Interesting Stories about Track Pans:
Two stories about track pans picked up along the way . . .
First, since they were often the only open water in the winter wildlife would be attracted to the pans. Extricating "pan kill" from the tank and scoop was one of the unpleasant jobs involved in turning a steam locomotive. If the "pan kill" was large enough or in the right spot it could prevent the scoop from being able to raise. This would usually tear off part of the scoop and damage the end of the pan. A careless fireman could cause the same result.
Secondly, hoboes liked to ride at the rear of the tender. It was one of the more comfortable spots. Many times the tender would overflow when filling from pans, and the water would rush over the back of the tender deck, drenching the 'bo. Not all that bad when it was 95 degrees, but usually lethal when it was below 40.
For these and other reasons, track pans were not an entirely effective solution. Frequent stops for fuel and water were one of the economic pressures that allowed diesel-electrics to replace steam.