Train boiler explosion

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JK
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Train boiler explosion

Postby JK » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:17 am


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Merlyn
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Re: Train boiler explosion

Postby Merlyn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:22 am

An exploded view you could say.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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JollyJack
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Re: Train boiler explosion

Postby JollyJack » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:37 pm

The first incarnation of the "Rocket", on the first rail line from Stockton to Darlington had wooden staves assembled like a barrel. The furnace was surrounded by water, so the wood never got anywhere near ignition point. On the route, there was a notable incline, considered to be a challenge for the "iron horse", but the loco chugged up at a walking pace, towing a couple of passenger coaches.

At the top, there were great cheers and celebrations and the company retired to a nearby pub, a coaching inn, to celebrate. Of course, the fireman and driver came too, which left the wooden boiler unattended. As you can imagine, the water boiled off, exposing the staves......then they caught fire, the boiler exploded and the loco burned to the ground.
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Merlyn
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Re: Train boiler explosion

Postby Merlyn » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:12 am

Such detail recollection, it's almost as though you were there?
Panic ye not, just checking dates / possibilities .
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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1898 Lancashire Boiler

Postby pac22ken » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:55 pm

Old Boilers .. took me back 50 years. Mid Sixties between first ship an second or second an third all a bit hazy now.One of a few futile atempts
at not going back to sea. Got a job with GLC(Greater London Council) as a stoker GBP6/week . As i recall the Sanitation & Public Baths Dept. An
1898 Lancashire Boiler with deadweight safety valve. I shovelled tons of coal without a trimmer thank fook the sooters came in once a week. The
busy time was when 'ol Fred the Cockney shouted down "Awright shove her up to ninety we got a few from the Sally this morning". Clients from Salvtn Army for de-lousing. Normal steaming pressure was 40 PSI but Fred needed 90 for special operations so i had to shovel like fook to get up
to the required pressure. After first time seeing the big ball jumping, knew the dampers needed closing in a bit earlier. A lovely time it was
in London ... the biggest 'terrorist" threat to society were the Mods an Rockers. I had a flat in St.Johns Wood for 2.5Pounds /week... wasnt many
members of the stoking fraternity around that neck of the woods .. probly more of the Kinks("You really got Me"). Well back to sea
eventualy an many miserable hours over the years cleaning boiler tubes with no dust masks ... rags to wrap around your
head . Wunt want do that again. Was passing by the S.S.Norway Ex S.S. France in Miami 2003 when saw puff of smoke .. realized later many died
horrible deaths.

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Big Pete
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Re: Train boiler explosion

Postby Big Pete » Mon May 01, 2017 5:52 am

That's one for the real old steam enthusiasts, Haystack Boilers, Cornish Boilers ec, all supplanted by the ubiquitous Scotch Boiler.
You should record your memories for one of the Historical all steam preservation Societies, we are fast losing touch with the Direct Hands on experience of operating that generation of kit and it only survives in Museums now.
BP
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JK
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Re: Train boiler explosion

Postby JK » Tue May 02, 2017 5:17 am

yes , it was very interesting. I have some stories that survived my Grandfather who was a fireman in the 20's onward, but nothing like this.

As an aside, I know the tech superintendent that managed the Norway. He left the company about 5 years before the boiler failure but still got called up by NTSB for questions. That opened my eyes a lot!

When I went in to register my seatime, the old Examiner...Hovas, I think it was, said wait here. Knowing I had Scotch Marine Boiler experience, he went and got the photo album with the pictures of a recent incident on a ship that had the furnaces collapse to show me.
OMG :cry: it was truly amazing to see! 3 foot corrugated furnaces curved into a hourglass shape with 4-6 inches at the narrowest. They collapsed both boiler furnaces. I happened to sail later with the engineer who was called in the middle of the night to go down to look at the boiler front, because there was water dripping out. They opened up the smoke box, and he said he just about passed out when he saw it was a stay telltale leaking. He must have seen his life flash by.

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Merlyn
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Re: Train boiler explosion

Postby Merlyn » Wed May 10, 2017 2:21 am

I can recall my first Scotch boiler experience quite vividly owing to being boxed in up atop the tubes inside the boiler and the bottom furnace end like it was yesterday.
I have written here previously about stripping out the purifier plates and hearing the manhole cover strongback nuts being flogged up by other apprentices with only my calcium carbide light for company this being one of my first jobs at the start out of it all.
A similar fate awaited me re boiler tube stoppers and their fitment.
Strictly speaking this was the boilermakers job but as you didn't carry a boilermaker at sea you had to be told how to repair a leaky tube.
This ship had been steaming for around nine months and with the boiler blown down the furnace doors were opened to help dissipate the heat and when the worst of the heat had gone next day onwards it was out with the buckets of ice and water and into the bucket went your tools.
As a sixteen year old boy this prospect of entering the furnace and pulling yourself right up to the ends of the tubes was daunting to say the least.
Might as well pack it all in now other apprentices were telling me seeing my expressions at the thoughts of entering those corrugations ( and very hot still )
You'll never be a marine engineer if you can't do the job was the cry, I think if I could have spelt claustifobia then I certainly would have had it.
In goes the chargehand, no hats/ goggles/ gloves, just a sweatband and your trusty carbide lamp.
Him going in before me instilled the confidence which was necessary for me to enter the still hot furnace.
I can picture now all those corrugations which you had to get yourself and your ice bucket containing the necessary tools over, sweat pouring down my face already.
I noted that with the chargehand in with you there was no furnace doors being clipped shut whilst you were at the tube face, but this would occur when in there on your own by again "Mr Nobody "
Apprentices would open the firebox door when shut and shout to inform you that you owed them big time in view of the fact that they had " saved your life " and favours would be called in to this effect from now on.
" Don't forget you owe me " was the saying whenever they flogged burrs on your prized spanner they had " borrowed " it and when you complained .
Now I can make Pac22 Ken feel better and wind a few years off his age for this was 1960 at the start of it all ( hopefully make him feel better in his pursuit of the black stuff ) and in response to BP's remark about keeping a record of the old days I have the distinction of having some of my work of that era recorded foreverfore on film.
The very mains/ bigends I spent days scraping the white metal bearings, the US metallic packing on the stuffing boxes etc etc can clearly be seen in engine room shots of this ship with the cranks thrashing about in that big old open crankcase when underway.
To walk between the two engines when at cruising speed was scary indeed as if you look at the film you can see for yourself.
So although I never made it as a film star my work certainly did, immortalised fore ever in the 1965 film Heroes of Telemark.
The ship?
The Roebuck, sister ship of theSambur.
Two very reliable Triple Expansion Engines who carried full time oilers and greasers who basically did that and not much else.
1925-1965
Massively overengineered but you had to hand it to those Victorian Engineers for the craftsmanship shown when dismantling
was second to none.
As a further point of interest atop the engineroom cyl. Heads and up against the bulkhead lay two large, long stroke compound steam engines trucked into the firebox uptakes en route to the funnel.
The Fan engines. Huge impellers drove the smoke up the funnel although to see her underway the black smoke being emmited you would wonder what it would be like without two fan engines.
All steam driven.

Strip, reface D valves, make and fit new piston rings, take leads, out with the Engineers blue and scraper and off you went to spend many happy hours scraping in the mains/ bigends that you had freshly re White Metalled and cut the oilways into the finished diameter.
Never worked on an old up and downer since those days but fame at last some 57 years later, my work immortalised forever on film.
It must have all made somewhat of an impression on me for I can clearly recall a lot of it all.
Especially the being boxed up jobbies
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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JK
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Re: Train boiler explosion

Postby JK » Thu May 11, 2017 2:42 pm

I've had the dubious pleasure of working on hot boilers. Ease the safeties, dump the pressure, let them sit overnight and then go to work on the leaking valve or tube. We did the main steam stop flange to the boiler gasket one occasion. Myself and a junior, were on top the boiler breaking the flange to the isolation valve. I remarked to him that if there was even a whiff of steam he better no be in front of me when I headed for the boiler room door. Much good that would do with two scotch boulders chugging away online. That was a day. 10 minutes on the boiler, 20-30 minutes down while the next engineer was up in his turn. What a job getting the spigot popped out of the shell. Got it done, hydrostatic test the boiler, then married it back on line.


And look, the movie is on YouTube!

https://youtu.be/ztobPUe7emM

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Merlyn
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Re: Train boiler explosion

Postby Merlyn » Sun May 14, 2017 3:25 am

I can well remember " floating/ resetting " the boiler pressure relief valve as a boy assisting the chargehand who always carried out this task.
Strip the valve/spring locknuts assemblies and carefully examine both seating faces.
Sometimes if the marks in the housing would not grind out it was off with the valve, chainblock it out of the engineroom up to the deck.
Crane it onto the firms lorry and take it back to the workshop.
Back the truck in and overhead gantry it up onto a large lathe faceplate.
Set it up to run concentrically first with a scriber and finally with the clockgauge ( still got both of these ) after making up studding/ bolts and distance pieces to secure the job to the faceplate and ensure it didn't move whatsoever.
Pick up the seat face angle ( can't remember for the life of me the seat angle used think maybe30 or 45 degrees like cyl. Head seats ) and very carefully take the first cut.
Bronze type material here.
On a centre lathe reface the fluted poppet valve to match the housing seat angle.
Finally grind in your new seats with coarse/ medium / fine, reassemble the whole job and back to the ship.
Flash up, centre furnace first and gradually bring in all three fires and one boy with the chargehand on the relief valve and one down in the stokehold watching the gauge and if necesssary another hand to relay the instructions.
The blow off point on the gauge had a redline of approx. One inch and as soon as the needle touched the red the shout went up, " on the blood "
This was relayed to the chargehand adjusting that big old square spring spring and its locknuts while venting off to atmosphere.
Scary stuff indeed especially for a 16 year old.
This job was not done first time as many attempts of lowering the boiler p.s.i. below the red line and thence back up onto it had to be carried out to ensure that the relief valve would lift when the needle was " On The Blood "
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.


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