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Author Topic: Steam Train Trip Sparked 21 fires south of Oamaru  (Read 1293 times)
Hurricane Annie
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New Zealand New Zealand



« on: January 26, 2015, 01:27:28 am »



Investigation into how one steam train trip sparked 21 fires south of Oamaru

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11391858

''There were dozens of spot fires burning [overnight],'' Otago Rural Fire Authority rural fire officer Eric Spittal said.



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James Harrison
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 06:58:43 pm »

Happens more often that you might think.

There's at least one preserved steam loco in the UK which was banned from mainline excursions after it proved to have pyromaniac tendencies.  There's also one preserved railway I know of which has to use diesels in high summer for part of the route to avoid setting fire to the forest it runs through. 
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Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.
Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 07:20:42 pm »

Happens more often that you might think.

There's at least one preserved steam loco in the UK which was banned from mainline excursions after it proved to have pyromaniac tendencies.  There's also one preserved railway I know of which has to use diesels in high summer for part of the route to avoid setting fire to the forest it runs through. 

 Would this have been a common problem in the Golden Age of  Steam rail? Or is  it a matter of older trains becoming dangerous.

 Oamaru is the HQ of NZ Steampunk. I  do not know whether Oamaru steampunk movement was involved in the train journey.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 07:39:27 pm »

In the steam age it was a very common problem.  In the UK it became standard practice to cut back all vegetation as far as the railway boundary fences, and the bare ground left behind was covered with ballast, cinders and ash to discourage plant growth- if that weren't enough weedkilling trains were run more often than is the case today.  If the grass isn't growing there, it can't catch fire.... 

Of course, there were still occasional fires out in rural areas.   
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 08:09:06 pm »

In the steam age it was a very common problem.  In the UK it became standard practice to cut back all vegetation as far as the railway boundary fences, and the bare ground left behind was covered with ballast, cinders and ash to discourage plant growth- if that weren't enough weedkilling trains were run more often than is the case today.  If the grass isn't growing there, it can't catch fire.... 

Of course, there were still occasional fires out in rural areas.   

 That  would explain why until recently  rail way lines in New Zealand  had wide strips of gravel running along side long after steam had gone by the way side.  Rail has been sorely neglected  here and only a 3rd of remaining tracks are still used.  There are moves to improve and increase rail.

 In the urban areas there have been garden refuse dumpings over fences and where their is vehicle access. All manner of wild and wonderful  old plants  grow. Nearby residents occasionally use the strip for growing vegetables.

 I have plants in my own garden from corms and bulbs taken from beside the rail way lines.
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chironex
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Australia Australia


The typing jellyfish monster


« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2015, 03:01:36 am »

Most Australian preserved lines have steaming seasons, as well. In the tropics we have only two true seasons, one being dry. This is the time when steamers are rarely used. Some steam-hauled services across the world used oil fuel to restrict this, particularly logging lines to avoid burning down the product! However this tended to leave oil residue everywhere.
There is a piece of film out there somewhere which shows this even happens in the middle of the desert. In 1988 the Flying Scotsman ran into Alice Springs with the old Ghan, and the film ends with a burning tree that one of them had set on fire.

I can't help but wonder if gas firing would work better?

But then I have to wonder if gas will work sufficiently to get any decent performance out of a c17...
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QUEENSLAND RAIL NOT FOR SALE!!!!!!
Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2015, 03:54:41 am »

Most Australian preserved lines have steaming seasons, as well. In the tropics we have only two true seasons, one being dry. This is the time when steamers are rarely used. Some steam-hauled services across the world used oil fuel to restrict this, particularly logging lines to avoid burning down the product! However this tended to leave oil residue everywhere.
There is a piece of film out there somewhere which shows this even happens in the middle of the desert. In 1988 the Flying Scotsman ran into Alice Springs with the old Ghan, and the film ends with a burning tree that one of them had set on fire.

I can't help but wonder if gas firing would work better?

But then I have to wonder if gas will work sufficiently to get any decent performance out of a c17...

 There is so much we take for granted  about industrial risks.

  The sparks must have found the 1 tree in a 100k radius.
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2015, 08:52:17 am »

Sparks come not only from boiler fires, but also from steel wheels grinding against steel rails, as in turning tight corners or spinning at the start of hauling a too-heavy load (happens all the time even today with modern locos and rolling stock, much more often than most people realize) Also, from brakimg parts clamping down on whirling wheels. (yes, even disc brakes at times).

Too, there's a device, a (usually, though straight electrics also exist) diesel locomotive combined with a special kind of car, called a "flanger," or more modernly, a LORAM Rail Grinder, that travels around on many or most modern railways, grinding away dangerous imperfections that get worn into the rail surfaces by normal everyday wear and tear. These frequently are referred to as "the trains from hell," as they can quite literally be rolling infernos in their own right:

http://youtu.be/6NoGtQPnPSc
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 09:06:59 am by MWBailey » Logged

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