Oil burner (engine)
An oil burner engine is a steam engine that uses oil as its fuel. The term is usually applied to a locomotive or ship engine that burns oil to heat water, to produce the steam which drives the pistons, or turbines, from which the power is derived.
Some oil-burning engines were originally designed to be coal powered but were converted. When a coal-burning steam locomotive is converted to burn oil, various modifications are usual:
- the grate is covered with broken firebrick to act as a reservoir of heat. If the oil flame is blown out (e.g. by a downdraft when entering a tunnel) the hot firebrick will re-ignite it
- the lower part of the inner firebox is lined with firebrick
- shorter superheater elements are fitted
The latter two changes are needed because oil firing produces higher temperatures than coal firing, and can cause rapid erosion of metal. For a similar reason, the smokebox is sometimes painted with silver-coloured heat-resisting paint.
Oil-fired steam locomotives
James Holden's use of oil firing on the Great Eastern Railway is mentioned above and it was used sporadically on Britain's railways, usually because of coal shortages. A Parliamentary question was asked about it in 1919.
- NZR JA class (North British-built locomotives only)
- NZR JB class
- NZR K class (1932) - converted from coal 1947-53
- NZR KA class - converted from coal 1947-53
- Sierra Railway 3 Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
- Sierra Railway 28 Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
- Union Pacific 3985 UP Heritage Fleet
- Union Pacific 844 UP Heritage Fleet
- Union Pacific 4014 UP Heritage Fleet
- Union Pacific 737
- Mount Washington Cog Railway 
- Santa Fe 3751
- SLSF 1522
- Great Northern 2523
- USS Drayton (DD-23)
- USS Terry (DD-25)
- USS Perkins (DD-26)
- USS Sterett (DD-27)
- USS McCall (DD-28)
- USS Warrington (DD-30)
- USS Burrows (DD-29)
- USS Monaghan (DD-32)
- USS Trippe (DD-33)
- USS Walke (DD-34)
- USS Ammen (DD-35)
- USS Jarvis (DD-38)
- USS Henley (DD-39)
- USS Jouett (DD-41)
- USS Jenkins (DD-42)
- USS George Washington (1908)
- Spinelli, Mike (2006-05-25). "Diesel on the Range: Land Rover Flagship to Come in Oil-Burner". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
- Cletus H. Jones (1985). Marine Fuels. ASTM International. ISBN 0-8031-0425-1.
- Alan J. Goldfinch (2004). How Steam Locomotives Really Work. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860782-2.