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Locomotive crashes and preventing boiler explosions?

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Simon Robinson 408/02/2018 13:27:38
54 forum posts

How do you prevent the boiler exploding on a live steam loco that has crashed or fallen on its side? Obviously with small locos you can quickly right them but it’s a lot harder with bigger heavier locos such as 5” or 7 1/4” gauge.

I recently saw a picture of a 15” loco on its side. How would the driver prevent the boiler from exploding considering its safety valve is probably under water.

Roderick Jenkins08/02/2018 13:50:32
1855 forum posts
471 photos

With the engine on its side I guess the fire wouldn't be doing any more serious heating so there is no reason for the pressure to rise. If the blast was on then it would be prudent, if possible, to turn it off.



KWIL08/02/2018 13:56:45
3214 forum posts
63 photos

The safety valve will still be functional and subject to the same pressure. The pickup point for the blast may also be under water! The firebed will also be upset and only subject to top air and none through the grate. All conjecture of course.

dcosta09/02/2018 00:46:40
483 forum posts
206 photos

When I was six years old, 61 years ago, a train derailed on the line that was less than 10 meters from my parents' house and the locomotive leaned over a small slope.
Even today I remember the fear that caused me to hear for so long, uninterruptedly, the whistle of the locomotive that thus relieved the pressure in the boiler.
The driver, before leaving the locomotive, had time and discretion, in the midst of panic, to hold the handle of the whistle in a fixed position.
Many years later, my mother still recognized at a distance, by the sound of the whistle, the approach of the locomotive that had been restored in the meantime ...

Dias Costa

John Olsen09/02/2018 02:20:33
1028 forum posts
86 photos
1 articles

Since explosions in model boilers are exceedingly rare anyway, I don't think there is a great deal to be concerned about.

The only actual explosion in a model boiler that I have ever found out about was a model liner that blew up and sank about 1909. It would be fair to say that the construction of that boiler was somewhat deficient, to put it mildly. There was more recently (well, within the last 40-50 years...) a model loco boiler written up in ME that failed (but not explosively) due to being totally choked up with lime.

So provided the boiler is made properly to the relevant standard, and inspected regularly, there would seem to be very little risk. I suspect there is far more risk to the passengers and by standers from the actual derailment, eg broken arms and the like from the fall if the trollies go over too.


FMES09/02/2018 06:14:22
602 forum posts
2 photos

may be of interest **LINK**

fizzy09/02/2018 06:38:40
1705 forum posts
115 photos

If full size is anything like scale models you quickly realise that if the blower is closed and the engine isnt moving the fire very rapidly fades to nothing. There was a model boiler explosion in quite recent times which caused at least one fatality.....but my memory fails me sat this point. I do remember that both of its safety valves had been hammered shut!

Bazyle09/02/2018 08:59:18
5134 forum posts
199 photos

Puzzled by the picture in the link above. "tubes filled with superheated water" Was it an experimental water tube boiler?

Jon Cameron09/02/2018 09:44:11
309 forum posts
90 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 09/02/2018 08:59:18:

Puzzled by the picture in the link above. "tubes filled with superheated water" Was it an experimental water tube boiler?

I believe that's probably a journalist that lacks a full understanding of how the boiler in a loco works. I do notice the boiler has failed at one of its weakest points, the end. The tube of the boiler remaining intact.

J Hancock09/02/2018 11:20:16
389 forum posts

Be careful if driving in Belgium, they had a full size locomotive completely de-rail yesterday ,run along the

road and hit a van coming down the road.

FMES09/02/2018 14:16:59
602 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 09/02/2018 08:59:18:

Puzzled by the picture in the link above. "tubes filled with superheated water" Was it an experimental water tube boiler?


But the majority of those tubes look as though they are bent back on themselves, could they be superheaters ?

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