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"T"-Boilers Need info

1874 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Semper Vaporo
I am trying to find information on T-boilers. (To model, not a working one.) The Web's not been kind to me. Does anyone have a link(s) where I can learn somthing about this configuration of boiler, its use-era, used in what, etc.

Thanx, Les
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RE: "T"-Boilers Need info

I have done some limited research in this area. The "T" boiler was also known as a boot boiler. It is a simple design used early on in manufacturing of small locomotives. 4- axle Climax, and early small Shays used them. Additionally some odd or one off locomotives used them. Some of the info can be located here:
Hope this helps,
Steve and Don:

Many thanks for the website. Not being focussed just now on geared engines, I never thought to try that phrase. Howsumever, having looked well into the site, I find there are a couple of Dinky's that will do nicely for future projects.

I also have another question: the book adverstised on that site (links to Amazon) called Locomotive Building: The Construction of a Steam Engine for Railway Use ~ by Ralph E. Flanders, ca 1911--can either of you recommend it? I'm somewhat versed in steam engine mechanics, but not at all in the 'plumbing'. That book advertises as 'having it all'. I need the basic plumbing--for instance I still have no clear idea what a generic water injector looks like, how it's mechanized to take power from the engine, etc, etc. Also, I'm still foggy on the 'turret' or what I call a 'manifold' that ports steam to various places. It is usually located on the top of the backhead--I'm doing pre-1900 (ca 1875 as a midrange) so all I want and need is the simple arrangements.
Can either of you point me at a pub that has that info? I have a Locomotive Builder's Manual that shows more plumbing than the space shuttle. I learned a good deal from a dwg posted in NavyTech's thread when he was 'bashing up his engine, but missed somehow getting it into my Notes folder.

Thanks again for taking time to post.

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You hit a winner with the MC link. Those photos were very good too, even if most of 'em showed me what I won't need--no train brakes, all mechanical. There were still some pieces of info plus a better 'sense' of a backhead. Glad I wasn't a RR enjuneer. Er, hogger?

On the injectors (I haven't, at this writing, gone to the other sites to see about the injectors) where'd the water pressure come from? Well, the feedwater pump, could it be? (No sarcasm, I really don't know). So, where'd the feedwater pump sit and was it mechanically driven, or steam driven--that is, was there a linkage to the engine's wheel linkage, or was a steam-driven pump used? I'm betting the early ones were mechanically linked to something that went up 'n down or 'round and 'round--or back 'n forth.... you get the idea.

Thank you for taking the time to post the data.

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In regards to the book you've mentioned, I have no knowledge or experience with that particular book, so I can't directly endorse or condemn it. However, from looking at what they provide in the "Search inside this book" link located just below the image of the book cover, and then looking at what is put forth as the book's "Table of Contents" it sure doesn't seem to cover everything, as far as what's listed it only mentions the "Main Rod." Also on that "Table of Contents" page there is listed "Part 1, Main and Side Rods" and "Number 79."

So in my mind the following questions arise; 1) Does the "Part 1, Main and Side Rods" indicate that Table of Contents listed only reflect a partial listing of a chapter with in the book, or what? or 2) Does the "Number 79" represent that this is the 79th book in a series of books that in total cover all areas of building a steam locomotive?

As to what you referred to as a "generic" water injector. In my experience of looking at various documents depicting various areas of steam locomotives. What I've found is, the only thing that is generic is the concept of what the job of an injector is. What each manufacturer's version physically looks like, just where it's located, and how the pipe connections from the tender to the boiler were laid out. Those particulars are all over map, so to speak. Unless you are speaking of one particular locomotive in a given time frame.
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Thanks for the opinion. Apparently, our minds view such books with a certain similar cynicism.
I have bought many things over the years, all advertised to "have it all!" And yo, did I get 'it' all ... right where--eehhh, let's not go there.

Well, I'm getting closer to starting, and my first effort will be some sort of ancient 0-4-0T, and it wll have the minimal necessary to be at least (hopefully) prototypical.

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RE: "T"-Boilers Need info


On UK engines the injector has no moving parts and is powered from the pressure of the steam in the boiler. There are two types. In the first the steam physically forces the water through two "cones". At the point where the water is squeezed the pressure on the water is higher than that of the boiler -and the water passes into the boiler via the valve. In the second the water is admitted to a sealed closed chamber next to the boiler and then steam heated. The rise in hydraulic pressure of the water due to heating is greater than the boiler and again water passes to the boiler via a valve.

Hope this helps.


I cannot speak specifically to what you are modeling, but some engines had water pumped into the boiler from a reciprocating pump. Some were attached to a lever off the crosshead, others were cylinders on the back end of the engine running from a rod from the main pin of the last driver and looked much like the power cylinders, only very skinny ones.

Other engines used what is actually named an "injector". It used steam pressure from the boiler to suck water from the tender and then force it into the boiler... yes, that sure seems very counter intuitive and almost like some sort of perpetual motion machine. But, it actually works. Do a Google search for "Steam Injector" for descriptions, drawings and photos. As a machinist you will probably like learning how a device with no moving parts can overcome the boiler pressure with nothing but the pressure of the boiler and take water with it into the boiler. :)
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