Water supplies for preserved steam locos

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Trackbedjolly, 26 Sep 2019.

  1. Trackbedjolly

    Trackbedjolly Member

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    Where do heritage railways get their water to supply their steam locos? I have seen from photos various ways of getting water including hosepipes, fire engine pumps and water tankers road or rail. Do any of the preserved railways use water from wells at stations or sheds?
     
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  3. dgl

    dgl Member

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    Swanage railway have a spring that they can get water from, whether or no0t they are using it yet I don't know. Previously it was just normal tap water, but this is supposedly not so good for the boilers.
     
  4. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I bet it is the mains and then filtered unless you have an onsite water source ( sprint/Bore hole etc)
     
  5. The Lad

    The Lad Member

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    'Corporation pop', mains water normally, with treatment by addition of chemicals either to the column or to the tanks. Occasionally some other treatment such as reverse osmosis to reduce the level of dissolved solids which otherwise accumulate in the boiler until washout.
     
  6. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    At the K&ESR we use mains water. At Rolvenden its passed through a reverse osmosis plant to remove impurities which extends the time between washouts and also boiler life. We have a licence to extract water from the Newmill Channel which runs alongside the railway but the river pumps not been used for many years. We also manually treat our boiler water by adding chemicals to the tanks in the morning.
     
  7. 341o2

    341o2 Established Member

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    The Tallyllyn has a water column at Dolgoch fed by a stream
     
    Last edited: 20 Oct 2019
  8. Trackbedjolly

    Trackbedjolly Member

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    I like the idea of using spring water but, of course, there is no guarantee it is any more suitable for use in a boiler than tap water.
    Any railway take water from watercourses, lakes or canals?
     
  9. The Lad

    The Lad Member

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    Rose Grove shed at Burnley used to supply water (and minnows) from the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
     
  10. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    The Great Central at Loughborough installed a new, larger capacity Reverse Osmosis plant last year. It is underground, on the way to the signalbox. The cost was around £85,000 I believe. I think it is fed by mains water and supplies the water tower to the North of the platform.
     
  11. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    I bet that wasn't too good for in injectors, filtered or otherwise! Wonder if that was the true origin of the Thomas story?
     
  12. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

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    I think they used to have eels in the water supply at St. Philip's Marsh.
     
  13. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Slightly OT but on the recent, perhaps infamous, Flying Scotsman tour, it refilled at Brightside in Sheffield from a giant road-borne tanker. There was the serendipitous coincidence of a long (presumably not often used) loop right next to a cul de sac on an industrial estate. It was there about half an hour, but I don’t know if that was how long it took to fill or if it was somewhat for pathing reasons.
     
  14. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Are you sure it is fed from a spring, not a stream? You don't normally gets springs half-way up a mountain.

    The Ffestiniog's water supply at TanyBwlch comes from a stream close-by.

    I suspect that a great many railways get their water from watercourses, lakes or canals - indirectly.
     
  15. mpthomson

    mpthomson Member

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    Springs can appear anywhere where the geology/ underlying rock structures are correct. The distance of those areas up a mountain (or not) isn’t relevant.
     
  16. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

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    I think that a lot of the early steam excursions used to build in stops (not always at stations) at which they used to take on water from road tankers. I don't know whether they still do, though.
     
  17. 341o2

    341o2 Established Member

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    The ones from London to Swanage/Weymouth usually stop at Beaulieu Rd for a refill, last Thursday I noted that Mayflower has built in connections for the tanker hoses
     
  18. alxndr

    alxndr Member

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    Did similar outside Swindon the other month as well in the Up Relief, filled by a fire engine.
     
  19. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Yes they still do. Is the company called “Bells and Tones” or something similar? I think they use an old(ish) Fire Service tanker truck.
     
  20. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

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    Ah, thanks - I've no idea what the name of the company is, but I have seen an old fire tender being used.
     
  21. Kingston Flyer

    Kingston Flyer Member

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    Most of the mainline registered tender locos have filler points under the tender tanks. This helps as it makes it easier to attach hoses (obviously), but also that you do not have to put hoses into the top of the tender, which you definitely couldn't under OHLE anyway.
     
  22. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    The Down Kent Mainline tours generally take water in the Down Platform Loop at Headcorn from a fire tender.
    Ive been one of a number of Kent and East Sussex Volunteers who were mobilised to hump coal in bags along the platform to a Steam Engine which had been heavily delayed on the West London Line and as a consequence didn't have enough coal to reach Margate. The tour had been put in the down freight loop to allow the service train to overtake then followed it in to the platform. We only had 25 minutes to get enough coal on before the next service train. It was like a relay race with coal sacks on our backs down the platform jumping over the water hoses. we ran out of coal with 3 mins to go. Happy Days!
     
  23. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    Sorry, but you can find springs at any level on a mountain, from the top to the bottom. It all depends on the level of the water table and the local geology. As an example, the Rivers Severn and Wye start from a spring fed bog at the top of Plynlimon.
     
  24. Dunfanaghy Rd

    Dunfanaghy Rd Member

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    From memory, I think Rolt mentioned a hydraulic ram feeding the tank from lower down the valley. Typically, it was unknown, and ignored, until it failed.
    Pat
     
  25. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    The old Welsh Highland used to have a hydraulic ram feeding a tank at Pont Croesor.
     
  26. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Not quite. Haven't got the book (Railway Adventure) in front of me, but they traced the supply to a mountain stream, where a half-barrel sump had become filled with gravel over the decades.
     
  27. Spagnoletti

    Spagnoletti Member

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    Llangollen have a license to take water from the River Dee, which avoids the need for treatment.
     
  28. bazzoh

    bazzoh New Member

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    bells and two tones is the company, they operate all over the UK
    Hope this helps!
     
  29. Dunfanaghy Rd

    Dunfanaghy Rd Member

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    You're right. Just given Railway Adventure the once over. Now I need to remember where I got the ram idea from.
    Pat
     
  30. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    Regarding the treatment of hard water for steam locomotives how did they cope back in the days when steam was king on the mainline or did hard water not exist back then or were they just not bothered about it.
     
  31. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    It could cause serious deposits rather quickly, I’ve seen a film of lumps of lime/calcium hydroxide being tossed into the tanks to counter it.
     

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