeds. 

Trevor Hartford also wrote:

"That having been said, they also have a lot more important fish to fry. It's cut and dry that to meet the legal requirements if you cross a public grossing at grade,  you to have automatic air brakes of some sort, this was required by law by one of te railroad safety appliance acts around the turn of the century."

Trevor, you haven't actually cited any regulatory language here.  But if the FRA's requirement is that brakes be "automatic," there could be no objection to an automatic vacuum installation.  Indeed, most standard gauge preserved railways in the UK use such vacuum brakes, which were standard practice over there into the 1960s at least. 

Jon Chase   
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 11:09:09 PM by Jon Chase »