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What is a consist?

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What is a consist?
Posted by electrolove on Friday, August 22, 2008 4:22 AM
I know what a consist is, but I need your help to explain it in a better way. Let's talk about the prototype. Why did they use a consist? What was the reason? Is it called a consist or can it be called other things as well, MU?
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Posted by bnonut on Friday, August 22, 2008 5:25 AM

A consist would be used for the route and tonnage of the train. MU ing locomotives allows the units to work together to pull there train.

Thats why some consists look odd, use what is needed.

Some dedicated trains used a set of matching power. General freight had various consists.

I saw a nine unit consist in Marion Ohio years ago.

 

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Posted by steinjr on Friday, August 22, 2008 6:03 AM

 electrolove wrote:
I know what a consist is, but I need your help to explain it in a better way. Let's talk about the prototype. Why did they use a consist? What was the reason? Is it called a consist or can it be called other things as well, MU?

 A consist is in general terms "a group of rail vehicles which make up a train". When talking about motive power, a consist is a group of locomotives.

 Why did the railroads use groups of engines ? Because the trains were too heavy for one engine.

 Why did the railroads MU several engines together, so they could be controlled by one crew ? It saves on crew costs and allows better control than having a second, third, fourth etc crew trying to follow leads provided by whistle or radio by the crew of the lead engine.

 There is also distributed power - where you have two or more groups of engines on one train -  maybe one group at the front, one group in midtrain and one group at the rear, to make sure that drawbars don't snap because of too much weight being pulled through the drawbar of the car immediately behind the front engines.

 Distributed power can have one crew per group of motive power, or have the midtrain and rear helpers being remotely controlled.

 In model railroading terms, a consist is a group of engines that respond to the same decoder address from the DCC controller - so they increase and decrease speed at the same time - and thus works in concert to pull/push the train.

 Largest motive power consist I've seen for a train was a 100+ car coal train westbound from Helena, MT, up Mullan Pass across the Rocky Mountains this summer - 3 engines on front,  4 in midtrain, 6 at rear, for a total of 13 engines.

Stein R

 

 

 

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Posted by cmurray on Friday, August 22, 2008 7:00 AM
 bnonut wrote:

I saw a nine unit consist in Marion Ohio years ago.

 

Just because there are large consists doesn't necessarily mean all the units are pulling. Often railways move power east, west, north or south to where it is needed. They do this by running the units dead in trains heading toward the power-short area.

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Posted by electrolove on Friday, August 22, 2008 7:22 AM
When running a unit dead, does that mean that it acts like a regular car with no pulling at all?
 cmurray wrote:
 bnonut wrote:

I saw a nine unit consist in Marion Ohio years ago.

 

Just because there are large consists doesn't necessarily mean all the units are pulling. Often railways move power east, west, north or south to where it is needed. They do this by running the units dead in trains heading toward the power-short area.

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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Friday, August 22, 2008 7:36 AM
 electrolove wrote:
When running a unit dead, does that mean that it acts like a regular car with no pulling at all?
Yes. When a locomotive is being moved 'dead' it's just like moving another car. From time to time though a unit being moved dead will be put to use to assist in moving the train if needed.

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Posted by tangerine-jack on Friday, August 22, 2008 4:20 PM

When a road gang of MOW equipment runs a consist, it is basicaly all the machines to be used for road maintenance hooked together with one being the "master" and the others being "slave".  Throttle and brake of the slave units are controlled by the "master" unit.  Plasser equiment, when in MDZ configuration, any unit can be master, but for safety it is the unit that is the lead in the direction of travel.  When the consist reaches the work site, it can be broken into it's component work machines, or stay in a consist depending on the needs at the time. 

For example, a BDS 100 and BDS 200 work always with one or more 40 series ballast cars between the two, and remains a consist.  The 100 is always the master in work mode, but the 200 is master in travel when it is the lead unit.  During travel to and from the work site, the BDS 100 and 200 are joined with PTS 60 stabilizer, a 09-16 Dyna CAT, or a 09-32 tamper in a consist configuration.

Simple really.

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Posted by dti406 on Friday, August 22, 2008 5:55 PM

Consist is a Model Railroader's term for the engines used on any train.  The prototype does not use the term consist as far as I know, and I have seen this discussed many times on forums and in the model railroad press.

I remember a picture of the PC or PRR moving power and they had et least eleven engines and a caboose heading west to a terminal, but there was no mention of how many were powered.

Rick 

 

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, August 22, 2008 6:26 PM
 dti406 wrote:

Consist is a Model Railroader's term for the engines used on any train.  The prototype does not use the term consist as far as I know, and I have seen this discussed many times on forums and in the model railroad press.

I remember a picture of the PC or PRR moving power and they had et least eleven engines and a caboose heading west to a terminal, but there was no mention of how many were powered.

Rick 

 

 

 

Actually the railroads use LOCOMOTIVE CONSIST  and NOT LASHUP..Lashup is a modelers term.

I was taught that by railroaders while I was a student brakeman.

Sad to say many authors and modelers does not fully understand real railroad speak or the day to day operations and how it is never quite the same.

As a example many "expert" modelers doesn't know what a "king pin" is and where its located.

These same "experts" claim to operate in a prototypical manner while  breaking several safety and work rules which would earn the crew some days off or worst-termination of service.

 

 

 

Larry

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Posted by markpierce on Friday, August 22, 2008 7:13 PM
 BRAKIE wrote:

Actually the railroads use LOCOMOTIVE CONSIST  and NOT LASHUP..Lashup is a modelers term.

I was taught that by railroaders while I was a student brakeman.

Sad to say many authors and modelers does not fully understand real railroad speak or the day to day operations and how it is never quite the same.

As a example many "expert" modelers doesn't know what a "king pin" is and where its located.

These same "experts" claim to operate in a prototypical manner while  breaking several safety and work rules which would earn the crew some days off or worst-termination of service.

That's why we need truly knowledgeable people to educate the rest of us.

Mark

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Posted by tangerine-jack on Friday, August 22, 2008 8:05 PM
Amtrak uses the term "consist" when describing the above mentioned MW machinery.  I don't know of any other roads that use that term officialy, but lots of the pre Conrail break up workers use that term freely. 

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Posted by Morgan49 on Friday, August 22, 2008 8:11 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consist
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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, August 22, 2008 9:45 PM

Larry

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Posted by challenger3980 on Friday, August 22, 2008 11:19 PM
 BRAKIE wrote:
 dti406 wrote:

Consist is a Model Railroader's term for the engines used on any train.  The prototype does not use the term consist as far as I know, and I have seen this discussed many times on forums and in the model railroad press.

I remember a picture of the PC or PRR moving power and they had et least eleven engines and a caboose heading west to a terminal, but there was no mention of how many were powered.

Rick 

 

 

 

Actually the railroads use LOCOMOTIVE CONSIST  and NOT LASHUP..Lashup is a modelers term.

I was taught that by railroaders while I was a student brakeman.

Sad to say many authors and modelers does not fully understand real railroad speak or the day to day operations and how it is never quite the same.

As a example many "expert" modelers doesn't know what a "king pin" is and where its located.

These same "experts" claim to operate in a prototypical manner while  breaking several safety and work rules which would earn the crew some days off or worst-termination of service.

 

 

 

  I am a Truck Driver and not a working Rail, but I also have heard working Rails comment on the term "LASH UP" not being used in the industry, only in the HOBBY.

  The "KING PIN" is that round piece of metal sticking out of the bottom of the trailer about 36-48" from the front, which I lock into the Fifth WheelSmile,Wink, & Grin [swg]

    Doug

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, August 22, 2008 11:30 PM

A consists with regards to trains has several meanings. 

It can refer to the group of engines on the train or one of the groups of engines on the train (There were 3 AC's in the lead engine consist and 2 in the mid train helper consist.)

It can refer to the group of cars on the train (The train's consist was 20 loads, 42 empties, 2400 tons.)

It can refer to the list of cars and engines on the train. (The conductor pulled the consist off the printer and reviewed it for hazmat cars.)

Dave H.

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, August 23, 2008 7:53 AM
Dave H said:

It can refer to the group of cars on the train (The train's consist was 20 loads, 42 empties, 2400 tons.)

------------

Just for fun..

A lot of the old line PRR Irish conductors I work with would say it this way.

"Lads,we have 42 empties 20 loads fer 2400 tons..

On the C&O/Chessie the old line conductors said just like you did.

The train consist was called either the consist list or the train sheet.You see we already knew the conductor was getting the train consist sheet..

Some times it was simply:

 What we got today?

We have 77.. 44 loads 33 empties 4400..The empties goes to Shelly(Shebyville).Which means we had no enroute switching.

Larry

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, August 23, 2008 8:06 AM

Consist can also be a verb to mean putting the engines together in a consist or creating the train list.

Dave H.

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Posted by dti406 on Saturday, August 23, 2008 2:39 PM
 BRAKIE wrote:
 dti406 wrote:

Consist is a Model Railroader's term for the engines used on any train.  The prototype does not use the term consist as far as I know, and I have seen this discussed many times on forums and in the model railroad press.

I remember a picture of the PC or PRR moving power and they had et least eleven engines and a caboose heading west to a terminal, but there was no mention of how many were powered.

Rick 

 

 

 

Actually the railroads use LOCOMOTIVE CONSIST  and NOT LASHUP..Lashup is a modelers term.

I was taught that by railroaders while I was a student brakeman.

Sad to say many authors and modelers does not fully understand real railroad speak or the day to day operations and how it is never quite the same.

As a example many "expert" modelers doesn't know what a "king pin" is and where its located.

These same "experts" claim to operate in a prototypical manner while  breaking several safety and work rules which would earn the crew some days off or worst-termination of service.

 

 

 

I stand corrected, thanks for the reply.  I knew there were two terms for it, one by railroaders and one my modelers, but for the life of me I could not remember them.

Thanks again

Rick

 

 

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Posted by Pathfinder on Saturday, August 23, 2008 4:33 PM

 Morgan49 wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consist

Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

In the United States, the term consist is used to describe the group of rail vehicles which make up a train. When referring to motive power, consist refers to the group of locomotives powering the train.

Now, how about DCC   Evil [}:)]

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