Science Questions

How much pressure did steam locomotives work under?

Sun, 20th Jun 2010

Listen Now    Download as mp3 Part 1,2,3 from the show Seriously Small Structures

Question

Krystal Falcon, Second Life asked:

How much pressure did steam locomotives work under?

Answer

Chris -   A listener, David in Fincham, has informed us that mainline trains ran at 17 atmospheres, the Flying Scotsman at 15 atmospheres and older models around 10 atmospheres. Also, Mr. Wikipedia tells us that high pressure steam locomotives operated between 23 and even up to 100 atmospheres, that’s 1500 psi, but they did need special design to do that.

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