Re: Tankcar Steam Connections

Charles Peck

Jack, the condensate trap is attached to the low point of the steam coils and drains to the ground. No water need be
introduced to the oil being heated.  
Not speaking from theory or hearsay, I spent 22 years  as an engineer in the engine room of ships, many of which
burned bunker fuel.  
I have no idea how the the Yosemite Valley oil got contaminated so badly as I was told this summer, in the cab,
that they were burning used and re-purified motor oil. I did not inquire as to their storage. 
Chuck Peck

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 10:04 PM, 'Jack Burgess' jack@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


I asked a current day, experienced steam locomotive fireman a question about Bunker C in a similar situation on the Yosemite Valley Railroad. Based on his knowledge, I wrote an article which read:

“Adjacent to the oil tank was a covered 16’x36’ by 6’ deep settling tank. One purpose of the settling tank was to easily transfer fuel oil from a tank car to the oil tank via the settling tank. Fuel oil in a loaded tank car could drain by gravity from the tank car to the settling tank. But the settling tank had a much more important function which was to permit the separation of water and other impurities from the oil before it was pumped to the YV oil tank. If not removed, thus impurities could obstruct firing of the locomotive. Steam coils in the settling tank kept the oil fluid so that it could be pumped into the above-ground oil tank via an electric pump.”

So, it is hard to understand why they would introduce steam/water into a tank car full of Bunker C rather than circulate through a series of pipes and then let it vent to the outside. In addition, my understanding from what he told me is that water flowed to the surface of a steam locomotive tender not to a low point…

Jack Burgess

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2017 6:42 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Tankcar Steam Connections

The outlet does not need to be venting steam. Nor does there need to be a return line to the steam generator;

A condensate trap at a low point will drain water and allow fresh hot steam into the system.

Same as for the steam heat system on many passenger cars.

Chuck Peck

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 8:21 PM, Richard Townsend richtownsend@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

More engineering ignorance on my part here: doesn't the steam need to flow through the heating pipes? In other words, doesn't there need to be two connections for steam, one inlet and one outlet? It seems to me that static steam would cool pretty fast and be useless for heating the tank car contents. Surely they didn't introduce steam directly into the contents.

Richard Townsend

Lincoln City, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: destorzek@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
Sent: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 3:56 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Tankcar Steam Connections

Thanks to all who answered. The project was trying to figure out what exactly was happening in a forties era photo captioned "unloading road oil." There is a tankcar, an oil spreader truck with the booms folded across the back, and a trailer full of unidentifiable machinery between them. There is a hose from the top of the dome to the trailer, and a second from the trailer to the hatch on top of the tank truck. Then there is another hose from the trailer to the bottom of the tankcar. I am of the opinion that there are both an engine powered pump and a steam generator on the trailer, and the last hose is running steam to heat the car.

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