>not operating fully automated, electric locomotives in mainline freight service across North America
When will American railroads modernize for the 21st century?
Total electrification will never ever happen unless it costs $30M for fuel for one trip.
Automation is also a stupid idea, if a pc messes up a pax train some people die but if a freight computerized train malfunctioned we could have BP oil spill 2.0.
>40 years ago
By what metric? Businesses are motivated by profit if there was any gain to be found moving to electric they would have done it ages ago.
Oh wait, you're that guy who has a hard on for that dead railway aren't you?
Several railroads considered it during the 1970s oil crisis (right around the time your beloved MILW was dieselized) but gave up their plans when oil prices dropped again. GM-EMD actually built a demonstrator in anticipation of this (which saw limited use on Conrail, before they de-electrified their freight operations).
Didn't we basically have this thread a short while ago? Also:
>Electrification on parts where there are plenty of tornados each year
>Everytime a tornado damages the infrastructure they'll have to spend extra resources to repair overhead catenaries in addition to the tracks, which causes additional delays
When the electrification infrastructure wont be needed - think hydrogen cells, super-batteries or zero point generators ;).
You can only stretch the wires so far...
If 40 years ago corporations and the government had thought long-term and electrified like they had planned to do before short-term drops in oil prices led to them to revert to their bad habits, we wouldn't be in the predicament we are today.
Also, the endgame for PTC is full automation and the elimination of human labor to reduce operating expenses and increase corporate profits. Look at what BNSF tried to do with that PTC vote just last year. Thankfully the unions were smart enough to realize what was going on, but that was just a taste of things to come.
>Thinking the Fed is going to just throw money at railroads to electrify for practically no benefit.
The endgame of PTC is full automation, but that's a very very very long way down the road. Railcars are very much a legacy design, and switching them involves a lot of manual labor.
>Thinking the Fed is going to just throw money at railroads to electrify for practically no benefit.
I never said that, on the contrary I'm implying that since PTC is an unfunded mandate for Class I railroads, they'll look for ways to recoup the sunk costs of converting to PTC, like eliminating human labor.
>imma repeat the same shit 300 times
>this is transportation related therefore I'm immune to criticisms
I would love to see GE and EMD build locomotives for a fully electrified network in the United-State but unfortunately that's not going to happen. How many times do you have to create the same goddamn thread to blurt out the same argument. This is not going to happen.
People in the 1940s also thought that steam engines would never be replaced by diesel-electrics in mainline, long-haul freight service.
That's a GE E33 rectifier. It came on line in 1955 for the Virginian railroad. Then they were sold to New Haven and Pennsy then Conrail. They were scrapped when Conrail didn't want to dal with electrics.
They did thought. There's no evidence that the Class 1s were thinking that coal was still the future (yes I'm aware of that mobile coal power plant that was built but that thing went nowhere). Everyone outside of a few companies gradually moved to diesels once they were able to match the horsepower of their existing engines.
Steam locomotives were battered by their wartime service and replacing them with diesels didn't require rebuilding a significant chunk of their network like it would with electrics. Stop dreaming, this shit isn't happening.
>There's no evidence that the Class 1s were thinking that coal was still the future
Most Class I railroads operating west of the Mississippi had converted to burning oil as fuel by the 1920s, so they weren't concerned about coal in their operations. The pictured locomotive class never burned anything but oil.
I don't think it's far-fetched to imagine that the main corridors from the Powder River Basin mines to the major metropolitan coal consumers within the Midwest could be electrified within our lifetimes.
Coal lines are probably the most realistic corridors when it comes to North American electrification especially with the increase of traffic to export markets. The problem is maintaining supply and demand. The BR Rail line that was electrified was de-electrified because the coal traffic fell dramatically for instance.
If a thread was based around the premise of coal/ore lines being electrified it could make for a neat guessing game.
660$,,, 550 Watts grid tie.
,AMazon pays shipping!
,,, this will produce 300$ per year.
,why do you rent your power?
He's obviously against it because if a fully automatic train control fails you can have a massive hazmat situation.
The reality of PTC is that the engineer will have to acknowledge his upcoming speed restrictions and stuff by hitting a button on a computer screen. If he doesn't then the train will be slowly be brought to a stop.
It's silly, and stupid, and really unneeded, but some people in Washington have decided they know more about my job than me.
>Oh wait, you're that guy who has a hard on for that dead railway aren't you?
I'm not the only one! He was giving me shit in another thread saying a follow him. I told him I'm not the only person that he constantly runs into. He ALWAYS posts about beloved railway and is bitter and butthurt about it.
I don't quite understand where you're coming from. Systems are interlocked and if they fail, the train simply stops. It does not roll madly like it does currently. Trains also require protection so they automatically stop after SPADs rather than posing a danger.
It's more that the rest of the world knows better than you, not just some old hags.
You come in here and post angry responses to days old posts completely unrelated to you and claim that I'm the one bitter and butthurt?
Dude, seriously calm down. I didn't realize posting about a dead railroad would trigger someone so bad.
Could you at least post on-topic images when raging?
are you retarded?
Unlike in europe, freight trains here can easily carry eight or nine figures inside a single train. It's not worth risking an accident when you have that much money involved.
Also, the whole idea that trains need to be electrified in order to be automated is naive. We could have had automated trains since the 70s but it doesn't happen because the risk just isn't worth it. They even gave up on remotely controlled trains too (save for yard work).
And electrification will only happen if uncle sam foots the bill. Diesel is reliable enough and you don't have to negotiate different power rates with different utility companies, instead of a single rate with an oil company.
I propose we give each railroad the right to build six nuclear power stations for every 1000 miles of track it operates. Each plant will receive a 50% federal construction subsidy and local power companies will be required to purchase surplus power at going rates.
Then watch how fast they make the switch.
That doesn't help when you take a corner too fast killing a bunch of commuters.
It's a fact that humans are the most error prone parts of a system.
Don't blame Washington blame biology.
I walk past that locomotive every day. They took it out to California and tested it pulling freight but it only produces about 1000 horse power and couldn't pull much in the mountains. Now it just sits in a building on property gathering dust. It would be the perfect switcher unit because we could leave the engine running indoors, but they don't want to run their multi-million dollar novelty at all.
not really, they will just sell the entire company to some other sucker when the fuel cost is too much, it's called kicking the ball down the road. This is why the land of the whopper has 18.7 trillion debt, because each king of the burgers just kick the debt problem to the next king in line. They all keep saying that "it's not my problem because the debt to gdp ratio is not 120% yet." it's 105% right now btw
only in the east. there's a reason why santa fe got the first wartime diesels. sucks to have to transport treated water to all your division points. what nobody expected was that a new steam locomotive could see only a year or two in service before being replaced by diesels. that they were that much more economical.
>bitches don't know about muh Locotrol
Remote controlled trains have been a thing since the 1960s.
Don't forget about automated cranes/robots/drones for the movement between all these and the final few feet from the mid-size trucks to the consumer.
Driverless bike messengers??? You think /messlife/s will develop neo-Luddite unions?
two things would happen:
1. everyone within 100 miles of these power stations will sue the federal government because they don't want them built
2. assuming it would somehow survive that lawsuit, the NRC requires nuclear power plants to be completely funded before construction starts. As a direct result, you'd need billions of dollars just to start construction and a few more million on top of that to get a license to operate
Early Locotrol was responsible for quite a few derailments on the Milwaukee Road's Lines West due to loss of radio communication with the remote units when passing through long tunnels in the mountains.
>Milwaukee Road on the west side of the Bitterroots was characterized by endless series of curves interspersed with many tunnels, all on a 1.7% compensated grade. The track in the tunnels was never upgraded. Over the period 1972 - 1975, the track outside the tunnels was raised 4-6 inches with many new ties and section rail relay.
>Westbound trains had grain loads in 100-ton hoppers for the Pacific Coast export terminals on the rear yet lumber empties for St. Maries and Spokane on the point. Until Oct., 1973, one train per day each way was run with Locotrol, which had a lot of trouble maintaining continuity on this line.
>Grain traffic to the Coast exploded starting in August, 1973. The derailment rate in the Bitterroots increased. At the beginning of Oct. 1973, operation of Joes west of Deer Lodge was terminated, manned helpers were terminated, and Locotrol took over 2-3 trains per day each way instead of one.
>The derailment rate in the Bitterroots exploded - 24 derailments in 21 days. At the end of October, operation of the Joes was restored while efforts were made to improve the track geometry (less abrupt changes in grade at tunnel portals, better spiral approach to curves), and track repairs in tunnels was made (limited as to what they could do considering the tight clearances). The Joes were permanently withdrawn in June, 1974, but manned helpers were restored (using diesels), a tacit admission that Locotrol was just not reliable enough to get trains down the hill without incident.
>There were multiple reasons for this disaster, and I don't think the various causes were ever ranked and quantified. Among the causes:
>-Train make-up inducing extreme run-ins
>-Replacement of electric power and manned helpers with Locotrol
>-Locotrol loss of continuity in tunnels and canyons
>-Poor track in the tunnels
>-Problems in track geometry just outside tunnels (abrupt change in grade, weak spiral approach to curves)
From rob_l at trainorders.com
You're a moron.
Lots of things can cause loss of communication.
Happens all the time on long trains with an EOT going over hills, through tunnels, and valleys. In your mind, how do you make a loss of communication with a DP locomotive "fail safe"? Do you have it start braking? Do you have it go to idle with the brakes cut out? Do you have it go into emergency?
What is your definition of fail safe in this scenario?
I am quite sure that the train control systems pretty much upgraded between 1974 and 2015.
Also top kek on a design which did not calculate with signal losses in tunnels / mountains. Probably tested in Pueblo, eh?
(I am not a robot: omeig)
All of the locotrol units operating in the 1960s/1970s had problems with tunnels.
>I remember when the SP was using these remote engines on Techahapi.. It was 1974 to 1975.. I was a fireman on the Los Angeles Bakersfield freight pool. I always loved to be on a train with these engines or have a remote train in the vicinity.. Because the remotes would always fail between Ilmon and Caliente around tunnel 1/2. When the remotes lost communication us fireman were put on the remote and run them manually.. in turn we made double pay.. as a fireman and then when we were placed into helper service as an engineer making engineer's pay from the point of manning the helper. Always made for a nice payday.
We have a rock train here in Florida on the FEC that once it is parked at its destination the plant operators use remote control to back the whole thing in and unload it.
FEC has experimented with remote control in its yard I believe.
>being this retarted
>a country the size of texas ships less freight than the US
>25% of the population
>still less than 5% of the rail freight
nice try, eurofag
For the most part no.
The major issue is that here diesel is easier to procure (because it's easier to buy it bulk from one or two companies than power from ten or twenty power companies) and that double-stack containers require higher catenary. This is an issue because most tunnels and overpasses in the US don't have the clearance for both double stack containers and catenary.
>The major issue is that here diesel is easier to procure (because it's easier to buy it bulk from one or two companies than power from ten or twenty power companies) and that double-stack containers require higher catenary.
The Milwaukee Road's electric division proves you wrong on both points. They only went through 3 different regional power companies to purchase the electricity needed to generate power all along their line. These were long term electric power contracts that were much cheaper than diesel fuel contracts (even before the 1970s oil shortages).
Also, the default height of catenary on the Milwaukee Road was above the height of double-stack containers even in the 1970s. The major issue there was tunnel clearance, not catenary.
It's pretty sad that both in terms of railroad electrification and passenger train speeds the United States is worse off today than it was in the 1960s.
I'm guessing that would be more expensive in most cases than just contracting with large regional power companies. Unless you own your own source of power (coal mines or hydropower sites). It's too bad that power companies in the US never built their own mainline railroads, just interurbans and streetcar lines.
True, the MWRR was able to do it with only three power companies. However, they also were bought out.
>It's pretty sad that both in terms of railroad electrification and passenger train speeds the United States is worse off today than it was in the 1960s.
The issue there is that freight doesn't complain about loud/dirty diesel locomotives and passenger rail stops being seriously competitive after travel time increases past five hours. The average box of dildos can take a week to ship from NYC to LA by train but the average person wants to be there in eight hours.
As for electrification, it's only useful in congested urban areas or mountain passes. The former demands quieter, cleaner locos while the latter benefits when it comes to tunnel ventilation and increased traction. The US itself is mostly flat land with three mountain ranges, outside of each electrification would be redundant.
That's not how it works. In Nevada, so far the only US state to allow automated vehicles, you need a special endorsement on your license to operate one. Driverless ones aren't legal on public roads without an operator with the endorsement on their license.
And even then, I don't get why you would want to use automated trucks in areas with dirt roads and steep grades and where wifi/satellite reception can be spotty especially when labor is so cheap.
As it stands, there aren't any electric railroads left in the US. The central issue is that railroad companies can't also own their own power stations and sell excess power to the grid. As a result, they have to pay regular rates and that's what kills the whole thing. This is exactly how LA's streetcar system went bankrupt, along with having to pay for road maintenance.
That is kind of dangerous. Imagine if a rogue AI would take control of a freight train carrying a lot of fuel.
Why not have cyclists be the engine instead.
it's still a huge network, so there's building costs, tax increases, and new equipment to be bought.
as long as diesel is cheap enough it's not profitable to electrify anymore.
Ask Milwaukee Road guy about their electrified track. I would've been great to keep or expand had the company not gotten fucked by management.
Nearly every half decent country has or wants to have electrified railways. Less noisy, faster, and the pollution is released at the power plant rather than along the line in the form of carcinogenic diesel fumes. Everyone makes a fuss about it but how difficult is it to put up some wires? The US has more clearance around the tracks so low bridges and other obstacles shouldn't be an issue.
If management had been interested in maintaining the railroad business and growing it, they would have taken the 1969 and 1972 GE offers to expand and upgrade the electrification between Tacoma and Harlowton, MT. But top MILW management (of which two were former BN executives fresh off their successful merger of BN in 1970) wanted to shut down MILW and its competition with BN for traffic by getting BN to agree to a merger. One of the conditions was that MILW not invest money in track maintenance or upgrades on the western lines prior to the merger. So expanding or even maintaining electric operations was seen as a threat to merger conditions and MILW abandoned it in the middle of the biggest oil crisis in American history. The GE proposal confirmed that upgrading the track itself (deteriorated due to years of deferred maintenance) would be the biggest expense, the centenary and electric infrastructure was in fine shape overall.
Even after the abandonment of electrification and the virtual destruction of the mainline track through the PNW via deferred maintenance, the deal fell through due to disagreements between MILW and BN over the cost of purchasing the timber and other assets of the Milwaukee Land Company (technically separate from the railroad but under the same parent company). But at that point a merger was unnecessary as far as BN and MILW management was concerned: the damage had been done and MILW was no longer an effective competitor to BN in the Pacific Northwest. The abandonment of the entire trackage west of Montana in 1980 was the final nail in the coffin, even though despite all the attempts to destroy it the Pacific extension was the only profitable route in the entire system (management attempted to hide this fact by cooking the books to make the western lines look like a money loser, but ICC hearings revealed this to be bogus and a net profit of about $12 million annually was revealed).
The Milwaukee Road's de-electification and abandonment is one of the largest corporate conspiracies in American history, but no one was ever successfully prosecuted (and likely never will be).
Some choice quotes explaining the story more from credible sources:
>It is interesting to note, in the 1969 version of "Welcome to the Milwaukee" binder made for new employees of the Engineering Department, the various divisions and departments of the RR were described, and details of each of the major terminals and yards throughout the system, and "stuff" you might generally expect for new engineers (civil) in the department. When it got to the Milwaukee Land Co, one of the first things noted was that "none of the lands owned by the Milwaukee Land Co are mortgaged."
>That was an interesting legal and financial note, the only one, to mention to new employees. In 1972, HR Morgan, retired Electrical Engineer, told me during an interview at his house that "that's what they are trying to get at right now, those assets in the Milwaukee Land Co.. The industrial sites, and the townsites, and those trees out on the Peninsula are worth more than the whole rest of the railroad put together, and there are no mortgages on any of it. They want to strip mine that company, but they can't figure out how to get it loose from the railroad."
>The Bankruptcy did it.
>I should add, only two executive officers of the Milwaukee Road insisted, and were assured, that their employment contracts be guaranteed, not by the Milwaukee Road, but by the Milwaukee Land Company: William J. Quinn and Worthington Smith (the former BN executives).
>I've been asked some questions in recent weeks about the profitability of the PCE. I'm not sure why the subject has come up lately. But, FYI, the Milwaukee filed a Petition to abandon in which it used the prescribed ICC formula for direct costs and for allocated overhead costs. The formula had been designed to make abandonment more "necessary" if a RR wanted one, and so likely overallocated overhead costs, but the Petition to Abandon, Exhibit K, clearly spells out Milwaukee Road's operating costs west of Miles City as well as its revenues.
>For 1976, the Petition to Abandon shows about $10.6 million in net revenue (although the ICC Office of Rail Public Counsel said that this should have been corrected to approximately $12 million.
>What was missing from the net profit figure was the "bridge" traffic as under the ICC regs, mysteriously that was not considered "real" revenue because it neither originated or terminated on line. It was another ICC gesture under the rules to favor abandonment petitions.
>However, BAH identified the Milwaukee's bridge traffic as being in excess of $20,000,000. The interesting convoluted part of the application process is that Milwaukee was allowed to include the expense of carrying bridge traffic, but not the revenue earned from it.
>Adding the bridge revenue to the identified net revenue of the line based on those sources, the Milwaukee PCE earned, in 1976, over $30,000,000 in net revenue. That represented a 15.9% return on revenue (profit margin) and a 31% return on investment (assets).
>By comparison, BN earned 4.6% return on revenue (NROI/Gross transportation revenue), and 3% return on assets in that year.
The above quotes come from Michael Sol, who also wrote about the end of Milwaukee Road's electrification here (towards the bottom of the page):
Cool shitpost m8.
>An electrified railroad consists of five essential components: 1) track, 2) generation, 3) transmission, 4) motive power, and 5) support. Generation, that is substation equipment, on the Milwaukee Road was in remarkable shape. With improvements in insulation and other components, most of the equipment was actually better than when it was brand new, as various parts were overhauled over the years with the improved and upgraded components.
>The overhead was in very good condition. We evaluated the overhead and determined that it had approximately half of its economic service life remaining.
>The remaining locomotives were not worn out, or even close to the end of their economic service life. Rather, there were just not enough of them. In fact, they were performing far out of proportion to their rated horsepower, and far, far beyond the expected availability of diesel-electric motive power of not only the same age, but even of modern vintage.
>When the decision to terminate the electrification was made, the only component of that system that was in actual engineering failure was the track. There were 31 derailments in one 28 day period on the Bitterroots, partly due to the pressure of business during 1973 and 1974.
>Increases in diesel fuel costs over the next few years because of the oil embargo of March 1973 wiped out any gain, and more, because of the "need" to shut down that "worn out" electrification, and the "need" to apply those scrap dollars to perceived company problems. If the electrics had continued to run, the savings, at 1972 operating levels, in fuel costs between 1974 and 1980 would have been $64 million dollars.
>The components that were not in failure were scrapped. The only part that was in actual failure, the track, was not addressed at all.
Honestly this is all went over my head and I don't really have a burning interest in the petty business deals which went on at some railway, but yes America had an electrified railway then like true degenerates de-electrified it because muh free market.
It was de-electrified because diesels make so much more sense on long distance networks. MILW failed because they were a shitty redundant railroad, not because of any conspiracy or free market nonsense.
Capital costs are big. Simply put, it's really fucking expensive to string up catenary everywhere. Cities (especially in the latter 20th century) would fight against it too because they considered it an eyesore and electrocution hazard. Right now, one of the busiest commuter lines in the US (Caltrain, in San Francisco) is electrifying and is being sued because they'll have to cut down a few trees for the wires to operate safely. Of course the plaintiffs in the case (a local city) have no chance of winning it but point is it's proof that people will fight it because they hate trains in general.
More importantly, power is an issue. Storms can knock out major parts of your system which means all your maintenance vehicles will have to be diesel. Electric power is another cost, and since the 60s railroads can't just build their own power plants to sell excess power onto the grid.
Meanwhile electro-motive diesel power was figured out by the 70s and just werked. You can even go dual mode with a third rail or catenary (like Amtrak does in NYC) if you install a shoe/pantograph. Diesel has been fairly cheap and is very cheap now as we have an oil glut. Only sustained, long-term increases in oil costs could justify electric over diesel.
That's not to say electrification shouldn't happen, but there's clear reasons why it didn't happen in the US.
Yes, but in the US all the railroads are more concerned with cost as they are all privately owned.
When it comes to pure reliability, diesel is easier to service and repair as there's plenty of diesel engines around, but as many big electric motors. Someone who works on diesel engines in cars or ships can be used for diesel trains. It's cheaper to fix things, plain and simple. It also means more units can be made at a lower cost. This increases part availability and lowers maintenance costs even more.
And again, power is an issue. RRs like having big dicks and don't like buying power from utilities and don't like playing politics with the few organizations in the US that are more powerful than them. It's easier to bargain with Chevron or Exxon and not PG&E, Edison, and their friends. They would normally just build their own plants and sell extra power to the grid, but federal law enacted in the 60s prohibits them from doing so.
Then you have the massive capital cost, which seals it all up.
Again, electrification is better than what we have now, but they won't spend the money to do it until diesel costs $10/gallon and stays there for at least three or four years. The reasons against it make complete sense from a money angle.
Another thing to consider: in most parts of the world, they rebuilt their railways following world war two. They rebuilt it as electric as due to postwar shortages, coal and oil were expensive.
In the US, that never occurred. Some RRs used steam into the early 60s. Diesel trains offered all the advantages of electric ones but without the capital cost. More importantly RRs were already used to buying coal, water and oil for steam engines so just buying Diesel was a massive improvement. There was never a need to electrify, especially when there was no centralized Marshall Plan money and a centralized government-owned railway forcing it.
Actually, Marshall Plan moneys were intended to aid Euro railways in dieselizing, thereby making European nations more dependent on (at the time) American oil exports and reducing the power of railway labor unions to disrupt operations. Electrification helped with reducing the labor needed on trains but wasn't pushed by America. That was mostly a European decision.
I can't speak for Europe but the UK did not do this. A lot of our main lines are still not electrified, and people keep pushing electrification over diesel. It's only now some of the northern passenger lines have been electrified. A lot of the plan has been scrapped just now because of a £2bn cut to Network Rail's budget. Most freight is diesel as yards aren't electrified and some major gaps exist.
Perhaps you are talking about Germany, it would made sense for them to have rebuilt their railways. The UK probably isn't so electrified because we don't rely on others for oil.
PTC involves throwing up some radio towers, adding boxes to some switches, and installing some computers and software.
Electrical overhead involves a crazy huge engineering project, limited utility of electric locomotives, and just huge levels of inefficiency for little practical gain.
>Electric locomotives have a better power:weight ratio than diesel-electric though
Immaterial in freight.
>They would be used nationwide if it weren't for the large capital cost of installing catenary.
The key to wide scale use of anything in modern railroading is one word: interchange.
If you cannot use it seamlessly across different networks you generally won't see it adopted. Electric locomotives mean you suddenly need to electrify yard tracks and industries. Expensive, impractical, and not providing any benefit to diesel.
this, all transactions should be done by exchanging pieces of gold metal, anything else is the devil
>Immaterial in freight.
better power:weight means less power (in kwh) is required to move a given amount of cargo
so, yes it applies directly to freight and it's the primary metric all the major RRs use when deciding which diesel-ELECTRIC locomotive to lease
>If you cannot use it seamlessly across different networks you generally won't see it adopted. Electric locomotives mean you suddenly need to electrify yard tracks and industries. Expensive, impractical, and not providing any benefit to diesel.
It's hardly "impractical" when every other country does it, it's just expensive. Which is why it's not done, despite being the superior method.
Also, quit being so hostile. There's no justification for it.
>so, yes it applies directly to freight and it's the primary metric all the major RRs use when deciding which diesel-ELECTRIC locomotive to lease
Not really. All 6 axle diesel electrics weigh roughly 200 tons and have 4,000 to 4,400 HP. They care more about cost, emissions, and reliability.
>It's hardly "impractical" when every other country does it, it's just expensive. Which is why it's not done, despite being the superior method.
What other nation has a fully electrified and highly utilized freight network that wasn't built on essentially slave labor?
>Quit being hostile.
I'm sorry if you equate me being knowledgeable and correct with hostility, but people suggesting electrification of the N. American railway networks generally have little to no understanding of operations and practices.
Just because the US dismantled its own extensive electrified freight systems 30+ years ago doesn't mean they weren't vastly superior to what replaced them. If railroads had been more forward thinking back then the amount of electrified track would probably be higher now than it was in the past.
>One railroad with one part had electrification ripped out
Electrification was popular before dieselization because it was preferable to steam engines in certain areas.
With the advent of diesel-electrics, overhead electric operations have very little advantage in freight service. Railroads want versatility in their power. They want to be able to run trains whenever they can. Electrification in remote areas just means more maintenance and more things that can stop your network with no operating benefits.
Note that I mention all of this in relation to freight operations. A light weight locomotive or EMU design is great for passenger service, but seeing as the vast majority of rail is exclusively used for freight, there's no reason for it.
>What other nation has a fully electrified and highly utilized freight network that wasn't built on essentially slave labor?
pretty much all of western europe
the point is that while there's a higher capital cost, electric locos offer greater efficiency
The fact that I have to explain to you how important the power:weight ratio is tells me that you're not very knowledgeable on the subject. In a pure technical sense, electric locos are better than diesel ones. However, they also require a large capital cost. Which is why they are not utilized, because no American RRs want to pay to electrify 1,500+ miles of track.
>They want to be able to run trains whenever they can.
And electrification of the *entire* system offers that. Especially in mountain areas, electrification is the better choice as the greater efficiency correlates to less locomotives needed to move cargo up and down steep grades. As an added bonus, RRs can also build massive tunnels that diesel engines would require specialized ventilation for. In urban areas too, the benefit is greater as you get quieter and cleaner locomotives capable of moving more cars (say, on a short line). However, the capital cost is greater so it is not done.
>better power:weight means less power (in kwh) is required to move a given amount of cargo
>so, yes it applies directly to freight and it's the primary metric all the major RRs use when deciding which diesel-ELECTRIC locomotive to lease
you seem to be confused. when railroads need a locomotive to pull more freight, they ballast it and make it heavier for better adhesion.
>what is a CW44AH, alex
Not highly utilized by any stretch, amigo. Europe trucks far more of their freight despite being roughly equal in size and population to the US.
>Still talking about power to weight with locomotives.
Dude, they really don't care. That's not a metric that is even considered when purchasing freight engines. They care about tractive effort, fuel efficiency, ease of maintenance, and reliability.
>quieter and cleaner locomotives capable of moving more cars
Railroads do not care about quiet nor clean. As long as they pass emissions standards that's all they care about
>And electrification of the *entire* system offers that.
Not practical at all. It really isn't. Then you start having engines that cannot be used on all of your network. Now you have lack of versatility and that's a huge wast as far as railroads are concerned.
Electrification will not make sense in railroading until fuel oil becomes entirely too expensive. But at that point they'll probably just be using natural gas.
>Railroads do not care about quiet nor clean.
Yes, but the cities they service do. For example, over a century ago NYC required all trains inside the city to be electric because they didn't want to deal with steam engine soot. Yes, RRs don't give a single shit about emissions but the cities they have to operate in do. This can be a significant problem if, say, a city like Portland or Oakland or LA decides to be really shitty about pollution. All three of these cities have large amounts of control, as they house the ports that the RRs make money from.
>Not practical at all. It really isn't.
It is though. Assuming one were to pay the capital cost of building the catenary in the first place. Right now, the metrics for this obviously do not work out as the price of oil is so low. However, if there was suddenly a massive spike in the cost of oil, or if it were to become artificially scarce (say, due to federal restrictions on fracking or oil imports) then it would be the only option for RRs, both regular ones and short lines.
>But at that point they'll probably just be using natural gas.
No, on the basis that converting an engine to NG costs much more money than converting a diesel engine to ethanol. The latter can be done much more cheaply than the former.
Again, my point is not that the RRs *should* electrify, my point is that electric locos offer greater efficiency than diesel-electric ones. However, they are also more expensive due to the catenary construction cost.
>Yes, but the cities they service do.
These days the railroads wouldn't listen and they'd do as they please. Railroads are regulated Federally and they are not inclined to listen to states anymore.
Railroads are not going to electrify anytime soon because even if the cost of oil were to increase they'd simply just add a fuel surcharge to shippers.
Less desirable. Redundancy is a big reason that railroads like using multiple engines. If one goes offline you still have 1 or 2 motors working. Steam locomotives could haul more than even modern diesels, but that didn't stop them from getting the ax.
Are you the grandson of William J. Quinn or something? Why are you so invested in hating well-researched, sourced facts? You never have any real argument except telling people to kill themselves and spouting unsourced rhetoric. The historical evidence has all been laid out for you, the fact you refuse to acknowledge it just proves you are a shitposter.
Just imagine if railroads had installed catenary simultaneous with the installation of telegraph pole lines. How much more of a cost would it be to add electric catenary in such a manner if a new line was being built from scratch?
The power grid was already pretty complete in the West by 1920, and even earlier. There was a real possibility that the Western Pacific Railroad's new mainline from Oakland to Salt Lake City could have been electrified back in 1907-1910 when it was being constructed, and SP was discussing whether or not to electrify Donner Pass at the same time. Certainly the necessary infrastructure had been developed by that time to allow for those possibilities.
They'd probably stop hauling passengers because they'd make a lot more by moving freight.
But probably wouldn't happen because a lot of light rail is narrow gauge shit but they also use rail profiles that aren't really suitable for freight.
not as cheap as a truck
even if you were to toll every freeway, you'd instead get UP putting a terminal inside every city and everyone would use box trucks for last mile stuff
also most old interurban/light rail lines are freight lines, see the NWP up in sonoma, CA
the simple logistics of it doesn't work out. Light rail werks because it operates quickly. Adding freight doesn't help. And it also complicates matters for shop owners, as they now have to stop the train in the middle of the street, and unload it to a truck or forklift right there. Even then, light rail track is built to handle aluminum passenger vehicles, not 100% steel and cast iron freight cars
,i dont get near tracks often.
, electric,, why, just why dont we have it ?
Our Elevated Light Rail is fully automated here in Vancouver. Theres never been a collision in its more than 30 year history. You do get the odd electrical glitch that shuts everything down though. but hey, sitting at the front is cool as hell
>have driverless Metro line where you can sit at the front and see outside
>it's all 100% underground
Some nerd tried to get some shots of the OP operation last month and this was the closest he got to a decent photo.
Merry Christmas to all the electric freight trains that ever lived and those who remember them.
Holy fuck, this thread is almost a year old. Lets keep it going, faggots.
US railroads are nearing their capacity - especially in the Rockies, where heavy intermodal traffic from China comes through to the east coast.
Extension of the capacity can be done via double tracking, where possible - which costs major $, or by increasing speed of the trains, or their length.
- Unless uncle sam pays the bill, extension of capacity, especially all those long tunnels is not going to happen.
- Length cannot be easily increased. AFAIR UP tried 300+ car trains, but abandoned the concept - even with DP 300 car trains are cumbersome to handle
- speed cannot be increased without increasing power of the train - but to increase power in DE train, you need to throw there a few more $2M locomotives at the problem. Railroads have done so already.
The fun part of mountain railroading is that while doubling power will halve the trip time on ascent, the fuel cost and physical plant wear will be marginally higher - it is so, because lifting 10000 tons of stuff 2000 feet costs the same amount of energy, regardless of how fast it was done. The even funnier part is that with modern electronics you can do regenerative braking and have neglible fuel costs.
Consider also, that you can, for example, push upwards of ~50 trains per day through the likes of Moffat Tunnel - possibly less if you consider mixed up/down traffic - the constraint being the ventilation. Cut down the fumes, and that gets upped significantly.
Consider all of these, and it becomes apparent, that electrifying the most torturous mountain routes is inevitable. Top of the line diesels are ~1000hp per driven axle, while top of the line electrics can go twice that, possibly more if necessary.
It is a matter of time and diesel fuel costs at this time. So far fuel is cheap, but that will invariably change. However, if the current traffic trends continue, wires will be strung out.
Pic related - modern 6 axle freight locomotive
Helper units are cheaper and more versatile than DP. Add 3 manned big jacks to the end of the train, push it up the the hill, uncouple, and go do it again.
Fumes aren't a major concern in these tunnels either.
Diesel is so much more versatile that you really won't see any major electrification in your lifetime. They'll start messing with LNG again once diesel gets expensive. Railroads will also continuously tack on fuel surcharges to shippers.
>- Unless uncle sam pays the bill, extension of capacity, especially all those long tunnels is not going to happen.
So the railroads are privately owned & operated, but the infrastructure costs are expected to be paid by the government? The USA is weird.
Extra 600 tons of dead weight to a train? Stop and then start the train for coupling and decoupling helpers? Extra staff that needs to be shipped to and from helper site? The more engines you add, the more issues you are going to get with fumes.
The locomotives alone, for one lash of helpers, add up to ~6 million. Extra staff ( ~4-5 engineers ) for each lash is another 500k/year. You need 3-4 sets - possibly more. So total of ~20 million for meager capacity increase
Spend 10 times so and get double capacity - especially around 100 million/mile tunnels.
I am not denying that diesels are universal. But universal also implies not tailored for specific tasks. For mountain railroading electrics are clearly superior - even from financial POV over a longer ( 10 or so years ) period.
Doesn't take but a minute to add some helpers and detach them.
Have the conductor count the train down, line a switch, unhook the air from the eot, couple up, cut in the trainline, and you're on your way.
Really simple procedure that is a lot cheaper than installing and maintaining catenary.
>and maintaining catenary.
Especially in the Rockies. I dread to think how much of a pain in the ass it would be to maintain the associated infrastructure during a cold winter in some of the more remote areas of the Rockies.
No. The railroads are unable to raise the necessary capital to build 100million/mile tunnel and/or getting double/triple track to its mouth.
So - either govt pays for this, or railroads need to get the extra capacity with smart investing.
USA is weird - is it not :^)
The old cascade tunnel was/was supposed to ( didn't follow the story ) because BNSF required the extra capacity, but could not bore another 16 miles of rock to get it.
But maintaining trackage is perfectly viable? Catenary really isn't _that_ difficult. Milw was running wooden post, variabl tension catenary for decades. Yet we cannot run modern one? It's the current year ffs :)
I'm not sure what the cost has to do with this? Either the railroads understand how much it costs for them to build and maintain their infrastructure, which is a direct cost of doing business, or they do not. If they don't, then either they are stupid or their business is financially unviable (their business would cost more to run than they can make charge).
You completely missed my point. Installing and maintaining catenary requires loads more infrastructure than tracks themselves since countless substations would need to be constructed and maintained along routes that have more forests than villages along their alignments. Tracks installation and maintenance doesn't require nearly as much infrastructure.
Oh fuck not you again.
Here's a ~14km long tunnel (there's also another ~2km tunnel that was built as part of the same project) built in the Rockies between 1984 and 1988 :
Here's a ~2km long tunnel that croses the St. Clair river :
You asked for examples of major tunnel projects and I gave you examples of notable rail projects. Railroads aren't constantly replacing 5+km long tunnels and bridges and they spend most of their capital on smaller projects.
>with some backing from the canadian govnt.
Bullshit. Both tunnels were financed fully by the railroads themselves. Just because CN was still a crown corp when the St. Clair tunnel was rebuilt doesn't mean it automatically got government backing. Hell, CN was transferring their profits to the Canadian government in its last years as a private entity.
Here's another tunnel that fits your arbitrary criteria:
I asked for 5+ mile tunnels. Considering the context ( the US ) you provided 0. But I'll give you 1 because canada is kinda/sorta US.
So - 1 tunnel in 70 odd years? How much did traffic increase since 1950? 4 fold?
In the meantime rrs do whatever they can to move freight away from mountains. UP is spending billions in sunset route because it is fairly flat.
Ok. I'll give you that. In the article I read there was a hint of demands from the CN to get some sort of government assistance/reimbursement.
Channel tunnel was pushed heavily by french government and is balls deep in debt. Once it crashes ( and it will crash ) then both french and british will get it and pay it off.
No. Milw electrification was doomed. At 3kV DC there is a hard limit of how much power you can get from it - about 6MW is the top and MILW system could not provide as much. If MILW was well managed, it would either drop the wires as tonnage of trains went up, or they would need to switch to 25kV 50Hz AC - as that allows to go as far as 15-20MW.
It makes no sense to have electrification when you have 1 electric loco and 3 diesels on tow.
>I asked for 5+ mile tunnels. Considering the context ( the US ) you provided 0. But I'll give you 1 because canada is kinda/sorta US.
>adding more arbitrary criterias
Fuck off you cunt. The Canadian and American rail networks are one and the same.
>So - 1 tunnel in 70 odd years?
>a few examples = literally the only tunnels built in the last 70 years.
There were more of them and you damn well know it.
>How much did traffic increase since 1950? 4 fold?
>he has no data
>so he just pulls numbers out of his ass
You even contradict yourself by pointing out that Class 1s are spending *billions* on infrastructure upgrades. They have more than enough capital to upgrade corridors that become saturated. They haven't pierced a tunnel under the Rockies because there's no need for such a thing. The northern end of the west coast does not have ports that rivals the one in LA so there's no need for some outlandish new piece of infrastructure.
>Channel tunnel was pushed heavily by french government and is balls deep in debt. Once it crashes ( and it will crash ) then both french and british will get it and pay it off.
>no source backing any of this
Oh yay more bullshit. There's no indication Eurotunnel will go bust. Hell, they even seem to be doing pretty well:
Why does pic related trigger some people on this board so much? Is it the fact that you can't refute that it was objectively one of the most successful electrified routes in world history? Or is it due to the smug satisfaction of these declarations that comes from being completely right? Or is it because you refuse to believe that corporate leaders can engage in criminal conspiracies? Because the documents prove that the Milwaukee Road was de-electrified and destroyed by its own ex-BN leadership, who were actually working in the interests of BN the whole time to shut down competition and get out of having to fulfill the provisions of the BN's 1970 merger agreement.
>The Canadian and American rail networks are one and the same.
That is why I conceded to you, you silly goose.
> There were more of them and you damn well know it.
No. I actually don't know. If I did I would not make the original statement.
> You even contradict yourself by pointing out that Class 1s are spending *billions* on infrastructure upgrades.
Over the course of 10 or so years. But you know what. I glanced at the finances of UP, and yes. Thechnically they could get a bank to back up a construction of a major tunnel. Shareholders might not like that, but fuck'em.
However, it still would be an order of magnitude cheaper to goddamn electrify the route and bump the speed on it. Which was my original point.
And you don't really get it, do you? Since the 1950 the amount of traffic on US railroads went from 600 billion ton miles to ~1600 billion ton miles. At the same time mileage track went down from 225000 to 100000, so approximately US railroads managed carry 5 times the freight per mile of track. Which is impressive on its own.
I hope you can see how this might mean a slight capacity problem looming on the horizon.
> Oh yay more bullshit.
Eurotunnell is in this odd position, that it can somewhat sustain its existance, but one major breakdown of the tunnels might kill them. Just because they made, after 20 years, 20m annual profit does not make them a cash cow in any sense.
>of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been'
>if a pc messes up a pax train some people die
That actually happened.
Given much of Russia and places like Italy and Spain are 3kV, I as an electric person don't see a significant limit on that voltage.
It's more what your substations are rated for and how large distance they are from each other. Now, these decisions were made in early 1900s when train weights were much smaller, so your argument does stand. They would have needed a complete system overhaul, which wasn't happening.
Electric engineer here :) with specialization in solid state power electronics.
There is a limit of how many amps you can run through 3kV line. It is softish, but nonetheless exists. 6MW locomotive can pull up to ~2kA through the pantograph contact. These are currents that in all other applications are carried with solid bar copper carriers ( sorry, english is second language, I don't know the proper term - I think busbar is the term). The only reason why that works on the railroads is very favorable cooling.
However, the slower the locomotive runs, the more of an issue it becomes. It is also the reason why 3kV system requires frequent (albeit less powerful) substations and why many multisystem locomotives have lower power rating on 3kV system.
If you take a look at all the photos the MILW autist shows, you will see that in most cases there is one electric and 2-3 diesels on tow. On actual 3kV systems, in rare cases when multiheading is used, the practice is to forbid running at full power.
Meanwhile in 1500v land
>laugh as you draw 4000 amps at full notch and it starts to cause issues for other users on the line
>laugh as you exert illegally strong stray magnetic fields and get retired during testing
If I knew the wire gauge, I would have calculated an estimation where these soft limits are, but I couldn't find what they use in 3kV land. Trans tend to use 120 Cu and substations every 2 kilometers, so with center fed system it would be a substation about every 4 km.
I though the diesels were there simply because MILW had started to phase out its 1900s era electric locomotives.
It was not possible to MU more than 2 Little Joes together and also more than two Joes running together on one train would exceed the capacity of the substations (they weren't forbidden from running at full power). Also there simply weren't enough Little Joes to handle all the traffic in 1971-1973, which meant that 1 Joe on the head of each train became more common. Lack of electric locomotives was more of an issue than inadequacy of the locomotives they had.
>Voltage on the Milw was raised by Wylie from 3000 to 3400. While there was some voltage sag between substations, substations were closer together where the line had grades. Diesels were not added because of inadequacies in electrical power distribution.
>The main reason for the development and application of the Wylie throttles was to permit mixed electric and diesel power consists. There was more tonnage than the Joes could handle by themselves, and the Box Motors were slower than diesels, Joe/diesels or a Double Joe powered train. Three diesels provided adequate power for a transcon train over the level, non-electrified districts; adding a Joe over the RM Division worked out perfectly to raise the HPT where it was needed without dragging an extra unit across the level districts. (A fourth diesel was added to WB trains at Othello, as there were not enough Joes to run both the Coast and the RM Divisions.)
>The engineer could decide how much diesel power to apply. He could interlock the throttles so the Joes and diesels were in corresponding throttle notches, or he could disconnect them and work the throttles independently, adding just enough diesel power as was required (common).
>It was common for a downhill train on Pipestone or in the Bitterroots to use both regeneration and dynamics as well as a modest set of air. Especially trains powered by a single Joe and diesels.
Contact wire for the Polish (oh hai) 3000V DC system is 120mm^2 or 150mm^2. There are usually two wires on main tracks and a single wire on branches.
The limit is more on the side of the slider/wire. You'd need extra wide slider to accomodate the current. Contemporary locomotives use graphite sliders, which are already extra wide, so there isn't much to do more. Even now operating manuals for polish electrics require usage of two pantographs during a hard start. And those are for a meager 3MW locos.
I guess a third option would be to use triple running wires, but that starts to look like a need to string triple layer of catenary over a single section of road.
Neither way is economical in any sense.
Anyhow - regardless how you slice it, 3kV system has limits.
Poland, as you can already expect.
Dual joes were approximately 8MW. That would impress any 3kV system in existence. Triple Joes would be 12MW, which is above any 3kV system in existance. If MILW wanted to move more tonnage, they had to MU joes with diesels. It made sense tho to use most of the electrics, so the dual control scheme seems sensible.
I knew they had some pretty hardcore 3kV locos - like a dual section 9MW dual section one. It would be intresting to see what sort of provisions they took to make this monster work at full power.
Voltage drops with this one at full power must be insane. Unless it is just "fuck it, 7kA time nao"
You can already see it rides with two pantographs up. Possibly with all four up if it pulls a heavy train uphill.
Thanks to all the fucking retarded redditors for killing a thread that easily had another 3 months in it because MUH EPIC 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY KEK. FUCK YOU ITS NOT EVEN JANUARY 30TH YET.
Why does everything you touch have to turn to shit? Why do you ruin everything for nothing?
When I started this thread I had no idea it would still be active over a year later. Overall I'd say (aside from the last 24 hours) that it was a good thread with some good discussions and some great resources and information posted.
Thanks to all who positively contributed and I hope even the shitposters learned a thing or two when they stopped by.
Also, if you want to know more about mainline electrified railroad operations in America you should read "When the Steam Railroads Electrified" by William D. Middleton. And check out http://milwaukeeroadarchives.com/Electrification/Electrification.htm
Yes, why do I think I told you to kill yourself? You autistically shitpost spammed a year old thread to kill it and then spam bumped every other thread with shitposts to kill this one faster. If the mods actually did their jobs you would be banned. You should ban yourself IRL permanently. I've never seen anyone more pathetic.