Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Every 31 service days a steam locomotive must have its boiler drained, washed out, water glasses inspected and cleaned, and the firebox inspected and hammer tested. With the new regiment of boiler treatment we have been using, we were expecting a large amount of scale to come out in the wash. It turned out to only be a few cups of accumulation from the tubes, which is a very good.
The rear belly plug is out and sitting on the frame. Notice a little bit of color in the water as it drains out.
Four plugs in the mud ring, two in the boiler belly, two on the back head, and two in the "wagon top" section of the boiler. They all come out to gain access to different sections of the boiler interior with the washing wand.
The fire car pulls double duty on a wash day. One person runs the pump and maintains the water level while another washes the boiler. Both people tend to get very wet.
Steve Christy rolls up the hoses after Taylor Rush has replaced the washout plugs, done the firebox inspection, and refilled the boiler.
Good for another 31 days of service.
After being refilled with water, a small fire is lit and the locomotive is very slowly warmed up. Not only does this help reduce stresses, but it allows for a quicker hostling the following day.