Turbine Locomotives

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Turbine Locomotives
Posted by Benjamin J. Temple on Thursday, March 02, 2017 2:55 PM

I am Benjamin J. Temple. I am currently a student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. I am looking for information on the Jet Train that Bombardier Transportation made back in 2002 with a locomotive powered by a Pratt & Whitney turboshaft engine. One prototype was built and tested, but no Jet Trains have yet been sold for service. I am looking for any information you can provide me with for this reason, I am looking to present this information to my professors to further investigate with possible experiments of turbine motors versus diesel motors. The purpose is to get accurate data on the power output of the two and compare advantages. Then see if there is ways of improving the turbine engine, if it has certain advantages over the diesel engine. Would you be willing to help me? I am also looking for any other information on any current turbine locomotives or future turbine locomotives project. Can any one please help me?

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, March 02, 2017 3:42 PM

Well fuel economy for one is the main issue.  LB for LB of fuel used at the speed and power outputs freight railroads and passenger trains run here in the USA your not going to beat the diesel engine offerings by either EMD or GE.  A gas turbine at idle burns 80% of the fuel it does at full power.  You are also going to need special tools to work on them training on how to work on them and the kicker again is the fuel usage.  Read up on the Big Blows and Veranda's turbine locomotives GE built for UP in the 60's yes they had 8500 HP for the Big Blows and 4500 in the Veranda's however they where LOUD full power they produced over 140 DB's they drank fuel they had 16000 fuel tenders behind them for a run from Cheyenne to Salt Lake City and they would burn almost 1/3-1/2 of what they carried on a 6 hour run.  Yes the turbine is great at producing power in a small package however look what is used to move the largest ships in the world diesel engines.  A turbine might be 50-60% efficent the diesel engine is up to 80% efficent in how much of its fuel it turns into workable energy. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, March 02, 2017 4:14 PM

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Thursday, March 02, 2017 4:54 PM

Mr. Temple:

One good place to start is W. H. Gregory "Decision Nears on Turbine Train Award", Aviation Week and Space Technology, June 24, 1974.   This article compares the United Aircraft TurboTrain with the Rohr Turboliner built under license from a French design.

Another place to look on this forum is to search for posts by Jerry Pier, who had worked on the Rohr Turboliners used by Amtrak.  I haven't seen his posts in a while, but you could e-mail him through this forum when you search for and bring up one of this posts.

The Jet Train was a prototype developed in response to a Federal Railway Administration initiative reqarding propulsion for higher speed trains.  As far as I know, the initiative never got beyond that preliminary stage.

The turbine is advantageous when you need a lot of power in a small package such as for a fast passenger train as well as wanting to get high power in a single locomotive unit as with the Union Pacific turbine locomotives used for freight mentioned above.  The turbine may have longer maintenance intervals -- this is the case with turbine vs piston in aviation applications -- although this can vary with circumstances.  The massive direct-drive Diesels used in most ocean going freight ships must have good maintenance characteristics or they wouldn't be usable in that application.

Modern turbines have excellent fuel economy, especially if they are run either at full power or switched off as they are in electric power utility applications and to a certain degree in modern non-nuclear navy ships.  The problem as mentioned by the other replies to your post is that their part-load economy can be poor, although their are partial solutions to that problem.

The Aviation Week article suggested that the French Turboliner on which the Rohr Turboliners, operated the two turbines in a train, one in each power car at the ends of the train, in a special way.  When maintaining speed without accelerating or climbing a hill, one turbine was supplying power and the second turbine was placed at idle, which used less fuel than both turbines supplying half the power demand.  Turning turbines on and off has been suggested, but one has to take into account proper starting and shutdown procedures so as to not damage the turbines from heat cycling.

Another approach is to use a regenerator or a recuperator.  This recycles some of the exhaust heat into preheating the compressor air steam prior to the combustors.  I don't see this used where turbines are either run at full power or they are shut down as in electric power generation service, but this helps part-load fuel economy.  Jerry Pier informed us on this Forum that the Army/Chrysler M1A1 tank uses a regenerative gas turbine for part-load operation reasons.

Hope this helps you get started.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Benjamin J. Temple on Thursday, March 02, 2017 8:23 PM

Hello Shadow the Cats,

Thank you for responding here. I ask this and I mean no offense, but did you read my posting? The posting simple had a bit of information about the Jet Train and explaining why I needed this information.

The posting question was looking for any information on Turbine engines or motors that powered freight or passenger locomotives from the 2002 and forward even looking beyond into the future.

Now to address your comment here. Yes, I have books titled Turbines Westward by Thos. R. Lee, Big Blow… Union Pacific’s Super Turbines by Rev. Harold Keekley and Union Pacific’s Sherman Hill In the Diesel Era by A. J. Wolff. I have read these books and even studied them. The last book mainly has photos of the turbine locomotives, but as they say photos are worth a thousand words. I am fully aware of the General Electric’s GTEL 4500’s, GTEL 8500’s and some other locomotive that you have not mention here. I also have the G.E. GTEL 4500’s being the Big Blow, the Verandas and the GTEL 8500’s in HO scale.

 

Do you know of any sources of information such as magazine articles or literature reviews and where I can get them on the Jet Train or other turbine locomotive of the year 2002 and beyond?

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, March 02, 2017 10:57 PM

The JetTrain was an attempt to combine the advantages of turbine and diesel power. The train would use a comparatively light diesel to power the train up to a point (35 MPH?) where the turbine would be economical, and it would be switched on and power the train up to high speeds. Unfortunately there was no market.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Friday, March 03, 2017 7:45 AM

NorthWest

The JetTrain was an attempt to combine the advantages of turbine and diesel power. The train would use a comparatively light diesel to power the train up to a point (35 MPH?) where the turbine would be economical, and it would be switched on and power the train up to high speeds. Unfortunately there was no market.

 

Wikipedia corroborates the part about using the Diesel for starting, switching over to the turbine for higher speeds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JetTrain.

Turbines have long been advanced as a lightweight source for the high power required for fast trains in the absence of on overhead wire, but I guess the people interested in such trains have all electrified those routes.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by RME on Friday, March 03, 2017 10:53 AM

Benjamin J. Temple
Do you know of any sources of information such as magazine articles or literature reviews and where I can get them on the Jet Train or other turbine locomotive of the year 2002 and beyond?

Something you should know, although you may have to use the Wayback Machine and some ingenuity to find the sources that are still available, is the ALPS locomotive project, which used gas-turbine power to accelerate a substantial flywheel generator.  (The "MegaGen" generator was developed by a team at the University of Texas as primary power for some of the proposed SDI weapons.)  This was an interesting approach for a true HSR locomotive, and it was the platform from which Bombardier developed the JetTrain locomotive.

I downloaded a number of papers from the UT CEM site (you may have to navigate around a bit to find the links to the older papers under particular faculty names): http://www.cem.utexas.edu/ then select "Publications" from the title bar to get started). 

Enhancing the ALPS design with some battery/supercapacitor storage is an interesting way to further equalize operation of the comparatively small gas turbines at a sensible continuous sfc for each.  Also notice that the turbine shafts are vertical, limiting most of the effect of road shock to relatively robust bearings and shock-absorption systems. 

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Posted by Benjamin J. Temple on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 4:17 PM

 

Hello to all,

 

 

 

            To all that responded to my posting, I want to thank you for your time and effort. Paul Milenkovic, I have seen your response and thank you. This material that you provide me seems like good stuff and I will look into it. I don’t know if it will help being my professor is looking for newer material, like in the 2000 time line or even newer like 2010.

 

 

 

RME, thank you for your response and for carefully reading my posting. I will use the knowledge that you have provide me with and see if it leads me into anything I need to conduct this research.

 

 

 

Here is what I found so far on this topic,

 

 

 

Bombardier fires up jet-powered locomotive

 

The JOURNAL of COMMERCE ONLINE | Oct 15, 2002 8:00PM EDT

 

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Bombardier Transportation on Wednesday rolled out what it described as a jet-powered locomotive that can reach speeds of 150 miles per hour.

 

 

 

Unlike the Acela high-speed passenger train that Bombardier built for Amtrak that collect power from overhead catenary, the JetTrain is powered by a gas turbine power plant derived from a Pratt & Whitney PW 150 jet engine, which replaces the traditional diesel engine found in conventional rail locomotives.

 

 

 

Bombardier unveiled the loco, which is aimed at the North American market, at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

Development of the JetTrain was launched in 1998 as a public-private partnership between Bombardier Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration.

 

 

 

"Bombardier has moved the goal posts", said Pierre Lortie, president and chief operating officer of the Montreal-based builder. "JetTrain high-speed rail is game-changing technology that breaks open the high-speed market throughout North America."

 

 

 

Bombardier claimed the unit is 20 per cent lighter than a conventional diesel unit with twice the acceleration. It has already undergone extensive low and high-speed dynamic testing and is quieter than FRA noise standards at all operating speeds.

 

 

 

Bombardier did not say when the loco will be available for revenue service, or how much it would cost.

 

 

 

In 1966, the New York Central tested a locomotive equipped with twin jet engines salvaged from a scrapped B-47 aircraft that reached a top speed of 183 m.p.h. Though criticized as a publicity stunt, the test eventually led to the successful development of Amtrak's high-speed Metroliner and gas turbine trains.

 

 

 

This information came from this website: http://www.joc.com/economy-watch/bombardier-fires-jet-powered-locomotive_20021015.html

 

 

 

Quebec - Windsor Corridor Jet Train, Canada

 

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Quebec - Windsor Corridor Jet Train, Canada

 

 

 

The Quebec-Windsor Corridor is the most densely populated section of Canada; the term is particularly used in connection with VIA Rail passenger train services, analogously to Northeast Corridor on Amtrak. The principal rail routes within the corridor are:

Quebec City - Montreal (services to the south shore opposite Quebec City are not considered Corridor trains)
Montreal - Ottawa
Montreal - Brockville - Kingston - Belleville - Toronto
Ottawa - Brockville - Kingston - Belleville - Toronto
Toronto - Aldershot - St. Catharines - Niagara Falls, Ontario (with a joint VIA/Amtrak service, the Maple Leaf, continuing Buffalo - Albany - New York)
Toronto - Aldershot - Brantford - London - Windsor, Ontario
Toronto - Guelph - Kitchener - London - Sarnia (with a joint VIA/Amtrak service, The International, continuing Flint - Battle Creek - Chicago)

(Aldershot station is in Burlington, but also serves passengers for Hamilton.)
For the most part these are all operated as independent routes, but a few trains continue beyond Toronto (not to the next main destination, but services such as Ottawa-Aldershot) or cross between the two routes running west from Toronto through London.

Services vary from two trains a day on routes such as Toronto - Niagara Falls up to a maximum of six day trains and one overnight train on the Montreal-Toronto run, much of which is also shared by Ottawa-Toronto trains. As well as the most frequent long-distance train service in Canada, this route is also the fastest, with services operated by Bombardier LRC trains at up to 100 mph.

 

Several plans have been proposed over the years for the creation of a High-speed rail line in this corridor. Some of the most recent ones are based on a variation of the Acela trains developed by Bombardier for Amtrak while others are based on the new JetTrain prototype turbine locomotive also developed by Bombardier.

Canada’s Bombardier Inc. roll out - in Washington - a jet engine-powered locomotive that has been quietly developing for years in partnership with the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration.

 

Bombardier believes its 240-kilometres-an-hour JetTrain is the answer to providing high-speed rail service throughout North America using existing track and without the prohibitive cost of electrifying rail networks.

 

It calls JetTrain the first high-speed, non-electric locomotive designed for the North American market.

 

It uses a turbine engine to generate power, instead of the diesel engine used in nearly all locomotives in North America for the past 40 years.

 

Spokesman Warren Flatau of the Railroad Administration said the agency has invested $13 million US in developing the turbine-powered locomotive since about 1997. With Bombardier matching that, JetTrain has cost at least $41 million Cdn so far.

 

Flatau said JetTrain is just one of several initiatives under that governments and private companies have been exploring as a solution to growing highway congestion in several inter-city corridors in the United States and Canada.

 

He said the Railroad Administration can’t endorse a commercial product "but Bombardier is the company that stepped up to the plate when we put out the word we were interested in doing this project. We believe that the project holds great potential for bringing about the high speed services that people across the country are expressing a desire for."

 

Flatau said Bombardier and Amtrak are next going to show off the train at various sites where authorities are pushing for high-speed, inter-city service.

 

He said he doesn’t know if it will travel to Canada. Via Rail has just handed in a report requested by Transport Minister David Collenette on how to speed up rail service in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. Via’s best trains reach 150 km/h where track quality permits.

 

However, as Bombardier Transportation executives show off the 21-metre-long prototype to authorities at Washington’s Union Station on Tuesday, Amtrak officials could be excused for a certain skepticism.

 

Amtrak and Bombardier are in a nasty legal battle over the trouble-plagued Acela Express high-speed electric train recently introduced on the northeast corridor linking Boston, New York and Washington.

 

There has been a rash of train delays and breakdowns with Acela, the first high-speed train service in North America. Amtrak ordered 18 from Bombardier and its French partner Alstom, and 15 have been delivered.

 

Although the train is popular thanks to its speed and comfort, Amtrak has vowed never to buy another.

 

The JetTrain locomotive develops 5,000 horsepower, with about half the weight of some current diesel freight locomotives. Flatau also said it’s quiet and has "rather remarkable acceleration capabilities."

 

Ross Capon, executive director of the National Association of Railroad Passengers, said he is not aware of any non-electric locomotive in service that can reach 240 km/h.

 

Capon said the big question for JetTrain’s market success is how much it costs and how much fuel it requires. "That’s going to be one of the main issues."

 

It is not the first time a jet turbine has been used to move a train. Jerome Pier, a consultant on the Bombardier design, said there are seven trains operating since 1977 in New York State using jet turbines incorporated into coaches.

 

Pier, owner of a private consulting group based at Carlisle, Ont., said the "power-car" trains have 3,000 horsepower each, not enough to reach high speeds. He said the JetTrain breaks new ground by its power and speed.

 

Best known as propulsion engines for jet aircraft, turbines are also adapted to drive backup electrical generators for utilities and to power pipelines.

 

The JetTrain prototype was assembled at Bombardier’s plant in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

 

Featured suppliers on this project:

 

 

https://www.railwaypeople.com/Page/project-quebec-windsor-corridor-jet-train-canada-30

 

 

 

LEAVING ON A JET TRAIN: Acela Express manufacturer unviels new JetTrain technology

 

By CHARLES WEBSTER

 

Posted: 10/16/02, 12:01 AM EDT | Updated: on 10/16/2002

 

0 Comments

 

The JetTrain is the first 150-mile-per-hour, non-electric high-speed rail locomotive designed for the North American market.

 

Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PW 150 jet engine, Bombardier officials say the new state-of-the-art JetTrain locomotive would replace the traditional diesel engine locomotives found in most current rail equipment.

 

Bombardier came under fire back in August, after routine maintenance inspections by Amtrak mechanics discovered cracks in the yaw damper bracket of the locomotive's braking system causing the nation's largest passenger railroad to shut down its Acela Express service over a two weeks period.

 

At the time of the Acela Express shutdown, Amtrak President David Gunn said the experience showed why Amtrak should go with established technology rather than with new designs, such as Acela Express, when it seeks to buy additional high-speed trains.

 

Adding that the U.S. government should make it easier for Amtrak to buy trains designed in Europe and already in use there.

 

Pierre Lortie, president of the Montreal-based Bombardier, said yesterday he was confident the equipment problems that have plagued Acela Express will not hurt sales of the new locomotive.

 

He said several states are developing high-speed rail, and the company is targeting proposed high-speed lines within California, between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, between Chicago and St. Louis, between Tampa and Orlando in Florida, and between Toronto and Montreal.

 

 

 

Bombadier designed the new technology as part of an initiative that was launched in 1998 as a public-private development partnership between Bombardier Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration.

 

According to Bombardier, the JetTrain technology was designed to offer the speed and acceleration of electric trains without the cost of building electrified rail lines.

 

"Bombardier has moved the goal posts," said Pierre Lortie, president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Transportation. "JetTrain high-speed rail is game-changing technology that breaks open the high-speed market throughout North America." 

 

Bombardier touts the locomotive as 20 percent lighter than a conventional diesel unit with twice the acceleration, and also insists that the new technology is environmentally friendly.

 

"We believe JetTrain high-speed rail is the technology for America because it's better, it's faster and it's sooner," said Lecia Stewart, Bombardier's vice president for high-speed rail for North America.

 

FRA and Amtrak officials were noticeably absent from the event yesterday, but spokesman Warren Flateau said the FRA remains "very much a part of the partnership."

 

Amtrak remains the only current provider of regularly scheduled inter-city passenger rail in the United States. Amtrak says it needs $1.2 billion from the government just to maintain operations for the next year and has shelved expansion plans, including those for high-speed rail.

 

Lortie acknowledged that Amtrak could be a potential purchaser but said high-speed projects being developed outside Amtrak's oversight are more promising.

 

He specifically cited Florida, where voters two years ago passed a constitutional amendment requiring construction of a rail network, with trains exceeding 120 mph, by November 2003.

 

Amtrak and Bombardier are locked in a legal battle over production delays and equipment problems that marred the introduction of Acela Express.

 

Bombardier, a world leader in manufacturing regional jets and train cars, sued Amtrak in 2000, contending the railroad held up production through shifting demands and bad decisions. It is seeking at least $200 million in damages.

 

Amtrak blames Bombardier and says that, under its contract, it reserves the right to seek more than $250 million in penalties. On Sept. 30, a judge denied Amtrak's motion to dismiss the case.

 

Amtrak and Bombardier continue to work together on equipment problems that grounded the Acela Express fleet for part of August. Lortie said the cracking that occurred underneath the high-speed locomotives was "an unfortunate technical issue, but I think it is behind us."

 

Lortie said the company could begin closing deals in the next few months.

 

The ombardier Transportation, the lead manufacturer of Amtrak's troubled Acela Express, unveiled its JetTrain locomotive at Union Station in Washington yesterday.

 

The JetTrain is the first 150-mile-per-hour, non-electric high-speed rail locomotive designed for the North American market.

 

Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PW 150 jet engine, Bombardier officials say the new state-of-the-art JetTrain locomotive would replace the traditional diesel engine locomotives found in most current rail equipment.

 

Bombardier came under fire back in August, after routine maintenance inspections by Amtrak mechanics discovered cracks in the yaw damper bracket of the locomotive's braking system causing the nation's largest passenger railroad to shut down its Acela Express service over a two weeks period.

 

At the time of the Acela Express shutdown, Amtrak President David Gunn said the experience showed why Amtrak should go with established technology rather than with new designs, such as Acela Express, when it seeks to buy additional high-speed trains.

 

Adding that the U.S. government should make it easier for Amtrak to buy trains designed in Europe and already in use there.

 

Pierre Lortie, president of the Montreal-based Bombardier, said yesterday he was confident the equipment problems that have plagued Acela Express will not hurt sales of the new locomotive.

 

He said several states are developing high-speed rail, and the company is targeting proposed high-speed lines within California, between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, between Chicago and St. Louis, between Tampa and Orlando in Florida, and between Toronto and Montreal.

 

Bombadier designed the new technology as part of an initiative that was launched in 1998 as a public-private development partnership between Bombardier Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration.

 

According to Bombardier, the JetTrain technology was designed to offer the speed and acceleration of electric trains without the cost of building electrified rail lines.

 

"Bombardier has moved the goal posts," said Pierre Lortie, president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Transportation. "JetTrain high-speed rail is game-changing technology that breaks open the high-speed market throughout North America."

 

Bombardier touts the locomotive as 20 percent lighter than a conventional diesel unit with twice the acceleration, and also insists that the new technology is environmentally friendly.

 

"We believe JetTrain high-speed rail is the technology for America because it's better, it's faster and it's sooner," said Lecia Stewart, Bombardier's vice president for high-speed rail for North America.

 

FRA and Amtrak officials were noticeably absent from the event yesterday, but spokesman Warren Flateau said the FRA remains "very much a part of the partnership."

 

Amtrak remains the only current provider of regularly scheduled inter-city passenger rail in the United States. Amtrak says it needs $1.2 billion from the government just to maintain operations for the next year and has shelved expansion plans, including those for high-speed rail.

 

Lortie acknowledged that Amtrak could be a potential purchaser but said high-speed projects being developed outside Amtrak's oversight are more promising.

 

He specifically cited Florida, where voters two years ago passed a constitutional amendment requiring construction of a rail network, with trains exceeding 120 mph, by November 2003.

 

Amtrak and Bombardier are locked in a legal battle over production delays and equipment problems that marred the introduction of Acela Express.

 

Bombardier, a world leader in manufacturing regional jets and train cars, sued Amtrak in 2000, contending the railroad held up production through shifting demands and bad decisions. It is seeking at least $200 million in damages.

 

Amtrak blames Bombardier and says that, under its contract, it reserves the right to seek more than $250 million in penalties. On Sept. 30, a judge denied Amtrak's motion to dismiss the case.

 

Amtrak and Bombardier continue to work together on equipment problems that grounded the Acela Express fleet for part of August. Lortie said the cracking that occurred underneath the high-speed locomotives was "an unfortunate technical issue, but I think it is behind us."

 

Lortie said the company could begin closing deals in the next few months.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

http://www.trentonian.com/article/TT/20021016/FINANCE01/310169993

 

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Posted by tdmidget on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 11:58 PM

You will likely get a better grade if you lean that:

A turboshaft engine is not a "jet".

Although turbo jet engines use a turbine to turn the compressor, not all "jets" have either turbines or compressors.

A "jet" engine produces thrust by the reaction of the expelled exhaust. A turboshaft or combustion turbine produces torque from the action of the combustion gases on the turbine rotor.

A combustion turbine will not likely be a successful locomotive powerplant for the problem with fuel economy, even if all other problems are solved.

RME
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Posted by RME on Thursday, March 16, 2017 12:57 AM

I hope he can find some of the actual engineering material and drawings, and that he will post back here with some of his intermediate research before he actually presents anything.

I hope he recognizes that the Pride of the Central was an experimental test vehicle, not intended as practical passenger transportation -- although certainly an interesting successor to the Kruckenberg Schienenzeppelin.  There's enough material on Don Strack's pages to give him a run at the UP turbines, and enough in Hirsimaki's article on the coal-burning turbine boondoggle to get him up to speed on Hilsch tubes and other fun things.  Perhaps the most 'sensible' turbines were the Rover adapted truck units used in the APT-E.

He'll need a better differentiation of "jet" than the one provided: turboprop engines use part of the exhaust as 'jet' reaction propulsion, and turbofan engines develop a considerable part of their thrust through torque-induced fan rotation.  However, I agree completely that it is wise to avoid the use of the word 'jet' outside of marketing materials or whiz-bang newsworking stories when discussing gas-turbine power for trains.  (Note that the United Aircraft adaptation of Cripe's train was never called a 'jet' train even though there seemed to be considerable similarities in a number of respects between the TurboTrain and contemporary UA aircraft.)

The so-called JetTrain was a remarkable cheapening of the ALPS locomotive, resembling to me the approach taken with the Turboliner III train (whose parts were sold off at fire-sale prices several years ago).  Here you had a common gearbox with mechanical final drive, with the turbine and the diesel engine on different gearbox inputs (there was a clear Bombardier drawing that showed this, now of course long purged from the official sites and apparently also from the Wayback Machine courtesy of careful corporate robots.txt filing).

The ALPS locomotive as interpreted by Herbst et al. on the other hand was considerably more dramatic, using an interesting design of main generator (similar to a rotating Tesla coil!) and motor/transmission design shared with 'best practice' HSR locomotives.  It is one of the very few self-contained designs that can hold its own with catenary-electric performance.  At least theoretically (although I don't remember this being discussed extensively) diesel power for low-speed operation could be provided in extended structure if desired; although at the time it seemed ridiculous to use a 225+mph design to poke along at 125 or so, we've since seen several "HSR" projects with overspecified train components whose whole first-generation equipment lifetime is likely to be spent at such low peak speeds...

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Posted by tdmidget on Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:30 PM

Any reaction to the exhaust of a turboshaft engine is negligible. If there were it would be a very inefficient engine. Indeed, look at the P&W PT6. The combustion gases travel from rear to front and then exhaust. The reactions would cancel each other. This is like the claim of thrust from the stub exhausts in some aircraft engines. There are those who claim so much thrust that, were it true, the aircraft could taxi without a propeller, but of course it can't. The idea is to extract the energy from these gases in the turbine. There is waste energy in the heat of course but the velocity is not such that thrust would be useable.

The combustion turbine is only efficient at high loads. There is too much load variation to make it more than a novelty railroad wise. UP and GE could not make them practical even with the cheapest of fuels. Today those fuels are not readily available or in the case of coal, out of favor . A practical power plant will have to be very economical at low or no load and be powerful at full load. So far compression ignition engines are way ahead in these areas.

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Posted by carnej1 on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 11:35 AM

Benjamin J. Temple

I am Benjamin J. Temple. I am currently a student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. I am looking for information on the Jet Train that Bombardier Transportation made back in 2002 with a locomotive powered by a Pratt & Whitney turboshaft engine. One prototype was built and tested, but no Jet Trains have yet been sold for service. I am looking for any information you can provide me with for this reason, I am looking to present this information to my professors to further investigate with possible experiments of turbine motors versus diesel motors. The purpose is to get accurate data on the power output of the two and compare advantages. Then see if there is ways of improving the turbine engine, if it has certain advantages over the diesel engine. Would you be willing to help me? I am also looking for any other information on any current turbine locomotives or future turbine locomotives project. Can any one please help me?

 

Here is a link to an interesting website with lots of info about Gas turbines in railroad applications: http://turbotrain.net/en/index.htm

 

"I Often Dream of Trains"-From the Album of the Same Name by Robyn Hitchcock

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Posted by tdmidget on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 9:22 PM

The repetitive Chinglish in your links gives me some bad vibes.

RME
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Posted by RME on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 11:18 PM

tdmidget
The repetitive Chinglish in your links...

That is strange.  I thought it was a Japanese site.

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Posted by erikem on Wednesday, April 05, 2017 1:16 AM

And the site had some interesting and useful information.

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Posted by tdmidget on Wednesday, April 05, 2017 10:54 PM

RME

It might be Japanese. Or it might not. The Japanese usually do a much better job of translation, though the content does seem amateurish . The repeated beating of the dead horse (turbine engine locomotive) also repeatedly referred to as a "jet" is reminiscient of the electrification crowd. No matter what the facts are, their pet method is not just better, but perfect.

 

 
tdmidget
The repetitive Chinglish in your links...

 

That is strange.  I thought it was a Japanese site.

 

RME
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Posted by RME on Thursday, April 06, 2017 9:16 AM

tdmidget
The Japanese usually do a much better job of translation, though the content does seem amateurish . The repeated beating of the dead horse (turbine engine locomotive) also repeatedly referred to as a "jet" is reminiscent of the electrification crowd. No matter what the facts are, their pet method is not just better, but perfect.

Yes, I think this is an amateur (in the correct meaning of the word) site -- look at the associated 'turbo' diesel train site linked from it for a much more graphic example.

The fact that they use a diagram of the ALPS locomotive in a discussion of the Bombardier JetTrain indicates to me that they don't really recognize the change in the design between the two -- which is very, very great.  ALPS was explicitly designed around full HSR performance, which could only be said about JetTrain if you thought Turboliner IIIs had state-of-the-art powertrains.  They also seem to have missed most if not all of the point of the MegaGen, assuming it is just about flywheel KERS. 

I got the impression the site was written by college engineering students just getting into design analysis and the tools available for it; I think Professor Milenkovic could refine this down almost to year and curriculum levels. Their simulation package is pretty good for something originally designed to run on a 4MHz Z80 compatible with 24K BASIC ROM!

I was also a little amused by the four-speed tank transmission discussion -- it would have been an interesting engineering problem to analyze forces and gear design in a mechanical transmission for railroad use, but I don't think they are quite "there" in their engineering studies, or experience, just yet.

At least the JetTrain people understood there were advantages to using a positive-displacement engine at low to medium speed, and not just to hostle the locomotive and supply startup or hot-turning power to the turboshaft engine(s).  I am still trying to find an accessible discussion of Cripe's last major design, which I thought used the fruits of the Turbotrain design experience in a train with more typical high-speed diesel prime movers.

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Posted by tdmidget on Friday, April 07, 2017 11:26 PM

I think you are correct. A practicing engineer would have a lot more polish and substance.

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