As a kid, I had a copy of Robert Reed's excellent book on Train Wrecks, so I understood crown sheet failures way earlier in life than most people ever would have.
Low water is not something to mess with and especially after the 1995 Gettysburg RR incident (blew out through the firebox door instead of launching the boiler due to a Canadian design I'm still not 100% sure I understand how that worked). In all honesty, I've always been wary when riding in steam loco cabs for that reason and have always kept one eye on the sight glass just in case. Once, in the cab of Tweetsie 190 at Blowing Rock, NC, I saw ZERO water in the sight glass as the loco is just past the crest of a hill at the 'fort' location along that line. The crews snickered when my eyes bugged out upon seeing that., they said it was normal and a false reading. They've bene doing that since the 1950s, so I guess they knew what they were doing. Tweetsie is a well-run operation, but it scared the living heck out of me for a moment.
Being anywhere when a crown sheet fails is my biggest nightmare (that and riding a derailment off a bridge or at speed).
Last edited on Mon Mar 26th, 2018 08:34 pm by Lee B