strredwolf: (Huh?)
[personal profile] strredwolf
Sumthin' ain't right there.

Took a long convulted way home, and met up with an old colleague from two years ago. He had listened to an ad from CSX Transportation (note: they operate the MARC Camden and Brunswick lines) saying that their diesel freight engines get 422 miles to the gallon.

That just doesn't make sense.  Those train engines are just massive beasts and heavier than anything out there.  They're so heavy they take over a mile to slow down.  And if you're hauling a heavy load, even longer.  Basic physics says you need a ****-load of energy to get it moving and up to speed... and I doubt diesel's got it, even if the engine driving those wheels is frigging huge.  Even with hydrogen injection I doubt it'll get 422 mpg.

[livejournal.com profile] lowen_kind ?  You're with Amtrak and got experience with the rails before that.  What's your take on it?

Date: 2008-02-26 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] galish.livejournal.com
He's talking about Diesel/Electric Engines, not pure diesel.

Railroads are more energy efficient and less polluting than trucks. A diesel-electric locomotive can move one ton of freight an average of 379 miles (610 km) per gallon of diesel fuel. This is 3 times the fuel efficiency of a truck. Diesel-locomotives are three times cleaner than trucks on the basis of air emissions per ton moved.

Date: 2008-02-26 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lowen-kind.livejournal.com
You are mis-hearing the ad.

What the ad is saying is that a locomotive can haul 1 ton of freight only that distance on a gallon of fuel. That would assume than only a ton of freight was attached to the engine and it was running in notch 1 all the way. Given that it not only has to move 100s of tons of freight plus the freight cars the cargo is in the actual mileage will be considerably less.

Locomotives aren't rated by MPG but by GPH which can vary with the throttle setting. The RDCs running in lock up mode can sip ~4 GPH and at 85 mph that is a pretty good MPG figure (~21.25 mpg with a 6 cylinder 2 cycle diesel of 110 cu. in. per cylinder (Detroit Diesel 6-110)). A freight loco in notch 8 (maximum throttle) can suck up to 210 gph.

For an example, a 4000 hp SD70MAC has the following fuel usage:
Notch - GPH
Dynamic Braking - 22.6
Idle - 3
1 - 11.7
2 - 22.3
3 - 46.7
4 - 63.8
5 - 86.2
6 - 130.4
7 - 165.1
8 - 191.9

For a Hp/Gal/Hr of 0.8.

Note however that an engineer normally doesn't put a throttle in one notch and leave it there. He does what you do with the gas pedal in your car, he constantly is adjusting it to adjust for curves, speed restrictions, grades, etc. So on any given stretch of track he can use all 8 notches or only one or two.

Ask a simple question, get a complicated answer. :=3
Edited Date: 2008-02-26 02:03 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-02-26 12:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhanlav.livejournal.com
Sort of like shoving 8 people in a 1970s Cadillac that gets 10 MPG. Sure, it only gets 10 MPG, but with 8 people, thats like 80 MPG when you factor in all folks in the vehicle. Huzzah for carpooling (not that the ferret does that).

Date: 2008-02-26 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] strredwolf.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's always complicated. It makes me want to get a Fiat Panda and get 40-50 mpg on regular old gas.

Date: 2008-02-27 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yasha-taur.livejournal.com
I belive that the ad says 422 MPG **Per Ton**. They are saying that they can move a ton of stuff (along with a few million other tons of stuff in the train) for about 422 MPG per Ton moved.

Now even a small car usually weighs more than a ton, and some larger cars can top 2 tons. A big SUV can go over 2 and 1/2 tons... Going by this (MPG/Ton) logic, some of the SUVs get pretty decent milage. :-)

Still, the railroad does have a point, as it is a very efficent way to move stuff.

what a misleading ad!!

Date: 2009-10-22 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
i have seen the ad, and by what i have found out here; i speculate it is incredibly misleading. they should sue them for making such a misleading ad. CSX CEO appeared on national tv yesterday and he was asked that same question and gave the same answer. for us folks in the street if u tell us 422 miles per gallon, that means that the train can move 422 per gallon of fuel when the truck is operating at its average weight capacity. and i bet u that they know this fact. and how misleading it can be to say that u can move all that weight for 422 miles with just one gallon of fuel. i am so disappointed in CSX right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how could they do that and not clarify that one gallon is needed for each ton for 422 miles; this means that if the train is carrying 200 tons, it would need 200 gallons of fuel would be needed for the truck to move 422 miles. it might be a good efficiency but still the ad is incredibly misleading.

Date: 2011-10-31 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zumsteinnit.livejournal.com
Thanks for your share! very impressive!

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