by Emmett Smith
Below are some instructions on how to fire up and operate safely one of these steam locomotives.
Whatever you do, when you do get a hot fire going and the engine is fully steamed up, never EVER let the water level in the boiler surrounding the firebox drop so low that it exposes the crownsheet from above. The crownsheet is the top of the firebox. It should be kept under water from above at all times. If you do let too much steam exhaust off without keeping up the water level and the metal starts to burn through, the live steam inside the boiler, under pressure up to 300 psi and many times hotter than boiling, will rip the red hot softened metal all to pieces and scald everybody to death and Hell, all in one simply Godawful detonation. When you realize that the largest engines use a hundred gallons of water per mile (!), you can see what the problem is, and why it pays for everybody to be REAL nervous at work! The following piece on all of this was written by Phil Jern, and it is copyrighted 1990 by him:
It is part of the larger and many-sided S. Berliner website:
[EmmettR Smith all text-rights reserved 5 March 2009]