How To Operate Steam Trains On Cajon Pass And Sherman Hill Without Stopping

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by connorlrichey, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. connorlrichey

    connorlrichey New Member

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    Hey! Do you know how to operate steam trains on Cajon Pass and Sherman Hill without stopping? Because I drove some on those routes and they slowed down and stopped as I tried to speed them up to the higher speed limit.
     
  2. UP13

    UP13 Well-Known Member

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    What is the boiler pressure like?
     
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  3. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like you're treating the reverser like it was an electric or diesel loco, the reverser has to be finely balanced with the use of the regulator (throttle lever)

    The only time you'd have the reverser set at 100% (or -100%) is if you were starting from a standing start and heavy, once under way under general running on the flat you'd probably have it around the 28 to 33% mark and slowly increase the regulator to increase speed, the more the reverser is open the more torque you have but you will use a lot more steam than necessary, and if you use more steam than the boiler can replace then , well, you're going to run out of steam, literally, also having the reverser fully open up hill will be like trying to drive a heavy lorry or ride a bicycle up hill in too high a gear you're going to grind to a halt.

    You have to learn (or watch steam tutorials which no doubt there is an abundance of on YouTube) how to balance the levers to get the best out of the engine.

    I will add a disclaimer that I'm no expert on steam loco's and this is what I've figured out myself through trial and error on the very easy and forgiving Isle of Wight route using the 0-4-0ST Invincible loco, whilst it's fun to have a play with the odd steam loco every now and again it's not really my thing, but what I wrote above is what I learnt along the way after many many stalled attempts.
     
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  4. UP13

    UP13 Well-Known Member

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    Always make sure you have plenty of boiler steam pressure, high water level in the boiler (it will drop and refilling will lower boiler steam) and the correct size fire (depends on locomotive). Don't have the reverser too low or too high. Possibly only 40-50%. The reverser is like a gear stick on a car. 100% is like 1st gear - great for starting but terrible for actually running along, 20% is like 5th gear - great for racing down a straight flat mainline but will struggle to get traction on an uphill.

    If you have the Riveria in the 1950s route, the locomotives have an auto help, even on other routes. These will be great for telling you where to set the various controls on the uphills.
     
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  5. connorlrichey

    connorlrichey New Member

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    I would try that then.
     
  6. WhippleStripper

    WhippleStripper Active Member

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    If you're running out of steam going up a hill check:

    Dampers open.
    Fire mass about 80% of max.
    Brakes fully released then set to running, so you're not using steam to unnecessarily continually release them.
    Regulator and reverser appropriate for speed. If you're driving with too much reverser too fast you create back pressure in the cylinders which fights against you and wastes steam.
    Blower off unless going through a tunnel.
    Water not being added to the boiler unless you really need it.
    Loco is powerful enough for the train its pulling and the gradient its facing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
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  7. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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    See this link on how to drive a Steam Engine. Help On Driving A Steam Train. | Dovetail Games Forums
     

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