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Article on treatment and cleaning of railroad steam engines

CLamb Member Posts: 288
Many of you will find this article of interest as it goes into many of the same problems that are found in heating system boilers. One of the things I found interesting is that "cylinder oil" may be added to the boiler to prevent foaming. Development of Modern Steam 4: Advanced Internal Boiler Water Treatment


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
    Interesting. One has to wonder a little what difference might have been made had some of this research been available much earlier! Also, what applicability it might have to larger locomotives, such as are found in current US heritage railway service (except for a very small number of narrow gauge operations, even the smallest heritage locomotives in the US are much larger than the ones mentioned here).

    The problem of foaming was very real in some limited areas which only had access to poor, alkaline water quality -- notably on the Santa Fe main line (now the Transcon for BNSF) in the southwest -- to the extent that Santa Fe had to bring water in in tank cars to some intermediate stations. This had a lot to do with the very early (about 1940) introduction of diesels on that route.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England