Re: UP 4014 ran low on water?

Everett Lueck

You know Louisiana politics as well as I do.  Common sense does not always enter into it.

On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 08:46:24 PM CDT, Steve Goen <texaszephyr@...> wrote:

Considering that the UP is the largest employer in Livonia, and constructed a new yard there, it sounds like their city leaders might want to rethink their position in the future.


On Aug 25, 2021, at 8:38 PM, Everett Lueck <elueck@...> wrote:

This is different from when Steve ran the program.  He had a water guy that had made arrangements with every town along the way for water, and had analyses done on the water from every location, not just the planned water stops.   Often they redid the water analysis for the planned stops, just before the trips, just in case.  After all, water for a steam locomotive is not one size fits all, as this crew found out with 844.  That was always one of the purposes for the supply car as it carried the chemicals and the analyses so that no matter where they had to get water, they had the right chemicals to deal with it.    

On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 08:13:45 PM CDT, Skip Waters <wgcrush@...> wrote:

From Facebook posting...

On 8/23/21, the 4014 ran into a low water situation, but in order to understand how this happened, we have to go back to last week. The following is an account, to the best of my knowledge, of what happened.
It all started Thursday/Friday, 8/19 - 8/20, during the first layover in Livonia on the way to NOLA. Between the main tender and the two auxiliary water cars, the 4014 can take on up to 81,000 gallons, of which about 75,000 gallons are usable. This was enough to "run the [small] town dry". Needless to say, town officials were not pleased and refused to host the 4014 a second time. This forced the UP to change the overnighting location on 8/22 from Livonia south to Addis, a town just outside of Plaquemine. This ultimately added another 22 miles (and about 45 min of run time) to the schedule for the following day.
To make matters worse, on Monday, 8/23, once en route from Addis, the crew discovered that the Elesco TP400 Exhaust Steam Injector, a device located next to the smokebox on the fireman's side under the running board, which uses the exhaust steam to inject water into the boiler was leaking when they attempted to use it. As a result of this leak, the exhaust injector became much more difficult to prime. When the injector fails to pick up, instead of ramming water into the boiler, all the water flows out of the overflow vent located on the fireman's side in front of the rear set of cylinders, resulting in hundreds to possibly thousands of gallons of wasted water over the course of the day. The live injector can be used in place of the exhaust injector, but is ultimately less efficient as it uses live steam from the boiler vs exhaust steam from the cylinders.
In an attempt to rectify the issue with the exhaust injector, the crew made additional unscheduled stops in Livonia and Alexandria, both about 45-50 minutes in length for on the fly repairs. This resulted in an additional 2 hours of over-the-road time to the already lengthy schedule that day. Remember that even when steam locomotives are not in motion, water must be intermittently injected into the boiler to maintain the proper level above the crown sheet, and 2 hours of additional idle time is nothing to sneeze at.
Ultimately, all of these factors combined resulted in the locomotive running into a low water situation about 30 miles outside of the final stop of the day, Shreveport. At first, an attempt was made at milepost 288.6 to hook up to a hydrant to fill just enough water to make it the rest of the way into the yard, but it was discovered that the water pressure was either not sufficient or non-existent. The crew, unwilling to risk running bone dry, resorted to setting a drifting throttle on the 4014 (cracked just enough to supply steam to lubricate the valves and cylinders) and using the diesel, 4015 to power the train onward to either the next hydrant, or alternate water source.
After travelling a few miles like this and encountering no hydrants or fire departments able to assist, the decision was made to come to a stop @ the crossing @ MP 296.5, isolate the aux cars from the main tender, and use a portable pump to move the remaining water from the aux cars into the main tender. Under normal operation, all 3 water cisterns are connected through hoses and behave as a single tank. However, when a low water situation is encountered, it becomes harder for the injectors to pull water out of the main tender, as water supply to either the live injector or the cold water pump for the exhaust injector functions purely on gravity. Thus, by isolating the main tender from the aux cars and pumping what water they had left into the main tender, they were able to overcome the gravity issue and ensure a steady supply of water to the injectors. At the end of the pumping process, 25,000 gallon cistern of the main tender was full. That might seem like a lot of water, but for a locomotive capable of evaporating 12,000 gallons per hour at full throttle, and running in a day and age where the servicing stations of old no longer exist, it is still a little tight to be comfortable with.
With this task complete, they were able to roll the rest of the way into Shreveport, still relying a lot on diesel assistance to conserve what water they had left.
At the end of the day, this is a great example of why they bring a diesel locomotive with them. Situations like these, while rare, can and do happen, and without a diesel to assist them, they would have been, pardon the pun, dead in the water, fouling mainline track, and disrupting normal freight operations. Hopefully the day layover in Shreveport on 8/24 will be instrumental to get the injector problems corrected. We shall see.

On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 08:07:35 PM CDT, Dennis Hogan <denmeg_hogan@...> wrote:

Between Livonia and Shreveport, apparently.
What's the story?

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