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grockell

Fire in tunnels

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Common sense tells me I shouldn't have my fire on when passing through tunnels? 

 

I'm planning on going through Blisworth tunnel today, which I know has ventilation, but still unsure as to whether there's any potential for CO poisoning.

 

Probably a very obvious question! Just checking!

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5 minutes ago, grockell said:

Common sense tells me I shouldn't have my fire on when passing through tunnels? 

 

I'm planning on going through Blisworth tunnel today, which I know has ventilation, but still unsure as to whether there's any potential for CO poisoning.

 

Probably a very obvious question! Just checking!

Try not to load it up with smoky coal just before entering, otherwise, it's no problem. The rule on the board it to extinguish "naked lights" apart from pilot lights, and a stove isn't a naked light. I've always assumed that the rule is to minimise fire risk. The one thing you really don't want in a tunnel is the boat on fire.

 

MP.

 

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19 minutes ago, MoominPapa said:

Try not to load it up with smoky coal just before entering, otherwise, it's no problem. The rule on the board it to extinguish "naked lights" apart from pilot lights, and a stove isn't a naked light. I've always assumed that the rule is to minimise fire risk. The one thing you really don't want in a tunnel is the boat on fire.

 

MP.

 

In what way is a lit stove not a naked flame?

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4 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

In what way is a lit stove not a naked flame?

Because, as long as the door is shut, the fire is enclosed, I would guess. A burning gas ring, on the other hand, would be a naked flame.

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Depends on the length of the tunnel and how good the ventilation is. There is CO being produced and going up the chimney. A product of incomplete combustion, due to the limited air flow in to the stove. If you are choking on diesel fumes in summer, then it makes sense not to have the fire lit in winter. Harecastle has fans to give some air circulation. In working boat days, with inefficient, smokey diesel engines on many boats and stoves lit, they had an electric tug to pull them through. Standedge would be another obvious one, where you would probably be asked to put the fire out. Can't be bothered to check the CaRT rules, but you can see clouds of diesel smoke coming in from the adjacent train tunnel. I wouldn't bother putting the fire out for the Newbold tunnel!

 

Jen

An actual boat on fire in a long tunnel with no towpath would be a disaster and unlikely anyone would survive the flames, or hypothermia from the wade/swim out.

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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Probably find that if you smoke a couple of fags in the tunnel you will have more CO in your blood than a bit from the stove. Don't suppose steam boats used to put the fire out.

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Funnily enough I was talking to a newish boater the other day who banked up his stove just before going through Braunston and found out the hard way why its not a good idea ?

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2 minutes ago, Bee said:

Don't suppose steam boats used to put the fire out.

No, but they are why Blisworth (and probably others, have so many ventilation shafts! ISTR in the early days a steam tug entered Blisworth and only one of the crew survived the experience, following which ventilation shafts were added.

 

32 minutes ago, Tonka said:

Harecastle tunnel which I know is not Blisworth tunnel insist that you put the fire out.

Harecastle has forced ventilation via extraction fans at the southern end - I can tell you from experience that it is possible to travel south in your own cloud of accumulating exhaust smoke - Lutine did just that and I could hardly see the entrance from the back deck, even with the tunnel doors open!

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1 minute ago, grockell said:

All this talk of death!... I think I'll just put the fire out! Haha, thanks

Ive never put my fire out through any tunnel, including all those mentioned above. I would be more concerned with getting a face full of smoke from the engine stack of some old knacker engine 8 feet in front of me on a silly trad engine roomed boat. Been there done that on other peoples boats...............yuk!!

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39 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

@haggis you can tell them what its like

The most frightening experience I have ever had! Even with the tunnel through draft and the front doors open the "dust" from the smouldering engine insulation and smoke reduced visibility at the other end of the boat to about three feet. Fortunately the flames were put out with the large extinguisher we had in the engine area but being stuck in the middle of harecastle in those conditions was really frightening. We were so glad when a boat eventually arrived behind us and pushed us out. It will take a lot of courage for me to go through that tunnel again.

Haggis

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1 hour ago, PaulJ said:

Funnily enough I was talking to a newish boater the other day who banked up his stove just before going through Braunston and found out the hard way why its not a good idea ?

Try bunging an old roast chicken carcass on, don't ask ;)

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21 minutes ago, haggis said:

The most frightening experience I have ever had! Even with the tunnel through draft and the front doors open the "dust" from the smouldering engine insulation and smoke reduced visibility at the other end of the boat to about three feet. Fortunately the flames were put out with the large extinguisher we had in the engine area but being stuck in the middle of harecastle in those conditions was really frightening. We were so glad when a boat eventually arrived behind us and pushed us out. It will take a lot of courage for me to go through that tunnel again.

Haggis

Jeez. Your boat caught fire in the tunnel ?

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1 hour ago, Bee said:

Probably find that if you smoke a couple of fags in the tunnel you will have more CO in your blood than a bit from the stove. Don't suppose steam boats used to put the fire out.

I was quite light headed last time I came through Blisworth.

We followed a short cruiser stern with 4 males on the back into the tunnel, they must have been smoking weed the whole way through as the sickly smell never stopped. 

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Didn't have a problem earlier this year with Harecastle, just made sure the fire was low and not smoking (burning Excel).  The tunnel-keeper was aware that the stove was lit.  But do remember to remove your chimney or the tunnel will do it for you.

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Some of the old timers used to bank the stove up in Blisworth tunnel so that following boats would know someone was in front of them and not to draw the top lock until the first boats were clear of the second. They were always worried about the butty’s back deck filling up. That’s what I was told anyway but it was probably just to annoy someone trying to catch them up.

Been through it many times always with engine exhaust through the roof and stove on in winter, still here and coughing well.

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2 hours ago, Tonka said:

Harecastle tunnel which I know is not Blisworth tunnel insist that you put the fire out.

New to me!

When did that rule come in then, as we have not that long ago been through with stove obviously running.

Are you sure some volunteer hasn't just exceeded his authority?

Main thing, as has been said, is not to fuel the firre for some period before you enter a tunnel.  If if is just ticking over with no new fuel on it, it will not be a problem.  (Unless maybe you burn logs or house coal!...)

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22 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

New to me!

When did that rule come in then, as we have not that long ago been through with stove obviously running.

Are you sure some volunteer hasn't just exceeded his authority?

Main thing, as has been said, is not to fuel the firre for some period before you enter a tunnel.  If if is just ticking over with no new fuel on it, it will not be a problem.  (Unless maybe you burn logs or house coal!...)

We had to put the fire out in September 2017. Don't think it was a volunteer. It was the cabin stove and not the one in the boatman's cabin as that was not alight

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2 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

 

Harecastle has forced ventilation via extraction fans at the southern end - I can tell you from experience that it is possible to travel south in your own cloud of accumulating exhaust smoke - Lutine did just that and I could hardly see the entrance from the back deck, even with the tunnel doors open!

First time I went through in a hire boat with a smokey engine, I had that, but the second time I went just a little slower and lovely clean air.  I didn’t realise how bad was the cloud until I came out, surprisingly I lived to tell........

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I survived Blisworth Tunnel, just in case anyone wondered/cared :clapping:

 

I should have brought a brolly with me though. Any fire in there would extinguish in no time, because I got drenched!

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6 minutes ago, grockell said:

I survived Blisworth Tunnel, just in case anyone wondered/cared :clapping:

 

Give yourself a round of applause!  Oh, you did! ;)

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tonka said:

We had to put the fire out in September 2017. Don't think it was a volunteer. It was the cabin stove and not the one in the boatman's cabin as that was not alight

It was about then that some twit decided you couldn't go through Harecastle with the fire lit, although pilot lights were fine. I never found out who decided it as I'd been going through with the fire for twenty years,and no one would tell me. Then last year it was back to normal and no problem. I suspect some jobsworth told the tunnel guys and they just passed it on but it had no real authority. I have a vague memory of writing to CRT to complain. 

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I seem to remember Roger Murray when he owned Monarch complaining bitterly that they wouldn't let him through harecastle under steam and I think he had to turn back. 

 

haggis

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