Bells & Whistles—More trouble for Hawaii’s first light-rail line
Bells & Whistles—3/6/20
Unofficial Map: German Intercity Rail Network, 2020 by u/theflyingindonesian
2019 top news stories
Book Review: Canadian National Steam Power
The West Clare Railway – Part 4 – Miltown-Malbay to Quilty
Review: New York Subway and Paris Métro Architecture and Design Maps by Blue Crow Media
Book Review: Great Western Pannier Tank Classes
New eBook: Passing a Half Century
Podcast dedicated to commuters has been launched by Chiltern Railways
The author has a deep interest in railroads, but his professional background is in energy management and environmental education; he served for 26 years as Energy Officer at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). He mentions in the Acknowledgements section that he was very grateful to rail industry experts who strengthened his precise technical understanding of locomotives and railroads. He notes, “Because locomotive manufacturers and railroads generally don’t talk about diesel-electric locomotive energy efficiency, investigating [this] topic was at times like peeling back an onion—or what one consultant called penetrating the code of silence.”
Chapter Three is devoted to locomotive fuel economy and energy efficiency. Simpson discusses some well-known efficiencies inherent in rail transportation, such as rolling resistance and aerodynamic advantages, when compared to other forms of transportation. He adds that poorly maintained track is energy inefficient because the rolling resistance is greater than on well-maintained track. Aerodynamic advantages, Simpson notes, are inherent in trains “because they are long and narrow and have a very small cross section per unit of cargo or per number of cars or passengers.”
Simpson goes on to discuss the differences between locomotive fuel use vs. locomotive fuel economy. As most readers know, the most prevalent measure publicized by the industry is the amount of tonnage that can be moved a certain distance with a given amount of fuel—usually one gallon. Actual fuel usage, on the other hand, depends on a number of variables, “such as total annual hauling, train load management (i.e., the amount of freight or passengers per car and per train), rail system traffic management, fuel consumed in yard activities and whether the railroad runs largely on flat territory (e.g., CN) or predominantly mountainous territory (e.g., Canadian Pacific).” Simpson provides additional examples of variables affecting locomotive fuel use—locomotive age, model and design efficiency; fuel type; train length and weight; congestion; two-way hauls; track work en route; maintenance; wheel/rail interface management; and weather and season. Each of these areas is the subject of significant engineering research and testing, and the author discusses many of these issues in greater detail in subsequent chapters. There is an especially valuable discussion of the EPA Tier 4 emissions standards program in Chapter Five.
While this book can certainly stand alone as an introduction to diesel-electric locomotives, prior knowledge of at least the basics of motive power proves helpful to understanding the workings of locomotives, and the myriad ways that fuel economy and fuel use can be improved. Concern about global warming and decreasing humankind’s carbon footprint are key themes in the last two chapters of the book, which explore future directions for diesel-electric locomotives, along with railroad efforts to improve sustainability and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment.
The chapters are followed by sections on acronyms and abbreviations, sources and recommended reading, useful notes, and an index. Also, there is a helpful website devoted to the book found at http://www.diesel-electric-locomotives.com. This book is highly recommended to anyone interested in diesel-electric operation and maximizing the environmental benefits of rail transportation.
Order from Simmons-Boardman Books at http://www.transalert.com/cgi-bin/details.cgi?inv=BKDIESEL&cat=8.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.