The Union Pacific
The Union Pacific is one of the most beloved railroad companies in the world. Not only because they have remained steam into heritage preservation without ceasing some magnificent engines. but also because they ran the biggest of the world. The Big Boy was with 500 tons the greatest and heaviest engine ever created. The smaller 3985 4-6-6-4 is still in service and run throughout the USA for steam specials together with the FEF-3 844 4-8-4 and since short the 4014 is brought to Cheyenne for restoration in running conditions. When this engine starts to run this will amaze the whole world again pulling train and steam enthusiasts from all over the world.
The store released the FEF-3 Northern wheel arrangement 4-8-4. The original now runs throughout the USA, this engine never ceased service even as the Challenger. It seems strange but the engine is NOT a museum engine. Though steam fanatics and the input from the Union Pacific keeps these giant alive together with the 3985 and some other preserved engines in the sheds in Cheyenne. The steam locomotives are still the Union Pacifics jewels in the rail business and always admired by everybody seeing these magnificent engines running today. Even the company itself is proud to keep these engines preserved and in running condition.
The engine is the first DLC within the store that comes with the most valves and levers in the cab fully functional. Even the water scopes can be tested. Now we are start to move in the right direction.
The engine comes with a vast list of short cuts, but now to drive this amazing engine in advanced mode you have to forget the HUD completely and the best way to drive this engine is using the mouse to drag the lever in combination with the short cuts that is included in the manual itself.
Driving in advanced mode requires true skills and the knowledge how to deal with a oil fired engine. Before you set of it is recommendable to read chapter 12 of oil fired engines. Be sure you have some knowledge when you start to run the FEF-3 And even still drive in expert mode and no HUD ! Never forget the HUD was never installed at steam locomotives either in the days of steam.(Though wondering how this should look like.)
The cab inside the 844 is hugh, all instruments are ordained and properly maintained.
Cabin Top view including the water scopes which can be proven and tested. Taking a closer look, you will notice the next operating instruments and levers. The speedometer with the remote control partly visible for the diesel engine at the left. Above the speedometer, the radio stack.
Driving practice of the FEF-3
After you have red chapter 12 and having some experience with running a steam locomotive You now are quite ready to take your skills up to the next level.
Probably you have driven the FEF-3 with the HUD display and simple mode, but after all you will be in expanded advantage when running as professional as it could be.
The way of driving is not very different then a common engine however you have now to get common with the extra features this engine is equipped with. One of the main important features that is operational is the firing method. The firing method is rather different. Now you can check the HUD by pressing [ F4 ] and notice the coal amount at the firebox door.
The fireman’s side shows some important instruments here. The regulator for the oil flow to the atomizer. The directly to the right three knobs that operates steam valves. A steam valve to pressurize the atomizer that sprays the oil into the firebox. The oil will ignite because of the temperature creating a massive flame.
Also a knob to operate the oil heater into the tender. The oil needs to be heated to get it liquefied. As you have notice, the oil needs at a certain temperature to get a proper oil flow to the atomizers. Another knob that operates the valve for the tank flow back.
Firing the FEF-3
Drag your mouse over the valve knobs and levers to see which function the knob contains. There are also short cuts, refer to the manual for the short cuts.
Open the water scope valves at the right site just behind and above the regulator. There are three knobs in range next to each other. After opening, watch the water scopes to be filled. Turn the knobs underneath the water scopes to test and seen if the water scopes release the water out of the scopes. If so close the water scope valve and see the water scope filled again. If this test is passed the water scope are functional. Now in practice a water glass could break.
A steel ball mostly ball bearers are in use for this purpose is fitted in the waters glass bearers at the top and the bottom bearer. The water causes the balls to sink down. Steam presses the balls into a funnel shaped fitting and closing down the steam flow though the broken glass. The upper fitting contains also a spring to press the ball unto the gap. in the top water scope fitting. When a water glass brakes, close the valves of the water scopes and replace the glass. The balls prevents a dangerous steam flow into the cabin.
Open the blower valve and regulate the blower as usual as you became common with. This operation is not different as on a coal fired engine.
Open the atomizer valve and watch the gauge needle to increase.
Regulate the steam flow and keep the needle at about “11 o’clock” depending the need of pressure and steam.
Open the knob of the tank blow back and now open the oil regulator and watch the gauge needle.
Keep the needle at about “12 o’clock”. Keep both needles in that range.
Watch the pressure and if the pressure rises, adjust the oil regulator to a minimum and wait a little watching the steam pressure dropping slowly.
Use the injector lever to inject. This lever is situated left of the driver’s seat.
Repeat the sequence again when the pressure starts to drop.