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Terry Yager
April 27th, 2008, 02:47 PM
So did anyone besides myself catch the TV spot in which CSX (RailRoad?) claims that they can move a ton of freight 430 miles on a single gallon of fuel? If that's the case, what are all the automobile manufacturers getting wrong? Mebbe CSX should begin building cars...

--T

bbcmicro
April 27th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Maybe once it gets going, inertia means it doesn't need much more energy to keep it going.

Maybe it's downhill

Maybe someone's been telling pork pies.

Third option most probable :P

Sharkonwheels
April 27th, 2008, 04:02 PM
No...seen it...heard it....hard to believe, unless it's some crazy hidden spec, ie, something else is missing...

Saw that on History Channel, and they said something about 200mpg on diesel for trains, and 50+ for a truck! Um, big ol' diesel rigs would be lucky if you move the decimal to the left, and get 5mpg! heck, and F250 would be lucky to squeeze 18-20mpg - 50?

I'd like to know what EXACTLY they are referring to...


T

mbbrutman
April 27th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Makes perfect sense to me:


Less rolling resistance - steel wheels on steel rails
No idling at stop signs and lights, rarely stop and have to accelerate again
Big diesel motors generating electricity to turn efficient motors at the wheels
Tracks laid out to minimize upward and downward slopes

Terry Yager
April 27th, 2008, 05:45 PM
Makes perfect sense to me:


Big diesel motors generating electricity to turn efficient motors at the wheels


Ahh, that must be the key...I didn't realize they were electrically propelled.

--T

Sharkonwheels
April 27th, 2008, 07:47 PM
I dunno....the numbers just don't make sense...

T - yes, Dieselectric it's called - cruise ships have been using them for about a decade or mebbe a little more...

Check out some diesel generators, and you'll see what I mean...
Figure, 430 miles, average of 60mph would be around 7 hours....

that's just not possible...Mebbe downhill, with a 70mph tailwind, and about 2 dozen masts with sails on them....

Here's a link to a 10HP diesel generator at Home Depot:
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100350863

5500W, 15Hrs on 8 gallons, at 1/2 load (roughly 3000W)


Now, if they start with a fully charged system, burn up a gallon, then turn it off and kill that batteries, MAYBE I'll begin to believe it...but that would be a total scam, because the batteries would be dead after xx hours/miles.

T

Plasma
April 27th, 2008, 09:01 PM
This is not hard to believe at all. I think you are overlooking the fact that this is "ton miles per gallon", not "train miles per gallon". A freight train can pull thousands of tons, sometimes tens of thousands. A train pulling 430 tons only needs to get 1 mpg to achieve 430 ton miles per gallon.

Terry Yager
April 27th, 2008, 09:11 PM
This is not hard to believe at all. I think you are overlooking the fact that this is "ton miles per gallon", not "train miles per gallon". A freight train can pull thousands of tons, sometimes tens of thousands. A train pulling 430 tons only needs to get 1 mpg to achieve 430 ton miles per gallon.

Ahh, kewl. A three dimensional POV. Kinda like man/hours per week, etc. I get it! (Wonder why they don't say that in the commercial).

--T

CP/M User
April 27th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Was that a Single "US Gallon" of Fuel? LOL!! :-D

The "automobile" manufacturers wanna make some extra doe! :-x

Honestly humans suck up to money like a bird would to a piece of bread - humans are so ignorant!

CP/M User.

mbbrutman
April 27th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Somehow, I fail to see the similarities between a 10hp diesel generator at Home Depot and a diesel locomotive.

Terry Yager
April 27th, 2008, 10:37 PM
Somehow, I fail to see the similarities between a 10hp diesel generator at Home Depot and a diesel locomotive.

But if it actually runs on electricity, wouldn't it be considered a hybrid rather than straight-natural diesel? (That's the part that hung me up, but a hybrid sytem makes much more sense).

--T

Vlad
April 27th, 2008, 10:51 PM
One of the most popular freight trains is the GE Dash 9-44-CW. That sports a turbo charged V16 at 4,400 hp or 3,300 kW with fuel tank capacity of 5,000 US Gallons. It weighs roughly 197 tons so I'd compare it more to a small power turbine or industrial gen set than consumer generator.

Vlad
April 27th, 2008, 10:54 PM
Terry, the large diesel engine of a locomotive just generates electricity for things called traction motors. The electric traction motors are what drive the wheels. It is a hybrid type system hence the term Diesel-Electric.

chuckcmagee
April 27th, 2008, 11:03 PM
An aside, I just happened to be chatting with a truck driver at my local country store as he was paying his $455.80 fuel bill. He said "normal" was about 6 mpg.

Oh, and that was one day's worth of driving.

Terry Yager
April 27th, 2008, 11:05 PM
Yes, I'm very familiar with traction motors, I've rebuilt enough of 'em, electric, hydraulic & pneumatic (old-skool carny trash).

--T

Terry Yager
April 27th, 2008, 11:16 PM
An aside, I just happened to be chatting with a truck driver at my local country store as he was paying his $455.80 fuel bill. He said "normal" was about 6 mpg.

Oh, and that was one day's worth of driving.

Hell, I never thought I'd see the day when I'd pull up to the pump and ask, "Gimme sixty dollars worth of regular." (Some of us may recall the day when "Fill 'er up with oil and a quart of gas." was just a joke). I even remember my ol' man driving his '54 Buick into the Mobile station and saying "Gimme two dollar$ worth of premium, and don't forget my stamps!)...

--T

Terry Yager
April 28th, 2008, 12:00 AM
Ok, so now I'd like to see a more realistic estimate in terms of actual cost-per-mile-per ton, including all factors such as the cost of manufacturing a high-tech hybrid loc, + depreciation, + replacement of consumables (batteries?), + other maintenance, training & upkeep of maintenance personnel, MTBF (lifespan), etc, etc, versus actual operating cost of old-skool loco with conventional (mechanical) drivetrain... I'm sure it'll be somewhat less, but not that huge a gap.

--T

Terry Yager
April 28th, 2008, 12:13 AM
Maybe once it gets going, inertia means it doesn't need much more energy to keep it going.
Equal and opposite reaction?


Maybe it's downhill
Both ways??


Maybe someone's been telling pork pies.
They wouldn't do that...would they???

Third option most probable :P
Dat's an effin' Roger!

--T

evildragon
April 28th, 2008, 02:06 AM
Heh, my car barely gets 9mpg. And I have a 23 gallon tank. With prices at 4 bucks here now, guess how much to fill and how often.. Yea, life sucks when you drive a big honkin v8 chevy caprice. (and not to mention, have electronic spark problems)

If I could take a hybrid engine and shove it in my car, i'd do it in a heartbeat.

carlsson
April 28th, 2008, 03:33 AM
Maybe it's downhill?
Both ways??
Maybe the locomotive lives in the world of Oscar Reutersvärd and M.C. Escher? A modern form of the "impossible staircase (http://www.planetperplex.com/en/impossible_staircase.html)".

Yzzerdd
April 28th, 2008, 04:43 AM
Heh, my car barely gets 9mpg. And I have a 23 gallon tank.

Well my car, a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cierra Brougham(luxury)(what a mouthful!) gets 30MPG! I laugh at all the commercials these days advertising that as something amazing seems we've been capable of it for....well for a long, long time. Hell, my grandma's 2004 Chevy Impala gets 30MPG!

"90% of percentages can be made to look significantly more than they really are.....50% of the time"

Thats transferrable to this train getting 430MPG nonsense. And as you can see, that is per TON mile, not PER mile.

--Ryan

paul.brett
April 28th, 2008, 05:58 AM
With prices at 4 bucks here now, guess how much to fill and how often.. Yea, life sucks when you drive a big honkin v8 chevy caprice.

Um, we in the UK are paying about £1.10 per litre, which when you change to imperial gallons, and then to US gallons, and then to dollars, is about $11.95.

You got it good mate.

Paul.

Druid6900
April 28th, 2008, 11:11 AM
In Canada, we're averaging about 1.20 per liter, for now.

Sharkonwheels
April 28th, 2008, 02:41 PM
Somehow, I fail to see the similarities between a 10hp diesel generator at Home Depot and a diesel locomotive.

Fuel consumption.....fuel consumption....

but the "freight-mile" thing makes sense...for all we know, in that 430 miles, they burned 1000g of fuel, but had 1000 tons of freight on board.
or whatever. That would give the 1g 1ton 430 miles, correct?

T

Sharkonwheels
April 28th, 2008, 02:45 PM
Heh, my car barely gets 9mpg. And I have a 23 gallon tank. With prices at 4 bucks here now, guess how much to fill and how often.. Yea, life sucks when you drive a big honkin v8 chevy caprice. (and not to mention, have electronic spark problems)

If I could take a hybrid engine and shove it in my car, i'd do it in a heartbeat.

Keep in mind, though, a diesel is more efficient, and turbodiesels are more efficient, and WAY more torque. For example, my Toyota Tundra, on a good day, can get 14mpg on gas. That;'s near 5700lb, 4.7L V8, 285hp, bout same torque. You see these Ford F250's, similar size diesel, a bit more weight, getting 18-22mpg. But - you're talking 325-350hp, and like 500-600 lb/ft of torque - STOCK! they can be modded to over 1000lb/ft torque with just an ECU swap/reporgram!


T

Sharkonwheels
April 28th, 2008, 02:50 PM
Um, we in the UK are paying about £1.10 per litre, which when you change to imperial gallons, and then to US gallons, and then to dollars, is about $11.95.

You got it good mate.

Paul.

Paul, ya gotta understand how the US economy is, and how the government here completely bends over backwards for the oil industry...

Oil is at record highs, gas at the pumps is at record highs....and the oil companies here are recording record profits - at OUR expense!

They just went before congress to justify an 18 BILLION DOLLAR TAX BREAK

18 freaking BILLION! Between the big 7 companies, they had prfits of about 100 billion, was it?

Every time I go to europe, I see these little cars....200hp...and like 40mpg.
It's sad - i would LOVE to be able to get that Audio3-series 2-door hatch...you know....the one with that, what's the engine called, TFSI? Has a supercharger for down low, and automatically switches to a turbo at higher revs? it's like a 1.5L engine getting near 35mpg with about 200-230hp!

It's sad - unfortunately, we have no choice.
At some point, we, as citizens, will have to take a stand, and make our voices heard.

It costs me about $100-125/week in gas just to get to work and back, and my wage increases are in no way keeping up with gas price increases!


T

Vlad
April 28th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Ok enough with the uninformed train stuff. Trains are rated in GPH NOT MPG. Plus the weights people are throwing around are silly. The one locomotive alone weighs several tons. For a train its Gallons Per Hour since the engine is nothing more than a V-16 gen set driving electric motors. In Run 8, full throttle a train roughly uses 180-200 Gallons per Hour. But since they only use Run 8 to get going and then scale back once moment has built up, they can go thousands of miles since the massive engine is almost at idle. Plus having a 5,000 gallon fuel tank helps with the long haul freight moves. The average cargo weight for a freight train is usually around 3,100 tons, but that doesn't count the box cars or whatever the freight is contained in. You can't really give a train locomotive an mpg rating since you're never doing the same speed due to track conditions and speed restrictions. Also remember the large diesel engine IS NOT driving the wheels, they are not like cars in any way.

Lets stick to comparing things that should be compared. A Locomotive and a car are not even close.

Dwight Elvey
April 28th, 2008, 08:32 PM
Hi
The other factor is wind resistance. Most is caused by the frontal area
of the vehicle. The train only needs to deal with this once. The
rest is from gaps in the cars and surfaces.
I do think they mean that they can move a bunch of autos at an average
of 430 miles per gallon per auto.
These are not like your hybred car. There are no batteries to store
energy. The output of the generator goes directly to the traction
motors mounted in the trucks.
Trains are only second to boats in moving things efficiently.
Dwight

Unknown_K
April 28th, 2008, 09:02 PM
Um, we in the UK are paying about £1.10 per litre, which when you change to imperial gallons, and then to US gallons, and then to dollars, is about $11.95.

You got it good mate.

Paul.


How exactly did you calculate that?

I have 1 USD = .50347 GBP
3.785 L = 1 US Gallon

So I think you are paying $8.27 per Gallon, which is still 2x+ what we pay but not 3x as you calculate. Then again it is 1AM here and I could be wrong.

frozenfire75i
April 30th, 2008, 07:53 AM
I agree with this! A fully loaded GEAC6000CW Engine is close to 450,000LBS plus you have to remember each train car has two or three fully loaded truck semi trailers on board I don't know for sure but each train i bet has 50 75 or so cars per train. So looking at about 250 semi trailers per train.. So all told you’re looking at millions of pounds of steel and goods!

Let’s say you have a one million pound train or 500 tons so what terry said (1 ton one gallon) 500 gallons for about 430 miles….. That’s pretty good.

But you have to think about the scale of things that same 500 gallons of gas in your car would take you a long long way! So it all appears to be amazing but it’s not!


Ok enough with the uninformed train stuff. Trains are rated in GPH NOT MPG. Plus the weights people are throwing around are silly. The one locomotive alone weighs several tons. For a train its Gallons Per Hour since the engine is nothing more than a V-16 gen set driving electric motors. In Run 8, full throttle a train roughly uses 180-200 Gallons per Hour. But since they only use Run 8 to get going and then scale back once moment has built up, they can go thousands of miles since the massive engine is almost at idle. Plus having a 5,000 gallon fuel tank helps with the long haul freight moves. The average cargo weight for a freight train is usually around 3,100 tons, but that doesn't count the box cars or whatever the freight is contained in. You can't really give a train locomotive an mpg rating since you're never doing the same speed due to track conditions and speed restrictions. Also remember the large diesel engine IS NOT driving the wheels, they are not like cars in any way.

Lets stick to comparing things that should be compared. A Locomotive and a car are not even close.

Terry Yager
April 30th, 2008, 07:55 PM
Between the big 7 companies, they had prfits of about 100 billion, was it?


T

Only recent figure I've seen is Shell = 9 billion (record breaking), as per Yahoo News a couple days ago. But what the hell, they can always blame the @pump price on the producers raping them for the price of crude, right?

--T

Terry Yager
April 30th, 2008, 08:14 PM
My vehicle weighs a couple tons, and gets ~20 mpg, so it's actually getting ~40 ton/miles per gallon, right? If it were a 40 mpg electric hybrid, it would be 80 t/mpg. If this hypothetical hybrid were pulling a 2 ton trailer, and mpg only dropped to 30, it would still be at 120 t/mpg. I get it already...

--T

Unknown_K
April 30th, 2008, 11:23 PM
Only recent figure I've seen is Shell = 9 billion (record breaking), as per Yahoo News a couple days ago. But what the hell, they can always blame the @pump price on the producers raping them for the price of crude, right?

--T


I think shell makes something like 7% of gross as profit, much less then Microsoft selling Windows and Office I would think. If you bring in $110B in sales and only make $7B in profit thats not a whole hell of alot.

The US imports gasoline ready made from Venzuela because our refineries are old, cannot handle the load, and make little or no money so nobody wan't to expand or build any more (even if the EPA would let them and I don't think they would).

What I find interesting is that the cost of pumping the oil we already have in the US has not gone up that much from when it was $30 a barrel, so if the price is now $110 (and thats a future contract price I asume) either the oil companies are investing tons of money to buy up oild fields or find them somewhere or they are just importing all their oil. Profits should be MUCH higher then they are unless all the cash is going to pay for imports at market prices and not US oil.

Terry Yager
May 1st, 2008, 05:08 AM
I think shell makes something like 7% of gross as profit,

But if they were to settle for a mere $7B rather than 9, how would that affect the consumer cost?



<snip>either the oil companies are investing tons of money to buy up oil fields or find them somewhere or they are just importing all their oil. Profits should be MUCH higher then they are unless all the cash is going to pay for imports at market prices and not US oil.

Stockpiling, so when everyone else runs out, they'll be in FatCity.

--T

Sharkonwheels
May 1st, 2008, 08:13 AM
Only recent figure I've seen is Shell = 9 billion (record breaking), as per Yahoo News a couple days ago. But what the hell, they can always blame the @pump price on the producers raping them for the price of crude, right?

--T

Exxon posted the "largest annual profit ever by a US Company": 40.6 Billion

Exxon Profts (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/01/exxon-posts-record-profit_n_84463.html)

Chevron posted an 18.7 billion profit:
Chevron Profits (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/02/BU6AUQMT9.DTL)

And there were like 4-5 more companies at the Congressional hearing. Even little old ConocoPhillips post a record (for them)
$2B or so profit in 2007.

Here's a brief article about when the Oil companies had to go before congress a few weeks back, and defend an 18 BILLION tax break they are getting:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/01/MNU7VU217.DTL

So, we get f'd at the pump, and we get f'd by taxes.

It's abusive - in MY brain, if their crude costs go up, and gas prices go up about the same, there are not record profits. But if crude costs go up, but gas prices go up MORE, well, then ya got what these legalized taxpayer-rapists are doing.

I can understand the effect on TOTAL REVENUE, but that is NOT what we are talking about.
We are talking PROFIT not REVENUE. If gas prices go up, revenue will go up, of course.

T

Ksarul
May 9th, 2008, 10:10 AM
Actually, I have nothing against the profit levels the oil companies are receiving--they are selling the oil they extract for the going market rate--and they could sell it to us for that price or they could sell it to some other country for the same price. That part isn't the problem, no matter how much we don't like the price we pay (and the price is much higher than normal). Demand for the oil being extracted drives price--and that is as it should be. The problem is, the amount extracted is going up more slowly than demand, which jacks up the price until the two are in equilibrium again.

Where big oil is wrong is in what they do with those profits. Most of that money gets blown on short-term goals, like shareholder payouts, bonuses, and acquisition of additional oil rights. Only the latter makes real sense--they need more energy. Unfortunately, they should be plowing that money into other forms of energy generation that aren't dependent on fossil fuels. Even using a single quarter's worth of their profits for that purpose would be more than has been spent in that area by all sources in the last 10 years or so--and failure to guarantee alternate sources of carbon neutral energy is a disservice to our children and all who follow us.

Let them make their profits--so long as they are also forced to use them wisely in ways that benefit the society they made them from.

Sharkonwheels
May 9th, 2008, 10:17 AM
Actually, I have nothing against the profit levels the oil companies are receiving--they are selling the oil they extract for the going market rate--and they could sell it to us for that price or they could sell it to some other country for the same price. That part isn't the problem, no matter how much we don't like the price we pay (and the price is much higher than normal). Demand for the oil being extracted drives price--and that is as it should be. The problem is, the amount extracted is going up more slowly than demand, which jacks up the price until the two are in equilibrium again.

Where big oil is wrong is in what they do with those profits. Most of that money gets blown on short-term goals, like shareholder payouts, bonuses, and acquisition of additional oil rights. Only the latter makes real sense--they need more energy. Unfortunately, they should be plowing that money into other forms of energy generation that aren't dependent on fossil fuels. Even using a single quarter's worth of their profits for that purpose would be more than has been spent in that area by all sources in the last 10 years or so--and failure to guarantee alternate sources of carbon neutral energy is a disservice to our children and all who follow us.

Let them make their profits--so long as they are also forced to use them wisely in ways that benefit the society they made them from.


Excellent post, and valid points. I agree, but they are ripping us, and not doing anything with it except higher-level people getting richer. If they were doing things like you mentioned, well that would be the SMART thing to do.


T

squirrel-steam
June 11th, 2008, 08:50 AM
A diesel electric train can get up to 430mpg, they have super efficient V12 diesels, they have much much more pollution restrictions than automobiles, the reason why is that they only run about 1/2 throttle when accelerating, but when they are running 60-70mph, the engines are idling, and they use a really efficient type of supercharger, a roots type blower. It is basically a large turbocharger, just squezzes in as much air as possible, and minimizes the amound of diesel going in. And when one of those diesels are idling, they are making 1000-2500 ft-lb of tourqe, and up to 1000hp, they are designed to have a lot of low end tourqe, and thats at about 500-600rpm.

Vlad
June 11th, 2008, 09:54 AM
Again, you cannot measure a locomotive in Miles Per Gallon, that is not how it works. The engine DOES NOT directly drive the wheels, so it varies enough that the MPG would never be the same. Its just a large generator powering traction motors in the trucks. Thats why locomotives are measured in Gallons Per Hour of fuel used. They use more than half throttle to accelerate too. If you have a typical Intermodal freight train, you're gonna need more than Run 4 to get going in a reasonable amount of time. Usually all the way to Run 8 (full throttle) The engines aren't at idle at normal speed either since there are always speed restrictions in areas where the track curves or though cities.

Up to 1000hp? Try 4,400 hp. (Dash-9 Locomotive, a popular one) The new GE V16 has about 6250 hp though. The GE Evolution Series has a V12 with the same amount of power and has less emissions, but they aren't very wide spread yet. There was a locomotive with a V20 too, but those were uncommon and only 30 were made.

I think thats enough too since no one is bothering to do research before posting.

Locomotive Fun Facts from GE
http://www.getransportation.com/na/en/locofacts.html

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