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Keeping a Loco at the right Pressure.

Keith91

Joined: 5-05-10

Topics: 1

Replies: 8

Posted: Fri 7th May 2010, 12:25pm
Keeping a Loco at the right Pressure.

Hi,

I am new to Live steam i Started In about September time last year. I have been driving A thomas 2 Loco once a month since March. It is owned by someone in the club that i go to but he lets me learn to drive it. I am having trouble keeping it up to the right pressure and keeping her water level right! Can anyone give me advise on how to keep her at the right pressure? I keep her fire burning well with the right amount of coal she blows her safty valves at 80psi. It doesn't like running below 50 psi, any idea's Let me know thanks.

Many Thanks,
Keith.
 

Replies To This Post

frankcooper

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 9

Replies: 58

Posted: Sun 9th May 2010, 9:50am

Are all tubes cleaned regularly? Also need to make sure the corner of the fir are full of coal - very easy to just put coal in middle and leave holes around edge especially under firebox doors - this pulls cold air through reducing heat.

"Little and often" was the expression used on all full size locos - still relevant at our scale.


Frank Cooper
 

Keith91

Joined: 5-05-10

Topics: 1

Replies: 8

Posted: Sun 9th May 2010, 7:05pm

Thanks Frank I try to get the corners and the tubes are cleaned after every running. Is there anything else that I should try to do? Thank you for your help. Keith
 

malcolmcarroll

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 0

Replies: 21

Posted: Tue 11th May 2010, 1:34pm

Dear Keith,
Are you sure you are not getting better each time you drive? Losing pressure in these circumstances is called in French "Planter un choux". Planting a cabbage. My driving record on a new loco has an allotment full of vegetables.

Courage, mon enfant!

Malcolm SW France
 

Keith91

Joined: 5-05-10

Topics: 1

Replies: 8

Posted: Wed 12th May 2010, 8:20am

Well i seem to be keeping her at the right pressure but on our steam days we run alot as we pull in to the main station get water and coal get to pressure after turning and go but i seem to be sitting there alot of the time. It just doesn't seem normal. I think maybe the other problem is that i have been noticing that 7.25 Hunslets seem to work to 100psi where this one works at 80 psi. I think i will just get used to it and try as hard as i can to keep it at the pressure.

Thanks for your reply I am sure it will go ok after a while.

Keith
 

Tim Martin

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 1

Replies: 10

Posted: Wed 12th May 2010, 9:13pm

Having built and run a Thomas 2 for more than 10yrs I am very surprised you are having problems as keeping the pressure down is the normal trouble.
Many people have driven mine over the years juniors and senior members and no one has ever failed.
The design pressure is 100 psi but the owner has obviously decided for his to run at 80 psi, It should still run around with 4 coaches loaded at 40 psi or less.
I would talk to the owner or others who have driven this loco and ascertain if they have similar problems with firing this particular engine.

Tim
 

Keith91

Joined: 5-05-10

Topics: 1

Replies: 8

Posted: Thu 13th May 2010, 1:56pm

Hi Tim every one else who has drivin this loco didn't seem to have a problem now i dont exactly know what i am doing wrong but there seems to be quite a few gradients on the line we run. If you are interested in coming down have a look on the following website, www.iwemrc.org.uk I am sure if you contact the section head of 7 1/4 you might be able to bring your Thomas as well and you could give me some tips. it would be nice to have visiting loco's but not sure if we can. Maybe you can drop me some hints on how you run yours and i would see if that would work?

Thanks,

Keith.
 

Peter Beevers

Joined: 9-10-01

Topics: 3

Replies: 134

Posted: Fri 14th May 2010, 7:53am

Forget the idea that driving a steam loco is a science and all you need to do is learn a few facts and it'll all be OK. This is a very basic beginners mistake. Driving a steam loco is an art - you never know it all, you just know a bit more than last time. You need to listen to her, react to what she is doing, what condition she is in. Don't worry about maintaining any particular pressure - if it's enough to do the job then that's just fine (and, with a Thomas 2, unless you want to pull down a whole row of houses at once, any pressure is enough!!!) Watch other drivers (both good and bad), see what they do, and, if you don't understand, ask. Above all, have fun!!
 

Keith91

Joined: 5-05-10

Topics: 1

Replies: 8

Posted: Fri 14th May 2010, 7:28pm

Thanks for that Peter I will keep this in mind and I'm sure it will be ok thank u
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Sat 15th May 2010, 10:29am

Keith, another small point is make sure that the ashpan doesn't clog up, that will restrict the air to the fire as well.
 

ericwalker

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 0

Replies: 6

Posted: Thu 21st Oct 2010, 8:08pm

You have spotted the problem, the engine should run at 100psi.

Eric Walker.
 

Keith91

Joined: 5-05-10

Topics: 1

Replies: 8

Posted: Fri 12th Nov 2010, 2:50pm

Thanks Eric i thought that was the case, its horriable trying to run it a 80psi it losses steam so quickly. So if you build a hunslet make sure its 100psi working condition. Any way i will keep trying and hopefully it will get easier.

Cheers All!
 

ianholder

Joined: 1-01-78

Topics: 0

Replies: 4

Posted: Mon 4th Jul 2011, 8:25pm

Keith, sorry this is a late reply, only just got my head round broadband. The problem, if there is one, is not that it should be 100psi instead of 80. I built my Hunslet tank in 1980 and it has always run at 80psi. For ten years of its life it ran regularly at Frimley railway pulling four loaded carriages all afternoon,those who know Frimley will know that it is a pretty intensive operation on a Sunday afternoon. If I hadn't moved away from the area it would still be doing it, still at 80psi. Some days are good and everything goes well and some days nothing goes right, but that 's steam locos for you! Talk to full size drivers and you will hear exactly the same. A lot is down to coal, get a good batch and you will have a wonderful day probably not even touching the blower. A bad lot will really spoil your day, grate clinkers up, no steam, and you still have to get four loaded coaches round 1000yds of track unless you have to do a double circuit. All this on 80 psi. Its not the pressure, the loco can be set up to run at any pressure. Its all down to learning how to handle the loco, which will come with experience. Enjoy it and the good days come more frequently.
 
 
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