I was reading an article recently in which the writer indicated that helper locomotives were placed in the middle of a coal train - to get it up some of the grades in West Virginia. They used three or four locos up front and two or three in the middle.
Why not just break the train completely and have two separate trains take the grade and then reassemble at the bottom?
Andy wrote in news:e4b4dda9-3cb6-4d3b-ba11- firstname.lastname@example.org:
Two separate trains have to maintain a specified distance between each other, so if there's a problem the second one has time to stop. Because of this, it requires more time for two trains to cross the same area than one train.
The other reason you might see mid-train helpers is to prevent coupler damage. Some lengthy trains can break couplers going up hill, where having units mid-train can reduce the stress on those couplers. Remember, only on an extremely long grade would the whole train be going up or down all at once.
A show in the past few weeks, Extreme Trains, showed Norfolk & Southern trains hauling coal from about Pittsburg to Altoona PA area, used 3 at the front and 2 at the back. Now that's even another flavor.
Helper locations in the train did (and do) vary, depending upon circumstances.
As an extreme example, the S.P. used to run twice-weekly iron ore trains from Ferrum -which sits 191' below sea level- 80 miles west to the Kaiser Steel Mills in Fontana, CA, at 988', crossing over 2569' Whitewater Pass en route.
At 13,524 tons, these were by far the heaviest trains S.P. had ever operated until then, and they frequently used 18 or 20 locomotives - usually GP9s- with six units leading, ten cut in at the center of the train, and four to six more pushing at the rear.
As you can imagine, these ore trains were a sight to see; but I've never heard of anyone modeling them in that configuration! (Possibly because there are very few layouts that can accomodate a 110 car train or model railroaders who can afford 20 identical GP9s...)
A pity about that one - it's so silly and stupid, and sometimes just downright incomplete or inaccurate - as well as typically (for History Channel and "reality" TV junk) s t r e t c h e d out with lots of filler and inane comments. Could have been good, a decent opportunity wasted.
My real complaint is not about the host, as he is just trying to shoot up ratings, etc. He is excited about what he is doing, and although I dislike his style, I can understand it. It is not aimed at the railfan community, but at the rest of the people out there. Like alot of videos, just turn off the sounds and enjoy the pictures.
My real trouble is the 'flash-flash' of images. The never stay on any one shot for more than a couple of seconds (and often much less), and it makes the show hard to watch. If they would cut the number of individual shots by a third and give a person a chance to actually see the picture they are trying to show, the show would improve by leaps and bounds.
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Totally agree. A 1 hour show with 15 minutes of info. And I'm glad someone else is seeing the stretched out shows. Seem like a pattern now that they show a minute of something before an ad and after as "coming up next" and then do the actual info part. So I've wasted almost 2 minutes for what? And it ain't that huge anyway. Its a fact, just tell it.
I did. See above for several paragraphs on how the S.P. sometimes used multiple numbers of helpers. Others did so as well.
The "little kids and morons" -myself apparently included, since you referred to my last post as "crap like this"- can get along quite nicely without your judgements, Andy. If you don't care for the way a thread is going you can either try to gently point it back in the direction you originally had in mind or you can shrug your shoulders and say "Oh well; these things happen on Usenet", and move on.
The third option -flinging insults when you don't get exactly what you wanted- isn't likely to win you any friends.
Usenet is a perfect example of freedom of speech in that if you have more active neurons than a fire hydrant you *know* that you're going to hear things that you don't like. But occasionally hearing those things are the price you pay for having had the freedom to ask your questions here in the first place. You simply don't get one without the other.
That's what an "unmoderated forum" (or Newsgroup) *means*.
You asked a fairly simple question, and got some straightforward answers. Then the thread wandered to a train related TV show, then went off topic. That's Usenet, always has been and probably always will be. Complaining about wondering topic won't stop it, it'll just make a longer off topic thread.
Are you even remotely aware that his *sig* that you commented on refers to the worst president ever and his key henchmen (e.g., Cheney)? And that I, and a lot more folks, heartily agree with it? You know, such strong opinions aren't *necessarily* conspiracy theory, belief in black helicopters, etc., etc.