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European Railroad Discussion > train length and dpu question........


Date: 05/12/22 06:46
train length and dpu question........
Author: goneon66

in the last few days i have enjoyed some videos of the class 66's posted here.

has there ever been any talk of increasing the size of the freight trains in Europe, specifically in England, to the point where they might need "distributed power?" 

would the coupling systems used over there be able to handle long and heavy dpu'd trains?

thanks for any info..........

66



Date: 05/12/22 08:06
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: petmew

Well, in the Netherlands sidings and routes allow for about 740 metres max.

Every now and then investigations on replacing our old-school couplings with something stronger eats some money. Here's the newest: https://www.dac4.eu/en/

Tests with longer trains and DPU are done sometimes, too. But I don't expect those regularly timetabled soon in the Netherlands.

I've seen pictures of two trains being combined in the UK, where the second Class 66 is Dead In Tow/Consist.



Date: 05/12/22 08:19
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: goneon66

petmew Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, in the Netherlands sidings and routes allow
> for about 740 metres max.

that's interesting as 740 metres would be a very short approx. 2400' siding here in the states.

> Every now and then investigations on replacing our
> old-school couplings with something stronger eats
> some money. Here's the newest:
> https://www.dac4.eu/en/

i thought the couplers might have something to do with it.

> Tests with longer trains and DPU are done
> sometimes, too. But I don't expect those regularly
> timetabled soon in the Netherlands.
>
> I've seen pictures of two trains being combined in
> the UK, where the second Class 66 is Dead In
> Tow/Consist.

i have always wondered what the max coupler's tonnage ratings were on the UK's trains..........

66



Date: 05/12/22 12:55
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: exhaustED

Longer trains are gradually happening but trains longer than about 500-600 metres are very few and far between. Trains will just never be that big here. Sidings/loop tracks are not long enough to allow longer trains either, so frankly DPUs in the UK will probably never happen. The longest and heaviest trains would most likely just be double-headed where the gradient required more power than one loco. 



Date: 05/16/22 12:58
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: Hartington

The UK is predominantly a passenger railway. As such signal blocks, as well as sidings/loops are often not very long. When the Mendip quarries first started using Class 59 locos (class 66 predecessors) they tried running longer trains but it meant special handling (signalling) because the length of the train meant it was occupying two signal blocks at the same time which is nromally a big no-no! The short signal blocks combined with 4 aspect signals allow very close headways between trains - 2 minutes, possibly less in some places.
Double heading is quite rare on freights although there are some notable examples - most electrically hauled freight is in the hands of old, regeared bo-bo passenger locos and double headed. Most diesel freight just gets one locomotive. Some of the excursion passenger trains around the system are double headed with older locomotives where the double heading provides "security" in the case of one loco failing.
Round where I live the base of one of the "High Output Ballast Cleaning" (HIBC) trains. When this is loaded with ballast it's heavy and has one engine each end ("top and tail"). That's partly for operational convenience, it means the train can easily be operated in either direction and partly to provide the power neded for some gradients. Both locomtivees are manned.



Date: 05/16/22 13:06
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: mundo

Those folks still want to get the trains over the road.  Have to work them in when passenger schedules allow.

Unlike the US Wall Street Finace Managers.,



Date: 05/16/22 13:41
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: goneon66

i didn't even consider the "blocks" over there.  interesting..........

66



Date: 05/17/22 21:38
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: GeoffM

Hartington Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> it meant special handling (signalling) because the
> length of the train meant it was occupying two
> signal blocks at the same time which is nromally a
> big no-no!

What makes you say that? You have to occupy two signal blocks to pass from one into the other anyway. Even then, some stations have mid-platform signals so any decent length train will occupy both blocks. Furthermore, the blocks are so short in some areas like in south London that a 12-car train can simultaneously be in three full blocks. Pretty sure Eurostar managed it too when it operated out of Waterloo. I don't know of any special interlocking principles or signalling procedures to handle this.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/18/22 06:54
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: petmew

Well, perhaps it has something to do with occupying blocks and/or turn outs planned for other trains?
The longest tracks at my station are between 600 and 800 metres long. If I were to build a long train I would occupy two tracks and a row of turn outs between them, blocking other trains until after departure. That would definitely raise some eyebrows if it was not planned with the signaler.



Date: 05/18/22 11:40
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: GeoffM

petmew Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, perhaps it has something to do with
> occupying blocks and/or turn outs planned for
> other trains?
> The longest tracks at my station are between 600
> and 800 metres long. If I were to build a long
> train I would occupy two tracks and a row of turn
> outs between them, blocking other trains until
> after departure. That would definitely raise some
> eyebrows if it was not planned with the signaler.

More than eyebrows would be raised if you did something without the authority of the signaller. It's the signaller's job to ensure (s)he does not have trains blocking other trains - though I have seen situations where three trains ended up at a stalemate because each needed at least one of the others to move. And we're not even talking long trains in the incidents I know, just a couple of hundred metres each.



Date: 05/20/22 23:05
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: 86235

Longest trains in the UK are the 775m intermodal trains operated by Freightliner from Southampton and London Gateway deep water ports. The heaviest, which are also long by UK standards, are the 4000 tonnes trains carrying aggregate from quarries in Somerset and Gloucestershire to the London area and Buckinghamshire. These so called 'jumbo' services are either single class 59s or double headed by 66s. Some are combinations of two shorter trains with one of the locomotives DIT (unpowered) mid train.

This is the 6Z85 'jumbo' from Tytherington to Little Kimble with 66021 and 070.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/22 23:09 by 86235.




Date: 05/21/22 06:15
Re: train length and dpu question........
Author: goneon66

nice catch on that "double headed" unit rock train.

thanks for posting...........

66



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