Just a thought...

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Buelligan
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Just a thought...

Postby Buelligan » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:58 am

Hoping someone on here can point out the glaringly obvious.

I was watching an old episode of the program about the north Yorkshire Moors railway with my son earlier, and it was filmed when we had the really dry weather. They had a few incidents of line side fires, and so were considering withdrawing steam services, but ended up hiring in diesels and putting a diesel on as well so the steam engine wasn’t having to work so hard.

My son asked why they couldn’t just push a tanker full of water in-front and behind the loco, spraying either side of the tracks, to dampen down the ground, and put out stray embers before they too hold?

I did explain sometimes the embers get carried a distance away from the tracks so there was still a danger, but couldn’t think of a reason the damping down wouldn’t stop fires at the line side?

What am I missing?

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Mountain
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby Mountain » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:25 am

May need about 8 to 10 100T tankers to do that as the area needing to be covered is a large one.
In the steam years, linesides were always kept as clear as possible to avoid fires spreading too far. When I worked on the railways, trees and shrubbery hitting the sides of the train were common for miles.

b308
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby b308 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:37 am

Would agree with Mountain, they'd need more than one tanker to do 18 miles! Some lines have firefighting teams that are on standby in case of fires. Also there are other ways of keeping the chance of the fires low, the obvious ones are spark arresters, but there are other methods, not working the loco as hard is another.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:55 am

I'm not too sure about the idea of pushing a massive water tanker in front of the loco either, with exceptions, you don't really want to be pushing stock around for anything other than shunting manoeuvres.
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b308
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby b308 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:55 pm

The main issue is forward visibility, as long as you can cover that there's no real problems in propelling vehicles. Push pull units have been doing it for years, but they do have a driver up front. The most common example I can think of offhand which would be similar would be a snow plough.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:02 pm

Heritage lines have more control over lineside vegetation than steamers running on the main network. The Severn Valley for example keeps down it's own vegetation as best it can, but in really dry weather a fire fighting team in the end carriage (usually a brake) watch out for fires starting, stop the train with the communication cord and jump down to tackle it before it spreads. I've also noticed that some of their trains will set back so that the fireman's "slacking hose" can be brought to bare on the fire. When you are only doing 25mph tops they can almost always stop in their own length.
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Buelligan
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby Buelligan » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:37 pm

Thanks, I hadn't given a thought to the volume of water needed. This wasn't a specific thought for the NYMR, just any Heritage line, so smaller ones not needing so much water. I know they couldn't do it at mainline speeds. Though I do know that sometimes steam specials are required to run tender first on the mainline. I think it was The Duchess of Sutherland that did it at least once last year, on one of the Cornish specials.

Anyway, I can now explain to him, and he'll go about coming up with some other idea for them!

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Bufferstop
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:29 pm

The problem on the main line is you can't stop to put out your own fires. I think running tender first is a consequence of keeping down the mileage the loco runs. If there isn't a convenient turntable or reversing triangle a loco can run quite a long way to get turned. A round trip of about 20 miles for specials coming to Stratford on Avon. At one stage Vintage Trains (Tyseley) had a plan to install Turntable and water tower but I think that disappeared along with the water tank, when some contractors moved a bit more "junk" than they were told to.
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Buelligan
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby Buelligan » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:25 am

Bufferstop wrote:The problem on the main line is you can't stop to put out your own fires. I think running tender first is a consequence of keeping down the mileage the loco runs. If there isn't a convenient turntable or reversing triangle a loco can run quite a long way to get turned. A round trip of about 20 miles for specials coming to Stratford on Avon. At one stage Vintage Trains (Tyseley) had a plan to install Turntable and water tower but I think that disappeared along with the water tank, when some contractors moved a bit more "junk" than they were told to.


Yea, sorry I wasn’t suggesting any sort of firefighting from the train on the mainline. I just meant about the comment of visability with a tanker in front. If they can run tender first on the mainline, and as they regularly run tender first on heritage lines, I wouldn’t have though a tanker would cause a visibility issue, any more than the tender does.

From memory, the trip I’m thinking of was down to par or somewhere like that, which had no where to turn the loco. So the Duchess hauled it as far as somewhere in Devon, for some reason Exeter or Plymouth spring to mind, but I don’t think either have the ability to turn an engine. The diesel then took the train the rest of the way. The Duchess was turned somewhere, and travelled down tender first to collect the rest of the train, ready for the return journey.

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stuartp
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Re: Just a thought...

Postby stuartp » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:15 am

Lineside fires aren't the issue, enthusiastic traincrew with a couple of beaters can deal with those. Moorland fires are the problem, NYMR are liable for any damaged caused to the National Park from sparks drifting outside the boundary fence.
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