Piston Valve Travel and Tripoli

Discussion in 'General' started by Karl, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The Frisco Archive has posted two digitized copies of the Frisco Employee Magazine, which as usual, shed some new light on Frisco operations.
    The shop force at the West Shops are well-known for the work it performed on the 3540’s, 182’s, 1060’s, 4300’s, 4400’s, and 1350’s as well as for the it work performed keeping the fleet maintained during major “Class” repairs.
    During the 1920’s the shop force was also working to improve fuel economy and to improve locomotive horsepower. Starting page 16, the Nov 1924 FEM details the work being performed on the little ten hundreds, the 1040’s, the 1400’s, the 1500’s, the Mallets, and the 4100’s. In this article, which is also a very nice primer about locomotive valve gear, describes the work being performed. The Frisco was lengthening the piston-valve stroke, changing the cut-off, and enlarging the steam ports all to improve locomotive performance.
    Lest we think work of this type was being performed solely in the West Shops, the Sept 1931 FEM on page 16 describes the rebuild-work performed by the KC Shop forces on 1061. The 1061 received new piston vales, lengthened travel, enlarged ports and many other improvements, both mechanical and cosmetic. Engine crews must have been pleased to learn that the Volatone horns were moved from the cab roof to the front of the smoke arch (read smoke box). The RFE considered the new rebuilt engine to be “almost as good” as a 1500.
    Both articles provide us new insights about the worked performed on Frisco steam that is not reflected on the locomotive diagrams or in other sources.
    Under my favorite heading, “It’s Always About the Geology”, the Sept 1931 issue on page 9 has an excellent article about the Tripoli industry in SWMO, and in particular at Seneca, MO. In short, Tripoli is weathered chert, and it is used as a polishing or cleaning grit and in its solid form as a filtering agent. I have attached a 1907 Bulletin, which discusses SWMO Tripoli further.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
    FriscoCharlie likes this.
  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Fascinating. Anytime piston stroke is lengthened, the torque generated is increased. This is accomplished by installing a longer throw crank at the axles. Larger ports accommodate greater flow, thus increasing horsepower. Torque gets the tons moving quicker, horsepower increases top speed. Changing cut-off may allow reduction of steam at road speed, increasing efficiency.
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Perfect timing, Karl. Just perused this issue, and the photo of the Seneca facility caught my eye. There are a lot of boxcars in the photo, which makes me wonder if the tripoli was shipped in bags or bulk in the boxcars, not unlike a grain shipment? In any event, it sounds like the "flour" would be something to be kept dry.

    I also never realized that they did any rebuildings outside of the West Shops. It makes me wonder how many total rebuilds they would have done in KC.

    Best Regards,
  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Keith, This was a typo on my part. It should read piston-valve stroke...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2016
  5. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Back in the late 70's to early 80's, American Tripoli was being shipped bagged in box cars. I was at the loading dock one day, talking to the plant manager, and watching the local Frisco making flying drops. It was working out, more or less, until they sent an empty box car down the loading dock track. It slammed into a box car that they had just finished loading, and we watched the end panel bulge out and a cloud of dust swirling out of it. Our conversation ended when the plant manager had to call the railroad because they bought a car full of bagged Tripoli.

    When I calling on them, the quarries were relatively small, being a one-man operation. The truck driver would also do the loading. The material was dumped under a covered holding area and held for about 3 to 6 months for air drying. Inside, was a smallish rotary kiln and a ball mill to do the grinding. Then, it was screened and then bagged. The fine material was usually used in jewelers rouge or similar applications.

    I always thought that that operation would make a unique model industry.

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