Author Topic: Steam question (wood burning)  (Read 676 times)

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mecgp7

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Steam question (wood burning)
« on: March 10, 2013, 08:17:57 AM »
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The storage of coal and oil as fuel for steam locomotives is well documented, but what is the process for the wood burning locomotives? I haven't seen any pics of large piles of cut-length and split wood in old pictures.
How efficient was wood?
Did they need to re-"fuel" more or less frequently?
Did the railroads contract for the wood or did they actually have woods crews?
Did the roads have a process for drying wood or was it left to dry for a period of time?

I am assuming that it was smaller roads that burned wood.

Chris333

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Re: Steam question (wood burning)
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 08:39:48 AM »
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from wiki:

The fuel used depended on what was economically available to the railway.

Until 1870, the majority of locomotives in the USA burnt wood but, as the Eastern forests were cleared, coal gradually became more important. Thereafter, coal became and remained the dominant fuel worldwide until the end of general use of steam locomotives.

 In the USA, the ready availability of oil made it a popular steam locomotive fuel after 1900 for the southwestern railroads, particularly the Southern Pacific.



You can stack it any way you like. I've seen crazy tall wood stacks on tenders and I've seen Climax and Shays with so much wood piled on it didn't look like the crew would fit.

Something tells me Richie can dig up some pics  :D
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 08:42:16 AM by Chris333 »


C855B

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Re: Steam question (wood burning)
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 10:34:59 AM »
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I recall seeing a very large, neatly stacked woodpile in a Civil War-era photo. Made me shudder to think that was all split by hand.

Other than that, all I know about wood as a locomotive fuel is you need to use the red log to reach 88 mph. :trollface:
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Steam question (wood burning)
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 01:49:26 PM »
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Read a story yers ago about crews loading wood onto locos.  One thing they looked for very carefully was any snakes in the woodpile.  Seems it was a favority hiding place for them.

Frisco Larry

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Re: Steam question (wood burning)
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 04:55:43 PM »
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50 or so years ago in my home town (Fort Scott KS) I found a dense forest along a MoPac line, that seemed out of place.  The trees were evenly spaced like an orchard, but the trees weren't fruit bearing.  Later, I was told that it was planted by the RR to supply wood for the locos, but was never harvested because of the switch to coal.  The line was built around 1888.