Sanding facilities

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary Pfeil, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Wow, this thread got real busy today! Russ, I didn't mean that locos don't need sand anymore, just that the open bin would be out of use and dry sand would be delivered in covered hoppers, and blown to the towers, as Andrew mentioned. My railroad is not very firmly fixed in a particular era, early 50's is the main thrust, early 40's is cool too. Heck, mid 60's holds an attraction as well! But I reckon the sand bin can be pretty beat up looking in any of those situations.

    Pete, if 11 means November, yeah I might have photos by then!
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If I can remember, I'll call work (ugh!:eek:) tomorrow and see if anyone can give me some more info on the stuff. I don't know if they purchase it in bulk or 100 lb. bags, so I don't know if the average guy could even get his hands on some. And, of course, the "slightly magnetic" aspect, like lead weights, will scare off a few modellers, but I find it very useful for "live" hopper loads and have had no problems with the "magnetic" aspect of it either. Perhaps if it was glued onto a block of styrofoam, you could use a magnet to remove the "load" from the car. :rolleyes::p:-D:-D

  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Almost looks like they "recycled" the old water tower.
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Thanks Charlie, that's a cool picture. I was wondering what that was on the right. I saw on the roof what looks like a panel that might open. Pretty sure it's not a solar panel(!) I hate to show my stupidity and think the sand might have been loaded thru that hatch. Just too wierd. Ah, sweet mysteries of life.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Gary, whether the steam era sanding facilities were torn down or still in use would depend on what years your layout will represent. I suspect that the steam era facilities probably stayed in use at least through the mid 1950's and perhaps as late as the mid 1960's, but after that they would have torn down or abandoned the old facilities and gone over to a modern covered hopper and air system. On the Santa Fe as an example, steam was supposed to be gone by 1952 or so, but they had such a big produce harvest in California in 1954 or 1955, that they had to bring steam out of retirement for one more summer. After that steam was gone, but much of the old steam infrastructure remained for many years afterward.
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi Russ, yeah, I love the transistion era. I just love steam. But I also realize that, in my experience anyway, model diesels outperform model steam. And with a rather tight radius helix leading to east end staging on my layout, I use diesels east of Blakesly Yard, and steam west of it. A division point of sorts I suppose. And even in the years when my road might have fully dieselized, I have rationilized the continued existance of steam. (you may rightfully question at this point why I am so concerned with how sand got into the bin!) (it is only so I don't leave out any important details) So the main purpose of the yard is the engine facility (how convenient in a hobby where a recent poll here shows the outrageous proportion of locos to rolling stock!). Anyway, steam facilities must remain in place looking in service but in the case of sanding facility, steam could use updated facilities served by covered hoppers. In the event you did not see it, here is a link to a photo thread from a couple months ago with the story behind the continued use of steam on my layout.
  7. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    This is an interesting thread: I've taken sand houses for granted but hadn't given a lot of thought to how the raw sand bin was filled. According to Kalbach's "Locomotive Servicing Terminals", the sand was shipped bagged in boxcars, then transferred manually to the bin. A combination I never would have guessed. The same source also claims that in some cases, the sand towers were stocked via some poor saps carrying bags of sand up a ladder. Yikes! For what it's worth.

    I don't recall the source, but I recall reading that the max power output with one man hand firing was generally regarded as 1500hp.

  8. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Going off topic a bit further here, but I was reading a recent thread on the N&W historical society mailing list quoting the Bluefield (WV) Daily Telegraph regarding N&W engine servicing improvements made in that city's yard in 1907. The improvements had to do with clustering the coal dock, sanding station and water standpipe (this surprised be given the year) such that all could be refilled without moving the locomotive. This update was celebrated as a marvel of efficiency.

    The reason I bring it up was due to the kick I got out a brief discussion of how things were done previously - the standpipe replacing an "old fashioned" (in 1907!) water tank. It also commented on how coaling was done in the recent past (end of the 1800's) - a bunch of guys shoveling coal from a gondola into the locomotive's tender, with a note about how hard those guys had to work to coal a passenger locomotive that was behind schedule! This also supports the cheap labor comments - in this case, they simply threw more guys into the gondola!

  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Ouch... A Pacific or Mikado, IIRC, could achieve around 3000hp. "Ouch" because the Brits ran hand-fired Pacifics. Even allowing for them being about 2/3 the weight, and presumably power, of the American ones, they couldn't achieve full power continuously. That's why the Ten-Wheeler never became obsolete in Britain. With hand firing, a large firebox was useless.
  10. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    That makes sense; if I recall correctly, the article in which I read that was discussing the Pennsylvania hand firing their consolidations while they were the "big" road power. The combination of the relatively small firebox and low speeds would imply a modest horsepower output.

    The larger context of the article was regarding the Pennsy's relatively late adoption of stokers. I'll try to locate the source and freshen up my memory.
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Her is a New York Times article

    PRR to install stokers on 6000 Locos.....
  12. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Nice find! Thanks N Gauger.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Speaking of stokers... Here's a 1926 ad extolling the virtues of stoker-fired engines...


    Attached Files:

Share This Page