24 Brake Equipment on Steam Engines

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 7 09:23:35 EST 2021

tIt should be noted that the application of the 24RL brakes with the
pressure maintaining feature was part and parcel of an effort to increase
GTM/TH by eliminating stops to turn up and turn down retainers on coal
trains.  Coal trains leaving Bluefield had to use retainers to get down the
mountain, and stops had to be made at Blake and Lurich to trnn them back
down.  They had to be turned up again to enable trains to get down from
Christiansburg  safely.  Wstinghouse invented a new four-position retainer
with a "slow direct release" feature.  N&W bought 40,000 of these retainers
for hopper cars.  A coal train leaving Bluefield would have its retainers
in slow direct release position.  The brakes would be set to come down the
mountain and the pressure maintaining   feature of the 24  brake would
ensure that the brakes would not increase due to brake pipe leakage.  Then,
at some point  near the bottom, the engineer would put the brake valve in
running position to release the brakes and the new retainers would
gradually let the brakes release for the run up the river.  Similarly,
coming off Alleghany mountain the brakes would be set for the descent and
released somewhere around Shjawsville so that they'd all be released at the
bottom.  Hank Kinzel told  me that when he was firing in that pool, he and
his engineer would  have contests to see who could get off the mountain
safely with the least brake pipe reduction.  He said the record was around
ten pounds.

 - Ed King

On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 10:51 PM Ed King <4501eking at gmail.com> wrote:

> N&W had 157 steam engines with the 240 Brake.  One hundred 2100s
> including the 2200, 43 As and fourteen Js.
> Ed King
> On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 5:06 PM NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
> wrote:
>> I noticed what appears to be a couple of nice size wads of "waste".
>> Jimmy Lisle
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