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Spooling Up

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  • Member since
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Spooling Up
Posted by JPS1 on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 8:34 PM
While at one of my favorite train watching spots yesterday, three BNSF locomotives stopped nearby.  They were pulling a mixed train of box cars, hopper cars, and tank cars.
 
The lead locomotive was a GE C44-9W.  Or at least I think it was.  The engineer spooled up the diesel to what seemed like very high revolutions for approximately 10 minutes and then backed it down.  The train remained stationary.  What was h/she doing?
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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 10:17 PM

My GUESS!

Charging up the air brake system - may have had, for whatever reason, a Main Resevoir pressure reading that was below the acceptable limit.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 10:36 PM

Modern locomotives often rev up their engines for no apparent reason, not just low air pressure.  

The computer may have decided to warm the engine or initiate a turbo cool-down cycle, both of which I have seen given as reasons on the computer screen.

Sometimes the computer does not give a reason.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 11:43 PM

SD70Dude
Modern locomotives often rev up their engines for no apparent reason, not just low air pressure.

Our rebuilt 60s are always screaming, it seems.  But they settle down by the time you have to move again.

 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 JPS1 on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 9:26 AM

SD70Dude
 The computer may have decided to warm the engine or initiate a turbo cool-down cycle, both of which I have seen given as reasons on the computer screen.

Sometimes the computer does not give a reason. 

In what ways is the locomotive, i.e. diesel, motors, controls, etc. controlled by a computer(s)?

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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 3:41 PM

JPS1

 

 
SD70Dude
 The computer may have decided to warm the engine or initiate a turbo cool-down cycle, both of which I have seen given as reasons on the computer screen.

Sometimes the computer does not give a reason. 

 

In what ways is the locomotive, i.e. diesel, motors, controls, etc. controlled by a computer(s)?

 

Pretty much all of it.  

Once upon a time control was all analog electrical and mechanical.  Lots of switches, relays, flyball governor, rheostats.

In the 1960s, some solid state items got added to the mix.  Transistors and diodes.  

In the 1980s, integrated circuits were added, and finally microprocessors.

In the 1990's electronic engine controls were introduced.  

There's really nothing left that's not under the control of a microprocessor.  

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 3:54 PM

JPS1
 
SD70Dude
 The computer may have decided to warm the engine or initiate a turbo cool-down cycle, both of which I have seen given as reasons on the computer screen.

Sometimes the computer does not give a reason.  

In what ways is the locomotive, i.e. diesel, motors, controls, etc. controlled by a computer(s)?

Next time you take your daily driver to a shop - have them plug a full function OBD2 (On Board Diagnostics 2nd Generation)reader into your car's OBD2 port - you will be amazed at all the functions that are measured and controlled by the computer.  Without computers today's internal combustion engined - be that gas or diesel don't operate.

The 'cheapie' OBD2 readers you see On Line and at Auto Parts stores, show a number of the generic mesasurements, the manufacturer specific readers reveal all - what all is measured and used to insure proper combustion of the fuel will amaze you.

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