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Western Railroad Discussion > Planning for losing a locomotive


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Date: 03/28/23 09:15
Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: RailDawg

Out on the Nevada Sub the UPRR is pushing trains at track speed in both directions using a lot of extra power in many cases. 

Have seen recently two stalled PSR Monsters due to the loss of one locomotive losing power. 

When operating on heavy grades whether running through or maneuvering for situations like a broken knuckle does the RR take into account the loss of a locomotive?

It's hard to ask this question correctly but are RR crews taught when running with minimum power the consequences of losing one or two locomotives? Is there a mindset of "what if this loco fails"?

Running these monster trains with absolute minimum power appears to be causing unforeseen problems. 

Chuck

 



Date: 03/28/23 09:21
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: portlander

The railroads do not plan for failure.



Date: 03/28/23 09:48
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: trainjunkie

What portlander said. The slap their rose colored glasses on and assume everything will be great because it looks good on paper.



Date: 03/28/23 10:32
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: sf1010

What is the actual failure rate of a diesel locomotive?  



Date: 03/28/23 10:33
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: Pacific5th

They don't care. You run till you stall.



Date: 03/28/23 10:35
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: timz

> Running these monster trains with
> absolute minimum power

For instance?

How many tons on the train you saw,
with what power, on what grade?



Date: 03/28/23 10:44
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: PHall

RailDawg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Out on the Nevada Sub the UPRR is pushing trains
> at track speed in both directions using a lot of
> extra power in many cases. 
>
> Have seen recently two stalled PSR Monsters due to
> the loss of one locomotive losing power. 
>
> When operating on heavy grades whether running
> through or maneuvering for situations like a
> broken knuckle does the RR take into account the
> loss of a locomotive?
>
> It's hard to ask this question correctly but are
> RR crews taught when running with minimum power
> the consequences of losing one or two locomotives?
> Is there a mindset of "what if this loco fails"?
>
> Running these monster trains with absolute minimum
> power appears to be causing unforeseen
> problems. 
>
> Chuck
>
>  

Not the crews decision and never has been. They run with the power that has been assigned to the train by someone else.



Date: 03/28/23 10:44
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: MrMRL

sf1010 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What is the actual failure rate of a diesel
> locomotive?  

Depending on the severity of failure in route, 'bout 1 in 7(?) give or take?

~ Mr. MRL



Date: 03/28/23 10:55
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: 57A26

They do seem to like running large, heavy manifests in a 1x1x1 configuration in my area. It's happened that a train comes apart between the head and mid train engines, close to the mid train engine. When trying to couple back up on a down grade, the lone lead engine can't shove back to make the joint.  



Date: 03/28/23 10:55
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: RailDawg

Are crews allowed to refuse a train that is underpowered? 

Trcky question here but isn't the crew the final decision-maker on what they consider safe to operate?

Am still learning the safety culture of the railroads.   

Chuck



Date: 03/28/23 11:15
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: RailDawg

Some of these PSR monsters seem to be approaching 3 miles long. 

Not sure what would constitute adequate power for such a train on the stretch between Sparks and Elko, NV. 

Shooting from the hip it appears the UP generally puts a max of 7 units on these trains.  

Mostly see single loco's as DPU'S in the middle and on the end.  After the Donner shutdown and until now the trains appear shorter and with more power. More DPU's than usual. Moving at track speed. 

There are a lot of saw-bys occurring out here on the Nevada Sub.  Interesting to watch these massive trains with what appears minimal power making these time-consuming moves. 

Chuck


 



Date: 03/28/23 11:21
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: callum_out

It's just like Tehachapi, not all of those 7 you see will be running and as said the odds of losing a unit
these days seems pretty high. Pretty to have a spare in consist than wait hours to find one (hoping the
next meet train can spare something). 

Out 



Date: 03/28/23 11:56
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: CaliforniaSteam

They will run the train right up to the max tpa and tpda requirements for the route the train is running over.

CS

Posted from Android



Date: 03/28/23 11:58
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: nedzarp

UP has plenty of stored locomotives around the system. No shortage of those.



Date: 03/28/23 12:03
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: Off-pending

One of my favorite questions from the roadforeman desk, “How fast were you going before you stalled on the hill?”
Uhhh,,,,,,,

One night I was 100 tons under the rating for my locomotive on the hill. But the tonnage rating didn’t take in account the 10 inches of snow on the ground. And the snow on the train itself. They just could figure out why we stalled.

Railroads never plan to fail.



Date: 03/28/23 12:07
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: trainjunkie

Not to mention that they think a 15 y/o, poorly maintained, worn out locomotive has the same 4,400HP and TE it had when it was factory fresh. Delusional thinking.



Date: 03/28/23 13:06
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: Typhoon

RailDawg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Some of these PSR monsters seem to be approaching
> 3 miles long. 


Train length plays little into this, it is the weight.  While long trains are often heavy, a 150 car loaded frack sand unit train will be far heavier than 150 empty autoracks.  However the autorack train will be twice as long.



Date: 03/28/23 13:39
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: tomstp

UP Coal trains going south out of Ft Worth on the Midlothian Sub have been known on many occasions to stall in the rain because of all he additional weight from the water.  They should know of that but never put any additional engines on them.  And when one of them stalls that also gets the ones behind them.



Date: 03/28/23 13:51
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: longliveSP

Typhoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RailDawg Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Some of these PSR monsters seem to be
> approaching
> > 3 miles long. 
>
>
> Train length plays little into this, it is the
> weight.  While long trains are often heavy, a 150
> car loaded frack sand unit train will be far
> heavier than 150 empty autoracks.  However the
> autorack train will be twice as long.

Wrong, train lenght affects total weight. If you are comparing 150 cars of loaded frack sand to 150 empty auto racks, you are just being stupid.

A longer manifest train will weight more than a shorter manifest train.
A longer coal train will weight more than a shorter coal train. 
A longer iron-ore train will weight more than a shorter iron-ore train.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/23 13:53 by longliveSP.



Date: 03/28/23 14:10
Re: Planning for losing a locomotive
Author: CimaScrambler

How does rolling resistance figure into it?  I'd think a train twice as long but just as heavy as another would take more power to move because you just have more wheels, bearings, slack action, etc, involved.  (but I'm just an inexperienced observer, so what do I know?).
 

Kit Courter
Menefee, CA
LunarLight Photography



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