Train Simulator – The Purpose of the Blower

Because a lot of people seem confused.

The Blower Explained

When a steam locomotive’s regulator is open, the exhaust steam creates a draught from the fire through the smokebox. When the regulator is shut, this draught is no longer present. The blower creates a draught to replace that created by the exhaust steam by blowing a small amount of steam from the boiler through nozzles in the chimney. This is useful for two reasons:

The first is to generate more steam. With the regulator closed, the blower can be fully opened if a higher steam pressure is desired.

The second is to prevent blowback. Without the draught created by the regulator, the fire can blow back into the cab and injure the crew. For this reason the blower is always kept partially open when the regulator is shut, and usually kept partially open when the regulator is open as well to guard against the chance of the crew shutting the regulator without opening the blower, though some crews in the steam era did shut it fully when the regulator was open. Note that the blower does not need to be open much to prevent a blowback, and therefore can be mostly shut if you are generating too much steam and causing the safety valves to lift.

Thus if you want to drive realistically you should ensure the blower is partially open when the regulator is closed. However, Train Simulator will only end scenarios with a blowback message if you enter a tunnel with the firebox doors open, so you do not need to do this. When you have the regulator shut and need more steam, you can then fully open the blower to raise steam pressure faster, partially shutting it again when the desired pressure is achieved. It has no effect on steam pressure when the regulator is open.

I hope this helps, and for the avoidance of doubt I’ll repeat again that in real life, and in TSC, the blower is not just for preventing blowbacks, and that in real life it only needs to be open a small amount to prevent blowbacks.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3012 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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