Coal burners

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Apr 27 12:19:43 EDT 2011


Compared to wood, coal requires a larger grate area because it cannot be
piled up like logs in a wood fire. It also requires a heavier rocking
grate because the fire burns hotter and to break up clinker that is
formed as the coal burns. Things like combustion chambers, steel
fireboxes, etc. are also more important with a coal fired engine.

Most locomotives burned bituminous coal. Anthracite burns hotter, but
requires more surface area. That's why the roads in anthracite
territory developed Wooten fireboxes, camelbacks, and other means of
putting a massively wide or long (or both) firebox on a boiler. As I
understand it, its not that anthracite is better as locomotive fuel, but
rather than it was cheaper than bituminous for some railroads.

So, in answer, the major engineering difference is that a locomotive
needs a larger firebox and grate for the same size boiler.

Ken Rickman

On 04/27/2011 10:55 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:

> What was the significant engineering difference in an "anthracite" coal

> burning locomotive, or any other coal burning locomotive?

> Thanks;

> Gene A.

Kenneth Rickman - krickman1 at
Salisbury, NC

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list