Sunday, September 17, 2017


My image today is another of the locomotive I help fire on at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion over Labor Day weekend.  I captured it on the shift before mine at the point where it is beginning to start up the main grade to the station. A lot of times at this point you will see dark smoke due to the coal dust from the coal just being added.  It is at this point where you, as the fireman, want to have your fire how you need it to maintain pressure as the locomotive works hard to reach the top of the hill without having to open the firebox doors.  If you open them while it is working hard, the change in temperature from the colder air coming in can cause the metal to expand in the tubes and make them leak water.  This is not a good situation to have water leaking on a fire you are trying to maintain.  It's very challenging but fun and I am glad I get to do it for 4 shifts out of a year.

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