Trains.com

Tonnage Ratings

2083 views
14 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Tonnage Ratings
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 5:04 PM

Railroads have specific tonnage ratings for each type of locomotive they operate over specific track segments.  Each routing on a division has its own grades and profile of those grades.

Since I was in Dispatching the last 18 years of my career, I became intimately familiar with the tonnage ratings for each of the subdivisions of my territories.

One thing I NEVER came across was tonnage ratings for Steam Engine across the same territories I had current diesel ratings for.

I suspect current 'road' power has a significant advantage in both tons and speeds in the tonnage they are able to move, but I haven't come across any steam engine tonnage ratings.

Video's I have seen of steam loaded to the maximum on grades would indicate that steam was moving in the neighborhood of 5 MPH when loaded to the max.  Diesels (DC) start getting into 'short time' ratings at speeds below about 12 MPH when operating with maximum exertion.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 5:58 PM

Don't know if this will display correctly - CSX Baltimore Div. Ratings from late 1990's - covers power from the few remaining Gen 2 diesels through the AC44's and AC60's -

Origin      Dest      MP         MP

CUMBOY  BRUNSY BA 105  BA  76   3950   4500   6000  7150  7800  9900 10500 11400

CUMBOY  CUMBED BA 105  BA 178   4600   5250   7000  8300  9100 11550 12250 13300

MILLR1  CUMBOY BA 115  BA 105   2900   3300   4400  5200  5700  7250  7700  8350

NORBRN  MILLR1 BA 177  BA 115   9900  11250  15000 17850 19500 24750 26250 28500

MILLYL  HAGEWM BAE107  BAS111   2500   2850   3800  4500  4900  6250  6650  7200

MILLR4  CUMBO4 BAQ  0  BAQ 12   6950   7950  10600 12600 13750 17450 18550 20100

MILLMN  HAGEWM BAS 34  BAS111   2500   2850   3800  4500  4900  6250  6650  7200

HIGHWM  HAGEWM BAS 93  BAS111   2150   2450   3300  3900  4250  5400  5750  6250

HAGEWM  MILLYL BAS111  BAE107   4600   5250   7000  8300  9100 11550 12250 13300

HAGEWM  MILLMN BAS111  BAS 34   4600   5250   7000  8300  9100 11550 12250 13300

HAGEWM  PORTWM BAS111  BAS 49   1500   1700   2300  2700  2950  3750  4000  4350

HAGEWM  LURGWM BAS111  BAV 32   3300   3750   5000  5950  6500  8250  8750  9500

LURGWM  HAGEWM BAV 32  BAS111   2200   2550   3400  4050  4400  5600  5950  6450

CUMYD2  CONPAY BF 179  BF 270   1350   1550   2100  2500  2700  3450  3650  3950

ROCKWA  JOHNSA BF 227  BFC 45   1900   2150   2900  3450  3750  4750  5050  5500

CONPAY  CUMYD2 BF 270  BF 179   1900   2150   2900  3450  3750  4750  5050  5500

CONPAY  NEWCAY BF 270  BG  58   6900   7850  10500 12500 13650 17300 18350 19950

BRADDA  FAIWVY BF 320  BS 302   1950   2250   3001  3550  3900  4950  5250  5700

GLEJUN  EDGEPA BF 323  BG  53   1650   1900   2550  3000  3300  4200  4450  4800

GLEJUN  WASPAA BF 323  BO  35   1350   1550   2100  2500  2700  3450  3650  3950

JOHNSA  ROCKWA BFC 45  BF 227   1900   2150   2900  3450  3750  4750  5050  5500

CALLEN  GLEJUN BG  25  BF 323   1900   2200   2950  3500  3800  4850  5150  5600

CALLEN  NEWCAY BG  25  BG  58   5600   6400   8550 10150 11100 14100 14950 16200

EDGEPA  CALLEN BG  53  BG  25   5600   6400   8550 10150 11100 14100 14950 16200

NEWCAY  CONPAY BG  58  BF 270   5900   6750   9000 10700 11700 14850 15750 17100

NEWCAY  WILLAE BG  58  BG 204   4000   4550   6100  7250  7900 10050 10650 11550

STERLN  NEWCAY BG 155  BG  58   3150   3600   4800  5700  6200  7900  8400  9100

WASPAA  GLEJUN BO  35  BF 323   1350   1550   2100  2500  2700  3450  3650  3950

FAIWVY  BRADDA BS 302  BF 320   1950   2250   3001  3550  3900  4950  5250  5700

FEDONZ  BROWPA BTC  6  PLM 61   1950   2250   3001  3550  3900  4950  5250  5700

ASHTAB  CONNEA PLC  1  QD 115   4350   4950   6650  7900  8600 10950 11600 12600

ASHTAB  PAINSV PLC  1  QD 153   4350   4950   6650  7900  8600 10950 11600 12600

BROWPA  FEDONZ PLM 61  BTC  6   5900   6750   9000 10700 11700 14850 15750 17100

CONNEA  ASHTAB QD 115  PLC  1   4350   4950   6650  7900  8600 10950 11600 12600

 

PAINSV  ASHTAB QD 153  PLC  1   4350   4950   6650  7900  8600 10950 11600 12600

 

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • 1,165 posts
Posted by mvlandsw on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 10:57 PM

The row that shows the engine type is missing.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 8:17 AM

mvlandsw
The row that shows the engine type is missing.

I know!  For whatever reason, it did not end up in the file.  

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    April 2001
  • From: Roanoke, VA
  • 2,008 posts
Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 8:38 AM

Employee timetables during the steam years on the N&W gave tonnage ratings for each type of steam locomotive.
One thing that I found interesting was that NOT UNTIL the advent of the AC diesel units could one diesel outpull an N&W Y6 class steam locomotive!

.

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 13,429 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 9:58 AM

That may be true but through the wonder of multiple unit control, you could easily assemble the number of GP9's under one throtttle that it would take to outpull the Y6b.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    April 2001
  • From: Roanoke, VA
  • 2,008 posts
Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 2:06 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

That may be true but through the wonder of multiple unit control, you could easily assemble the number of GP9's under one throtttle that it would take to outpull the Y6b.

Duh!

.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 3:22 PM

BigJim
Employee timetables during the steam years on the N&W gave tonnage ratings for each type of steam locomotive.

One thing that I found interesting was that NOT UNTIL the advent of the AC diesel units could one diesel outpull an N&W Y6 class steam locomotive!

It would be interesting to see such tonnage ratings, especially if there is direct comparison to diesels from Gen 1 to the present.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 11,760 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 8:44 PM

Let us play train builder.

1.  Sorry those cars cannot go as they will exceed tonage rating on hill X and hill Y.  We don't have any helpers until hill Z.

2.  No the temperature is too low for that rating but go anyway.

3.  That head wind will not matter.

4.  The rain / snow will not matter.

5.  Loco needs fuel? That weight loss does not matter.

6.  Crew says sand low? Not needed.  Anyway, sand tower has been removed.  That saved a lot of cash from my account.

7.  What do you mean the train slid back down hill X?  Lay the crew off for 60 days.  Why couldn't they follow guidelines and not stall on hill?

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, January 18, 2024 9:11 AM

blue streak 1
Let us play train builder.

1.  Sorry those cars cannot go as they will exceed tonage rating on hill X and hill Y.  We don't have any helpers until hill Z.

2.  No the temperature is too low for that rating but go anyway.

3.  That head wind will not matter.

4.  The rain / snow will not matter.

5.  Loco needs fuel? That weight loss does not matter.

6.  Crew says sand low? Not needed.  Anyway, sand tower has been removed.  That saved a lot of cash from my account.

7.  What do you mean the train slid back down hill X?  Lay the crew off for 60 days.  Why couldn't they follow guidelines and not stall on hill?

1. Train make up and any tonnage restrictions are defined in the carriers Operating Plan. Tonnage considerations apply from Origin to Destination and the maximum ruling grade between the two.

On CSX this plan was changed on a weekly basis to accomodate planned MofW curfews for major MofW projects (Rail Gangs, Tie & Surfacing Gangs, Curve Patch Gangs etc.)

2. Temperature considerations are implemented during cold weather with the length of trains being restricted account trainline leakage from cold air hose gaskets.

3.  Building trains at A, they have no idea of wind conditions if any at Z.  Observation from the CSX territory between Willard and Chicago - headwind is fine - a quartering head wind can suck 10 MPH out of a Intermodal train's top speed.

4. Routine rain and snow don't matter.  When rainfall and snowfall is reported in inches per hour then it becomes an issue.  Monsoon/Hurricanes & Blizzards are taken seriously.

5. Have NEVER heard of adding fuel for any other reason than the engines were near running out of fuel or fuel was cheaper at location X than at location Y.

6.  Sand is an issue.  When engines are fueled, they are also sanded.  Tank truck fueling of engines, the trucks are also supposed to supply sand.  Current generation locootives have much larger sand capacities than did Gen 1 diesels.

7. Trains do stall for a variety of valid reasons.  Crews aren't 'laid off', the are disciplined.  I may be mistaken, the various agreements limit discipline to a maximum of 30 days suspension, for any period of time greater than 30 days the employeed is FIRED and must seek reinstatement through his Union's claim channels.  Discipline is only applied AFTER a formal Investigation, not something that is spur of the moment.  Limits vary by contract, but Investigations normally must be scheduled within 10 days of the rules violation.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    April 2001
  • From: Roanoke, VA
  • 2,008 posts
Posted by BigJim on Thursday, January 18, 2024 10:04 AM

BaltACD

BigJim

Employee timetables during the steam years on the N&W gave tonnage ratings for each type of steam locomotive.

One thing that I found interesting was that NOT UNTIL the advent of the AC diesel units could one diesel outpull an N&W Y6 class steam locomotive!

.

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • 2,286 posts
Posted by timz on Thursday, January 18, 2024 11:42 AM

Now that wx4.org exists, you can look at employee timetables of a number of RRs that included tonnage ratings, like SP, UP, L&N, N&W.

Here's a 1953 Radford Division

Scanned using Book ScanCenter 7131 (wx4.org)

On page 18 you see that Y5/Y6s were allowed 4650 tons on the climb from Walton to Christiansburg, which is six miles of fairly constant 1.0%. Couple years later the rating increased to 5150 tons, so the usual coal train became 10300 tons with a Y at each end.

In 1958 Y5/Y6s were allowed 3600 tons on the 1.4% Elkhorn climb while GP9/RS11s were supposed to be good for 1400 tons (page 13)

Scanned using Book ScanCenter 7131 (wx4.org)

But most RRs didn't include ratings in the timetable. And, of course, we don't know how fast the RR expected each engine to haul its rating, or how reliably.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, January 18, 2024 1:50 PM

BigJim
 
BaltACD

BigJim

Employee timetables during the steam years on the N&W gave tonnage ratings for each type of steam locomotive.

One thing that I found interesting was that NOT UNTIL the advent of the AC diesel units could one diesel outpull an N&W Y6 class steam locomotive!

Temperature differences reducing tonnage on the steam engines is interesting. Is the engine losing power OR is it an admission that cold oil in journal boxes is making it harder to pull the cars at the lower temperatures.  Of course in today's railroads we are dealing exclusively with roller bearings on all cars and engines.

Is steam being fed to the tender to keep the water from freezing?  N&W used canteens with a lot of the articulated engines - was water in the canteen also heated sufficient to keep it from freezing?

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 10,594 posts
Posted by dehusman on Friday, January 19, 2024 9:19 AM

Some railroads did away with the tonnage ratings by class of engine and just went by horsepower and a horsepower per trailing ton rating for the train type or general area.  Another rating system is "equivalent powered axles" and "trailing tons per axle".

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, January 19, 2024 11:21 AM

dehusman
Some railroads did away with the tonnage ratings by class of engine and just went by horsepower and a horsepower per trailing ton rating for the train type or general area.  Another rating system is "equivalent powered axles" and "trailing tons per axle".

As in the animal world, not all horses have the same power - thoroughbreds vs. Clydesdales.  They are all horses but don't have the same power or speed potential.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy