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  Railroads of Madison County
Maurice Lewman
Memories

Feedwater Heaters


Taken from a Q&A series on a web forum

Feedwater Heaters (Steam Locos)
Q) Which NYC engines were equipped with injectors and feedwater heaters. It seems all had feedwater heaters of some brand or other. Did any have two injectors besides the feedwater heaters?

A) I am going to start out explaining two things for those that may not be familiar with locomotives. We have superheaters, and feedwater heaters. Superheaters were u shaped steam pipes that run back into the big or, upper flues to heat the steam above the temperature it was coming from in the boiler. This made a hotter and drier steam into the cylinders. Feedwater heaters were used to heat the water between the tank and the boiler.

To answer the first question. Most H-5 did not have feedwater heaters. The H-5v made for the IHB did but some were given to the Big Four and they were taken off. The H-7 was not equipped until about the # 1989. It was still a hit and miss on which engines had them above this number until the H-10. Also the H-6, we called them government engines, were not equipped. From the H-10 on up they had feedwater heaters. A few yard engines were equipped but most were not.

Did any have two injectors besides the feedwater heaters? No. The government required two methods to supply the boiler. Two injectors, or a water pump and injector. They must both be working leaving the enginehouse. We had a 1 hour delay on a yard engine because of a leaking boiler check valve. The check valve was letting steam blow back into the injector and it would not work. The engineer would not leave until it was repaired. After they fussed for 45 minutes it only took 10 minutes to grind in the boiler check valve. If you are viewing from the firemans side you will see a water pump and not an injector when the engine has a feedwater heater. An injector would not supply enough water to supply the demand of a seperate feedwater heater. That said, they did have an Elesco exhaust steam injector and it was a feedwater heater and again I don't think it was as efficient. I never operated one so this is a little guess work.

On the engineers side was the injector. Most were non lifting but not all. Non lifting was below the water in the tank and the lifting was above the water level in the tank, the lifting injector located on the boiler, inside or outside the cab. So all engines from about 1906 were superheated, but not all had feedwater heaters.

The 2900 L-2 had a centrifugal pump and loss of 15lb. of boiler pressure did affect the water delivery from this pump. (See Feedwater Waterpumps)

Maurice Lewman


Maurice worked the Michigan Division from 1947-1981. He then worked on the Bee Line from 1981-1992. From 1947 until august 1950, he worked on the section at Shirley and Markleville. In 1950 he started firing on steam and then on through the diesels. Maurice said, "I had the pleasure of working with C. C. Staley and Ron Buser many times."


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