Inspection. The inspection of locomotives should be thorough. It should embrace the condition of every exposed wearing surface and the behavior of every concealed one. All bolts and nuts should be examined to ascertain if they are tight. The netting in the front end should be examined at frequent intervals to make sure»that it is not burned out. The stay-bolts should be inspected periodically in order that those broken may be replaced. Wheels and all parts of the running gear and mechanism should be carefully scrutinized for cracks or other defects.
Cleaning. Cleaning the engine should be done after every trip, since dust and dirt may cover defects which may be serious and ultimately cause a disaster.
Repairs. Repairs of a minor nature can be made in the roundhouse and should receive prompt attention. Roundhouse repairs include such work as the replacing of the netting in the smoke-box, cleaning of nozzles, expanding and caulking leaky flues, refitting the side and connecting rod brasses, refitting valve seats, regrinding leaky cab fittings, adjusting driving box wedges, repairing ash pans, replacing grates, renewing brake shoes, resetting valves, repairing water tanks, and sometimes may be extended to the re-boring of cylinders. To this list must also be added the regular work of renewing all packing and cleaning out the boiler.
Emergencies. Emergencies are constantly arising in locomotive running where a breakage of some part should be repaired while on the road. The part affected and the extent of the fracture has much to do with the possibility of running the engine home under its own steam. A few methods of dealing with the more common breakages will be given.
Broken Side Rods. If a side rod breaks, the ends of the broken rod should be disconnected and the rod on the opposite side of the engine should be removed. An attempt should never be made to run a locomotive with only one side rod connected as the engine would be badly out of balance and trouble would arise when the driver attempted to pass the dead center.
Broken Connecting Rod. If a connecting rod is broken without injury to the cylinder, the crosshead and piston should be blocked at one end of the stroke and the broken parts of the rod removed. The removal of the side rods depends upon the extent of injury to the crank pin on the broken side. All side rods should be left in position if the crank pin on the broken side is uninjured, otherwise all should be removed. The valve rod should be disconnected from the rocker arm and the valve stem clamped with the valve in the cental position. The valve stem may be clamped by screwing down one of the gland nuts more than the other, thus cramping the stem. It may also be secured by the use of the clamp shown in Fig. 124. This consists of two parts having V-shaped notches which are securely fastened to the valve stem by a bolt on either side. This is done after having passed the gland studs through the two slotted holes, which prevents any longitudinal movement of the stem after the nuts on the studs have been screwed home. The crosshead should be forced to one end of the guides with the piston against the cylinder head. In this position, it can be secured by a piece of wood cut to fit snugly between it and the guide yoke.
When the parts on one side have been blocked in this way, the engine can be run to the shop with one side working.
Broken Driving Springs. In case a driving spring breaks, a block of wood should be inserted between the top of the driving box and the frame. This can be done by first removing the broken spring and its saddle, then running the other drivers on wedges to lift the weight off the driver with the broken spring. The piece of wood should then be inserted and the pair of drivers run up on wedges. After this is done, the fallen end of the equalizing lever should be pried up until it is level and blocked in this position. All parts which are liable to fall off should be removed.
Low Water. If for any reason the water gets low in the boiler or if through accident some of the heating surface is laid bare, the fire should be dampened by throwing dirt into the fire-box. A stream of water should never be turned on the fire.
Foaming. If foaming occurs, the throttle should be slowly closed. This prevents the water height dropping suddenly and uncovering the crown sheet. If there is a surface blow-off, it should be opened and the impurities on the surface of the water blown off. If the foaming is caused by grease which has collected in the tank, the tank should be overflowed at the next water station and a couple of quarts of unslacked lime placed in it. If this cannot be obtained, a piece of blue vitriol, which may be obtained at almost any telegraph office, may be placed in the hose back of the screen.
Broken Steam Chest. In case a steam chest becomes fractured either the lower joint of the steam pipe on the side of the accident should be pried open and a blind wooden gasket inserted, or the steam chest and valve should be removed and a piece of board laid over the steam openings and firmly clamped inposition by the studs of the steam chest.
The above are a few of the accidents which may occur on the road. To prepare for emergencies, the best method is to study the locomotive and devise means of making temporary repairs for every accident imaginable, then when the accident does occur, the remedy can be promptly applied.
Table of Contents; Page 159; Page 166; Index