Author Topic: Boiler standards  (Read 2447 times)

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Offline cabbage

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #15 on: Aug 23 2017 18:03 »

When I say Useless  I refer to the lack of documentation and testing required. If given the Three Bar Rule WHAT is deemed to be the volume of the boiler -it is not stated anywhere. This would mean that the boiler maker/owner would have to have a certificate saying "this boiler is 770ml" thus the maximum pressure it can be allowed to take is 3.9BAR. Even my simple home boiler system (due to be serviced and certified tomorrow by Glow Worm) is given a static pressure test to 2BAR.

If you are going to run a steam loco then it should at least have some form of documentation and testing certificate. This gives a clear record of any developing faults that arise over the years until the boiler is retired.


The reason I would like a separate section on water tube and fire tube boilers is because of the problem of the large number of joints that have to be made. Some clear guidance as to the types of silver solders and brazing rod to be used for step soldering and types of joints to be used. I think that the level of technology has risen above just drilling holes and pushing pipes into them. It would be "nice" to have some guidance as to tube diameters to length other than 1:60 to 1:70. Some idea of what to use for Decalcifying and Water treatments to use. I could go on!!!!

Andy B.

You have the basics for the loco "Southern Magyar" . This is a Brotan Filiaovits boiler I plan to have it certified to 7BAR but only run it at 4 BAR as a G3S loco. But should I ever get the chance to have it pull me on an ME track the 7BAR certification will come in handy.



Offline jamiepage

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #16 on: Aug 23 2017 18:34 »
OK, to exaggerate can be a tactical mistake I accept.

So remove the underlined bit in its entirety, and compare what's left with the current G1MRA and 16mm Assoc requirements. (The extract I provided earlier will help the comparison).
That, as you accurately assumed earlier, is the nub of it. That, and the mindset behind it.

Why is G3S more restrictive? What motivation is there for it?

I contend the extra complication, no matter how inconsequential you personally and some ('most'?) current members  may find it, is not just utterly unnecessary, but it does not act in the best interest of  members, present and potentially future.
It is an inbuilt drag factor working against getting bigger.

The alternative attitude to the consideration of the membership (wherever and whoever), to continued safety, and to proper insurance coverage, shows how it can be done.

I really struggle to understand the reasoning behind G3S' stance, at least from an organisation that states it sets out to encourage scenic railway modelling. (Just as the other two do).

Previous reasons given- unsafe, uninsurable, illegal, are all wrong. To those, it looks as though we can add a contention from at least one Society Inspector that Small Boilers are  'useless in our scale'.
Honestly, that last from one of the Inspectors that G3S requires members to meet annually as a preferable alternative to the buddy system? (Sorry Ralph, nothing personal, but it's got to be said).

Why should it 'disturb' me? The bee in my bonnet?
I worry that MELG with presumably G3S' approval, will impose their extra restrictions on the rest of us (insurance- wise) for no good reason. (Or please just give me one if there is).
It appears the default is protection of its status quo in spite of any evidence or argument to the contrary.

Alternatively, of course, that could be entirely wrong.
I prefer to hope MELG will recognise the empirical evidence of thousands of Small Boilers in safe operation and also that G3S becomes as (all) member orientated as the two larger scenic railway Societies.

The End.

Offline IanT

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #17 on: Aug 29 2017 09:18 »
I've a simple solution for you Jamie, since change can only come from within. and you obviously feel so strongly about this issue.

Re-join the Gauge '3' Society and volunteer for a committee position - there are a number of vacancies available. You will then be in a much better position to take an informed view of what is going on with regards our Southern Fed Membership (and many other important Society issues) and of course be able to directly influence any decisions being made. You will discover that the rest of the committee are just ordinary folk like yourself, giving up their free time, trying to juggle various issues and manage events, when most of them would much rather be doing something else - like playing trains.

Anyway, I'll look forward to seeing you on the top table at the next AGM and hearing what the committee are recommending as being the best way forward in this and many other areas. Any measures recommended by the committee will of course, need to be put to the vote and the membership consulted.


Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline cabbage

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #18 on: Aug 29 2017 09:50 »
I have composed these and had them vetted by both John Candy and Mike Williams.

Part One

A little history... When the G3S was founded a high proportion of its membership was drawn from that of the N2.5GA, thus the steam locomotives would have had to have gone through the (then) current test procedure and certification from “The Green Book”. So, at that time every G3S boiler was also an N2.5GA boiler or an MES boiler and little would change until G3 became something more independent with its own needs and requirements. Even now there are several members with dual membership of both organisations. Thus it is only natural that the steam locomotive owning dual members, continue to use dual function locos.

Only recently have there arisen steam locomotives that can be classed as G3 rather than (N2.5GA and G3). In a back copy of “The Steam Chest” Chris Barron stated that all his locomotive designs were capable of pulling people. I have a Chris Barron plan set for a Furness tank in which he states that the boiler should stand, “160PSI for 20 minutes”, the bore and stroke are the classical ½” x 1”. The books of Martin Evans only note designs for 2.5” locomotives, there are no G3 ones. LBSC and HG both gave loco designs for G1 capable of people pulling and both would see only a 2.5” loco -if we were somehow to show them a steam motored GRS “Duck”!

Let us play a simple numbers game... In my part of the world there were four G3S members. Only one of them had a steam locomotive. Let us say that the G3S has 200 members using this premise then 50 members would have steam locos. I know of at least five other boiler testers besides me. So, this means that using the premise above, over 10% of the steam locomotive owners are boiler testers. No boiler tester may test his own boiler, so this brings the number down to 10%. The question is not, “Do the membership agree?”, but, “Do the people that this affects agree?”.

I don't ever intend to travel down to Ampthill -it would kill me. However once I have everything in place come boiler testing day that the kitchen of a 3 bedroom semi in Derbyshire will be available to members -there may be a similar arrangement in Yorkshire.

The 3 BAR is I repeat USELESS for G3. The “hydraulic” test and the “steam” test are a once per life initial certificate only changes reset the certification process. The volume of the boiler would have to be exactly stated and confirmed before it could be run. How the volume is determined is an unknown and the only true method would be to weigh the loco dry and then again full of water. It is assumed that the BAR rating is a relative pressure rather than an absolute pressure, but only in the CE certification papers for foreign made boilers can I find this written down. With no clear guidelines,  how you certify a 3BAR litre other than saying, “ERRMMM well -it's a 3BAR Litre boiler”. The pressure safety valve would have to be tested to ensure that it does not exceed the calculated maximum for that volume. Is there a tolerance for the valve, +/- 5psi, +/-10PSI -or what? The same can be said of the steam gauge. If the steam gauge is -5% and the safety valve is +5%, what IS the true safety rating -is it anywhere NEAR 3Bar Litre????

I believe the rules change when you leave G1 and 16mm, here I speak as a member of the 16mmngm and the G3S. A G1 or 16mm model is that, A MODEL, a G3 locomotive is A SMALL LOCOMOTIVE and is not a model. Thus it needs to be treated and seen differently. G3 straddles the line between Model Engineering and Modelling, whilst G1 straddles the line between Modelling and Model Engineering. I like to term myself as; “A Modeller who has to use Model Engineering to make my Models”, and I think that this is true.

My main reason for becoming a boiler tester was to get my hands on the “Green Book” and to discuss testing procedure of my own boiler with them. I built a “Porcupine Boiler” for my only 16mm steam loco, several clubs refuse to have it run on their tracks despite certification because it is “A Strange Boiler”.  When my testing equipment has been rigged and proven I just might try it out on the Porcupine. Once I can get another tester here, a valid “Southern Fed” boiler cert for it would rattle more than a few cages...

Part Two

Jamie -A Reply...

I am in the fortunate position to still be in contact and meet members of my school days and college days. Normally we meet up at Beer Festivals and the “Students of Locomotives” and “The Unorthodox Engineers” discuss the merits and errors of locomotives. All of us build and own our own locomotives. So, over the past couple of days E-Mail and Skype conversations have resulted in the following opinions from; Three 16mmngm, Four G1MRA, One Spur II, Two ME, One G”0”G One 7/8” and a G3... With occupations ranging from an HSE inspector,  former lecturers of “The Welding Institute” and “The Cavendish Laboratory”, the owner of a chain of Burger Bars, A Diving and Surfing instructor at Cairns, a Computer systems designer -and a Deacon...

“0” is a gauge.      16mm is a scale.                     G1MRA is a gauge.
Spur II is a scale.           3.5” is a gauge.                      5” is a gauge.
7/8” is a scale.      G3 is a scale AND a gauge.   2.5” is a gauge.

Jamie has commented in a quote that not all the G1MRA members are happy with the 3BARLitre rule -this is quite true. So I selected people who were “happy” with the 3BAR litre. Everyone was provided with a scan of Section 10, Section 11 and Section 14.

The question posed was;

“Having examined the scans, do you believe the following locomotives are exempt from testing under  the 3 BAR Litre Rule?”

Does a G1 model of a “15 inch Estate Engine” qualify  -everyone said NO.
Does a model of a Company loco like “Dot” on 3.5” track qualify -the answer was 7 YES.

Does a 16mm scale model of the K1 Garret  on G0 track qualify -the answer was 9 NO.
Does a 16mm scale model of the J1 Hagans on G0 track qualify -everyone said NO.

Does a model of P2 in 7mm on “0” gauge qualify -the answer is YES.
Does a P2 in 10mm on G1 qualify -the answer was 8 YES.
Does a model of P2 in 13.5mm on G3 qualify -everyone said NO.

Does a LBSC “Tich” in 7mm on “0” gauge qualify -the answer is YES.
Does a LBSC “Tich” in 10mm on G1 qualify -the answer was YES.
Does a LBSC “Tich” in 13.5mm on G3 qualify -the answer was 10 NO.
Does a LBSC “Tich” on 3.5” qualify -everyone said NO.
Does a LBSC “Tich” on 5” qualify -everyone said NO.

Does a Model of “Great Sneddon” in 7/8th on G1 track qualify -the answer was 9 Yes.
Does a Model of “Great Sneddon” scaled to fit on 2.5” track qualify -everyone said NO.

Does a Model of NYC Hudson “J” in 7mm on “0” gauge qualify -the answer is YES.
Does a Model of NYC Hudson “J” in 10mm on G1 qualify -the answer is 10 YES.
Does a Model of NYC Hudson “J” in 13.5mm on G3 qualify -everyone said NO.

Speaking as a builder of a G3 locomotive THAT FALLS UNDER THE 3 BAR LITRE rule in normal running conditions, (720ml at 4BAR = 2.88), will I have it “Green Book Certified”? You can bet your bottom Dollar on that!


Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #19 on: Aug 29 2017 09:57 »
This thread was locked for a few days to cool down the language.   Please keep it civil chaps or it will be locked again, maybe permanently.


Offline jamiepage

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #20 on: Aug 29 2017 10:19 »

I offered to put a proposal together two years ago. Quietly, behind the scenes, and without any fuss or fanfare for consideration.
(Look how that worked out!)

It was to be a very simple proposal.
1. Learn from the experience of operating small boilers in a scenic railway setting built up in G1MRA and 16mm Assoc. 2. Recognise their empirical evidence of safe, legal and fully insured operation.
3. Investigate whether G3S might join their shared inspection regime so opening up members to hundreds (?) of inspectors without the need to be near or worse, have to join, a ME club. (Unless wanted).
4. Recognise that some G1MRA and 16mm Assoc members always have also run their locos at ME tracks and therefore always have had to comply with MELG. G3S members who do likewise would have been entirely unaffected.
5. Recognise that others however would not have to attend unnecessary inspections, yet with G3S guidance would still be fully insured if they wanted to attend or organise a GTG with G3S support.

No interest.

I could not get past a mindset that current members are happy, current members at GTGs have never expressed a difficulty in getting to said GTG, most members are already members of a ME club so that's no problem etc.
Any attempt to get past that generated the 'it's unsafe', 'it's illegal', 'the insurers won't cover it' defaults.

So I never did put a proposal together. Which, by the way, could have been rejected but at least there would have been, I hope, some reasoning behind a rejection. A reasoning based solely on what's best for G3 scenic railwaying.

I lost interest in supporting an Association that seemed determined to do things the way a relatively small group of people had been, and were, happy with.

Now fundamentally, I have no problem with people doing what they want (so long as they don't  encourage insurance complications for the rest of us), but likewise I saw no reason for me to support it with an annual membership. So I left.

I will encourage and support G3, because it's a jolly good and satisfying scale, but I wish it had a Society that really did believe in model railwaying first and passenger hauling second.

I'm lucky. I indulge in larger scale live steam stuff as well, but I look to G3 for scenic model railwaying, and I believe in horses for courses.
It should have a very good reason NOT to adopt something that could encourage even one new member to try G3, and I'm sure for instance, there is huge potential just within the G1 or 16mm worlds where a synergy might have started something interesting.

Offline jamiepage

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #21 on: Aug 29 2017 10:23 »
And I think the reply from a G3S boiler inspector says it all.


Offline jamiepage

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #22 on: Aug 29 2017 11:06 »

Actually it must have been nearer three years ago; as you yourself reported here on a few occasions around Feb 2015 (previously locked threads!), G3S discussed and rejected the idea.

You said the boiler inspectors had been involved (as one would expect), so from the other contributions on here I reckon the chances of any current appetite within G3S to re-consider in a logical, openminded way are pretty slim.

I'll save the subscription.


Offline cabbage

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #23 on: Aug 29 2017 11:36 »
To Quote Salvador Dali; "The only difference between a mad man and me -is the fact that I am NOT mad..."

I honestly expected a reasoned reply to my missives...

I have researched and qualified my research with 13 individuals and their personal viewpoints and no -I am not one of the sources of replies. Therefore would you like to give your viewpoints on the locos in the second part, which would bring the research pool up to 14. Anybody else is welcome to add their viewpoints to the pool as well.

Your main argument seems to be; " Why should I do it -it falls under the 3 BAR litre Rule".  What you have not done is provide data that shows your boiler ARE under the 3 BAR litre Rule, (as I have done with my Brotan). Nor have you stated how such criteria would be used to calculated the pressure volume environment of your boiler. How the pressure test is stated in Relative or Absolute BAR.

Please supply test data and method of how you determined the volume of your boiler. If you bought it commercially there should be a CE compliant mark and number that can be traced back to the manufacturer. Please provide this number if it is available.



Offline jamiepage

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #24 on: Aug 29 2017 11:59 »
No Ralph,  deciding whether a particular boiler is 'Small' or not, is an irrelevance if you have already discounted the idea of treating it as such.

You have explained you logic here-

I believe the rules change when you leave G1 and 16mm, here I speak as a member of the 16mmngm and the G3S. A G1 or 16mm model is that, A MODEL, a G3 locomotive is A SMALL LOCOMOTIVE and is not a model. Thus it needs to be treated and seen differently.

Just wrong.

We are discussing boilers Ralph.
Your logic has it that a Small Boiler built to the same design, and perhaps produced in a batch from the same manufacturer, should be inspected differently (more rigorously) than its identical brethren if it happens to be built into a model with wheels 58mm apart, back to back.

A boiler regime based solely on the track gauge?

That is utterly illogical. And coming from a boiler inspector of the Society that aims to encourage G3 activity,...if not madness, then what is it?


Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Boiler standards
« Reply #25 on: Aug 29 2017 12:06 »
OK chaps.  Points well made on both sides.  Difference of opinion.

Thread locked.