If the North American railroads electrified.........

Kurt Moose Jul 29, 2017

  1. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    After more than 100 years, it has surely paid off, even early electrics (AC or DC) were able to make up for double headed steam trains, on 70lb rails...
    And... already in the thirties they got the 200kph world record with an average speed of 100mph over 250miles between Florence and Milan.
    [​IMG]

    Our fastest steamers very seldom went over 70mph.
     
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  2. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Needles to say, all catenary (and everything else) was paid by the state. Now the state pays for the network and private companies run the trains (often subsidized by local government). I know in the US is different, but does not the US governament pay for roads, ariports....
    Back to trains, in the end you are able to put 6MW on 84 tons and run up to 125mph with 12 passengers cars (like on the NE corridor)...., or pull as much as you can before the lesser weight lets the wheels slip.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It all depends upon more than the cost of electrification. They must look at the line's present productivity, it's projected future and the company's long term future plans.
     
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  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    How in the heck do the rods on those drivers work, especially the eccentrics at the lower center section??
    :confused:
     
  5. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Different, aren't they?



    The diagonal rods simply connect to the electric motors. Apparently they're diagonal and at a 90 degree angle to each other because they're above, not in line, with the wheels, and if one of the diagonals doesn't pull the wheels the correct direction the other will--just the same reason steam locomotive drive rods are at a 90 degree angle to each other from side to side.

    And as for the reason for the rocker link? I'm thinking about it. But I'm not sure I'm Italian enough to understand... :cautious:
     
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  6. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    I think when I said 'motor' I meant 'jackshaft'. And I think the link changes the angle of the shaft that's pushing on the top or the bottom of the drive wheels just enough that it helps turn the wheel--or, at least, doesn't try to turn it the wrong way.
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Tried searching YouTube for some Virginian Railway video footage. Somehow did not find anything. Know I have seen some of their box motor style power. Help? Those had very interesting side rod action.
     
  8. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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  9. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    You and I are on the same frequency Boxcab -- I was thinking of the very same thing. I couldn't find a Virginian video to link to, but in this picture you can see a big ol' motor hanging behind each lead axle. The "monkey motion" on these was indeed fascinating. I don't know if the two "engines" were able to run (and slip) independently, but I am guessing so.

    http://www.railpictures.net/showimage.php?id=372705&key=8769702

    I've seen one of Herron Rail Video's Pocahontas Glory volumes that includes some great footage of these locomotives in operation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
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  10. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    All of them had some complex rod system that linked the two electric motors (placed higher than the wheels, with the shaft parallel to the wheels axles) to the main rod attached to the drivers, the 2 rods may very well be placed with a 90 degrees’ shift, however I am not sure of that. The arrangement in principle should have been similar to the virginian RR in the picture, however I think the complex rod arrangement was due to the motor being placed way higher than the wheels.
    I will check the pictures to see if some has the same arrangement as the Virginian.
    DC locos never had rods as they had a more conventional engine placement with at least one motor per axle (some with a twin motor per axle to increase the number of electric combinations available as at least two motors had to be wired in series).
    I agree with boxcab on the fact that electrification means very long term planning, and mostly need quite a lot of traffic to pay back (sometimes steep gradients also play their part, at least in steam days), therefore budget oriented companies need quite a lot to put wires.
     
  11. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    I checked the pictures on the photorail site, all series had some kind of triangular rod (some have two).
    But speaking on the advantages of electrics, here in the 70s you could get 5MW on 120ton (6 axle articulated) able to reach 100mph with almost 20 coaches or pull 1000 tons of freight at 60mph even on grades (1000 ton is the coupler limit, we unfortunately still have screws and buffers).
    [​IMG]
    That is the loco i loved most as a kid, the final evolution of a design that started in the 30s, doubling in the way the power (by doubling the motors from 6 to 12) and still keping the axle load at 20ton and two axles’ trucks. In Italy we have quite a lot of grades and sharp curves.
     
  12. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    The body is articulated, not just the frame, isn't it?
     
  13. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Acptulsa, yes, there are two half bodies that connect on top of the central truck, so that the rigid distance is just between two axles on a single truck.
    In European arrangement is called Bo'+Bo'+Bo' that means three two axle trucks without a rigid frame.
    Check the thread on Italian regional motive power, I'll put pictures there.
     
  14. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Another advantage of electric locos is that you do not need to draw traction power for Air conditioning and other use on the cars, as all comes from the wires; the traction power for an electric is then all used for traction. Assuming the line can support the power pickup (in our low tension DC 3KV is not always so, the AMPS limit on the pantograph rules the available current, and sometimes the power stations can not give all locos full power).
     
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  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Very true, Maurizio.

    From knowing past history of US operations such as the MILW and GN, again, very true.
     
  16. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    That is the biggest problem of the Dc system, the voltage was lower than the AC, 3/4KV instead of 10/15/25. that means the AMPS were proportionally higher to achieve the some power output, putting strains on the pantographs, and requiring more power stations as the wires resistance increased.
    In the DC lines we have one power station every 10 miles or so (more complex and costly than the AC ones as they also need the rectifiers - now all solid state, then either rotating or with mercury vapour). 25KV AC need about four times less power stations, and simpler ones.
    Do not know about the GN, but MILW was 3KV DC, so..... also the wires section need to be greater, in Italy all DC lines have a double wiring and catenaries, AC just need a single wire and catenary.
     
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  17. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    One other advantage of AC versus DC is that dynamic braking actually gives back power to the grid, wheraeas for DC locos, it goes back to the wires ONLY if there is another loco in the same section, otherwise goes to the resistors. That is because the machinery on the power station can not convert DC back to AC and put on the grid.
    That is why in Italy the first locomotives with dynamic braking were the E633 from the mid 80s...
     
  18. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Back to the topic, if really north american RR electrified I think motive power would look as this indian locomotive, looks like one of US diesels...
    [​IMG]

    and of course You would lave lots of siemens locos for Amtrak
    [​IMG]

    faster train connections, at least for passengers

    ... less ALCO smoke...
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Something along those lines.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    EMD had two locos from the 70's they were trying to sell, kinda looked like a mesh between a GP30 and an SD40-2, with a pantograph!!
     
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