Author Topic: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!  (Read 5087 times)

Offline GM0406

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Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« on: April 17, 2008, 09:07:48 PM »
Ok, here we are with these tranmissions!!  Do we really need them??  Look at this generator.  If we had that generator in our coaches and motors at the wheels like a train, could we improve fuel mileage?  Bill T.

Offline GM0406

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2008, 09:11:07 PM »
Freight per pound per mile is much cheaper than trucks period.  The picture is of a 671 with a generator behind it.  Seems to be worth considering if we can beat the fuel increases.  And you could use your battery banks as a hybrid.  Bill T.

HighTechRedneck

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2008, 06:50:36 AM »
Interesting, but I suspect that, as someone else observed in another thread, the rolling efficiencies of steel wheels on steel rails accounts for much of the efficiency.  Plus the efficiency of the volume.  I would bet that running a locomotive by itself is much less efficient per pound than when pulling its share of freight cars.

Offline Len Silva

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2008, 07:09:53 AM »
In my weird dreams I  have thought about trucks and buses on special highways  where they would connect together like trains.  Perhaps 10 to 15 rigs in a train.  Computer controls would have each truck or bus contribute it's share of motive power and would control brakes and steering.

As you approached your exit, your rig would unhook and peel off and the rest of the train slowly come back together.  I would guess each individual rig would be approaching 30-40 MPG.

Len (the dreamer)

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Offline TomC

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2008, 07:18:12 AM »
That may happen one day, but until then, you have to think about cooling with the trucks being closely spaced without frontal air ram.  On a bus, not a problem though.  Realistically, the combination of very low rolling resistance with steel wheels and only 3% grades makes for very low power to weight ratio possible.  How many times have you seen a train laboring up a grade at maybe 10mph?  I know that would go far with the public.  More and more, you'll be seeing hybrid buses and trucks.  I know Freightliner has a hybrid straight truck up to 26,000lb gvw that can get 20% better fuel mileage than straight Diesel.  I know most would rather get 10mpg than 8mpg.  Good Luck, TomC
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luvrbus

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2008, 07:23:35 AM »
very interesting RG Letourneau introduced the concept to the construction industry in the 1950s and it is still in use today on large mining equipment

captain ron

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2008, 07:26:01 AM »
  How many times have you seen a train laboring up a grade at maybe 10mph?   Good Luck, TomC

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Offline Jeremy

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2008, 07:30:21 AM »
In my weird dreams I  have thought about trucks and buses on special highways  where they would connect together like trains.  Perhaps 10 to 15 rigs in a train.  Computer controls would have each truck or bus contribute it's share of motive power and would control brakes and steering.

As you approached your exit, your rig would unhook and peel off and the rest of the train slowly come back together.  I would guess each individual rig would be approaching 30-40 MPG.

Len (the dreamer)

The technology already exists - Mercedes and Lexus already have models where the cruise control uses radar to maintain an even gap from the car in front. If you were to reduce the distance to just a foot or so between vehicles then there would be serious aerodynamic gains to be had.

Having a mechanical linkage between the engine and wheels is of course fundamentally more efficient than converting the power into electricity and then back again, but there are other reasons why diesel-electric locomotives make sense. Rolling resistance on road vehicles is a major user of fuel, and this is something that is getting steadily worse as tyres get fatter due to vehicles getting heavier and travelling faster. And triple axle buses with eight tyres on the road are never going to be easy to push along.

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Offline kd5kfl

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2008, 10:13:46 AM »
When I saw "Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!" I was expecting:

Put coach on flatcar

flatcar takes coach 90% of the way to destination

take coach off flatcar.

Offline HB of CJ

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2008, 12:42:13 PM »
Yeah, railroads and trains are cool, but they are kinda limited to around 1% grades or sossss, sometimes a little bit more.  Trains also bust a literal hole in the air sossss they experience/enjoy some aero-dynamic advantages alsos.  I also think a linked "consist" consisting of a bunch of Bus Conversions would be sooss cool.  :) :) :)

Offline Lin

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2008, 03:49:09 PM »
There are people that convert railroad cars to personal coaches and pay Amtrak to pull them where they want to go.
You don't have to believe everything you think.

Offline tekebird

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2008, 12:01:38 PM »
the private rail coaches, are not only extremely expensive, both to make/rebuild, but also to bring up to standards.

I once looked into the costs for this sort of thing...was not a deal at al even if you had the car done for free.

every time there was a hookup to a train was somne awefull expense, then a in yard move was another chunk of change, the actiual cost once on a consist was not that bad....but the pretrip moving etc was almost as much as the trip itself.

Offline Lin

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2008, 12:11:41 PM »
Yeah, but it rides like it's on rails!
You don't have to believe everything you think.

HighTechRedneck

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2008, 01:35:10 PM »
Yeah, but it rides like it's on rails!

Yup, and if you see something along the way you would like to get a closer look at, too bad.  Also, if you want to bring along a car, more freight charges and handling charges.  And if it is only Amtrak that pulls them, they have really limited routes.  I've heard that a freight train is not allowed to include passenger cars.

All things considered my opinion is that a bus conversion is a better choice than a rail car conversion.

Offline Hi yo silver

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Re: Train Solution to Fuel Prices!!!
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2008, 05:39:51 PM »
Regarding efficiency; You gotta consider that a diesel-electric railroad locomotive uses the same hardware for two different functions. 
When pulling, the diesel engine powers a big generator or alternator (depending on the age of the locomotive) to send power through big switches called power contactors, to motors (called traction motors) that are geared directly to each axle.  The electrical configuration of the traction motor circuits can be changed, automatically, during operation, from series (maximum starting torque) to series parallel, to parallel.  Also, part of the field current is shunted to resistors at optimum times to help motor circuits operate at peak efficiency. 

When coasting, the configuration of the traction motor circuits can again be changed through the cab control console so that the traction motors  become generators, with their output current dissipated at heat at grid resistors.  The control console varies the field current in the traction motors.  The stronger the field current, the more braking effect of the motors.  Dynamic braking. 

I think I got that right...

Dennis
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