Let's have a thread dedicated to electric freight in the U.S. and Canada (hard mode: no interurbans)
Please, no discussion of the Milwaukee Road's dieselization or the politics involved. Feel free to discuss the western portion of the railroad itself, though.
>Let's have a thread dedicated to electric freight in the U.S. and Canada (hard mode: no interurbans)
>but also abitrarily eliminate any discussion of one of the most successful and longest electric freight operations in the United States
The Virginian Railway ran electric freight over their trackage in the Appalachian Mountains. The electrification was completed in 1925...
...and dieselized in 1962, three years after purchase by the Norfolk and Western Railway.
The N&W had their own electrified route from 1913 to 1950.
Everyone always talks about the Milwaukee Road, but they weren't the only railroad with electric locomotives through the Cascades. Great Northern also operated a 73-mile electrified portion of their line in the vicinity of the Cascade Tunnel.
1956, after the Cascade Tunnel received improved ventilation for diesel-electrics to pass through it.
Here's a few rare color photos.
Do you realize how slow this board is? I noticed the post numbers, opened another tab to monitor the catalog, and waited less than 10 minutes. No scripting required, just a little autism.
Stay mad, always.
I'm not the one constantly stalking posts I dislike and angrily responding to them while claiming the other party is mad.
Here's an image just for you. Don't get too mad now, it's on topic for this thread :^).
I don't mind the trains,I think it's cool the had wires running out there with freight. But I run into you in train threads here and there with you bitching about it. I don't follow tit around, I run in to you. And I'm not the only one.
They were meant to pull large freight and passenger trains entirely by themselves through the electrified portions, eliminating the need for diesel or electric helpers.
From Middleton's "When the Steam Railroads Electrified":
>Two W-1-class locomotives were built by General Electric's Erie (Pa.) plant and were delivered to GN early in 1947. The W-1's extended 101 feet between couplers, weighed 360 tons, and possessed a continuous rating of 5000 h.p. Billed as the most powerful single-unit electrics in the world, they readily qualified as "the Big Boys of North American electrification." Capable of a starting tractive effort of 180,000 pounds, a W-1 could outpull any two 4-8-4's and could exceed the pulling power of even a Union Pacific "Big Boy" by one third.
>In passenger service they were good for a top speed of 65 mph. In freight service they could pull a 2000-ton train up the line's 2.2 percent ruling grade without a helper, and their great regenerative braking capacity permitted downgrade operation of tonnage trains without the use of train air brakes.
>Are all the wheels powered?
>The big locomotives were equipped with a pair of cast-steel main frames connected by a pin at the center of the locomotive. Each frame carried four pairs of driving wheels and a four-wheel guiding truck. In a departure from most previous electric-locomotive designs, every axle on the W-1's was powered, giving the locomotives a B-D+D-B wheel arrangement. A dozen nose-suspended GE-746 series-wound D.C. traction motors, one for each axle, were geared to the 42-inch drivers.
This video has some sweet footage from the cab of a BC Rail GF6C while the Tumbler Ridge line was in operation.
How about some electric railroad "what if" fantasy paint schemes on EMD AEM-7s.
Here's a non-MILW Little Joe.
Maybe? They look pretty red here though in this 1984 shot from Brazil.
Another South Shore Little Joe.
RC trains for a coal operation using the only two E50s ever built
Black Mesa and lake Powel railroad, utah. I never heard of it until I saw it
A lot of it has to do with how remote and not well known most of them are. Especially in the period before the internet a lot of railfans simply didn't know about them unless there were articles about them in Trains magazine or something.
But yeah it's surprising how little photos have surfaced even on TO.
In the United States there are at least 3 active coal railroads utilizing electric power in their operations:
-Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad in Arizona
-Navajo Mine Railroad in New Mexico
-Deseret Power Railway in Utah and Colorado
All of the above use GE E60s in their operations.
Apparently during the 1970s oil crises, several railroads (though I'm not sure which ones exactly) considered electrification of freight operations to prevent being affected by future crises. Unfortunately, this never came to pass.
However, in anticipation of this, GM-EMD produced two models of electric freight engines in the hopes of attracting a buyer.
The first is the EMD GM6C, which is internally quite similar (if not identical) to the BC Rail locomotives in OP's picture. A lone demonstrator was built, and apparently saw limited service with Penn Central/Conrail. Unfortunately, it was scrapped.
This is the four-axle variation, the EMD GM10B. It too apparently saw limited service with those roads before its eventual return to EMD and subsequent scrapping.
Unfortunately, these were both designed at a time when railroad equipment, automobiles and design in general started to become increasingly ugly. I do think they have a sort of charm to them, though. Almost like a mutated GP30.
Here's some photographic evidence that the GM6C did see at least some freight service with PC/Conrail.
They were apparently leased to PC (and later Conrail), but given back to EMD when they de-electrified in 1982 (some sort of business regarding interference with Amtrak).
I'd wager that the future of their electric freight operations were somewhat uncertain, so they didn't want to risk a major investment like that. Especially since PC was dead-broke, and Conrail was formed, IIRC, to make Penn Central turn a profit.
Fun fact: Southern Pacific gained control of the Muskingum Electric sometime in the 1960s and used the route as a test bed for electric service. During the 1970s SP was looking into electrifying Donner Pass and Beaumont Hill service, but unfortunately the return of low diesel prices killed those ideas.
So my fellow PPD-/n/OS-ers, what can we do to engineer a major oil crisis in North America?
Sadly, nowadays a major oil crisis would probably simply drastically reduce rail traffic and railroads would be so capital starved (along with every other industry) that they probably wouldn't even think to electrify or improve infrastructure, instead choosing to eliminate their less efficient diesel locomotives and consolidate freight traffic into fewer trains.
Or, it could be that a major oil crisis eliminates long-haul trucking and everything now becomes shipped by rail, in which case there would be incentives to modernize infrastructure, expand service, and electrify. That is probably very unlikely though.
>you will never sit on a bench outside a small depot in rural Idaho feeding fish in a fish pond while watching Little Joes pass by
Seek help. Seriously.
You're basically just a shitposter at this point.
Trains are still one of the most efficient ways to transport goods (outside of boats) even when they're powered by diesel locomotives so there would need to be a pretty drastic and sudden jolt in the price of oil.
When was the last time you posted something on topic? I've been on-topic posting info and images relevant to this thread, meanwhile all you've done is autistically attack my posts while adding nothing of value.
Also, I'm pretty sure you don't know what "spammer" means, since I haven't been posting duplicate photos (posting multiple different images of the same type of locomotive in different settings doesn't count as spamming unless you are retarded) in places that aren't relevant to the topic being discussed.
Pretty sure the only person with a problem in this thread at this point is you, so fuck off or stop shitposting and start contributing to the thread.
In 1957, Butte, Anaconda, and Pacific, a copper mine railroad that electrified operations in 1913, received two new locomotives from General Electric, each weighing 125 tons. These GE 125Ts ran until the end of electric freight hauling in 1967.
These may have been the only two of this type of locomotive that were produced, and I'm not sure what happened to them after 1967.
Found this GE staged shot with one of their trains and a MILW train
(The line without any trains is NP.)
>-Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad in Arizona
I got to tour the Black Mesa mining site and also the Navajo Generating Station at Lake Powell. Pretty fucking awesome.
Pic related is the terminus of the 17-miles of conveyor feeding coal from the mine into a silo that then fills the cars.
I don't have many, both sites were both strictly no-photography. These shots were along a ridge that takes you to the mine site. Pic is wider angle of the same valley.
They're open. They have these massive electrically-powered earth movers that scoop away the topsoil so the layers of coal are exposed. The scoops are huge, maybe 12-15' across. We were able to take a whole class picture of about 24 of us standing in one.
Here's a zoomed-in shot of the silo and the cars being loaded. Sadly it's the last photo I have worth showing of this operation.
Here is the NGS where you can see the coal deposit point and the train loop and yard.
>'The Money Wrench Gang"
Monkey Wrench, rather.
I was taking a class at ASU called Energy and the Environment and we had a three-day field trip to Northern AZ. Got to see all kinds of stuff. My degree was PoliSci but I really liked the professor and the subject. I actually work in the airline industry which is why I lurk /n/...
Huh, neat. Thanks again for sharing this information anon.
I have two questions in relation to the site, how many people do they have working on mines of that size and why do they prohibit photography? Its just a coal mine, what are they trying to hide?
No problem. I'm not sure how many people work at Black Mesa. Peabody Western is who does the mining there. My guess would be a few hundred, mostly equipment operators, machinists and mechanics. Probably more in the summer when the energy demand at the NGS is higher (thanks to the Phoenix Metro area's vast requirements for power and water). PW is obligated to have a certain % of their workforce be native since it's on reservation land, it might be as high as 80%.
The photo issue - which I was told didn't really used to be an issue - comes down to I think security and optics. They take an "over-abundance of caution" approach to it. Specifically the book I mentioned details environmental activists sabotaging equipment at Black Mesa and they may fear copycats. Generally, I think it's the possibility of sites essential to energy generation becoming terrorist targets...they don't want to take chances. Also energy companies are very protective of their public image and don't want photos of so many acres of pristine plateauland being raped by their giant electrical machines getting out and around. They'd rather people not see the real costs of cheap water and cheap energy.
Not that guy (would be interested in his answer though) but I would guess they prohibit photography for security and to minimize negative publicity - read The Monkey Wrench Gang and you'll understand (you should read Desert Solitaire first though, imho).
Bump with some more South Shore action.
>The North Shore had two huge articulated B-B+B-B units homebuilt by the Oregon Electric in 1940 and 1941 and acquired by the North Shore in 1947. The 458 (Oregon Electric 50) had a big boxcab carbody with tiny steeple cab noses at each end, while the 459 (OE 51) had a center cab and long hoods at either end. In spite of their drastically different appearances, both units were essentially the same mechanically. (lifted from "North Shore Line: 25 Years Gone" by Jim Boyd in Railfan & Railroad Classics - January 1988)
CSS&SB straddles the line between interurban and regular electric railroad, tbh.
It was pretty similar to the adjacent Illinois Central electric, which isn't usually considered an interurban.
Bump with some Texas Transportation Co. from 1983.
And here's a few from Kennecott Copper's Bingham Pit operations in Utah.
Electric locomotives were discontinued by the early 1980s and all rail operations in the pit ceased by the 1990s, with ore now transported by trucks and conveyors from the pit to the mill.
Most of the company's 61 85-ton electric locomotives operated from 1927 to 1983, a service life of over 50 years.
KCC 700, along with two 125-ton electric locomotives were donated to the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista in 1984 after they were retired. During my visit there in 2006 I photographed all 3 locomotives, but I'm not sure if they are still displayed in a public area today.
Pic related, KCC 700, an 85-ton electric.
Here's KCC 407, a GE 125-ton electric built in 1947 and retired from active service in 1978.
And finally, GE 125-ton KCC 771, built in 1955 and retired in 1983.
If you are fan of electric traction, you definitely need to visit the WRM.
The Caterpillar 797 costs $5 million per unit and has an estimated service life of 25 years, so half that of an 85 ton electric locomotive. I'm guessing the locomotives probably cost much less when purchased, even adjusting for inflation.
Depends what you're comparing. Many trains are tossed before their service life ends because newer units come along using more efficient engines, materials etc. Many trains being used today were built in the 1970s and 80s, giving them about 30-40 years working so far. 50 years is pretty average for large industrial equipment.
I hope you are right, but even SD40-2s and SD45s are becoming rare on mainline, non-local/branch service. I will always prefer the classic EMDs to the most recent generation of GE garbage and gensets.
Although 70+ year old EMD and ALCO switchers are still working industrial yards so that's a good sign.
Forgot the pic.
>-Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad in Arizona
heyyy i seen that before
to the best of my knowledge even though progress rail bought it, iowa traction railroad is still operating
The Iowa Transfer Railway was formed in 1907 and was co-owned by the CB&Q, CGW, RI, Des Moines Union, Des Moines Western (Owned by the Fort Dodge, Des Moines, & Southern interurban), CNW, & M&StL and had one electric locomotive, which was in use from 1920-1932, and again from 1936-1950.
The first electrinc tram in Berlin was powered like that.
>Each car was originally equipped with a 180 Volt DC 4 kW electric motor, the current supplied via the running rails in a manner similar to that used by most present-day model railways. Therefore the metre gauge tracks were generally separated from driveways and trespassing was prohibited.
There doesn't exist an insulator that could withstand the weight of the train. Also the would exist problems to mount the rails well enough to the insulator even if such material existed.
That said, few historical streetcar systems have used something called conduit current collection, where the powerlines were hidden in a chennel buried between the rails, accessed through slot between them.
Also a very few systems used a system of electrified studs and a skate under the tramcar. Each stud had a magnetic switch to activate only when the tram (with magnet) was above it.
Modern incarnations of the stud-system still exist.
This is why I come back to /n/ for a break from all the hatred.
New Haven E33s, originally Virginian, later Penn Central and Conrail.
>americans putting electromotors in diesel trains
>look guise we modern
pic related is more like it.
>How's it going with no overhead wires?
That model comes with an auxiliary diesel for last mile movement.
No use changing that, they are strong enough for the train lenghts that make sense on such a dense network. Can't wait a week for enough cars clog up to make giant trains.
Switching locomotive have fully automatic couplings for these btw, so that isn't a problem either. And most passenger trains use scharfenberg-couplings anyways.
The mainline network in the US isn't exactly dense and cities tend to be big, so getting traffic on one line isn't that hard. Over here, mid-sized towns with companies are everywhere. Railway lines are close together and distances between railyards are short. For a two mile train we'd have to wait weeks on some lines. No point in doing that, people want their stuff to arrive quickly. So it's usually more but smaller (and faster) trains, with a few lines actually running a high amount of longer trains (800m, typically), where it makes sense. Those branch out into different directions though.
A select few freight trains are equipped with stronger central couplings. Typically ore-trains to (sweden) or from (germany) ports to mines/ iron works.
> For a two mile train we'd have to wait weeks on some lines.
No, I'm saying that our industries ship out enough cars to run trains that large. One of the locals here usually brings in about 50-60 out bound cars a night. And that's just servicing two industries. You'll have 3 scheduled trains leaving a day with over 85 cars to either be interchanged or sent further along the network.
Buisness around here doesn't usually get such large amounts of cars, big industrial premises aside. Some sidings aren't even built to handle more than ten cars on the line I take regularly (which has a lot fo traffic), while others do make quite a few more. These are moved (by various different companies) either directly to the customers, or to local hubs for further distribution.
immigrating to Canada is easy, all you need is a BA as well as fluentcy in English or French
however, at that point you're better off taking a better paying job especially when Canada is entering a rescession
no because for as much as liberals shittalk the US they 1) don't have the balls to actually move and 2) the US is by far a better country than Canada if only because our entire economy isn't based on lumber and oil exports
More like 1910s technology, to be accurate.
>3,000 VDC and resistor bank controls.
I wonder if they even ever upgraded to mercury arc rectifiers, or did they use rotary converters to the end? (That said, nothing too wrong with them, really: long lived, not very maintenance hungry, just need it regularly, very good efficiency too, specially with the bigger units, just that mercury arc was even better.)
So, in this modern day and age, do you think electrified freight can make a comeback? It seems to me the biggest hurdle is simply the maintenance of the overhead itself. Has anything happened in the past 50-60 years to make that easier?
It'll make a comeback eventually. The fact is, the price of oil isn't going to stay low while the human population will only increase. More demand for oil means a higher oil price. The thing is, freight companies can simply charge a fuel surcharge so they can cover most fuel cost increases. It's only when the oil supply because ridiculously overpriced or restricted will they seriously look at electrification. It wouldn't be a small task either, most likely you'd have all the freight RRs lobbying the feds for "financial assistance" (even though none of them would really need it).
Alternatively if you fancy yourself the paranoid type increasing EPA emissions regulations will force it. Caterpillar (who owns EMD) already had this problem with their commercial truck engines in the 90s. Alternatively to that, if you fancy yourself the filthy socialist type the feds could just mandate it at some point assuming a liberal enough Congress pushed it.
It'll take a long time though.
Sacramento northern railroad
1918 - 1980 probably one of the most iconic yet forgotten railways in the us. Back i the day when the sf bay bridge had a lower part for trains. S.N.R.W. was a 185 mile railroad from sacramento to sf it ran through the country and and its all but abandoned lines now with a stretch for the museum
>people have to discuss the train topics I say are fine to discuss
It's incredibly ironic how as the rest of the world welcomes electrification the US thought they were being modern by going for diesel instead.
Electricity is more efficient and means you don't have to spew dirty diesel fumes along the railway.
Would you rather have a coal power station in the middle of nowhere or have diesel fumes released along vast distances and through populated areas? Coal is incredibly efficient for electricity. Also nuclear is used too, I don't know about the percentages in the US though.
Coal is relatively good in terms of emissions if the plant is modern. Certainly better than individual internal combustion engines on every shitty little vehicle in the universe.
The coal industry exaggerates this though, there are still a lot of shitty old ass coal plants all over the place polluting their immediate surroundings, and also you basically have to turn entire states into scarred moonscapes for practical purposes.
There's no perfect solution, but at the same time no energy source has a monopoly on side effects.
Let's not oversimplify, people.
I'd actually rather have nuclear over coal. But if coal is to be used the nice thing is that at least you have one more efficient plant than a bunch of little ones on trains.
But still, you can't do what China plants are doing.
We'll use a different fuel like natural gas. Stop being such a retard. There's a good competitive reason to not let railroads sell utilities.
Most railroads already operate as de facto monopolies. You don't need to let them operate as another.
They can do that no problem; nothing is stopping them.
However, if you want to make it worth tour while you'll want to sell off the excess energy and make good use of your investment. This is, however, forbidden in the USA.
It will be lobbied away though if the railways really had an incentive to switch to electrics.
That said, it's not that common globally that railways would produce majority of their electricity on their own, I wonder why?
Utility companies, I wouldn't say, but the power grid yes. The nations have no incentive to have a monopoly on electric power as all that is truly needed for control is the grid.
What electricity productions the states own tends to be water power, because that has high initial investment and problems with land acquisition, but it is ludicrously cheap in market where coal fired power plants determine the the price of electricity.
Aren't you supposed to run with the rear pantograph in relation to direction up instead of the forward one in case of failure? For example: it collapses and damages the other one and you have a useless locomotive that can't get power.