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Cold Fires

Discussion in 'Locomotive M.I.C.' started by Cassanova, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Cassanova

    Cassanova New Member

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    What is your experience of cold fires in Bulleid fireboxes? Caused by having fire all over the grate sloping up to a large back end right up to the firehole door across the entire width of the firebox?
     
  2. Small Prairie

    Small Prairie New Member

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    Like a wedge shape so really thin at the front and up to the doors at the back ? Its the only way i have fired a bulleid and have never had any problems with lack of steam to be honest...
     
  3. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    The limited experience I have of Bullied locos, the worst cause of not steaming is forgetting about the bit you can't see, i.e. the back corners.
     
  4. Cassanova

    Cassanova New Member

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    Like I said, I do all that with a wedge up to the back, not forgetting the back corners. But I have told that causes damage to boilers due to being a "cold" fire. I have been told that it is better to use a thin fire with Bulleids as this uses less coal.
     
  5. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    The main consideration, as with all firing, is what you are going to be doing with the engine.

    I was shown the "level all over" method by an ex SR gent, and it is certainly effective.

    Filling the back corners right up, and across the door also works. Do it with the blower virtually off, and it should just sit and smoulder all day. Fill the front in sharpish as soon as you start moving, and before you open the damper; it'll light in no time.
     
  6. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    The idea of a wedge shape fire causing a cold fire is a new one to me, if it is built up propperly, it should not be a problem. Although to be honest, with the little experience I had, I fired ours with a thin flat fire with a bit more round the front, back and sides, giving a saucer shape.
    What line are you firing on? What sort of gradients and loads are we talking about?
     
  7. Cassanova

    Cassanova New Member

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    Well thats what I thought and had been told by lots of people who used to fire Bulleids on the mainline in the 1950s and 1960s. But someone else has told me that the wedge shape is wrong and they should be fired with a flat thin fire. i think they call it light and bright.
    Who is right? the ones who did it day in day out with 400 ton trains using a big back end, or the one or two who think a flat thin fire is better and apparently causes less damage to the boiler than the big wedge?
     
  8. Small Prairie

    Small Prairie New Member

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    I would be very interestted to know what is considered better for the box AND less coal waste ....Ive always been taugh to fire with a wedge shape , build up the back up to the door and a slop down to the front , keeping the grate covered at all time ....But i would be interestted in what is considered the best method ..
     
  9. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    Has someone been going on at you about "cold air" in fireboxes?
     
  10. chessie

    chessie New Member

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    Wide box locos respond best to a horseshoe fire. ie thicker at back and sides, plenty in the back corners, thinner at front and middle. Narrow box locos respond best to a wedge shaped fire, up to the door across the back, tapering to the front. Having said that, reading about GW locos, I've read about a 'haycock' fire which, as far as I can make out, is a big heap in the middle.
     
  11. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    Not always.... What you've described is textbook for a modern, sloping grate engine. Doesn't necessarily hold true for all though, and certainly not for a loco with a flat grate. I've learnt to be very wary of any "one size fits all" statements about what will work with steam engines!

    You mention "Haycocks."

    Has anyone ever had any joy with one? Goes against everything I know about effective firing, yet the technique is described in the BR(W) firing manual. Does it only work with soft coal?
     
  12. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    Never seen a Haycock outside of an engineman's memoirs! I wonder if it is now a lost art? Probably died out with proper Welsh coal.
     
  13. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    Haycock fire is all a myth. western engines are so gutless that they have to be thrashed everywhere, and what with making all that racket they have a massive draw on the fire. So quite frankly it makes no difference where the coal is aimed in the firebox becuase its out the chimney straightaway!
     
  14. tamper

    tamper New Member

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    Like this you mean.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eV-iEAWBYJM
     
  15. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    From what I've seen of GW engines, which is limited to South Wales tanks, they're anything but gutless, but they only seem to respond if worked hard. Much like North Eastern machines!Confine finess to LMS & SR engines.

    Anyone fancy bringing a Manor up the Moors? Get the feeling it would be absolutely perfect.
     
  16. Small Prairie

    Small Prairie New Member

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    Nope , ive done it when ive compleltly forgotten whats where in the box \:D/ doesnt work though ....
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    I'd like to try a Manor on the Moors. I don't have much time for them GW thingies after all the oiling up and crawling about inside but a Manor is a bit different! As for firing them, i've never tried a haycock, as I understand it, but with a wedge piled half way up the door, or more, they seem to steam OK.
     
  18. Nigel Clark

    Nigel Clark New Member Loco Owner

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    I understand WSR use a 'haycock' on 3850, any WSR firemen like to comment?

    Light & Bright on a Bulleid firebox is asking for trouble, you are extremely likely to be drawing cold air up through the grate particularly in the back corners which will eventually cause cracks. Bulleids need the back corners packed and a mound under the door, whilst it may be described as 'cold' it isn't really, under the top layer is a hot fire which is keeping the firebox plates at a nice even temperature. With a light pacific (WC/BB) its as Chessie said, back & sides and the rest feeds, don't get too much under the syphons or you won't control it! With a 'Packet' you need to fire across the whole box as it doesn't self feed, and a much heavier fire with no holes or she will go off the boil.
     
  19. Nigel Clark

    Nigel Clark New Member Loco Owner

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    So you are calling "Baby" gutless now are you? I don't think WSR crews would agree, and you know she doesn't need thrashing. [-X
     
  20. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    Have you ever tried this on a WC working hard, ie with a fire at 2500f ++?

    Provided you keep the whole grate covered, there's nothing cold in that firebox!
    (Not my personal prefered method of doing it, but how I was first shown to fire one by someone who's done things with Bulleids that the rest of us can only dream of).
     

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