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Number Of Locomotives On Certain Trains?  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3724 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3615 times:

Yesterday , I was at a cock out, at a park near a NS rail road track, which NS coal and stack trains run on, and I notice that the the coal trains, only had two locomotives on them, but their stack trains, ( container trains) had three. I also live near a CSX track, that has coal trains running from West Virgina to the port of Newport News VA, and as long and heavy loaded, as those trains are, CSX only use two locos on those trains. I seen videos of CSX stack trains, and I notice they use more than two locos on their stack trains.
I thought coal trains, was the heaviest trains in the world, so why CSX and NS just put two locos on their, yet their stack trains are locomotive heavy?

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3603 times:

It also depends on what sort of grades the trains will be traversing. A heavy train going over relatively flat terrain may need fewer locomotives than a lighter train that faces uphill climbs.


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10239 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3602 times:
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Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I was at a cock out,

I'm sorry, but that just made me laugh out loud!   

(I'm assuming you meant "cookout")



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2161 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3592 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
Yesterday , I was at a cock out,

Something tells me a lot of people here might enjoy going to one of those.....

 


User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5760 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3574 times:

Quoting PROSA (Reply 1):
It also depends on what sort of grades the trains will be traversing. A heavy train going over relatively flat terrain may need fewer locomotives than a lighter train that faces uphill climbs.

This is so true. If I remember correctly NS has two tracks from the mountains to tide water which are run as two separate one way routes with the steeper being the loaded down hill run and the flatter the empty up hill route. This way the number of loco is minimized and can reasonably be the same both ways, which makes loco scheduling MUCH easier.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlinejakeorion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3521 times:

Typical coal trains only travel a short distance from a mine to an unloading point. I believe the average is no more than 50~150 miles one way. While the two engines work harder, they are only used for a short amount of time. The cost of maintaining and fueling 3 units doesn't justify the costs savings of using two. Also, coal trains are generally coming down from a mountain, and coal cars weigh next to nothing (in train weight terms) when they are unloaded.

Container trains, on the other hand, generally travel from one end of the country to the next, encountering various grades on the route, especially in the Rockies. Having an additional engine on the train reduces the wear and tear of the other two.



Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3480 times:
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Another point is that coal train motive power can be accurately sized for the load.
80 odd coal cars are going to weigh the same every trip, the same laden weight, the same unladen weight.

The same can't be said for general freight, each train, the same number of cars, may be quite different from the last.

an anecdote... Some years ago driving a freind and a colleague of his across the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, the colleague asked why they needed so many locos to haul an empty train back to Lithgow from the coal port..took some time to explain to him that if they didn't do that they would need an engine factory at the Mine!!(also Port Kembla and Newcastle harbour would be full of unwanted locomotives.)



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9659 posts, RR: 31
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3443 times:

Assuming that Class 1 roads like NS emply the latest state-of-the art motive power , it still depends on the HP/weight ratio how many locomotives run a train.

Coal trains- it may be so that in NS' environment, coal trains run short distances, however, if you look at the Powder River basin and UP / BNSF, they genetrate daily traoins traveling long distances to power stations in the east.

Also, distributed power is used on many trains coal, as well as intermodal. That may be 2 engines at the head, one or two in the middle and another one or tow at the end of the train.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 6):
The same can't be said for general freight, each train, the same number of cars, may be quite different from the last.

Still the total weight of the trains must be know, not only for pulling but even more for braking. A downhill runaway can create quite a mess.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3439 times:
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Quoting PanHAM (Reply 7):
Still the total weight of the trains must be know, not only for pulling but even more for braking.

Absolutely, but you may send a train across the country with 60 cars carrying containers loaded with soft goods, you will know the despatch weight but you may need the capacity to bring back a cargo of heavy equipment.. that train may run in one direction with more power than required. Just more flexibility in motive power is required for general freight,



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlinejohns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3411 times:

Everybody is missing the most important factor. Container trains operate at much higher speeds than coal trains. You need the extra horsepower for the increased drag at those speeds.

User currently offlineAviRaider From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3396 times:

Coal trains usually have the highest priority on the line and don't have to stop at sidings as much as your other trains, this could partially explain the reason for the limited locos. I've seen BNSF coal trains usually with 2-3 pulling engines and one rear pusher engine and on occasion one mid pusher engine.

User currently offlinejohns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3386 times:

Quoting AviRaider (Reply 10):
Coal trains usually have the highest priority

Over container stack trains? I don't think so...


User currently offlineAviRaider From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3383 times:

Quoting johns624 (Reply 11):
Over container stack trains? I don't think so...

Well at the railroad I work for, yes.


User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3373 times:

In Ukraine (and ex-USSR) most of passenger trains use 2 locomotives, 20-25 wagons sets are very common, bus transportation is almost non-existent in Ukraine except for local trips.

User currently offlinejohns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3361 times:

Quoting AviRaider (Reply 12):
Well at the railroad I work for, yes.

You work for BNSF, right? I think it depends what route. The Powder River trains have priority on some lines, but on others like the ex-ATSF LA-Chicago line, stacks rule.


User currently offlineAviRaider From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3352 times:

Quoting johns624 (Reply 14):
You work for BNSF, right? I think it depends what route. The Powder River trains have priority on some lines, but on others like the ex-ATSF LA-Chicago line, stacks rule.

Yes, it is route specific. I should clarify, along coal routes, coal trains have priority.

[Edited 2012-07-16 08:05:53]

User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9659 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3306 times:

Quoting johns624 (Reply 14):
the ex-ATSF LA-Chicago line, stacks rule.

and are over-ruled by the UPS unit trains......right?



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineKingairTA From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 458 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3218 times:

BNSFs coal train run through Fort Worth is lowest priority. Iirc we use two 70MACs up front and one DP. There is a grade that train runs on that two motors is not enough to get over with a typical 120 car train.

Number of motors is determined by load. I have to build the consists and on days the predicted power will get changed three or four times in two hours. Makes my job harder having to constantly cut and lace up motors and requal the brake test everytime.


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3184 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 3036 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
Yesterday , I was at a cock out, at a park near a NS rail road track,

If there were kids at that park, you would have gotten arrested.

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I also live near a CSX track, that has coal trains running from West Virgina to the port of Newport News VA, and as long and heavy loaded, as those trains are, CSX only use two locos on those trains. I seen videos of CSX stack trains, and I notice they use more than two locos on their stack trains.
I thought coal trains, was the heaviest trains in the world, so why CSX and NS just put two locos on their, yet their stack trains are locomotive heavy?

Depends what type of engines. I don't know my train types that well. CSX I noticed has some huge engines where they only require 2 engines to pull 120 cars. If they were smaller engines they might need 2-4. This also has to do with terrain. You are talking W. VA, so there are some hills - need extra power to go up those hills. I have seen trains in the Rocky Mountains where they use 2 engines up front, then throw another two in the middle of the train and then have two in back to push. I also seen in relatively flat San Antonio an 8 engine BNSF train pulling about 150 cars.


User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3724 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 2):
Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I was at a cock out,

I'm sorry, but that just made me laugh out loud!

(I'm assuming you meant "cookout")
Quoting chrisair (Reply 3):
Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
Yesterday , I was at a cock out,

Something tells me a lot of people here might enjoy going to one of those.....
Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 18):
Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
Yesterday , I was at a cock out, at a park near a NS rail road track,

If there were kids at that park, you would have gotten arrested.






Oh yuck!             , I really, really meant cookout! This has to be my worst typo!

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 18):
Depends what type of engines. I don't know my train types that well. CSX I noticed has some huge engines where they only require 2 engines to pull 120 cars. If they were smaller engines they might need 2-4. This also has to do with terrain. You are talking W. VA, so there are some hills - need extra power to go up those hills. I have seen trains in the Rocky Mountains where they use 2 engines up front, then throw another two in the middle of the train and then have two in back to push. I also seen in relatively flat San Antonio an 8 engine BNSF train pulling about 150 cars.




CSX, does operate a lot of there giant AC6000s, on their coal train into Newport News, but most of the time, the run is done by C 40Ws, SD70Ms and ES44s. I do not know why they do not use any of their SD80's on this routes. Those 20V710 engines, could really help with pulling those heavy loaded coal cars.


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3184 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2992 times:

http://www.trainweb.org/tomfassett/pics/csx/0600_CSX_GE_AC6000CW.JPG

yes that was what I was referring to - the GE AC6000.


User currently offlinejohns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 2943 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 19):
I do not know why they do not use any of their SD80's on this routes. Those 20V710 engines, could really help with pulling those heavy loaded coal cars.

Different fleets of power are used for different uses. The extra horsepower wouldn't pull more coal cars, just pull them slightly faster. If the speed isn't needed, why assign them?


User currently offlinektrick45 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2903 times:

Quoting johns624 (Reply 9):
Everybody is missing the most important factor. Container trains operate at much higher speeds than coal trains. You need the extra horsepower for the increased drag at those speeds.

This. A stack train needs more horsepower than a coal drag because it needs to operate at higher speeds. Coal trains are speed limited because you lose lading from an open hopper or gondola if you go too fast. The coal train needs a lot of tractive effort, but two six-axle locomotives are usually up to the task. The stack train operates at maximum track speed as much as possible, and those containers aren't very aerodynamic. It may take more than 12,000HP to keep the train moving at track speed.


User currently offlineseattle From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2849 times:

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 20):
I do not know why they do not use any of their SD80's on this routes. Those 20V710 engines, could really help with pulling those heavy loaded coal cars.

EMD units aren't the greatest for slow speed heavy pulling. SD-80's and 90's at slow speeds wheel spin worse than any GE. Thats why on most all Union Pacific and BNSF grain or coal trains I've ever been on all have GE's. But if your looking for high speed moving I'll take a EMD.


User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3724 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2803 times:

Quoting seattle (Reply 23):
EMD units aren't the greatest for slow speed heavy pulling. SD-80's and 90's at slow speeds wheel spin worse than any GE. Thats why on most all Union Pacific and BNSF grain or coal trains I've ever been on all have GE's. But if your looking for high speed moving I'll take a EMD.




I trust your judgement, because you work for a giant RR company, but I thought GE locos had a higher speed limit than EMDs, but I have notice that UP use SD70s on many of times on stack trains. As a matter of fact, NS use GP 40s a lot on their stack trains. Now I have heard EMD locos, last much longer than GEs, and it must be true, because look at how many GP40s and SD40s, are still on front line service with CSX and NS.


PS: May be Amtrak, should look into ordering EMD F-70PH.   


25 johns624 : Top speed of locomotives means nothing. Track speed is what matters. Diesels are actually diesel-electrics. The engine powers a generator/alternator,w
26 Post contains images 747400sp : OK, so this likely means that the next gen Amtrak locos, are be on 4 axles ( B trucks) also. Thank everybody for your replies, I am learning new thin
27 Post contains links johns624 : Get a subscription to TRAINS magazine, you'll learn a lot. http://trn.trains.com/
28 seattle : Technically you are correct. SD70ace's, ES44's or ES45's (as U.P. likes to call them) all have a "max speed" of 75. Computer goes into overspeed pena
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