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Boiler Management Course

Steam Boiler Management Course

Following two successful trials of this course, we can now offer this course to the SMEE membership. Prospective applicants must be members of SMEE due to the society’s insurance requirements. The course is a one-day course held at the home of one of the society’s long-standing members.


Following drinks students settle down to introduce themselves and provide a little background on their experience and interests. Following this, a presentation is given covering boiler design and construction with various items being passed round to demonstrate design details. Safety in design and use is stressed with reference to regulatory requirements.

Morning Practical Session

Students are shown the stationary coal fired boiler. Having filled it with water to a suitable level a fire is lit starting with wood, discussing when and how much coal should be added to the fire. When there is sufficient steam pressure to use an injector, its use is explained and demonstrated to feed the boiler with water. Under supervision, students are invited operate the injector and management the water level within the boiler. The boiler is piped up to a Stuart No1 engine, which it drives after it is oiled and there is sufficient steam pressure. Students then have the opportunity to manage the operation of the boiler and engine under supervision before it is shut down. Storage procedures are then explained and implemented.

Afternoon Practical Session

 After lunch, provided as part of the course, the 5” gauge 3” scale 0-4-0 steam loco is prepared for use. Students are shown oiling up, tank filling and boiler fire management. Once in steam, operation of the engine is demonstrated around a continuous track before students are invited to take the controls and under direct supervision drive and manage the engine around the track. As the afternoon progresses and students become more competent, supervision relaxes but still under the close eye of the instructor and wagons are added behind the engine to give experience of and demonstrate the difference of operation with a load behind the engine.

The day ends with the shutting down of the engine and preparation for storage.

A full set of notes is included for students to take away and of course plenty of opportunity for photographs.