Re: Kewanee boiler flat car load

Jeffrey White

I agree with Chuck. One of my additional duties in the Army made me the facility manager for an armory building that was a WPA project in 1936.  It was heated by a boiler that looked just like that model.  During my tenure there, they replaced the heating system.  They had to cut the boiler up into pieces to get it out because they had put it in place in the basement boiler/mechanical room and built the building over it.  I got to see some construction photos, a couple hundred men and wheelbarrows pushing concrete up ramps to pour into the forms. (the building was poured concrete).  Those guys on those WPA projects really worked.

Back to the boiler, I ended up disposing of the boiler and all of the radiators, total scrap was about 13000 pounds.  I figure a ton for the radiators and the rest was boiler, so I guess somewhere between 5 and 5 and a half tons.  At some point in it's life it had been converted from coal burning to gas burning so I don't know if the conversion changed the weight.

Jeff White

Alma, IL

On 12/9/2020 5:50 PM, Ralph W. Brown wrote:
Hi Chuck,
When asked about the weight of these boilers, I was trying to figure out whether a flat car could handle more than one in a load.  Based on your comments, it looks like two or three power boilers would not over load a 40 ton flatcar.  Does that seem reasonable to you?
Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532

From: Charles Peck
Sent: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 6:15 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Kewanee boiler flat car load
Like many things in life, it depends.  It could be a heating boiler or a power boiler,
Both came in various sizes.  A heating boiler would typically carry 15 PSI or so and
be formed of lighter gauge steel.  The significant weight would be any refractory and
cast iron grates within the boiler.
The power boiler would be formed of heavier sheet steel and might weigh twice as much.
A wild ass guess from someone who has actually fired one of these things would put a
heating boiler of ordinary size at 2 to 5 tons.  A power boiler maybe 10 or 12 tons.
Anyway, as many as would fit on a 40 foot flatcar would not look like an overloaded car.
If anyone were to question it, call them heating boilers.  Still worried?  Put crates of iron
iron grates, boiler fittings, and firebrick on an adjoining flat.
Chuck Peck

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