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How it WorksThe Cornish CycleThe Waggon BoilerThe Cornish BoilerThe Lancashire BoilerThe Water PumpsDriving

the Engine

The Cornish BoilerThe Lancashire BoilerThe Water PumpsDriving the Engine

Lancashire Boilers are related to, and derived from, the Cornish boiler in that they
have tubular metal furnaces passing through a horizontal cylindrical water space with
external multiple pass flues. However they differ from Cornish boilers in that they have an
additional furnace tube, a different gas path and they are much larger. Crofton uses a
Lancashire boiler, and has a spare shell on site held for the future. Both of these boilers are
some 2.3 m (7 ft) in diameter and 8.5 m (28 ft) long and weigh about 22 tonnes. They have
a working water capacity of some 18,000 litres (4,000 gallons/18 tons). These dimensions are
typical for boilers of this type.

The two cylindrical furnaces can be seen, they are 70 cm (2 ft 4 inches) in diameter. They
have two functions:1. to transfer the heat from the hot fire gasses to the watersurrounding them;
2. to help prevent the end plates of the boiler from bulging outwards.
The fire itself is only about 1.8 m (6 ft) long with a total grate area of 2.8 m2 (30 sq ft) and
sits upon firebars made of cast iron. It is retained by a low firebrick wall. The external flues
are made of brick and the top, exposed part of the boiler shell is covered in special insulating
fire bricks.
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From these diagrams, it can be seen that the gas path of a Lancashire boiler differs from
that of its predecessor, the Cornish boiler, in that the hot gasses from the fire pass under the
boiler first, then back down the sides. With the Cornish boiler, they go down the sides first
then back down under it. Thus, a Lancashire boiler has two fire damper plates, one in each
side flue, compared to the Cornish boiler's single damper plate in the under-flue.
The original Lancashire boilers at Crofton differed slightly from the above design, in that they
had corrugated furnace tubes which were not able to act as end reinforcements. These
boilers were therefore fitted with massive nutted stays that ran their length. These stays can
be seen on the cut up example at the entrance to Crofton's cafe. This latter boiler is
particularly interesting, in that it has a 'Cornish' gas path (i.e. it has only one, central damper
plate). This modification was probably adopted because the boiler was installed over the bed
of the Cornish boiler that preceded it.
Corrugated furnace tubes were introduced on some later boilers to help prevent crushing as
working steam pressures increased. Another type of design, that was introduced for the same
reason, was the use of short, flanged tube segments, known as Adamson Rings, after their