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Heating Train Cars with Steam - Steam Culture

Posted by Ritchie Ware on Aug 30, 2016 2:23:44 PM

 Steam locomotive

On this episode of Steam Culture, we learn how steam was used to heat steam locomotives.

Through a process of trial and error, it was determined that low-pressure steam was a much safer alternative to fireplaces in railcars and even high-pressure steam.

The original plan for heating these cars was to use fireplaces. The problem is that the passengers closest to the fireplace were often too hot during their ride, and the passengers near the rear of the car felt virtually no heat from the fireplace. What's more, if the train should happen to lurch suddenly and a passenger fell into the hot fireplace there was a high risk of injury involved. 

The next plan was to utilize the high-pressure steam from the high-pressure steam locomotives and force the heat through the vents. It was discovered that this just didn't work and proved to be too dangerous for the passengers. Enter, low-pressure steam from low-pressure steam locomotives. This steam provided a much safer way to heat and cool the passenger cars. 

Watch this episode to find out even more! 


Topics: Steam Culture


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