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Old 08-27-2019, 07:29 PM
 
24,852 posts, read 12,240,219 times
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[quote=jeffdoorgunner;56040446]
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-310 View Post

Last I knew he was actually in Havre. Moved there from Illinois. Roadmaster.
When?
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:40 PM
Status: "Time for 25" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Cone of Uncertainty
7,689 posts, read 4,588,476 times
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By the way, the Deseret Power Railroad is still running. I knew there was one in Colorado but could not remember the name. As it exists much the same way as the Black Mesa and Lake Powell did, I imagine it will close eventually as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deseret_Power_Railroad
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
5,342 posts, read 4,091,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-310 View Post
Quote:
Wrong. If anything electric engines are even more capable of hauling long consists due to the much higher horsepower available.
Wrong, the electric motors will overheat and burnout climbing mountains pulling a mile long consist.
Uh...what? This make zero sense, why would electric motors supplied with electricity from a local diesel not burn out, but electric motors supplied with electricity from a power plant burn out? Electricity is electricity!

Quote:
Diesel provides all the power instantly that the traction motors need with less stress.
No, it doesn't, the locomotive has to "load" first, it's not instant. Electrics aren't instant, but they're a lot faster because they don't have to let a diesel engine get up to speed to supply the power they need. And because you're not cycling a complex mechanical system (the engine) there is a LOT less stress. In an electric locomotive, the only moving parts before the motors are the fans and maybe an odd contactor here and there, but most everything is pure solid-state these days.

Quote:

And so single freight electric locomotive needs between 6-24 MW of electricity to pull a long consist necessitating a large number of conventional power plants to provide that electricity whereas a passenger train requires 1MW. To go from Chicago to LA would require 15,000MW. Where is that power coming from?
The power grid where it's more efficient to produce, maybe squeaky clean to produce (hydro, nuclear, wind, solar), and in the case of fossil fuel plants, a lot easier to control the pollution at a single central source than a lot of smaller wide-spread sources.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rkcarguy View Post
The traction motors are already electric in a diesel electric, I don't think they care where the power comes from as long as there is enough of it. The problem is exactly as T-310 says though, it takes a massive amount of energy to power them for such a heavy freight train, coming through the lines it would never work unless they were severely scaled down to the ~30 car range as already stated.
Why? We have factories with far more massive loads hundreds of miles away from the nearest power plant that do just fine because we have an electrical grid that steps up the voltage to as much as a million volts for long distance transport, then steps it back down to whatever is needed. Yes, that takes substations, but Amtrak's electrification north of New Haven requires only 4 for the 156 miles between there and Boston, or about one every 39 miles, or only about 50 to cover an electrification between Chicago and Los Angeles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
I will defer to the railroader on this board and his reasoning for why this is not the case as well as other railroaders i have talked to before.
A railroader doesn't have to know exactly how a locomotive works to drive it. See my response above.

Quote:
They might work in Europe. I've seen enough Canadian and Mexican locomotives in the Carolinas to know it works differently in America.
You're right, it works differently because we're already more standardized than Europe which was my point! While they may have to change gauges we...don't have to do anything really. PTC throws a wrinkle into things, but most cross-border locomotives will be equipped to run on either side of the border. Regardless, given the cross-border delays, electrifying our rail lines wouldn't require Mexico or Canada to do the same, there is a good amount of traffic, but nowhere near the amount flowing internally on our mainlines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuptag View Post
Couldn't they have cut out the middleman? I mean there must be some way to use the energy in coal to drive a locomotive, right?
Not efficiently. Again, the point of this railroad wasn't to run a railroad, it's sole purpose was to deliver coal from a nearby mine to the power plant to supply power to the region.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:35 PM
 
24,852 posts, read 12,240,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
Uh...what? This make zero sense, why would electric motors supplied with electricity from a local diesel not burn out, but electric motors supplied with electricity from a power plant burn out? Electricity is electricity!

No, it doesn't, the locomotive has to "load" first, it's not instant. Electrics aren't instant, but they're a lot faster because they don't have to let a diesel engine get up to speed to supply the power they need. And because you're not cycling a complex mechanical system (the engine) there is a LOT less stress. In an electric locomotive, the only moving parts before the motors are the fans and maybe an odd contactor here and there, but most everything is pure solid-state these days.

The power grid where it's more efficient to produce, maybe squeaky clean to produce (hydro, nuclear, wind, solar), and in the case of fossil fuel plants, a lot easier to control the pollution at a single central source than a lot of smaller wide-spread sources.



Why? We have factories with far more massive loads hundreds of miles away from the nearest power plant that do just fine because we have an electrical grid that steps up the voltage to as much as a million volts for long distance transport, then steps it back down to whatever is needed. Yes, that takes substations, but Amtrak's electrification north of New Haven requires only 4 for the 156 miles between there and Boston, or about one every 39 miles, or only about 50 to cover an electrification between Chicago and Los Angeles.

A railroader doesn't have to know exactly how a locomotive works to drive it. See my response above.

You're right, it works differently because we're already more standardized than Europe which was my point! While they may have to change gauges we...don't have to do anything really. PTC throws a wrinkle into things, but most cross-border locomotives will be equipped to run on either side of the border. Regardless, given the cross-border delays, electrifying our rail lines wouldn't require Mexico or Canada to do the same, there is a good amount of traffic, but nowhere near the amount flowing internally on our mainlines.

Not efficiently. Again, the point of this railroad wasn't to run a railroad, it's sole purpose was to deliver coal from a nearby mine to the power plant to supply power to the region.
160,000 miles of track electrified would require 240 power plants burning fossil fuels to provide same power.

And you are right about the engines needing to load up however, before moving, the engines are idled up, the slack pulled out of the couplers. Diesel electric is more efficient over long range. And cheaper in the long run.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:11 PM
Status: "Time for 25" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Cone of Uncertainty
7,689 posts, read 4,588,476 times
Reputation: 9149
All those coal plants to power electric railroads, I'm surprised Trump isn't calling for their electrification
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Planet earth
3,393 posts, read 1,354,216 times
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I find it amazing at how very easy it appears to be to armchair quarterback all kinds of different industries, all in the name of CAGW/CACC alarmism. Industries the CAGW/CACC alarmism crowd know how to operate better than the professional engineers who actually operate them include:
1. Electric utility generation, transmission and distribution
2. Automotive
3. Semi-tractor transportation
4. Locomotive train transportation
5. Aircraft transportation
6. Marine vessel shipping and transportation
7. Home and business heating and cooling

...and I seriously suspect they will claim to know better how to run other industries too.


It's amazing that these CAGW/CACC alarmism folks, you know God's gift to humanity and the planet, who armchair quarterback any and everything, haven't started their own companies, using their own money and no money taken by force via taxes from taxpayers and redistributed to them by the government, proving just how easy it is, once and for all, to all of us ignorant people in the industries they claim to know better how to run.
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Old Yesterday, 11:38 PM
 
21,402 posts, read 14,198,427 times
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Historically American railroads who went in big for electrification (Pennsylvania, New York Central, Boston-New Haven, Milwaukee Road, New Jersey Central, Virginian, off top of my head) did so for a few reasons.

First was to get away from steam power on the point. Diesel locomotives had been around since early 1900's, but they weren't powerful enough to pull full heavy trains, so mostly were confined to switcher duty.

The other was where ROW had the frequency to support high initial cost, and then subsequent upkeep and so forth of electric power. PRR's famous mainline from Washington D.C. to NYC, and the New Haven's line from MA down to NYC.

Electric power is a very expensive undertaking for a RR both to install and keep up. The Milwaukee Road had no end of problems with their only partially electrified lines.

Remember electric power has to come from somewhere. In dense urban areas power stations are plentiful and or can be sited a bit more easily. Once you get past North east and out into "fly over" country electrification makes less and less sense. Especially post WWII when diesel locomotives not just displaced steam, but showed what they can do over long distances.

Several posts mentioned Europe. Well things over there were different post WWII than in United States.

First and foremost few European countries have large proven oil reserves. They nearly all have tons of coal, so that was burned either in locomotives (steam), or in power plants to make electricity. The latter is a more efficient way of using coal than powering individual locomotives.

Post WWII American railroads were ditching steam for diesel. OTOH in Europe they were ditching coal for oil (in Britain for instance to free up coal for export), to power locomotives, or just moving to electric or diesel electric. As nations rebuilt their infrastructure more and more trains were put under the wires as opposed to diesel. Again much of that was due to lack of oil reserves and thus what there was had to be imported.

Some Scandinavian railroads have run on electricity long before WWII and certainly afterwards thanks to generous supply of hydro power.

A diesel (or steam) locomotive can go anywhere tracks are laid; but an electric powered train can only go where there are wires. That can be a huge (and costly) disadvantage for a RR.

Milwaukee Road didn't electrify their entire mainline. Thus trains had to stop at various points to have power switched from steam (or diesel) to electric, and or other way around. This could go one once, twice or more for same train depending upon how far it was traveling.

Those who follow railroading know nothing one said is new; GE and others new this back in 1950's.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uJPycRAnuY
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Old Yesterday, 11:53 PM
 
21,402 posts, read 14,198,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
This railroad and power plant was in a rare situation where the mine was close by. Everything was self contained. If the power plant needed more coal, they didn't have to call the connecting railroad to schedule a train or two. They just sent their own crews down to the mine. At one time they ran three trains a day from what I have heard.

There were other electric railways in America at the time. One near me was the Piedmont & Northern. They all went under or converted to diesel. Like steam, the industry decided it was not economical to keep up the electric railways.

I will defer to the railroader on this board and his reasoning for why this is not the case as well as other railroaders i have talked to before.

They might work in Europe. I've seen enough Canadian and Mexican locomotives in the Carolinas to know it works differently in America.

Some Tier I railroads that had electric motive power:

Milwaukee Road:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aobR7NNFk4

The Virginian:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO2Ji697aBo

The New Haven (who started it all)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk8htfb2-h0

The PRR:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk8htfb2-h0

and:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKFlV6aV0po
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Old Today, 12:13 AM
 
21,402 posts, read 14,198,427 times
Reputation: 14957
Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
Most US long haul freight locomotives are not pure "diesel", they are large diesel powered engines that turn AC or DC generators that supply power to electric traction motors. The electric traction motors turn the axles & wheels that drive the train. The other great thing about the electric traction motors is that on long downgrades, the massive freight trains don't rely on friction air brakes alone to slow the train, they use the electric traction motors as dynamic brakes to slow down the train.

I am in Germany at present, a place where nearly all the main rail lines use locomotives powered by overhead electric lines. There is no danger to the public because there are no power lines anywhere close to the ground, they are a couple of meters above the tallest standard rail car. The electric locomotives connect to the overhead lines with a trolley arm, like what was pictured in the OP's video. It is much simpler technology, because you don't need to maintain the diesel drive part of the locomotive, it is a pure electric drive system. Here in the eastern part of Germany, at least half the power delivered to the grid comes from brown coal fired power plants. It is locally strip mined and relatively cheap power, so the electric trains are partially driven by coal power.

I ride the passenger trains here frequently, and I like the all electric trains much better than the diesel electrics. They are quieter with less vibration and noise. The all electric main line trains rip along at high speeds on tracks that are smooth as glass. I understand why the economics of this don't work very well in the USA, mainly due to the long distances from coast to coast. I am somewhat surprised that the economics out don't work for the busiest freight corridors, especially on the east coast, southeastern US, and leaving the port of Los Angeles heading east to Chicago, Memphis, Houston, Atlanta. If the price of diesel fuel in the US was as high as it is in Europe, I am guessing the cost benefit might look better in favor of overhead electrification.
Railroads are taxed on every single bit of real estate they own. Historically those rates were rather high as local governments sought revenue from the big bad old evil railroads.

Building out electric ROW means also building power plants, substations, etc... A RR *might* be able to by power from a local company, but the rest still is on them.

A good number of Americans have a thing about living near and or even seeing power lines, especially those carrying high voltages. Given modern federal and local laws regarding everything from mandating environmnental and other impact studies, then fighting tons of lawsuits from this or that group opposed to running wires, why would any RR bother?

Again we're not talking about 1930's when electric was the most viable alternative to steam locomotives. For most railroads in USA diesel-electric is perfectly fine for their purposes. Since none of them run passenger service those other benefits from electric traction aren't on their radar.

If Amtrak wants to run electric powered trains outside of where it does already, let it build the ROW itself (never going to happen), is how freight RRs see things.

Finally just wish to say you cannot compare European, Asian and other electric locomotives to American.

Laws governing railroads in United States are geared towards passenger surviabilty in a crash by mandating locomotives and passenger train cars that have substantial crash worthiness. This translates into electric trains (such as Amtrak's Acela) that are so much substantially heavier than their European counterparts they can barely get out of their own way. Heavier locomotive/cars means more power is needed to start and pull trains.

In Europe and elsewhere focus is on keeping trains apart from each other to prevent crashes (positive train control). PTC was actually invented by American railroads before WWII. But as the railroads went into decline post WWII development of the technology just wasn't kept up. European nations OTOH acquired or otherwise developed PTC systems and continue to refine state of art. Hence France and other places have HSR, while best USA can manage is Amtrak's NEC, and not all of it is true HSR.
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Old Today, 12:25 AM
 
21,402 posts, read 14,198,427 times
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Watch and understand:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvGlgnm9_7o

Many local residents would have kittens if a RR wanted to "destroy" their area by running wires for trains.

While some of the infrastructure required for electric powered trains can be made some what less intrusive, the rest is what it is.

In contrast look at Union Pacific's Sherman Hill main line.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_jF9oQK8eU

You really don't notice the tracks, and unless a train happens to be passing you'd not even know there was a RR ROW. Nothing spoils the beautiful open country.
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