Home Open Account Help 245 users online

Western Railroad Discussion > Question About Assembling a Train


Date: 06/28/20 19:24
Question About Assembling a Train
Author: MSE

While watching the new Galesburg railcam, the thought occurred to me: how long does it take to assemble a train?

Let's say it is a Z train made up of stacks and cuts of FedEx, UPS and other TOFC. Thirty minutes? An hour? About how long?

Thanks. 



Date: 06/28/20 20:06
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: SantaFeRuss

MSE Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While watching the new Galesburg railcam, the
> thought occurred to me: how long does it take to
> assemble a train?
>
> Let's say it is a Z train made up of stacks and
> cuts of FedEx, UPS and other TOFC. Thirty minutes?
> An hour? About how long?
>
> Thanks. 

It's about how many cars/platforms, destinations and other considerations.

SantaFeRuss



Date: 06/28/20 20:08
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: nickatnight

So many factors. The question is similar to asking how long does it take to read a book?        Length of book, size of font, number of pictures, etc, etc.  

Nickatnight



Date: 06/28/20 20:28
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: ERAD

Where i work, they want you to leave before your on duty two hours so they can make "departure" time.



Date: 06/28/20 21:16
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: goneon66

IF your work orders are WRONG/INACCURATE and you have to switch out all of the cars that don't belong on your train to other tracks, it will take longer.

when the t.m. starts hounding you on the radio/phone why it is taking so long to do a few simple moves, it will take a LOT longer............ 

66



Date: 06/28/20 21:37
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: trainjunkie

Depends on how close I am to collecting overtime. LOL



Date: 06/28/20 23:22
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: MrMRL

OK, dumbing it down a little here... If Parsec (the loading contractor) is on top of it (like Z9, last train before Christmas) BNSF's Hobart Intermodal Yard (near Los Angeles, CA) can have ~7,000' of piggyback (TOFC) "locked and loaded" in ~ 60-75 min. If we're talking ~7,000' of double-stack equipment, that time bumps up to ~ 90-120 min. This would be utilizing up to 6 Mi-Jack or "Straddle-Buggie" cranes acrosss the entire train, and factoring in time for pulling the offloaded chassis and respot for the upper box for double-stack service. Add in an additional 20-30 min after loading for a BNSF yard job to get in there to work the brakes, close the gaps, and air-test the train (set & release + ETD "two-way" test). Then you've got your final highball and roll-by.

* Edit... yeah there's always the possibility of unforeseen roadblocks. While those cars are being unloaded (yeah I haven't even got to "building" or "assembling" our outbound train yet). Mechanical crews walk the equipment checking for defects, brake shoes, broken bits, air brake leaks, flat wheels, etc... If anything can't be fixed in place, then you've got a bad order. That car can't be loaded and has to be (kicked out) or removed after the train is loaded, adding time to the train build. If a car wheel has excessive flat spots, it can be replaced on site in most cases, but that also adds delays, can't be loaded until the wheel(s) is/are replaced.


~ Mr. MRL



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/20 23:31 by MrMRL.



Date: 06/29/20 07:49
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: dtoeppen

Usually it takes me about 3-4 hours from the time I get the boxes from the attic until I have my Lionel prewar running around a loop with an accessory siding.



Date: 06/29/20 11:35
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: bnsftall

A few years back Trains Magazine did an excellent article covering operations at the BNSF Willow Springs intermodal facility just outside of Chicago.
Goes way in depth on train makeup and how the facility functions over a 24hr period. They offer it as a pdf reprint for free, just have to submit your email:

https://trn.trains.com/rapid/2017/10/bnsfs-willow-springs



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/20 11:36 by bnsftall.



Date: 06/29/20 13:12
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: MSE

Thanks, Mr. MRL. That is what I was looking for. 

 



Date: 06/29/20 13:19
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: santafe199

nickatnight Wrote: > ...  So many factors ... similar to asking how long does it take to read a book ...

BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (nearly endless factors-worth) !!!!!!!!!! And even if it was possible to list every single factor in play in the make-up of a given train, you can add another major factor: Switch crew attitude. In my career I've seen switch crews with no adverse issues on their minds go about switching a train together with complete professionalism & rules-abiding efficiency. Just normal, every-day stuff. Result: "X" amount of time used. I've also seen switch crews who have (right or wrong) been on the short end of some recent confrontation with management over some issue, who will take the same amount of work and go about switching a train together complete professionalism & ULTRA rules-abiding efficiency. Result: "X+???" amount of time used. In a nut-shell I can remember hearing old-heads saying something like: "If their safety & operating rules were followed to the letter of the each rule, nothing would ever get done." From my career experience I can say that's not as much of a stretch as the casual, civilian observer might think...

Lance/199 



Date: 06/29/20 18:23
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

Since I work a switcher at a container yard and make up stack trains daily here is my breakdown of time.
1.  Take a van to the roundhouse and find the assigned engines   10 minutes
2.  Walk through the units..Usually assigned 5 units.. 3 for the head engine and 2 DPU helpers.  Have to walk through each units to check and make sure all of the units are signed off on the daily inspection card, check the blue cards to make sure the units are not past the FRA date. Check to make sure all of the switches are up or down. Close the windows and pull down the sunshades and pull the mirrors in.  Make sure the brake valves are set for lead and trailing position.  Make sure the safety chains are set properly between the units.  time 20 to 25 minutes.
This also includes a ground inspection to make sure the MU cables are pluged in properly, check pistion, travel, release the hand brakes.  Make sure the un used MU cables are properly positioned in the dummy respectacle.  Back to the headend and make sure the DPU units load.

3.  Leave the roundhouse and the crewmembers line the necassary switches for the route to the plant.  10 minutes
4.  If the cars are ready and the blue flags have been removed from the tracks to be entered.  Enter the track and couple up to the cars and air them up.  Close the crossing gaps.. knock off the car hand brakes..  15 minutes.
5.  Pull out the cars and double over to the next track.  Also if a DPU train set out the helpers to a clear track or on top of the cut that there are assigned..  do the necessary couplings as required.
6.  Depends on the switch list and the number of blocks. 
If the helper is cut in then a FRED goes on the rear end.  Trainmen put the FRED on and let the air pressure build up ..arm the device from the lead unit..  test the emergency feature..  once the air pressure builds up to at least 75 then the air test can begin.  Since the cars are pre tested by the car department all that is necessary is a set and release.

total time around 2hours to 2.5 hours. depending on the length of the train..Hope this helps..

 



Date: 06/29/20 21:17
Re: Question About Assembling a Train
Author: MSE

Thanks, SanJoaquinEngr



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0617 seconds