Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: lsayre On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:52 pm

A different thread has drifted to where it is discussing the history of trains. This has me thinking that with the astronomical cost of diesel fuel these days, will there come a time (or perhaps is now the time) when it will make economical sense for coal powered steam locomotives to stage a comeback?
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:57 pm

No. The biggest problem was they were machines that while incredibly powerful, beat themselves to death doing their job. You don't have those problems with electric and or diesel/electric.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: AA130FIREMAN On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:16 pm

With a steam engine, you have unlimited power from the same size of engine, just add more pressure :blowup: If the old engines beat themselves to death, could that be more caused by the lack of precision bearings ? Alot of the old stuff was a poured babbit (lead) bearings. With todays modern bearings,could they make a comeback ? Also, steam is unlike an internal combustion engine, you have as much torque from any rpm.
AA130FIREMAN
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axeman anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 anthratube


Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: tsb On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:25 pm

No ! federal regulations of steam boilers would make it prohibitive.
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:29 pm

Read this paper if you can download it. This will answer all your questions.

http://5at.co.uk/uploads/Articles%20and%20papers/Economic_results_of_diesel_electric_motive.pdf

It is a religion that diesels replaced steam because they were so much cheaper to run. This is not the case, but; I'll tell you from being a veteran of many battles about this, that no matter what hard evidence is brought up. Somebody will say, but what about this. Statements based on opinion and no facts will come to fore. I began my railroad career on steam. Not on a tourist railroad, but; on the Southern. I've worked on them, run them, fired and studied them. It dosen't matter, if you question the religion, then you don't know what you are talking about.
Last edited by wsherrick on Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: whistlenut On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:34 pm

:shock: The Safety Brigade would hobble the boiler design sooooooooo horribly that it would be able to compete with nukie reactors. Unlimited potential.....waaaay cool, but I'm afraid it's over. I think you can go to the Denver to Cheyenne high speed run every fall on 'the monster'. That could be better than......oops, U Fill in the blanks. In case you haven't looked over how efficient diesel/electric is, check out the locomotive sites, AND read up on what Cat and the BIG DAWGS are doing with earth moving equipment. Don't stare at your feet all day, look up!!!!! There is a great BIG world all around you, and things move quickly if you are standing still.

Remember what kids say to old folks? If you aren't livin' on the EDGE, then YOU are takin' up too much space! ........how true!!!!

Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a new adventure!

Hey, Carnival Cruises is actively seeking navigational capable folks who can actually plot a course, despite 20 million dollars of nav aids!
Several "Simpson Family Member"s have left the Nukie Plant en-route to the Med!!!! :idea: :oops: :roll: ;)
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:42 pm

Here is another one that was written just two years ago and it compares steam operation and diesel operation at todays costs. This has some good information in it as well.

http://www.internationalsteam.co.uk/trains/newsteam/modern50.htm
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: tsb On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm

Even if it's a good idea. You can forget it. The green lobby will beat it
to death with a sea weed whip.
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:04 pm

tsb wrote:Even if it's a good idea. You can forget it. The green lobby will beat it
to death with a sea weed whip.


You are probably right about that. Say the word, "coal," and watch the environmentalist extremists go nuts.
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:51 pm

It is such a great idea but I agree that it will never happen. Although a lot of things could change when the price of oil goes beyond anyone's reach , if it does. I think most all of the scrap yards scrapped their steam fleets a long time ago though. While the steam trains did put up with a lot of wear and tear I would say compared to today they could handle those beating better than if we built a steam train with all our modern ways. Take a tractor for example most older tractors are still a lot tougher than the new stuff , same with cars and so on. I think it would be amazing to see these back in action but for now I think we are stuck with just the novelty steamers left.

You guys will love this though if you havnt seen it already.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RAYwEAL ... ata_player

Search "Top Gear Steam Train" on YouTube best race ever!
Smokeyja
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: mason coal burner On: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:02 am

i asked this question last summer when oil went threw the roof . i'm still waiting .
mason coal burner
 
Stove/Furnace Make: hitzer/glenwood
Stove/Furnace Model: 82/111

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:24 am

mason coal burner wrote:i asked this question last summer when oil went threw the roof . i'm still waiting .


If the railroads switched back to coal burning steam this minute they would save almost 12 BILLION dollars a year in fuel costs alone. Read the stuff I posted above, it will explain a lot to you. Brown's report is heavy reading, but; he leaves no stone unturned in his examination of the true economics of steam compared to diesel costs. Speaking of engines, I have to go to work and run some of them later.
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: mason coal burner On: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:32 am

they say when you enjoy your jobs its not work . sounds like you enjoy your job Will
mason coal burner
 
Stove/Furnace Make: hitzer/glenwood
Stove/Furnace Model: 82/111

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: samhill On: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:58 am

MCB, I have had the pleasure to operate quite a few steam cars, trucks, tractors & even what we called thermos engines(basically a loco that got steam from the boiler house rather than on board) one of the big drawbacks I knew of was maint. they were built so heavy to withstand the torque that they were a lubrication nightmare. With the modern tech we have today I think they could refine & improve steam engines & maybe make a go of it, I would try one in trucks first, more than enough power & room for a good size engine & whatever the choice of fuel.
That being said GE has a new Evolution Series diesel-electric engine that is billed as a fuel saver & they make a ton of them right here in Erie but most are all being bought overseas. For some reason the U.S. doesn't seem to want to modernize. Another thing I question is diesel price, most of my life diesel was always cheaper than gas & now it's reversed.
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:29 am

They aren't coming back, look at the infrastructure you would need to support them.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea