Investigation of accident to Southern Pacific locomotive no.2833, operated by Southern Pacific Company, which occurred o...

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Material Information

Title:
Investigation of accident to Southern Pacific locomotive no.2833, operated by Southern Pacific Company, which occurred one and one-half miles west of Cosgrove, Nevada, October 3, 1912.
Caption title:
Report of the investigation of accident to Southern Pacific Locomotive no. 2833
Physical Description:
7 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
United States -- Interstate Commerce Commission. -- Division of Locomotive Boiler Inspection
Ensign, John F
Publisher:
Government Printing Office
Place of Publication:
Washington
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Railroad accidents -- Nevada   ( lcsh )
Genre:
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
report of the Chief Inspector of locomotive boilers.
General Note:
At head of title: Interstate Commerce Commission.
General Note:
Printed by the order of the Commission, December 23, 1912.
General Note:
Dated December 18, 1912.
General Note:
Submitted by John F. Ensign Chief Inspector.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004955198
oclc - 80463498
System ID:
AA00012227:00001


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INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION




INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENT TO

SOUTHERN PACIFIC LOCOMOTIVE NO.

2833, OPERATED BY SOUTHERN PACIFIC

COMPANY, WHICH OCCURRED ONE AND

ONE-HALF MILES WEST OF COSGROVE,

NEVADA, OCTOBER 3, 1912


REPORT OF CHIEF INSPECTOR OF
LOCOMOTIVE BOILERS






PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSION
DECEMBER 23, 1912






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REPORT OF THE INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENT TO SOUTHERN
PACIFIC LOCOMOTIVE NO. 2833, OPERATED BY THE SOUTHERN
PACIFIC CO., WHICH OCCURRED 1i MILES WEST OF COSGROVE,
NEV., OCTOBER 3, 1912.

WASHINGTON, December 18, 1912.
TO THE INTERSTATE COMMERC CCOMMISSIONN:
As provided in section 8 of the locomotive boiler inspection law,
the following report of investigation of explosion of Southern Pa-
cific locomotive No. 2S33, which occurred on October 3, 1912, at 1.48
p. m., 1i miles west of Cosgrove, Nev., is respectfully submitted:
This is a consolidated or 2-8-0 type of locomotive with wide
3-piece construction crown-bar type of fire box, built by the Baldwin
Locomotive Works in March, 1911, and put in service at Sparks,
Nev., October, 1911.
At the time of the accident this locomotive was hauling freight
extra west, consisting of 46 cars weighing 1,515 tons. The speed
of the train at the time of the accident was estimated at 35 miles
per hour; track straight with a slightly descending grade for about
2 miles east from point of accident. The boiler was blown clear
of frame and landed approximately 400 feet ahead and 60 feet to
the left of the point of the explosion. Four hundred and fifty feet
of track was torn up. Engineer N. L. Robinson and Fireman C. C.
Cool were killed. No other persons were injured.
Examination of the boiler showed that the right side sheet, with
portions of the right side of flue sheet and door sheet and a portion
of the crown sheet, had been blown out. This section of the fire box
was blown downward, the sheets having doubled at the top edge of
the mud ring, and were flattened against the bottom of the mud ring
by the boiler rolling to an upright position after landing.
The initial point of failure was in the right side sheet, all of the
stay bolts. 382 in number, having pulled out of the sheet. The sheet
showed evidence of having been overheated from the third hori-
zontal row of stay bolts above the mud ring, which is the top line
of the brickwork, to the top row of stay bolts near the crown sheet,
and from the sixth vertical row from flue sheet to the back end of
fire box. This sheet, as well as the left side sheet, showed every
evidence of having been exceedingly hot. The central part of both
side sheets, near the back end of the fire box, had evidently been the
71191-13 3






INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.


hottest, the temperature having materially decreased near the crown
sheet. The flue sheet and flues were tinged with blue from the bot-
tom flues upward, diminishing in hue toward the upper flues. The
crown sheet had been overheated from the back end to a point be-
tween the fifth and sixth lateral rows of crown bolts from flue
sheet, at which point the line of overheating was clearly defined,
crossing from side to side, and the sheet in front of this, which was
the highest part of the crown sheet, did not show any evidence of
overheating. The crown flange seam of the flue sheet did not show
the slightest sign of having been overheated. The rivets were in-
tact, and the calking edge not sprung. Neither did the longitudinal
corners or bends of fire box between the top rows of stay bolts in
side sheets and outside rows of crown bolts show any indications of
having been overheated.
There were two fusible plugs in the crown sheet, both in good con-
dition-one of the old standard pattern with five 5-inch holes, fusi-
ble-metal filling, component parts of which were: Tin, 1 part; lead,
8 parts; made to fuse at a temperature of 540 F. This plug was
located between the first and -econd lateral rows of crown bolts from
the flue sheet, which is the highest point of the crown sheet, and did
not show any evidence of having been overheated, as the fusible metal
was intact. When removed and tested the fusible-metal filling
started to melt at a temperature of 554 F., and all melted out at a
temperature of 5650 F.
The second fusible plug, known as the Vaughn-Schonfeldt plug,
was located 221 inches from the flue sheet directly over the burner.
This plug has a i-inch opening, into which a solid plug is sweated
with a coating of nearly pure tin made to fuse at a temperature of
5400 F. When removed and tested the tin fused and plug dropped
out at a temperature of 5860 F.
All of the flue beads, excepting 22 in the two top rows, were sprung
one thirty-second to one-sixteenth of an inch, several of the beads
extending straight out. The flues in the interior of the boiler were
bent by the force of the explosion, but none shows evidence of over-
heating and none shows evidence of collapse.
The manner in which the sheets were overhen ted shows conclusively
that this accident was due to the character of the water used on this
division, as the hottest portion of the sheets was just above the line
of brickwork, about 12 inches from the mud ring, while the fusible
plugs in the crown sheet remained intact, and the front end of the
crown sheet, which is the highest portion, shows no indication of
having been overheated, which is evidence that the water covered
this area until the last moment prior to the explosion.
Much of the water used on this division is bad and is of a nature
that will not absorb the intense heat generated by a forced oil fire






INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENT, COSGROVE, NEV.


as rapidly as it can be generated; therefore the water was driven
from the sheets at the points which were exposed to the greAite-t Leat
of the fire, the result being overheated sheets and the explosion of
the boiler.
The water used in this district is treated after it is in the loco-
motive tender by placing in the tender a certain quantity of a boiler
compound designed to neutralize the effect of the impurities in the
water and hold it down. While, no doubt, improved conditions re-
sult from this water treatment, there still exists a point beyond which
it is unsafe to go; therefore extreme care should be exercised, par-
ticularly with oil-burning locomotives where water of this character
is used, to see that this point is not passed.
An inspection of other locomotives in the same district indicates
that, to a lesser degree, similar conditions prevail on those locomo-
tives, as side sheets, door sheets, and crown sheets were fulndl to
be bulged at areas corresponding to those which were I1irned in
locomotive No. 2833. This is particularly true of locomotive- s 2;1
and 2832.
When the life and condition of these locomotives is considered,
they having been in service only about one year, it is apparent that
the boilers are being forced to such an extent that the light water
used in that district will not absorb the intense heat generated by
the oil burners.
Until such time as better water can be obtained, it would inrc.ai e
the safety of operation of these locomotives to reduce the tonnage
or the speed of trains so that it would not be necessary to force the
boilers to an extent which endangers the lives of employees in order
to generate sufficient steam to operate the trains.
If it is absolutely necessary that these boilers be forced to use
every heat unit that the burners can give forth in order to generate
sufficient steam to handle the desired tonnage, or make the time, it
would be a safeguard to apply a fusible plug near the back end
of the crown sheet at the point where the greatest heat from the
burner is concentrated. Applying a fusible plug in this manner
may possibly result in increased engine failures, as it is a well-known
fact. that under certain conditions sufficient heat can be generated by
a forced oil fire to fuse the metal in such a plug, even though it is
covered by water, but it would serve to give warning that the fire
was being forced beyond the point of safety, and would materially
add to the safety of operating locomotives in this district.
The condition of the fire-box sheets in locomotive 2833 also demon-
strates the fact that the heat from the oil burner is not uniformly
diffused throughout the fire box. Correcting this defect will, in a
measure, reduce the liability of overheating fire-box sheets which are
covered with water.








6 INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION. *

Boiler appurtenances were in good condition so far as could be
determined. Gauge cocks were all broken off, but openings to boiler











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were found clear. Water glass was found in good condition, and
openings to boiler were clear.
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INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENT C'OSG;RO'E, NEV.


Injectors, two No. 11 simplex, and their connections, were in good,
condition. Steam gauge was destroyed. Safety valves, one 3_-inch
muffled and one 3M-inch open, were tested on another locomotive
of the same class and found to be in good condition, properly ad-
justed and of sufficient capacity.
The overheated areas in the fire box are shown in the diagrams
contained in this report.
JOHN F. ENSIGN,
Chief Inflp .tor.
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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