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Many locomotives have an axle-driven pump to replenish water in the boiler as it consumed, but rarely does the designer or owner know how much water is pumped. The pump is commonly driven from an eccentric on one of the driving axles. Crosshead pumps are also sometimes used, with the main piston rod extension used as the pump ram. What all these types of pumps have in common is:-
Guess work is sometimes used to estimate the amount of water consumed by a moving steam locomotive, and sadly is common place, however it is possible to estimate the water consumption by calculation, and there is a capacity calculator in the article on injectors, and this can be used to calculate the capacity required to maintain boiler water level from the axle driven pump.
The calculations assume that the pump is single acting. If a double acting pump is used, change the number of rams to 2.
[Updated: 16 Mar 2013]
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