Friday, August 10, 2007

Boiler explosion aftermath

I found this picture on Wikipedia, worth showing, as another example of train wrecks!
Boiler explosion


LS said...

Now that must have been a blast! I hope nobody got hurt.

PP said...

Listen to this description of a boiler explosion from Sept 1923 in Colorado:
"...the boiler was blown several hundred feet in the air and landed 150 down an embankment. Mr Doobie(the engineer) was blown through the right side of the cab against the hill...Mr Lindsley(the fireman) was blown out the opposite side of the cab and was found 200 feet away..." Needless to say these 2 men did not survive this.

With the exception of these very early boilers like in this pic most all boiler explosions were from "operator error" The crew did not keep enough water in the boiler. In the posted pic however it would only be speculation but I would guess that the metal may have failed.

Depending on temp and pressure steam expands about 1000 times(only a rule of thumb) its volume in water. So you can see where so much force comes from when you instantly expand hundreds of gallons of water. EH, maybe you know the formulas for this?

O.K. said...

How much pressure does it take to blow a boiler? I imagine they overbuilt them since the consequences were in case of a failure, as you described, severe. One can only imagine how it was a few decades earlier before the improvements of workers safety began. In 1901 the fatality rate of american trainmen was 7.35 per 1000 workers and year, in Britain 2.21.