Now before you set of, climbing or descending a sloped track, you need to mention a several important issues concerning the boiler and brakes. It is therefore important to know the track and landmarks in order to anticipate on the oncoming things to take care of.
Important actions to carry out:
Prior to any climb, inject water, but maintain max. boiler pressure.
When the slope begins, act like you do on acceleration.
Do not inject water during a climb unless it is highly necessary at low water!
If necessary stoke very frequently not exceeding 75% coal rate in the firebox.
When you are not sure about the pressure and water level prior to the climb you better stop at quite a distance (3 miles / 5 km.) from the slope and build up the water level and/or steam pressure. Then you have enough levelled track to gain speed to overcome the slope(s).
Try to find the right balance between driving and building up pressure. That’s why it is necessary to avoid injecting and feeding the boiler. The water level could drop tremendously. Keep your speeds steady during the climb trying to create and build up stem pressure. Once at the end of the slope, inject water immediately.
Take a closer look at the next sketch showing you the water level on horizontal position in the boiler.
Underneath you see the boiler position when the engine is climbing. All water comes towards the cab and it seems you have the water level correct.
When you go down the slope the water goes to the front of the engine and “pushes” against the smoke box. The water level indicator shows you almost NO water. The top of the firebox (crown plate) is then almost “Dry”
Take notice of the diagram in order to see what happens with the water level when the boiler is in a sloped position.Watch a Black 5 climbing the slope.
Once om top of the slope, start inject water immediately in order to avoid to dry out the top of the firebox. Reduce the reverser and continue the run as mentioned.