Railroad torpedos

Page 1 of 2  

http://www.trains.com/trn/default.aspx?c=a&id !3
All you need to know from Trains Magazine. And yes, Victoria, they were made out of dynamite.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detonator_(railway)
Even more to know. And no, Steve, they were not. Among other things, railroad torpedos existed almost 30 years before dynamite was invented.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Well, you said it, that does it. Forget about what the magazine article said. They're just a bunch of experienced train buff people who know less than you.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 09:34:20 -0800, "Steve B"

I would venture to say they are railroad experts, not explosive/pyrotechnic experts. I am not an expert by any means but I was in "ordinance" for 6 years in the military. I have a grazing understanding of propellants, low explosives and high explosives. "Dynamite" is a casually used term for anything that goes boom for most people.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

At least you are open to the idea that there are many different mixtures that were used, and can read an article and take it FWIW.
I handled underwater explosive shape charges, but we only placed them. The powder monkey set it all up. My true knowledge and understanding obviously does not run that deep.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Uhh, no, it's not *me* that said it, it's the authors of the article I cited. Apparently you missed that.
Apparently you missed the fact that railroad torpedoes were patented in 1841, and dynamite in 1867.
Apparently you believe that being a train buff automatically makes a person an explosives expert too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

No, I just like to refer to people with more knowledge and experience than me when I don't know it all.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's fine -- as long as you pick ones that know what they're talking about. These guys don't appear to.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/21/2010 6:54 PM Doug Miller spake thus:

Agreed; after all, keep in mind this is from Kalmbach Publications, publishers of /Model Railroader/, which, while it's the largest-circulation model RR mag, is far from authoritative on many things. The folks there are railfans, but not necessarily all that knowledgable about railroad operations, and definitely not the world's greatest railroad historians either.
--
You were wrong, and I'm man enough to admit it.

- a Usenet "apology"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not the ones I am familiar with. I dont know if there were another type made. I do know for sure one ingredient they had in them, sand.
Jimmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wikipedia say they used black powder. Having cut more than a few open I'm not sure I agree with that either unless it was a special blend with a lot of sulfur.
Jimmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Wikipedia say they used black powder. Having cut more than a few open I'm not sure I agree with that either unless it was a special blend with a lot of sulfur.
Jimmie
Jimmie, I bet there were a lot of manufacturers and recipes in the century plus that they were used.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve B wrote:

Interesting reading. I remember cabooses.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 07:51:14 -0800, "Steve B"

I question that book if the "fusee" article is any indication of the accuracy. They are what we call "highway flares" today. My brother in law was a brakeman and always had a few in his trunk. He also had torpedoes. In fact they used to sell them in a few states before 1966 when all of the "good" firecrackers were banned (real M-80s, cherry bombs etc) I still say torpedoes were made with potassium chlorate and sulfur
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I would say that they were made from all sorts of things. Many manufacturers and many formulas. Including dynamite. But I do know that just as we used to smash a whole roll of paper caps with a hammer and get a big boom, a train wheel will make a big pop when it runs over anything that has explosive potential.
As an afterstatement, they said that fusees were impossible to put out. They are not. You just have to smack them a couple of times to loosen up the flaming part and get it to fall out of the end, and then it breaks the burning part off. Those things will still burn if you put them in water.
So, the article is not TOTALLY true.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 09:07:25 -0800, "Steve B"

The problem with the dynamite idea is the brissance of nitroglycerine is so high that it might shatter a railroad wheel. It had to be a low explosive. I am also less than certain that crushing dynamite would actually set it off. Most high explosives require a detonator. (AKA dynamite cap) I fear they just use dynamite as a generic explosive term. "Caps" like you used in your Roy Rogers cap gun were potassium chlorate and sulfur. That is also the explosive element in match heads. (if you ever experimented with those you understand). That is what the Unibomber used.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

flaming part and get it to fall out of the end, and then it breaks the

As a teenager I would mix sulfur and Potassium chlorate 50 /50 mix. Put in small glass bottles and cork them. Take to shooting range and hit with 22 cal bullets. Made nice explosion. NOTE this is very dangerous to mix due to pressure is used to detonate. Some people have been injured or killed by trying to mix with a mortar & postal. I carefully mixed it on a sheet of paper by tilting it back and forth until mixed. WW
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think torpedoes and fusees both have similar chemical makeup, sulfur and potassium chlorate, The torpedoes may have more oxidizer and the fusees have a little strontium for color. I remember the local druggist's kid mixing up sulfur with something and getting a little on a hammer and smacking it against a piece of steel to set it off. You could see the smoke and hear it pop but it wasnt much louder than the steel and hammer hitting together.
Jimmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 16:00:47 -0800 (PST), JIMMIE

I doubt there is much potassium chlorate in the flare part but I imagine the striker head uses it. That is a big safety match that strikes on the cap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JIMMIE wrote:

I've had some military vets tell me about setting C-4 plastic explosive on fire and it would just burn unless you were to stomp on it, in which case it would explode. I don't know if it's true or not.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.