On Sunday February 5th, Tom Attwood trialled a new iteration of Wildfire. CPL have produced this with a % of biomass and improved manufacturing techniques to increase the compaction. The biomass is there to help with the fuel reactivity when lighting and the improved compaction helps make for an ovoid that resists breaking up.
These changes are directly as a result of the feedback from the trials conducted last year by the NTET and HRA.
The trial was conducted on Tom’s Foden 5 ton wagon over a 10.2 mile trip on an undulating route, single man driving.
The results were extremely positive in terms of the fuel behaviour and ease of steam characteristics being fully controllable on the damper. The fire recovered easily from a lunch stop by simply opening the damper and adding more fuel and produced no clinker whatsoever. Ash in the smokebox and pan were minimal. Efficiency of use was between that of steam coal and house coal but improvements in firing techniques and learning the fuel would surely see that improve.
This was the very first trial in any heritage steam application and we are delighted to say that others are trialling it, including a Sentinel S4.