Steam Locomotive Firing

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Steam Locomotive Firing

Post by Halbers »

Was sorry to see that the topic "Driving and Firing" has been locked as there is so much more to say !

One thing that a new driver/fireman might not be aware of is, when the brakes have been released, do not leave the brake handle in the "released" position as this wastes steam by running the large vacuum ejector continuously.

When you have achieved 21 inches of vacuum, open the brake handle a little to turn off the large ejector until it is in the "running" position, observe the steam consumtion rate as you do this and you will see the consumtion drastically decreases.

On the real thing, the small ejector (the J key) would be used to maintain the vacuum against leaking joints. Although we have a working control on RW turning the small ejector off does not seem to affect the brake vacuum though so I guess that it does not actually do anything in our world.

Still, it is good to get a little closer to the real thing by remembering to use the cylinder cocks, small ejector and damper controls.
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Steam Locomotive Firing

Post by bdy26 »

The SSS versions of the 7F (and the 8F which are close) have the ejector modelled in this way - a more complex but realistic driving experience, and very enjoyable after some practice!


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Re: Steam Locomotive Firing

Post by engineerbj »

On the flipside of the coin, if you happen to be making a little too much steam, you can put the brake into "Release" to keep from popping the safeties. I often do this to help knock the pressure down in conjunction with using the injectors, putting the handle back into "Running" or "Self Lapped" once I've achieved the desired reduction.

I imagine you could fill an entire forum with all the intricacies of firing and managing a locomotive boiler, for it is an art, just like painting a picture or making a beautiful wooden chair. I know that sounds a little silly to some, but firing to me is more of the art than science, and I always learn something when I take a locomotive out, both in real life and in the simulator.

My real favorites are the Meshtools Jinty and the Stanier 2-6-0 from here on UKTrainSim, both are fairly forgiving and are free steamers, at least to me. The LMS Combined brake on the Jinty is a nice added challenge, very rewarding once you've gotten in some practice, and both sound amazing when going along the line.

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