When They Run out of Gas

Virginian Railway Jul 10, 2012

  1. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

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    What happens when a diesel runs out of gas? A CSX AC6000CW has been idling near my house since Friday, and today when I was taking it and its AC4400CW mate picture I notice the 4400 was off and the 6000 fuel gauge was very low so what will happen if they run of of gas?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2012
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, for one thing whoever let it happen certainly won't be very popular with those up line in management.
     
  3. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Those locomotives probably have some sort of a "hot start" system. A computer in the locomotive will shut it down and refire at intervals to keep everything warm. They are usually set up that way in cooler temperatures for faster start ups and keep the fluids warm.... more efficient than idling away for hours/days on end.

    I would bet that either the locomotive computer control system or the hot start system would detect a low fuel level and likely shut down and quit refiring at automatic intervals until and engineer/conductor/hostler overrides and restarts the unit.


    Which reminds me.... When I worked for a short line railroad, most of our GP9's had hot start systems in them. They kept the water and oil warm in the winter and made start up much easier in the winter. The older GP9's had an old system where when the air temperature got close to freezing a valve would pop off and drain the water out of the locomotive to prevent the lines from freezing and busting. This system didn't always work well and sometimes they would pop off in a heavy pull on a warm day and resulting in the automatic shutdown of that unit and stall our unit train on a nice long 2.4% grade.

    We only ran 5 days a week, so when we tied the units down in a friday afternoon the hot start systems were all activated. On more than one occaison, the pop off valve would drain the water on a friday night or saturday morning regardless of the hot start system functioning properly. The alarm on the auto start/hot start control panel in the cab would go off and by Monday morning the batteries were drained and the unit was just dead weight. So we had to just set it out of consist and let the shop crew bring a generator and recharge the batteries.

    We had a geep that had a fuel pump problem that starved itself of fuel (even with a half full tank). It takes a good bit of time to prime the old 567 prime mover and get her to refire. No clue about the new stuff.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I can recall seeing at least a couple of instances where a Geep went dry. One time it was a train having about three cars across a fairly busy road in our town when it quit, leaving the rest of the consist blocking auto traffic. As I recall, it took about 3&1/2 hours to get a truck, some fuel into the unit and get it refired, then all off the road to finish fueling. I listened to the original radio call for help. The dispatcher and RH foreman couldn't believe it. So the engine crew responded about how when they dropped some pebbles into the tank, there was no splash. Just the echoing rattle of them bouncing on the tank bottom. Yes, they did need a dog catch when all was done.

    The situation turned out to be a hostler had erred back at the roundhouse and the engine crew had failed to take note.
     
  5. Southern Pacific Switcher

    Southern Pacific Switcher TrainBoard Member

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    You have to prime the engine once you fill up the tank which is a pain. Someone did that in our vineseed haverster and it took 1 hour to get it started.
     
  6. bnsf971

    bnsf971 TrainBoard Member

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    The newer units with the electirc fuel pumps aren't as bad as the old ones with the mechanical pumps. It is still a pain, though.
    we ran our GE switch engine out of fuel once, had to prime the pump, then bleed the injectors. And of courcse, I was the one operating it when it starved out. Sigh...
     
  7. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

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    Well last night about 11:00 the two big GE's left so I guess they didn't run out of gas, funny how a CSX mine run can last 3 days yet a NS mine run will take usually 4 hours.
     

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