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Passenger Trains > Say What???

Date: 02/22/21 19:27
Say What???
Author: wabash2800

click here: How Canadians Derailed a Train and Drove It to City Hall for Power After a Brutal Ice Storm (msn.com)

This article starts with the use of CN locos in 1998, as generators in an emergency situation.

But look at the tail-end of the article: OK, it may be true that Amtrak doesn't have a loco to spare for Texas today, but to say the closest railroad in the U.S. that might be asked for power is Amtrak??? Well, let's see, in Texas we have UP, BNSF, KCS... and also in the South we have CN...? And even though Texas has lost rail mileage, it still has many miles of railroads.

And well, I guess you could say the CN locos were derailed but not in the traditional sense... This must have originally come from a tabloid... Or did some railfan have to figure out a way to put in a plug for Amtrak's plight? 
It reminds me of a movie that starts out great but by the end of the movie, the script writers must have got drunk.

Victor A. Baird

Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/21 20:08 by wabash2800.

Date: 02/22/21 20:44
Re: Say What???
Author: GenePoon

If Amtrak were to do it, the locomotive would not be derailed. It would have "lost contact with the rail."

Mealy-mouthed gobbledegook...

Date: 02/22/21 23:22
Re: Say What???
Author: YoungOldHead

Any locomotive would be suitable to povide power. To single out Amtrak in the article is ridiculus. Freight roads have tons of power sitting without use currently and besides charging fees to get them in place they'd gain tons of good PR. 

Having worked in the used oil industry I can say or a fact. Many hospitals and high rise buildings use EMD 645 E diesels for back up power. Aside from having to do some "on the spot" rigging of electrical lines ANY motor would work to provide current even if it were at a minimum of a buildings needs. 

Unfortunately we live in an era of blame game opposed to lets find a solution to the problem. 

I feel for and have friends in Texas who are still without power, heat, etc. It's terrible and unfortunately my friends do not prep for things opposed to myself. 

The lesson I hope EVERYONE takes from this unfortunate event is..... keep at least 48hrs of water at home, non-perishable food (MRE's work great) and have a source of heat like a fire place, gas stove, burn pit with wood, coleman stove (dual fuel is best) or a grill be it propane (full tank naturally) or charcoal grill. Keep vehicles you dont regularly drive filled with fuel. If you have a dual fuel coleman grill then you can use the gasoline to fuel it. 

Doesnt take a lot to be prepared besides a little fore thought and engenuity.  Bottom line is dont depend on government to take care of you. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. 

Date: 02/23/21 09:03
Re: Say What???
Author: SP4360

Yup, it's been like that with every administration since WW2.

YoungOldHead Wrote:

> Doesnt take a lot to be prepared besides a little
> fore thought and engenuity.  Bottom line is dont
> depend on government to take care of you. TAKE

Date: 02/23/21 11:44
Re: Say What???
Author: Buhl56

There are a number of posts here on TO.
Locomotive as emergency generator

Or try TO search for Diesel as emergency generator (actually alternator for EE's) for all dates, and follow the links

I posted this last week in response to a post about slow news on MRL.
There is some discussion about using Diesel power for emergencies here on TO.   Follow the links.

To summarize... 
An old DC generator locomotive would be impracticable....  You would have to add something like an AC locomotive traction inverter to it.

A locomotive with HEP can supply 480 volt 3 phase delta power with standardized plugs at perhaps 1000 amps, regulated voltage and 60 Hz frequency.  Most of these locomotives would belong to Amtrak, or otherwise be used for passenger operations.
480 volt 3 phase is typically used for medium size buildings, but they sometimes need 3 Phase Y power which is not in the HEP connector.

A DC locomotive with a main alternator actually creates AC power, and rectifies it for the motors.  This power is usually not regulated for voltage and frequency, but adjusts them with the load.  But it should be possible, for some units, to reconnect the alternator to produce 3 phase power at about 60 Hz.

Date: 02/23/21 20:43
Re: Say What???
Author: radar

There are several, large companies that specialize in generator rental, and they have inventories nationwide.  And they have the materials and expertise to connect them to the load safely.   Cummins Power and Caterpillar to name a couple.  If you have enough money, portable power is available.

Messing around with locomotives isn't worth the bother.  In order to get the frequency adjusted to 60 Hz, the engine speed would have to be reduced, which limits its horsepower and output.  Getting the voltage to what you need is another problem.  Can it be done with certain types of locomotives and certain types of loads?  Yes.  Most of the time there are too many variables and it won't work.

Date: 02/23/21 21:26
Re: Say What???
Author: DevalDragon

The EMD 645 is a perfect prime mover and is used in generators all over the world.

They command a pretty penny in the resale market for that reason.

Unfortunately railroads don't have a lot of spare 645 powered locomotives laying around. The few that are left are kept quite busy.

Date: 02/24/21 16:17
Re: Say What???
Author: PHall

Buhl56 Wrote:
> A DC locomotive with a main alternator actually
> creates AC power, and rectifies it for the
> motors.

This would only apply to DC locomotives built after about 1966 or so when the big three builders (EMD, GE, Alco) switched from DC Generators to AC Alternators because the DC Generators that would fit in a hood unit were reaching their limits. DC generators do not require rectifiers since they already produce DC power. 

Date: 02/24/21 18:14
Re: Say What???
Author: YoungOldHead

New Orleans and Loton, Virginia come to my mind after more thought. BOTH have had upgrades done where a locomotive can povide HEP current to power the station. In no way am I saying all buldings should be so equipped. Im simply pointing out the capability. Aside from that, EXCELLENT fore thought by someone in Amtrak management (obviously years ago) to say "hey, this will work, lets do it" .....AND THEY DID. 

Date: 02/26/21 09:54
Re: Say What???
Author: wabash2800

When I worked for Walmart part-time the store manager did a really great service to the local community. We had a power outage in Fort Wayne, Indiana that lasted over a week (two weeks?) . My boss leased two big generators to keep the store running. We have a number of Walmart stores in the area, but ours was the only store that did this that I know of. This outage was bad. Restaurants and all stores that I know of were closed. It was in the summer after a big storm. I would go home at night after work with no power, no lights, no way to cook food. And it was hot, even in the evenings. Folks would come to our store from miles around to purchase food, supplies, etc. Of course, we had a run on everything and we had the hoarders. Flashlights? All gone. Fuel oil or candles? All gone.  Camping stoves? Long gone. .So you can't cook food at home? Good luck, as restaurants and fast food were out of the question. All shut down. With downed power lines and trees in the area it took the electric company and an army of workers from other power companies from out of state a long time to get us up and going. Of course, power outages were all over the three state area. 

Answer so that it would never happen again? Too many trees... And there was the time we didn't have power for a week in the winter as a result of an ice storm. Fortunately, I have a wood burning stove that I can cook and heat with. Sadly, our consumer society has no backup and the politicians aren't going to help. I suspect this will become more common.

Victor A. Baird

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/21 09:58 by wabash2800.

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