Rusty Traque posted:Odenville Bill posted:
The Tennessee Valley RR put a tender behind the 4501 with an auger to feed the coal to the firebox - no class at all.
Didn't 4501 have a mechanical stoker in service?
Maybe when in "regular service" on the Southern Rwy, but NOT on the Kentucky & Tennessee RR. I remember being down there when Mr. Paul Merman (sp) was purchasing K&T #12, which was originally SRR #4501. I tried my hand at hand firing her quite a number of times, but the crap coal fuel that the K&T was using, made it a truly back breaking job. I really don't know how the K&T regular Fireman/Firemen were able to keep up on the steep ascending grade up into Sterns, KY, where the interchange with the SRR was.
According to Locomotive Wiki the Southern's M class 2-8-2's were given stokers in the 1930's.
If not, then it's a little more complicated than just "putting a tender on with an auger."
I'd be willing to bet the firemen appreciate the mechanical stoker.
It's still not totally "automatic." You still have to use the shovel to touch up the fire when needed. The fireman still needs to know what he's doing.