Author Topic: WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much  (Read 6427 times)

Michael Shook

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WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much
« on: November 12, 2013, 03:34:15 AM »
In my very limited experience (1 steam ride at each, plus videos) WW&F #10 is quite smoky while the German Boothbay Railway locomotive had very little smoke.

Can anyone tell me why?

Cheers-
-Michael

James Patten

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Re: WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 11:58:55 AM »
One word - Anthracite.

Boothbay Railway is able to run their locomotive with Anthracite coal.  That's the hard stuff.  They have pretty light loads and a short run, so it works for them.

We have tried anthracite in the past, and it's a miserable experience.  We have much heavier loads, a much longer run, and longer grades.  #10's firebox is not built for anthracite.  Whenever we order coal we try to get a Pocahontas "smokeless" variety of bituminous, but the smokelessness varies on the seam and the chemical properties.  This current batch is relatively smokeless compared to the last batch.

John Kokas

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Re: WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 12:14:24 PM »
Have we ever tried blended coal sources?  I know many RR's in later years blended 50-50 to 66-34 (Bit / Anthr) to cut down on smoke and ash as well as get better BTU's out of their fireboxes.  It also eliminated the need for the Wooten type firebox which did create some issues for engine crews and maintenance folks.

James Patten

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Re: WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 01:07:30 PM »
We have tried mixing hard and soft - with mixed results, as I recall.  We've had big problems with coking on the grates.

Michael Shook

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Re: WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 02:36:43 PM »
Wow! Now I know. Many thanks.

Steve Smith

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Re: WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 03:34:43 PM »
Thanks Michael James and John. I enjoyed learning a bit about this subject from the posts. Didn't realize we'd tried that.

Bernie Perch

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Re: WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 02:30:00 PM »
To diverge a bit, I am involved with Jersey Central 0-6-0 #113 in Minersville, PA.  It is a 95 ton Wootten boilered locomotive designed to burn anthracite.  To say that the difference between firing anthracite and bituminous coals is light years apart would be an understatement.  I won't go into the details too deeply but anthracite requires a relatively thin fire (3-4 inches) and no spot can be allowed to burn out as it is nearly impossible to move the coal and restart that area.  The fire must be kept blazing (if you want to call it that) and not allowed to die down.  If the fire dies down too much, even if the coals are glowing somewhat, new coal will not restart on top of them.  The only way to restart these areas is to throw in wood and throw the anthracite on top of it.

113's firebox is the size of a small Mikado and it takes a real throw to get the coal to the front of it.  Some of us have resorted to throwing the coal so it skips over the fire like a flat rock skips over water.  I will try to answer any other questions on the subject, but I surely do not have answers to everything because we are still on a learning curve.

By the way, if you live near Minersville, we are having Santa Steam train rides on Nov. 30 at 11, 1, and 3.  Call the Minersville station at 570-544-8300 for details.  R & N 425 will also be involved and it is planned to doublehead the locomotives from Westwood Jct. to Minersville before the trips start.  How the locomotives will be utilized after that us up to the R & N.

Bernie

Bill Piche

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Re: WW&F #10: lots of smoke, Boothbay Railway, not so much
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 06:57:41 PM »
MNG uses Pocahontas bituminous as well. I've noticed the load we've gotten this time smokes a bit more than the old one did, so there's definitely some variance.

One of the problems with mixing coal is that you can never really keep a consistent ratio. I've had that problem working at Conway, where you do the best you can, but sometimes you run into a slug of anthracite stove coal in the chute. The firebox is so big, and the antracite so hard to get burning, that you'll shovel half the way to Conway just trying to keep the pressure high enough to not dump the air. You'll end up cranking the blower during the runaround, and then not be able to put enough water in it all the way back to N. Conway when the anthracite finally catches. You'll then spend all during the layover trying to keep the whole bed from going out over the next hour and a half. Mixing keeps the complaints down, though, so I guess that's a plus.

Anthracite is hard on a firebox, too, since it burns a lot hotter. I say it's better to throw it in the stove if the boiler wasn't designed to burn it.

Engineer/Fireman, MNGRR
"Any day with steam is a good day." - me