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  #51  
Old September 8th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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thecloak thecloak is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

I passed my final Fireman's exam yesterday! 2 hours of writing, only to burn it in the firebox! LOL
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81-82 Colonel's Cafe, 2008 HR - Temp, 2009 Rapids & Superman, 2014 Texas Giant, Boot Scootin' & Steam Train PIC, 2015 Steam Train. 2016-2017 Side 4 Supervisor, Steam Train. Head Trainer. Co-creator of the soon to be Johnson Creek Station Museum. 2018 back at the Railroad for my 9th season!
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  #52  
Old September 8th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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Twisted Twisted is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

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I passed my final Fireman's exam yesterday! 2 hours of writing, only to burn it in the firebox! LOL
Congrats and good job, Travis!
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  #53  
Old October 31st, 2014, 12:12 AM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

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I made Train everyone! I got my new uniform today. I never ever thought I'd make that crew. The crew is awesome. I have an amazing lead. (Chaz) The train is awesome. I'm loving life right now! Granted it's only conductor but I have my foot in the door. Next step, fireman training. I hear it's tough.
Congratulations!....you never know where it will take you....for me it definitely had an impact on where I am at today. While I never worked the conductor part, I worked on the engine pretty extensively between 1988 and 1998. I had no idea how that experience would help me, one day someone that was working at the batman stunt show as a pyrotechnic specialist came by and asked who he would have to talk to in order to get a job on the engine, he informed me he had steam experience. Turns out he was a fireman/engineer for the Fort Worth and Western Railroad aka The Tarantula Train, he asked me if I would be interested in working for them. I told him yes, he arranged an interview and before I knew it I was working for the good old FWWR on the 2248. I was there for a few years before I moved on to the BNSF Railway, been here ever since!
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  #54  
Old October 31st, 2014, 12:29 AM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

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I did my first fireman pre-run a few days ago(watched but did not touch). I learned all about the water in the glass, and keeping the fire/smoke clean. Head pressure. Why water has to be dumped at 2 places during the run, and what a sand-out is for. I was in the back during my first sand-out and they neglected to tell me to wear my sunglasses or at least turn around... I got pelted with sand! LOL Oh and we had a lay down too. Those are fun.
Vance gave you some good information, I will give you some more!

As the fireman the water glass is perhaps the biggest thing you need to keep an eye on! Never ever let the water go out of sight!!

As far as the smoke, ideally a light haze at the stack is best, you have to be careful not to be too lean nor to be to rich, but if you have to go one way or the other, run it rich, it is much healthier for the engine! Sure you will have to sand out more often, but sand is cheaper than what it I will cost to have Holman Boiler Works come out and repair either leaking flues or staybolts!

Sandout simply cleans the flues, when you run rich your smoking, that soots up the flues and essentially acts as a insulator that does not allow for efficient transfer of heat to the surrounding water. The solution, with a heavy exhaust to create the maximum draft you put a scoop of sand through the watch hole, it is carried by the draft and through the flues, as it travels it essentially sand blasts the flues which is carried by the draft up and out of the stack which is the big black cloud you see. Honestly they need to use a much finer sand, what we used was way too course, it was too heavy and as a result a lot of sand tended to drop out and settle in the bottom of the firebox!

The blowout or blowdown eliminates the solids or scale as it is more commonly called as the water it is suspended in is boiled away. The water is chemically treated to keep the solids in suspension but sometimes things still got out of control. I can recall several scaling and foaming issues we had account the chemical ratio was not right. The solids tended to settle down in the mud ring which is why the blowdown valve is located there, some people had an injector running while blowing down but I never did. Adding water will stir up the water in the boiler and all the scale down in the mud ring, which you want to avoid if at all possible, do your blow down with the injector off but once your finished immediately turn it on to replace what you just blew down!
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  #55  
Old October 31st, 2014, 12:44 AM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Default Re: I made the Steam Train crew!

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We're only doing sandouts 3 times a day. 1. During the morning safety run 2. Before the refuel since the train is empty and 3. The final run of the night after Boom Town drop off. I love the one at night. Ambers everywhere! We blow out at Giant and then again after the Shockwave crossing. This is all on the green train since the red one is being repaired, I assume. I have absolutely fell in love with the train. Even conducting. I can't wait to get up front. I did witness a pop-off today at Boom Town since the pressure needed is so very high to get up the hill. Very interesting.
Actually they need to sand out whenever you know it needs it! If you have a fireman that runs rich and soots up the flues the engine won't steam good, you need to sand them! If they used a lighter sand sanding out with passengers on the train would not be a problem!
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  #56  
Old October 31st, 2014, 01:01 AM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

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Notes - we don't fire up the engine anymore. Maintenance has to do it. Apparently someone at a Disney park? was firing up and blew up a boiler, or something to that effect. Maintenance fires us up, does his checks, etc and couples us up to the coaches and then hands it to us. We run to Johnson Creek and get fuel/water (sometimes) since it's done last thing at night usually. We go to Boomtown and do our sandout between Bugs Bunny and where Zeke has been taking his monthly shower for the last 53 years. We head back to Johnson Creek to wait for the sign-off from a Sup. Once we get that we can start our runs. We only sandout 3 times a day. We take on water every 2 hours and fuel every 6. True we don't "drive" the train. The fireman keeps the water temp and water level in the boiler where they should be, hopefully without popping off, and does the blow-outs. Oh and he gets to ring the bell at the crossings too. LOL The pop-offs happen at Boomtown since the engine pressure/temp needs to be at 145-148 and the pop-off happens at 150 and since the gauge is in the middle of cab and the seat is to the left the gauge is misleading.
Lots of good responses on firing up the engine!

The best way to do it is gradually, extreme changes in temperature are detrimental to the boiler, causes leaking flues and staybolts. Best to set a low to medium fire and slowly build it up, when I was working for the FWWR I had to be there at 5 am to get the engine ready for a 10am departure. I always lit it off at around 6am, set a very low fire, allow things to get heated up gradually. If you don't know what your doing firing up an engine can be very hazardous, I speak from experience! Once you can visibly see fuel being delivered to the burner be careful, as you now have fumes accumulating that can be very volatile which will ignite if they come in contact with an ignition source. Make sure you have enough blower to keep the fumes from accumulating and enough atomizer to vaporize the fuel so it will ignite. You also have to be careful not to dump too much fuel before it lights, as if you do it tends to accumulate on the bottom of the firebox and when it ignites it is going to smoke uncontrollably until it all burns off, and if you dump so much that it pours out the bottom damper there is a very good chance that you will have a fire on the ground underneath the engine!
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  #57  
Old November 2nd, 2014, 08:20 AM
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thecloak thecloak is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

Thanks everyone. Since this post creation I've taken, and aced, the fireman's test. I can fire in my sleep. I should be taking my engineer test today if all goes well on the train. I am interested in getting on at either BNSF or FWWR sometime early next year.
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81-82 Colonel's Cafe, 2008 HR - Temp, 2009 Rapids & Superman, 2014 Texas Giant, Boot Scootin' & Steam Train PIC, 2015 Steam Train. 2016-2017 Side 4 Supervisor, Steam Train. Head Trainer. Co-creator of the soon to be Johnson Creek Station Museum. 2018 back at the Railroad for my 9th season!
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  #58  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 08:32 AM
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thecloak thecloak is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

Done and DONE! I made engineer yesterday! After I burned my test in the fire box I drove one half of one round trip, then, drove home. LOL Special thanks to Chaz, Pete, and the rest of the crew for sitting on the back end of the train while I got my hours in and for getting me where I am, doing what I now love. The 2014 Steam Train crew are simply awesome!
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81-82 Colonel's Cafe, 2008 HR - Temp, 2009 Rapids & Superman, 2014 Texas Giant, Boot Scootin' & Steam Train PIC, 2015 Steam Train. 2016-2017 Side 4 Supervisor, Steam Train. Head Trainer. Co-creator of the soon to be Johnson Creek Station Museum. 2018 back at the Railroad for my 9th season!
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  #59  
Old November 4th, 2014, 09:12 PM
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Scott Scott is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

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Done and DONE! I made engineer yesterday!
Congratulations!
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  #60  
Old December 18th, 2015, 04:48 PM
spindletop spindletop is offline
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Default Re: I made the STeam Train crew!

how's that spiel go...."either you get off here or either you stay on board, but u can't do neither either."...lol
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