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Country Discussion Topics
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Train question
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Dan    Posted 04-26-2003 at 12:05:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Was watching a film on European trains and noticed when they hook up, it appears like 2 big pads touch,as opposed to the hitch we have here, than a worker connects cables and hoses. Are these electromagnetic as there does not seem to be a mechanical connection other than the lines.Any thoughts?

Jim Adams    Posted 04-26-2003 at 22:13:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dan, The spring bumper between cars you saw keeps
them from having any slack action in the train. It's OK on short trains but isn't used here. Our
passenger trains use a different kind of spring
buffer that works with the automatic couplers.
I do know of two types of trains operated here that are arranged so there is no slack.
One is the "roadrailer" trains of the semi-trailers that have wheels for the railroad or the
Engineers who handle those trains tell me you can make an application of the engine brake and not feel a bit of slack run in against the engine.
The trains handling the continuous welded rail
where the rails will be in lengths approaching 1400' are by necessity arranged so they have very little if any slack between cars. It takes a bunch of power to get a load like that moving.

The other night a heard an engineer ask an operator for permission to cross the operators railroad. Needing to know how long the train was going to be on his crossing, the operator asked
what was the length of the train. The engineer replied that his train was 11,482' long. You can see the problem if there was no slack in that length train.

Dan    Posted 04-27-2003 at 09:03:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks, you posted an amazing amount of information there, many things there I have never considered. That last bit re: length, thats a 2 mile train,how many engines would be needed for something like that.

Jim Adams    Posted 04-27-2003 at 09:51:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dan; I'm not up on the identification of the diesels, but, some of the ones on the road now
are suprisingly powerful and in this relatively flat country around here they probally had three
units on that train.
To give you an idea of the trains we see here, the BN/SF, the Q, to us, moves unit trains of Wyoming coal thru here. Usually they are about
124 100ton hoppers and they move them with 2 units. One in front and a remotely controlled unit pushing.

Ludwig    Posted 04-27-2003 at 16:53:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here in Northern New England Guilford buys up all the old locos that other railroads have taken out of service. They don't referbish them any more than giving a new coat of paint, so even a relatively short train might have 5 locos. Only one is working at any given time the others are spares just in case.
Spent a summer surveying a railyard outside of Portland, Maine and learned alot of railroad stuff from our designated railroad observer.

Fawteen    Posted 04-26-2003 at 12:55:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Those are "bumpers". They used (may still, don't know) a "Link and Pin" coupler which does not provide a rigid connection between cars. Basically, it looks like a giant chain link, and a pin is dropped through it on each car, so the cars can 'slop' back and forth a bit. The bumpers provide the cushion when they do.

Dan    Posted 04-26-2003 at 18:14:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks 14, that explains it.

Dan    Posted 04-26-2003 at 18:13:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks 14, that explains it.

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