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Long Auto Train

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Long Auto Train
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 7:22 AM

I've seen some videos showing the Auto Train with 15 passenger cars and 33 auto carriers! Big train.

The train has only two units. Is that line basically devoid of any grade?

If all the auto carriers are full, how much does that train weigh? For comparison, what does a 100-car loaded coal train weigh?

Still in training.


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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 9:23 AM

Lithonia Operator
I've seen some videos showing the Auto Train with 15 passenger cars and 33 auto carriers! Big train.

The train has only two units. Is that line basically devoid of any grade?

If all the auto carriers are full, how much does that train weigh? For comparison, what does a 100-car loaded coal train weigh?

The route between Lorton and Sanford is largely built on the coast plain and has minimal grades.  Using 90 tons per passenger car and 96 tons per fully loaded auto rack (figured as 60 ton tri-level with the load of 18 two ton vehicles) the numbers come out to 4518 tons.  I have no idea what Amtrak features is the tonnage rating for their locomotives; CSX Florence Division employee timetable from 2005 rates B36-7 four axle locmotives for about 5000 tons per unit on the sub divisions Auto Train operates between Richmond and Savannah.

A 100 car coal train today will gross out at nominally 14300 tons as each car will normally be loaded to the maximum of 286K pounds or 143 tons.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 11:06 AM

When I was stationed in the Pacific Northwest, I and a buddy climbed Mount Rainier one July 4th weekend. So I set my goal of climbing the highest mountain in each of  the lower 48. A scalp on my my belt is Florida's Britton Hill, a towering 345 feet, which is nowhere near Autotrain's route. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 11:14 AM

BEAUSABRE
When I was stationed in the Pacific Northwest, I and a buddy climbed Mount Rainier one July 4th weekend. So I set my goal of climbing the highest mountain in each of  the lower 48. A scalp on my my belt is Florida's Britton Hill, a towering 345 feet, which is nowhere near Autotrain's route. 

Google Earth report Britton Hill as the highest 'natural' point in Florida.  Having driven I-95 and Florida Turnpike between the Florida-Georgia line and their Southern end points - I feature some the man made mountains (land fills) may actually be higher than Britton Hill.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 11:39 AM

With Balt's tonnage calculation this Auto Train would be over 1.5 HPT, even when allowing for the loss of traction power from the unit providing HEP. 

This is severely overpowered by freight standards, and an intermodal train with the same HPT would maintain 40-45 mph while climbing a 0.5% grade. 

A loaded coal train with AC units would be loaded down to the point where it would struggle to maintain 15 mph up the same grade.

If a four axle unit is rated for 5000 tons this route has to be very, very flat.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by adkrr64 on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 2:10 PM

Isn't 90 tons per passenger car a little heavy for a modern car? I thought they ran more along the lines of 65 tons. Or does the Auto-train use bi-levels?

I rode the Canadian a few years back and two FP-40s took 25 cars over the Rocky Mountains with apparent ease.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 2:23 PM

The Auto Train uses Superliners.  

The maximum grades that VIA's Canadian will encounter are stretches of 1% on the CP route through the Fraser Canyon, or perhaps the longer 1% Robson Hill on the west side of Yellowhead Pass if it is routed up the Robson Sub instead of the gentler Albreda Sub (0.7%) that is used by nearly all eastbound freights.  Everything else is 0.4% or less.

VIA's rebuilt F40s have a separate HEP genset, allowing the full power of the prime mover to always be used for traction.  Before the F40s were rebuilt the Canadian would normally have three working units on long summer season consists.  

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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