"what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Discussion relating to the B&O up to it's 1972 merger into Chessie System. Visit the B&O Railroad Historical Society for more information. Also discussion of the C&O up to 1972. Visit the C&O Historical Society for more information. Also includes the WM up to 1972. Visit the WM Historical Society for more information.
Post Reply
25Hz
Posts: 4624
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:06 pm
Location: Newtown, PA (or PATH towards WTC)
Contact:

"what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by 25Hz » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:20 am

I have been curious for some while about what would happen if the short-lived M1 was converted to diesel/oil burning vs coal.

I've read that coal dust mucked up the traction motors, so, would such a configuration have lived longer, and if so would it be working today's trains?

I also read that its top speed was something like 110 mph... that could be useful.



Any thoughts?

Image
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

hutton_switch
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Feasterville Trevose, PA

Re: "what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by hutton_switch » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:40 am

I personally think that coal dust fouling the traction motors was only the tip of the iceberg on this ill-fated locomotive. Design and mechanical problems plagued it as well as other steam turbine locomotives that ran on other railroads. The M-1 was continually in the shop for repairs, and any locomotive, regardless of design, if it spends more time in the shop than out on the road making revenue for the railroad, is a lemon. Read the link below at http://www.steamlocomotive.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, which should give you a good overview of the problems with this and other steam turbine designs, and should help you to draw conclusions about the steam turbine concept as a whole:

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/turbine/#nw

Wade
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
http://www.borhs.org
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!

Adirondacker
Posts: 601
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: "what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by Adirondacker » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:39 pm

25Hz wrote:I have been curious for some while about what would happen if the short-lived M1 was converted to diesel/oil burning vs coal.

I've read that coal dust mucked up the traction motors, so, would such a configuration have lived longer, and if so would it be working today's trains?

I also read that its top speed was something like 110 mph... that could be useful.



Any thoughts?
Each time you convert energy from one form to another there are losses. Converting the oil to steam to run a turbine doesn't make sense. Not in power plant that has to be relatively compact and relatively lightweight. Just run the turbine with the oil directly.

25Hz
Posts: 4624
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:06 pm
Location: Newtown, PA (or PATH towards WTC)
Contact:

Re: "what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by 25Hz » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:36 am

Adirondacker wrote:
25Hz wrote:I have been curious for some while about what would happen if the short-lived M1 was converted to diesel/oil burning vs coal.

I've read that coal dust mucked up the traction motors, so, would such a configuration have lived longer, and if so would it be working today's trains?

I also read that its top speed was something like 110 mph... that could be useful.



Any thoughts?
Each time you convert energy from one form to another there are losses. Converting the oil to steam to run a turbine doesn't make sense. Not in power plant that has to be relatively compact and relatively lightweight. Just run the turbine with the oil directly.
Would a non-steam oil fired turbine of similar configuration been more successful then? I mean, no need to carry water or have a boiler. Only real drawback i see is lower weight as fuel is used would mean the trains it was assigned to would need to take that into account...? And low speed fuel consumption would need to be addressed, perhaps a dual turbine, one for low speeds and then once near a set MPH you fired up the second turbine?

And hutton_switch thanks for those links!!
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

Adirondacker
Posts: 601
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: "what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by Adirondacker » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:06 pm

25Hz wrote: And low speed fuel consumption would need to be addressed, perhaps a dual turbine, one for low speeds and then once near a set MPH you fired up the second turbine?

And hutton_switch thanks for those links!!
They've tried that. People with power systems engineering degrees and decades of experience. The same people have tried other things. Other people with similar depth of knowledge have tried. They can get it work. It uses too much fuel. For something that sits on the ground there are better solutions.

25Hz
Posts: 4624
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:06 pm
Location: Newtown, PA (or PATH towards WTC)
Contact:

Re: "what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by 25Hz » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:59 am

So, what then would a modern M1 look like? Could putting the turbine at its most efficient setting, and allowing extra power to be dumped into ultracapacitors work? How about using multiple smaller turbines, such as those from helicopters or smaller yet and staging them based on power needs?
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

ExCon90
Posts: 4317
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:22 pm

Re: "what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:19 pm

Considering that the whole purpose of the M1 was an attempt to prolong the life of the (on-line) coal industry, I don't see that there would be much interest in converting it to oil. If a locomotive is going to burn oil, just get a diesel -- which they ultimately did.

Adirondacker
Posts: 601
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: "what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by Adirondacker » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:00 pm

25Hz wrote:So, what then would a modern M1 look like? Could putting the turbine at its most efficient setting, and allowing extra power to be dumped into ultracapacitors work? How about using multiple smaller turbines, such as those from helicopters or smaller yet and staging them based on power needs?
There was some discussion about how the spare turbines, still new in the box, that New York State had in inventory for it's turbine powered trains.. were stock helicopter turbines and could be sold off as new-in-box parts for helicopters. I have no way to evaluate whether or not that was true. Locomotives don't have to fly, there are better solutions for providing power to something that stays firmly on the ground in normal use.

mmi16
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: USA

Re: "what if" M1 was converted to oil burning?

Post by mmi16 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:24 pm

From the C&O perspective the most import thing about the M-1 was that it burn coal. Coal was the commodity that all the C&O profits were built on. At the time of the M-1 C&O managment wanted to show their customers that C&O was committed to using coal to conduct their business - the same kind of thinking the kept the N&W in steam as long as they did and they had their own turbine failure the 'Jawn Henry'.
Never too old to have a happy childhood!

Post Reply

Return to “Baltimore & Ohio/Chesapeake & Ohio/Western Maryland”