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  • compressed air locomotive

    I drove to Colorado for a few days to see the aspens and scrub oaks in fall colors. In the mining town of Creede I saw this old mining locomotive, no coal required. The museum wasn't open, so I don't know what pressure it ran at, or what they used for seals. Anybody seen one of these in action?


    Allan Ostling

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • #2
    I suppose someone in the know could have a guess at the pressure from dimensions, plate thickness etc. Must have been fairly high to give any sort of useful run time, I should think.
    'Fireless' locos used to be used in the UK, especially around power generating stations where there was plenty of high pressure steam on tap, same idea but filled with steam (and water?).
    I don't know how much they were used in other countries.

    Tim

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    • #3
      Seems to me it would work well in a (coal?) mineshaft.
      Fill with air outside where its safe from gas engine, steam, electric, whatever, send down into the mine where ignition sources = KABOOM.

      (Of couse, I wonder if that tank bursting would not produce a similar impressive and dangerious explosion..)
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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      • #4
        I saw such a locomotive in an old gold mine in Alaska. (set up for tourist duty) Even more interesting was a running compressed air driven rock loader at the same mine. I have a photo, somewhere. The loader scooped up rubble at the end of the tracks, presumably at the face of the tunnel, and passed it "over the shoulder" into a ore car like those in Alan's photo.

        Here can be found another "fireless" locomotive:

        http://www.train-photos.com/picture/number10455.asp

        The locomotive "boiler" was charged with high-pressure steam at the NCR powerhouse and was used for moving freight cars around the NCR property.
        Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
        ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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        • #5
          Cool engine! On a side note, how was Creede? I was in Ouray for a few days this June. Love that area. Prettiest in Colorado. Always wanted to stop in Creede as a cousin of mine was killed there by the name of Bob Ford who in turn shot HIS cousin, Jesse James.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MaxxLagg View Post
            On a side note, how was Creede? ... Always wanted to stop in Creede as a cousin of mine was killed there by the name of Bob Ford who in turn shot HIS cousin, Jesse James.
            Creede is beautifully situated, at an elevation of 8854 ft. My 1941 WPA guidebook has this to say, about the shooting you mention
            The ramshackle Ford Saloon, still standing, was built by Bob Ford, reputed slayer of Jesse James, Missouri desperado of both factual and dime-novel fame. On the eve of opening a new dance hall, June 10, 1892, after one of Creede's fires, a miner named O'Kelly, who claimed that the saloon owner had persecuted his parents years before, shot and killed Ford. The town's sporting element, with whom Ford had been popular, conducted the funeral; there were no flowers but plenty of wine and champagne. Later Ford's body was removed to Missouri. O'Kelly served a short prison term at Canon City.


            Here you see my Forester parked on a Creede street shortly after it had been resurfaced.




            If you've been to Ouray I suppose you have been to Durango too. Here is Number 480 steaming into the Durango station after it's run to Silverton.

            Last edited by aostling; 10-06-2012, 02:21 PM.
            Allan Ostling

            Phoenix, Arizona

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            • #7
              Impressive scenery and machinery.

              I am distantly related to the infamous Jesse James. So, technically, your relative shot and killed my relative, and that makes us enemies.

              Never quite followed the reasoning of family feuds that lasted for generations...


              Peace,

              doug

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              • #8
                Allan,

                I have not seen that locomotive at Creede, but it looks like a Porter.

                There are 2 Porter compressed air locomotives on display in the Black Hills of South Dakota not far from where I live. One is actually part of a children's park in Rapid City and is not really on display as a locomotive per say. I don't know much about that one, but I suspect it came from the Homestake mine in Deadwood.

                The other one is on display outside the Homestake museum in Deadwood. It is a much larger locomotive and used 2 air tanks. It operated at 1000 psi and was in service until 1961.

                Here is a link to a compressed air locomotive site. Pictures of both the Porters in the Black Hills are on there. http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/L...co/airloco.htm

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by michigan doug View Post
                  Impressive scenery and machinery.

                  I am distantly related to the infamous Jesse James. So, technically, your relative shot and killed my relative, and that makes us enemies.

                  Never quite followed the reasoning of family feuds that lasted for generations...


                  Peace,

                  doug
                  Bob Ford and Jesse James were cousins so my relative that shot your relative is also yours and you and I are both related in some distant, typically Missouri way.

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                  • #10
                    I didn't go down to Durango this time there although I've been there numerous times before and have ridden the DSNGR twice. Great trip from Durango to Silverton (and back) but I'd like to do it sometime without kids along. First time was with a 15 month old and the second was with two kids, then aged 6 and 4. Kinda hard to fully enjoy it when you're spending more time minding the kids than enjoying the scenery. Kids are young adults now, aged 18 and 20. My daughter graduated from high school this year and that's what she wanted for a gift; to go to Colorado on a photo safari sort of. So we buzzed out there and spent a few days in the Ouray area. I've been there about a dozen times but she doesn't really remember the times I took them before as it's been since they were little that we've been back.

                    For those that have never been to the area it's must go trip! Beautiful! Especially right about now.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 11 Bravo View Post
                      Here is a link to a compressed air locomotive site. Pictures of both the Porters in the Black Hills are on there. http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/L...co/airloco.htm
                      That is a very informative website. It answered some questions I had, about the inefficiency of an isothermal compression stage, followed by an adiabatic expansion which can ice the pipes.

                      I've been through Gillette only once, in 1999 when en route to Buffalo and a tent site above Ten Sleep. That is very pretty country. There was a huge RVer convention in Gillette with hundreds of motor-homes the size of Greyhound buses. I don't know why some people think they need to take the kitchen sink along when they go camping.
                      Allan Ostling

                      Phoenix, Arizona

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by aostling View Post
                        I don't know why some people think they need to take the kitchen sink along when they go camping.
                        Yes and not only the "kitchen sink" but the whole "shebang" including TV, washing machine-dryer, and the dishwasher. I even draw the line at a radio.
                        :-) ...Lew...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by aostling View Post
                          I drove to Colorado for a few days to see the aspens and scrub oaks in fall colors. In the mining town of Creede I saw this old mining locomotive, no coal required. The museum wasn't open, so I don't know what pressure it ran at, or what they used for seals. Anybody seen one of these in action?


                          Yes. They had one at the local power plant. Not that particular make, but something very similar. Just pull up to the steam outlet, tank up and go. It was used for switching coal cars in the yard.

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                          • #14
                            This post put me immediately in mind of the Girandoni air rifle carried by Lewis and Clark. Sometimes compressed air just gets the job done. These were popular engines in tunnels for obvious reasons.

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                            • #15
                              Does anyone know for certain that the fireless locos had water in them as well as the superheated steam.
                              I can swee how they would work if they had a lareg amount of water in there so as to give a useful working time.
                              In my youth we had a power station behind us and the fireless shunters seemed to have a long working period before re-steaming.

                              Peter
                              I have tools I don't know how to use!!

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