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Thread: One Last Turbine to go ,The UP Coal Turbine ! !

  1. #11

    Default RE: One Last Turbine to go ,The UP Coal Turbine ! !

    The following is a description from the 1966 edition of the Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia:

    Since the publication of the 1956 Edition of the Locomotive Cyclopedia, the first fired coal-burning gas turbine-electric locomotive was placed in service in 1962 on the Union Pacific. The Union Pacific is now the only railroad, in the world, which continues to operate a fleet of gas turbine powered locomotives. The fleet includes thirty 8,500 h.p. oil-burning two-unit gas turbine-electric locomotives and one 7,000 h.p. coal-burning locomotive consisting of a 2,000 h.p. diesel-electric "A" unit and a 5,000 h.p. coal fired gas turbine "B" unit.

    Coal Burning Gas Turbine Locomotive: —The first direct-fired coal-burning gas turbine-electric locomotive designed and built by the Union Pacific, is rated at 7,000 h.p. It consists of a 2,000-hp diesel-electric A unit, the 5,000-hp coal fired gas turbine B unit, and a tender which carries coal-pulverizing equipment and coal. Total length of the two locomotive units and tender is about 215 ft. The locomotive was designed and built strictly as an experiment to evaluate the feasibility of using coal to power a gas turbine in locomotive service with the view of enabling the railroad to resume the use of its abundant coal supplies which have been little used in recent years because of the extensive use of locomotives which burn only petroleum products.

    The first, or lead, unit of the experimental locomotive is a modified 2,000 hp Alco diesel-electric locomotive unit which supplies power to crank the gas turbine in starting and then provides 2,000 hp for pulling a train. The gas-turbine unit and diesel-electric unit add up to a 7,000-hp locomotive. A turbine fuel oil storage tank has been installed in the rear of the A unit.

    The second unit, 101 ft long, contains the gas turbine power plant, coal combustion and ash separation equipment, main generators, and an auxiliary diesel engine coupled to a 500-kw alternator to provide electric power for coal processing equipment. Eight of the twelve axles on this unit have traction motors, drawing their power from the main generators driven by the turbine. This running gear came from a retired Great Northern electric which the UP purchased in 1959. All rebuilding of the unit was done in the shops of the UP at Omaha, Neb.

    The third unit, a tender carries 61 tons of coal, which is sufficient for a tonnage run of about 500 miles. The equipment to process the coal required by the gas turbine unit is also installed on this tender.

    The major components of the turbine power plant are a compressor section, combustors, fly ash separator, and the turbine assembly itself. Air, compressed to about six times normal atmospheric pressure in the 15-stage axial-flow compressor, goes into the combustors where fuel is mixed with it and ignited. Reaching a maximum temperature of 1450 deg. the resulting gases expand through the two-stage turbine and discharge through an exhaust hood. The turbine shaft delivers 5,000 hp through reduction gears to the generators and also drives the turbine compressor. Diesel fuel is used in starting the turbine and the switch to coal is made automatically after it is running.

    When the turbine is operating on coal, nugget-size pieces (about 1 by 2 in.) move through the crushers and a pulverizer where they are reduced to particles small enough to move in a fluidized state when introduced into the combustion air stream. This "fluidized" coal has much the same handling characteristics as a liquid. The crushed coal is stored in a 2 1/2 ton bin in the processing compartment of the tender. Two coal pumps meter crushed coal to the pulverizers in accordance with turbine fuel requirements. With this system, the amount of pulverized fuel is kept to a minimum being processed only as required. After the coal is ignited in the combustors, the gases pass through ash separation equipment where the non-combustible abrasive ash is drawn off to reduce wear on turbine buckets.
    The turbine power plant was converted from one of those used in the 4,500 hp locomotives, with considerable redesigning including an increase in horsepower to 5,000.

    The designs of coal combustors, fly-ash separators and coal-handling equipment for the UP locomotive are all based on work done by the Locomotive Development Committee at the Dunkirk, N.Y. laboratory. Adaptation of the equipment for road-locomotive use has necessitated extensive redesigning. Alco Products, Inc., and General Electric Co., collaborated with the UP in this work.

    The gas-turbine locomotive underwent an extensive stationary test program at Omaha prior to its road testing. Initially, it was fired with fuel oil: later, with coal. Road tests were conducted on the UP main line between Council Bluffs, Iowa and Cheyenne, Wyo., over 500 miles. The locomotive handled UP freight trains over various parts of this line, as well as making through runs from Oct. 17 to Nov, 15, 1962, the locomotive operated over 3000 miles. At the end of this period it was held for bucket inspection. Serious bucket erosion was occurring, due largely to frequent plugging of the Dunlab tube blow-down pipes used for fly-ash removal. Overcoming of this plugging, caused by disintegration of the interior insulation and radiation shielding in the separator, was attempted with a new shielding of heavier material. Both stages of turbine buckets and nozzles were replaced, after which the locomotive was again placed in service in March 1963. In the first two years of operation the locomotive has operated approximately 21,848 miles in revenue freight service. The gas turbine operated a total of 488 hours on coal, of which 84 hours were on the first set of nozzles and buckets, 404 hours on the second set.
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  2. #12

    Default RE: One Last Turbine to go ,The UP Coal Turbine ! !


    It's Final I am going for it, one of these monsters will be my next project once the C855 is complete.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    South Australia.

    Default RE: One Last Turbine to go ,The UP Coal Turbine ! !

    [font color="blue"]> The following is a description from the 1966 edition of the Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia:[/font]

    Thanks Fred,
    Found that a very interesting write-up and pictures too. Was a real eye opener. Excellent.

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