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The Pusher it's a Trackmobile

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The Pusher it's a Trackmobile
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 3:03 PM

I've not seen one of these before.

Not a very good picture, but it pushed 2 coal hoppers out of a foundry.  It backed out of the field of view.  When the camera was moved, there was another hopper at the entrance of the foundry and the pusher was no where to be seen, so I assume it's a hirail vehicle.  

Henry

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 3:14 PM

Looks like a Trackmobile

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 3:33 PM

Thanks, I knew it must have a name.

BLI actually makes a HO DCC version.  It says "custom NCE" it does not say sound.  Price is $90-116 depending on model.

Henry

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Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 4:35 PM

BigDaddy
BLI actually makes a HO DCC version. It says "custom NCE" it does not say sound. Price is $90-116 depending on model.

This is my DCC (no sound) BLI HO UP version from a few years ago.  It says "Trackmobile" on it.  Apparently that is one of several U.S. manufacturers.  Wiki calls them "railcar movers".  I imagine there are quite a few variations. 

I was thinking to add that I added a sound decoder with quad micro speakers, plus extra weight such that it can push or pull 48 loaded coal cars up a 3% grade.  Would you believe...no sound but I just hum as it pushes 2 empty cars downhill? Wink

 20190717_162340 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railcar_mover#North_America

 

Paul

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:50 PM

They're quite potent little guys.  They use a pair of them down at Kennedy to move Atlas V rockets and their launch towers from vertical integration to the pad.  The Atlas V has a loaded weight of around 1.3 million pounds and have no idea how much the tower weighs.

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, July 18, 2019 6:54 AM

I suppose having actual rubber tires helps?

- Douglas

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, July 18, 2019 7:08 AM

Doughless

I suppose having actual rubber tires helps?

 

The Whiting Trackmobile I worked on the rubber tires only engaged for road use. They were 90° perpendicular to the steel flanged wheels.

 getting ready to settle - Trackmobile by Tim Evanson, on Flickr

This is the same machine, GE donated it to Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

The Hercules model has the rubber tires in-line with the steel wheels but they are retracted while the unit is on the steel wheels.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, July 18, 2019 7:25 AM

Interesting.  That makes sense.  If it did use "tractive tires", they wouldn't have to be the road worthy type.

- Douglas

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, July 18, 2019 8:34 AM

Doughless

Interesting.  That makes sense.  If it did use "tractive tires", they wouldn't have to be the road worthy type.

 

There were several experiments with rubber-tired rail vehicles. Look up the Michelin Micheline railcar. Budd was licenced to build a few for trial here in the States. One ran on the PRR for a short time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budd%E2%80%93Michelin_rubber-tired_rail_cars

 Lewis Collection 3511 by John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, on Flickr

 

Then there was the Evans road-railer.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, July 18, 2019 9:54 AM

Cool.  Didn't work out I guess.  

Getting back to the trackmobile, how is it able to pull so many cars?  Maybe its a simple physics issue where whatever mass the little beast has is able to be concentrated onto little tiny wheels, making those wheels really sticky?

- Douglas

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Posted by cuyama on Thursday, July 18, 2019 1:51 PM

Doughless
Getting back to the trackmobile, how is it able to pull so many cars?

It’s rather ingenious. The prototype trackmobile is designed to actually hydraulically lift the end of the railcar slightly via the coupler, transferring weight to the trackmobile and its wheels.

https://trackmobile.com/about-us/history/

 

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, July 20, 2019 9:45 AM

The machines at the Halliburton plant here in Richardton use the rail wheels for guidance and the rubber wheels for traction. Hundreds times more traction on the rubber than on the steel.  And because of it's off rail capibility and captive service at the plant, it does not need railroad type locomotive inspections. They can just drive it down to the service station for service.

 

ROAR

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Posted by Water Level Route on Monday, July 22, 2019 9:03 AM

We use Trackmobiles where I work.  The rubber tires are only for road driving.  The weight transfer plus sand (they have built in sanders too) works pretty well.  I've seen them push well more than they are rated for.  If I recall correctly, I've seen them move 12 or 14 of our cars, fully loaded.  At over 260,000 lbs each you're looking at LOTS of weight.

Another company (Rail King?) makes movers with rubber tires that provide the motive force and traction on the rails.  We tried them.  In good dry weather, they worked well.  In rain or snow, forget about it.

Mike

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, July 22, 2019 6:00 PM

I believe Shuttlewagons are the ones that use their tires.

 Several of our customers have been buying/leasing railcar movers the last couple years. Even places with one track and an unloading pit.  Most of them used to just roll the cars down the slight grade their siding sits on, or use a winch to pull them back up.   (If they weren't using a front end loader or other piece of machinery).  Guess the convenience is worth the expense.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, December 19, 2019 8:15 PM

Water Level Route
I've seen them move 12 or 14 of our cars, fully loaded.

It's a necro thread, but it's my necro thread. Devil  Here is another video

Henry

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 20, 2019 1:55 AM

Not impossibly necro - in fact, newly relevant.  I'm on a phone and can't easily post links, but someone needs to post the video of the new 'electric' Ford pickup towing more than a million pounds.  It was hard to beat the visual of a Toyota pulling the space shuttle orbiter, but I think this does it.

(If you are like me you'll wonder how they got that cut stopped from the speed they reached, too!)

Granted that the physics are no more 'amazing' than that old Oreck commercial lifting a bowling ball with vacuum-cleaner suction, but it clearly shows what rubber tires on the level can move...

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, December 20, 2019 8:11 AM

cuyama

 

 
Doughless
Getting back to the trackmobile, how is it able to pull so many cars?

 

It’s rather ingenious. The prototype trackmobile is designed to actually hydraulically lift the end of the railcar slightly via the coupler, transferring weight to the trackmobile and its wheels.

https://trackmobile.com/about-us/history/

 

 



Thats interesting for increasing the tractive capability of the loco. Wonder if that could be done in some limited manner with the BLI model?

As I understand it the BLI model also has only one of its axles driven? Is that axle next to the coupler end??

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, December 20, 2019 9:34 AM

Clearly, the steel wheels drive the rubber tires through traction rings which the rubber tires engage. Note the air-gap under the rubber tires here:

 trackmobile by Dan Mackey, on Flickr

The steel drive wheels are on a transaxle. Of course there may be variants of this design, such as the early Trackmobile I mentioned in my earlier post.

 TrackMobile by Brad, on Flickr

The rubber tires are outside the gauge of the rail:

 Trackmobile by recekasten, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, December 20, 2019 9:37 AM

Henry's OP, thats at the foundry in Waupaca, WI., and those hoppers are filled with coke.

Some are so big they look like wood chip hoppers, maybe they were. Confused

If you go to the site VR, look for the Waupaca WI. cam.  Usually about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, you can watch the CN local switching the plant.

The only cam I've ever found where you can watch switching ops.

Mike.

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Posted by Water Level Route on Saturday, December 21, 2019 7:47 AM

gmpullman
Clearly, the steel wheels drive the rubber tires through traction rings which the rubber tires engage. Note the air-gap under the rubber tires here:

That is correct for all the Trackmobiles I have worked with.  One ancient one that I can't remember the model number of, the 4250, 4650, and Titan are all driven by the rear steel wheels.  All but the old one we had also have an electronic transmission that knows if you are driving on the road or on rails and adjusts accordingly so forward on the transmission knob will equal forward for whatever mode you are in.

Mike

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, December 21, 2019 10:32 AM

The rubber tires are outside the gauge of the rail:

So it appears the rubber tires are driven off of that hub that extends out from the steel wheel, but since those rubber tires are not in the same gauge as the steel wheels they can provide NO help with traction on the rails.

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, December 21, 2019 10:44 AM

I'm interested in having at least one of these 'trackmobile types' to shuffle cars around for my carfloat area.

I was thinking that perhaps it had to have some sort of keep-alive for such a short wheelbase loco to negotiate non-powered frog areas? ...But one gentleman indicated his DCC broadway ltd version did just fine over Peco insulfrog turnouts.

These locos might even be able to load cars onto the carfloat without using spacer flat cars?

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, December 21, 2019 11:03 AM

railandsail
  — since those rubber tires are not in the same gauge as the steel wheels they can provide NO help with traction on the rails.

Exactly the point several of the replies are attempting to explain.

Thanks, Ed

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