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Modeling the railroads of the future

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, June 30, 2018 9:51 AM

Someone brought up self driving cars and trucks as not working, they work fine and if you run the numbers they have less accidents than regular stuff per driven mile. People seem to expect perfection but people are not perfect. Don't expect self driving trains for a long time, too many people don't like the idea, they don't like the trucks either but they may get a pass on set routes.

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Posted by Eilif on Sunday, July 01, 2018 11:01 PM

Really great ideas here.

I did a "sci-fi" train for wargaming made mostly of resale shop toys. Roughly O scale but more of a hollywood idea of a somewhat dystopian future than anything resembling a scale model approach to logicaly futuristic transportation.

More pics and such here:

https://www.chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/2016/11/21/sci-fi-train-finished/

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Posted by NWP SWP on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 12:27 AM

Well I think we might see a resurgence of heavy-duty cars that have capacities of at least 150 tons, and of course ride on triaxle trucks, on my railroad I plan to have an extensive fleet of such cars, I'm already working on the first cars 150 ton coal gons.

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 1:03 AM

NWP SWP

Well I think we might see a resurgence of heavy-duty cars that have capacities of at least 150 tons, and of course ride on triaxle trucks, on my railroad I plan to have an extensive fleet of such cars, I'm already working on the first cars 150 ton coal gons.

 

 
There are certain limits as to the axle load. The current maximum is a little over 35 tons. Malmbanan (Iron Ore Railway) in Sweden operates self-unloading cars with a payload of 120 (metric) tons. Total weight is above 150 tons, which requires heavy duty special rail. This is already close to what the laws of physics allow before a process of "cold welding" occurs. Of course, one coud increase the number of axles for better weight distribution, but I doubt wether that would be economical.

Cheers,

Ulrich

"In my age, I don´t tan anymore - I simply rust!"

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 7:09 AM

 Yup. You could certainly make a car large enough to carry huge loads while not exceeding per axle load limits, but you get into the same boat as huge horsepooower locomotives. It's great as long as you cna always load it to capacity, but if not, wouldn't it be better to have multiple smaller cars that you can add or subtract as necessary to meet the traffic demands and minimize the dead weight being carried around?

                                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:39 AM

I was saying that car load volume might increase, and that we might see cars like the battleship gons, whopper hoppers, railwhales, ect... return to service, albeit modernized.

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:55 AM

We heard you, Steven, and the answer was that there are limits to what is feasible in economic terms as well as the application of the laws of Physics.

Malmbanan in Sweden  has been scratching on those limits already - if a fully loaded car isn´t moved for a longer period, it tends to get "glued" to the rail by the high pressure.

Cheers,

Ulrich

"In my age, I don´t tan anymore - I simply rust!"

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Posted by CNSF on Thursday, July 12, 2018 1:51 PM
Lots of good ideas here. If the purpose of the modeling exercise is to highlight interesting new possibilities, I would worry less about predicting what's likely to actually happen than what might be possible. Definitely driverless, cabless locomotives, perhaps with a tender for LNG or battery packs. No visual signals, and shorter trains as well - why string together multiple blocks of traffic to make a 10,000-foot monster when there are no crew savings to be had by doing so? Lots of intermodal; maybe some new container types, and no coal or oil ("none" by 2030 is probably an exaggeration, but it'll certainly be trending that way). And if you come up with a workable design to "streamline" the gaps in a doublestack train using air deflectors of some sort, patent it.
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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:39 PM

The idea of crewless trains is real and technology is at hand. See January 2018 issue of Trains Magaine.

However, both the railroads and Feds isn't exactly embracing the idea.

As of now the Feds are fighting the railroads over one  man road crews.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:51 PM

CNSF
Definitely driverless, cabless locomotives

I sincerely doubt that. Driverless trains are only possible when the right of way is completely inaccessible to others, i.e. no grade crossings, no in-street running etc.

As I said earlier, don´t expect any major differences to what you see today; 12 years is not enough time for a technical revolution on rails.

Cheers,

Ulrich

"In my age, I don´t tan anymore - I simply rust!"

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, July 12, 2018 5:01 PM

Ya, if you went ahead 200 years you'd see a big difference - after the oil and coal are used up, it'll either be electric trains powered with electricity generated by atomic power plants or wind, solar, or tidal power...or small freight cars pulled by horses.

Smile, Wink & Grin

Stix

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