Steam Tours under the Wires

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klambert

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I heard that its un-preferable for operators to run steam railtours under the cantenary, why is this?

I heard a rumour that if the entire UK railway system is electrified, that this could be the death of steam railtours.

I'm just curious why steam cant be run under the cantenary I mean it causes no visible damage to the wires.
This has probably been discussed before, I don't want to be reading through an old stale thread through masses of argument. I just want a nice simple answer on this thread, so please don't refer this thread to another one.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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I heard that its un-preferable for operators to run steam railtours under the cantenary, why is this?

I heard a rumour that if the entire UK railway system is electrified, that this could be the death of steam railtours.

I'm just curious why steam cant be run under the cantenary I mean it causes no visible damage to the wires.
70000 Britannia recently ran Euston-Chester under NR's newest catenary, so it can't be a serious technical issue.
On the other hand the environment for the train crew carries extra dangers and I can see the Heath & Safety issues being difficult.
The main operational concern I expect is possible disruption on very busy main lines (delay compensation etc) due to poor performance or things like lineside fires (as recently on the ECML).
 

matt

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I'm pretty sure I heard that steam trains are limited to 75mph under the wires. Dont quote me on that, just somthing I heard.
The maximum for steam locos is 75mph for steam locos (depending on the type of loco). Plenty of steam tours run under wires so there are no issues. In steam days some locos could not run under wires (South of Crewe I think) which was denoted by a yellow strip on the cab-side.
 

dggar

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The maximum for steam locos is 75mph for steam locos (depending on the type of loco). Plenty of steam tours run under wires so there are no issues. In steam days some locos could not run under wires (South of Crewe I think) which was denoted by a yellow strip on the cab-side.
I can only recall pictures of ex LMS locos with the yellow stripe on the cab sides.

Did any of the ex BR standard fleet or locos from other regions have this?

Is the height between the wires and the rail level the same now as it was in 1965 on the WCML south of Crewe?
 

O L Leigh

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It is a myth. Steam can, and does, run under the wires.

Admittedly there are certain routes where steam is banned due to clearance issues and there are instructions with regard to safe cab working and not stopping with the chimney directly beneath an OLE structure, but there is no ban.

O L Leigh
 

Schnellzug

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Well, they run steam tours over Shap quite regularly; the issues are more to do with pathing (and sometimes clearances, e.g. GW engines tend to be a bit taller so they can be more restricted).
 

sprinterguy

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I can only recall pictures of ex LMS locos with the yellow stripe on the cab sides.

Did any of the ex BR standard fleet or locos from other regions have this?

Is the height between the wires and the rail level the same now as it was in 1965 on the WCML south of Crewe?
Some A4s certainly did: I've got a picture of 60027 "Merlin" with the yellow stripe painted on the cab side. Seems a strange choice of loco to denote as being precluded from running south of Crewe on the WCML!

Either the water vapour or the carbon particles emitted from steam locos in an enclosed environment can short out the electric wires, which of course creates massive inconvenience for everything else, as seen here at Liverpool Street: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQTinmPjS_o
 
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CarltonA

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Some locos have had the chimney height reduced, I believe, for this reason. I recall one loco hitting a bridge after the track had been relaid slightly too high during a posession.
 

O L Leigh

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The problem is not so much to do with the chimney height.

The issue is the strength of the chimney blast when accelerating from a stand (it can be strong enough to dislodge the dropper wires or affect the register arms) and the fact that the exhaust contains carbon (in the form of smoke) and water vapour which can cause the OLE to flash-over, particularly in confined spaces such as tunnels.

O L Leigh
 

matt

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Although this can happen (not my video)
[youtube]vQTinmPjS_o[/youtube]
 

Greeny

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The STN’s always used to specify that the loco should not, when possible, be at a stand (usually in a platform or sidings) for a long time with the funnel directly under an insulator where OLE was present. Speaking to some of the older Signalmen and Drivers who remember them running regularly, if they stood for more than a few minutes there would be a terrific ‘BANG’ when the insulator exploded. AFAIK, that is the main reason for restrictions being applied and apart from restricions on the use of the slaker pipe is the only reason I ever saw in a Special Notice.

G
 

PaxVobiscum

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Although this can happen (not my video)
[youtube]vQTinmPjS_o[/youtube]
Is that not the same video that was linked to by sprinterguy a few posts back?
But interesting and scary stuff.
Either the water vapour or the carbon particles emitted from steam locos in an enclosed environment can short out the electric wires, which of course creates massive inconvenience for everything else, as seen here at Liverpool Street: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQTinmPjS_o
 

33056

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Further to Greeny's post, the other thing that nearly always appears on the STNs is that locos must not use crossovers between platforms at any location; another one that sometimes appears, depending on the loco, is that side / spectacle plates are to be folded in when passing through tunnels.

Anyway, steam runs under the wires in Germany, Austria and Switzerland a lot and there is far more OHL over there.
 

Greeny

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33056 - I was refering to OLE restrictions but you are quite correct regarding crossover roads between platforms ..... I forgot about that one !!. St Helens Central and Newton-Le-Willows come to mind.

G
 

Chris125

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There is no issue running steam under the wires except under the Tyne & Wear system where it runs on Network Rail, i think something to do with plastic insulators? Its more awkward with overhead wiring of course, as they cant fill up the tender with coal or get on top to trim it, but thats nothing new.

Chris
 

DownSouth

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Its more awkward with overhead wiring of course, as they cant fill up the tender with coal or get on top to trim it, but thats nothing new.
That shouldn't be a problem too often, that stuff should be done while in a siding and not obstructing trains in revenue service.
 

DarloRich

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I heard that its un-preferable for operators to run steam railtours under the cantenary, why is this?

I heard a rumour that if the entire UK railway system is electrified, that this could be the death of steam railtours.

I'm just curious why steam cant be run under the cantenary I mean it causes no visible damage to the wires.
This has probably been discussed before, I don't want to be reading through an old stale thread through masses of argument. I just want a nice simple answer on this thread, so please don't refer this thread to another one.
Yes -All this wiring will be the end of kettle tours. :roll:

What will be the death of steam railtours is the lack of paths and the number of trespass incidents by the kettleistas (but it is ok becuase they know what they are doing!)

O L Leigh has set out the reasons very well. There are also issues with using an underground station (like Sunderland) Mainly it is because the exhaust can set off the fire alamrs and the smoke creates a less than nice atmosphere.

The design for Tornado was chnaged to allow for operation under the wires. I think some parts (dome/Chimney?) were cut down.

You also have the HSE issues with going onto the coal stack in the tender or getting the hose into the tank under the wires!
 

12CSVT

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The STN’s always used to specify that the loco should not, when possible, be at a stand (usually in a platform or sidings) for a long time with the funnel directly under an insulator where OLE was present. Speaking to some of the older Signalmen and Drivers who remember them running regularly, if they stood for more than a few minutes there would be a terrific ‘BANG’ when the insulator exploded. AFAIK, that is the main reason for restrictions being applied and apart from restricions on the use of the slaker pipe is the only reason I ever saw in a Special Notice.

G
It is in the Rule Book that the loco must not come to a stand with the chimney directly under an insulator or a bridge.
 

HSTEd

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After steam phase out was completed apparently all the phosphor bronze fittings on the overhead equipment in use at the time were replaced with cheaper galvanised steel fittings thanks to the reduction in the corrosiveness of the operating environment.

They saved quite a lot of money doing this (I have a BTC report on it somewhere).
 

DXMachina

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Green kettle with a brass dome I think.. and it was dragged back to Paddington afterwards. Mid 90s?

unless that was another incident.
 

YorkshireBear

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Something has definitely hit something on harrogate line, hence why steam currently doesn't go that way (rarely anyway)
 

Chris125

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6024 had her safety valve bonnet knocked off leaving Paddington pre-electrification and i think a corner of 6233's firebox scraped a bridge on the Harrogate line a few years back.

Chris
 
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