Creating the fire bed
Prior to the first run it is necessary to build up your pressure and fire. A good fire is one of the sources for a good production of steam.
First of all press [ N ] to increase the blower. This action increases the air flow by the develloping under pressure in the smoke box caused by the blower. The function of the blower is explained later on.
Press [ M ] to open the air damper valve/hatch under the fire grate at the ash pan.
By opening up the damper(s), the air flow then has free access through the fire grate which flows through the boiler (tubes). The damper are mounted at the rear and front side of the ash pan. Regarding the lever you will open the rear and / or frond damper when both dampers are installed.
Some engines uses a hand wheel and some uses a lever or handlebar. The hand wheel is however more precise and sophisticated in order to regulate the amount of air flow through the damper(s).
Some 3th party engines like the 4MT and 6MT Clan Class from Just Trains Expert Line uses a hand wheel to regulate the dampers. These requires special skills to drive this amazing engine properly and these skills are hardly needed at TS2015 as well. If you are not dealing carefully as it should be your engine will stuck on the run. To have the full understanding about the operations of the 4MT Standard Class and 6MT Clan Class, refer to Chapter 15 in this guide.
Now underneath the footplate there are some hatches to open up. This is not simulatied in TS2015, but in practice: you have to open up the that hatch and unscrew the nuts (if available) under the floor of the footplate just in front of the fire box. These nuts are not present on every engine. You now unlock the boiler to “move” or “slide” parralel along the frame bars of the engine. This prevent the boiler and frame bars to bend when firing up.
At both sides of the fire box a slider rail is mounted and slides over the frame bar section carrying the boiler. The boiler will expand in lenght by the increasement of the temperature. The material expand and at the end when the boiler is in hot state the boiler lenght has increased by about 3/4 inch when the engine is fired up after approx. 8 hours. When the boiler should be locked up by these nuts, the boiler and frame bars will bend.
The boiler has a fixed mounting point to the frame bar underneith the smoke box. This means that the boiler is supported at two places. Underneath the smoke box as a fixed point and at the slider bars at the side of the fire box or ash pan frame which is moveable by sliding over the frame bar, carrying the boiler.
The weight of the engine is now divided over the frame bars and wheel springs which are balanced out regulating the axle pressure.
Now the first measurements are taken starting an engine in a warm state.