Steam heating

minesweeper Jan 27, 2023

  1. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Do not want ho hijack the slide thread, so opened a new one.
    This is more or less what happened in Europe, albeit 20 years earlier on the eastern side of the pond.
    Nevertheless many cars had the electric heating installed in parallel with the steam, so these ran for a couple of decades with both systems, another reason is also the different heating voltages and current in the different nations (3KV DC, 1,5KV DC, 1,5 KV AC .....) that required cars in international service to have a switch turned at the borders.
    Also sound business decision, easier to make because here we have a lot more electrified track. The steam generator on the GG1 looks very weird to me.

    Back to the US, I really wonder how could you do air conditioning with steam, and how power for lighting etc was supplied to the passenger cars before HEP.
     
  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Lighting before HEP was provided by HEP. But the generators were only a bit bigger than the generators on freight hogs, which didn't have to do much more than light the headlight. That's steam, by the way; Diesel-electrics tended to tap and step down voltage from the main generator.

    There were cars with little steam engines attached underneath that turned a/c compressors. But the Santa Fe, among others, used "steam ejector" cooling. Refrigerant doesn't have to be cooler than the surrounding air to soak up heat, it only has to be in the process of evaporating (expanding). The same goes for steam. It can be much hotter than the air in a car, but if it's in an evaporator expanding, it will soak up heat. It'll even steal heat from air around the coils which is nowhere near as hot as it is.

    Physics, man.
     
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  3. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    When I learned that engineers used to open the cocks when they passed children trackside and envelop them in a cloud of steam, I wondered why they didn't get scalded.

    Then I learned that bit of physics, and now I know.
     
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  4. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Here in europe, before HEP, lights in cars were supplied by huge battery packs on the side of the car's frame that in international service were required to supply 48hr of power.
    Later models had power generators that used the motion of one axle to reload batteries. Needless to say there was no aircon, it came more than 30 years later.
    bz32153-1.jpg
    Here you have an example (car built in the 30s for international service), now part of the historical fleet: this one still has the steam heating (B15R code close to the left door, the R means both electric and steam heating system are fitted).
    You can see the eight battery packs on the side.
    Batteries were replaced at certain stations on the line with fully loaded ones, especially at the borders.
    That car does not have any generator, as it could not be applied to the original bogies. The silver cylinder on the very left (above the buffer) is the standard european plug for electric heating.
     
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  5. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    That must've added a lot of weight to the car-those are HEAVY!
     
  6. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    In all the heritage passenger cars that I have worked on at various museums, I have never encountered that system. Typically there was a generator under each car used to provide power when the car was moving and charge batteries for when the car was not moving. If the train was stopped for a long period of time at a terminal or station, there were electrical power outlets trackside where a heavy cable was hooked to each car to provide power. In the heavyweight era many generators were truck mounted and belt driven.
    img20230130_10370543.jpg
    When power requirements increased in the 1930s, shaft driven generators became more common. They had a gearbox on an axle to drive the shaft to the generator.
    img20230130_10381484.jpg
    Where not as much power was required such as on an RPO car, belt drive could still be used. The belts here are long gone.
    img20230130_10521059.jpg
     
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  7. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Not really so much by US standards, these were south of 45 metric tons, but between the sturdy riveted construction, the heavy cast trucks with solid bearings, and of course all those lead batteries, these cars were quite heavy by Italian standards; this class was among the first all metal cars.
    Just for comparison the Salon cars of the Wagons Lits of the same time (the ones on the Orient Express movies) were just south of 60…
    Italian cars never had belt driven generators, some german for sure had, as i have the models, but i can trace no others.
    First generators in Italy were in the post war car types, and were fitted together with the rolling bearing bogies. From the late 50s cars, batteries were charged by the HEP using static converters (not so easy as HEP in Italy is 3KV DC).
    At that time and even quite later some sleeping cars had an oil fired heater to keep these warm during connections when there was no steam or HEP.
     
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  8. mmi16

    mmi16 TrainBoard Member

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    I believe a number of US 'heavyweight' passenger cars had several inches of concrete as the base floor upon which the accommodations were constructed. This was done, both for the weight, and as sound deadening.
     
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  9. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Yeah, I have had to figure out a way to repair such floors in the past. In the cars I have dealt with the floor is made up of first a layer of sub-floor made up of about 1/8 inch corten steel formed into a box corrugated sheet welded to the underframe. Over this the concrete is poured and then usually a linoleum, carpet or rubber mat over that. When the steel sub-floor rusts away the concrete crumbles and a gaping hole develops. The cars I worked on were not meant to be put back in service but were being cosmetically restored for museum display. So I just cut marine plywood to fill the rusted out hole and poured cement patch over that. Replaced the final floor surface on top of all that. Wash rooms are the worst because of all the spilled water creeping down through the concrete to the steel below. Do not want museum visitors to make a quick exit from the car to the ballast below.
     
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