NW-Mailing-List Digest, Vol 149, Issue 29

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Jul 26 09:23:22 EDT 2017


Per your note you state and ask:

I think the UP tried oil firing on one of the Big Boys but this created problems with leakages inside the firebox as a result of the intensity of the fire. It seems to be less of a problem with the Challenger and 844/8444. I?m not sure what the firing intentions are with the Big Boy which is being re-commissioned.

Regards Phil Mortimer


As of late 2016 the UP stated that Big Boy #4014 is going to use oil.  The stoker and the large grate will be removed and replaced with an oil conversion apparatus.  The fireman will use control valves to precisely regulate oil.  I imagine they will remove the stoker control valves.
Obviously the tender will need to be converted to hold oil and tubing/piping installed between engine and tender.
I cannot find any later info but would imagine that plan would hold.
Big Boys burned 28 tons of coal in a matter of hours. That produces a lot of ash and cinder. With an oil burner, the locomotive doesn’t produce that kind of debris.  Also, eliminates having to have coal and ash facilities where it runs.  That would be very expensive and burdensome.

Dave Gooding

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