Recently I have been adept at correcting people who assume all steam locomotives burn coal by explaining how an oil-fired locomotive works. But to make my knowledge complete, I want to check my facts, specifically regarding starting up a dead engine for the first time:
I always thought this is how oil-fired steamers were started. Can someone verify this?"...In normal operation all of the appliances related to the fuel system (fuel pump/injector, atomizer, etc) are all steam-operated. However, during a "cold start" no steam at all would be available to operate the fuel appliances until the fire had been burning long enough to allow the boiler to generate some. To overcome this, oil-fired steamers were provided with fittings and valves that allowed air from a stationary trackside compressor to be piped into the steam supply line to allow the fuel system to operate before the locomotive had a chance to get under steam. Once the locomotive was under steam, the steam valve on the turret was opened, the air valve closed, and the compressor detached and shut off..."