Extreme Trains On Right Now!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by eightyeightfan1, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Ammler

    Ammler New Member

    Well, I fell asleep as soon as last nights episode began, and didn't wake up until 5 minutes after it ended. I missed the whole episode.

    I did notice last night that Comcast in the Pittsburgh region is now starting to add the shows to the On Demand menu. The Coal drag was the only one out there at that point. So here is my score so far:

    Episode 1, completely forgot about it, will catch it On Demand.
    Episode 2, watched it, probably watch it again On Demand.
    Episode 3, dozed off at parts, will watch it again On Demand.
    Episode 4, completely dozed off on, will watch it On Demand.


    I do find the host annoying at times, but I just concentrate on the trains, and what the "subject matter experts" have to say. :thumb:
  2. jesso

    jesso Member

    Well, I guess I'm contrary, maybe scewed, but I like the show and I like the host. I like that he jumps into a firebox to clean it out (you could never pay me enough to go through a hole that small that they could just close the fire doors and walk away)
    or that he tries to do most everything that they show on the show. I guess living far away from any trains makes you long for having them around. But that's me. I get excited going by 72nd South when I am in Salt Lake because I will get to see a Utah Railway Engine (or 5) parked there. I hop on Trax just to ride a train. I guess I am the demographic that they are after.
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Don't get me wrong Jesso, I didn't say I didn't like him, merely he's a little amped up for my tastes. In fact, it was his initial energy that originally attracted me to the show. Like I said before, if it wasn't for that energy, he probably would not have gotten the job.
    I thought he declined that offer? I bet your a BIG fan of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. Me too.
    In a way, his enthusiasm reminds me a lot of myself when I get around trains. It's just that, I'm not getting paid for it and definitely not putting myself on the air. I also go waaaaay out of my way to see trains. On certain days of the week, I go four miles further south than I need to between one sons speech therapist and the other sons school just so I can drive along the new light rail line in hopes of seeing a train testing the tracks before they open the end of this month!
  4. csiguy

    csiguy Member

    i didnt think last night epsisode was too bad. not great though. i do not know much about reefer cars so i guess i learned something . anybody know what the next episode is about?

  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    One thing that came through quite clearly was the enormous fuel consumption of these operations. Each of those reefers require 450 gallons of diesel to make the trip, additional to the fuel requirements of the engines themselves.

    No wonder we depend so heavily on foreign oil.
  6. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Steam Train and Circus Train look good. :thumb:
  8. Ammler

    Ammler New Member

    And why the price of diesel fuel is not coming down at the same rate as regular gasoline.
  9. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I'l tell you what.
    After watching last nights episode, I started planning a cold storage/produce distributor for my layout. I don't know what it was, and I've been watching the show since it first aired. Maybe cause I have no excuse to run unit coal trains, already have intermodel, and I can't think of any reason why Acela would be running through the Northwest Hills of Connecticut. But a smaller produce distributor...That could be plausible.

    Now...Where can I get models of those refeers?
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Those reefers burn a lot less fuel than the old mechanical refrigeration units. Those unit that they were removing from the cars they were scrapping out were all electric units. They did not show the diesel gen set that was needed to keep those electrics supplied with electricity. The electric unit shut down when the load reached set temperature, but the gen set ran all of the time. Theses new ones fire up automatically when the switch is turned on, pull the load down to temp, and then shut off. They don't turn on again until the temp goes up above set point 4 degrees f or more. When the unit is running the diesel engine burns about 1 gallon of fuel per hour. If they make the trip in 5 days, they would use @ 120 gallons of fuel per car. The 450 gallon is the capacity of the fuel tank on the reefer car. You want that much fuel to make sure they don't run out of fuel. If the tank runs low enough to allow air into the fuel system, they need to call a tech to bleed the fuel system to get the reefer restarted after they refill the tank. It can take from 15 minutes to an hour to bleed the air out of the fuel system to get one of the units fired up. 55 reefers running out of fuel and getting air bound would be a serious delay!

    By the way, the host's talk about the rush to load because the fruit was out of refrigeration was empty hype! The purpose of the covered train shed is not to put the train under refrigeration, but to put the loading dock in the shade and minimize solar gain. I suspect the train shed and dock were insulated spaces. There is a big difference between a loading dock at 60-70 degrees f and one sitting in the summer sunlight at temperatures above 90 with solar gain making spot temps reach over 100 degrees!

    One other thing I found strange was the host led you to believe that all of the produce shipped East came out of that one area in Washington State, then he gets to Schenectady and talks about how good those oranges looked. The oranges came from California, Arizona, or Florida. They don't grow that far north.
  11. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Maybe he is geographically challenged?
  12. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Never mind. I was wrong. There have been two episodes now where he was invited into the firebox. The first, he did decline. The second, which I just finished watching, he accepted.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    To get back to the fuel savings issue of the train versus trucking the produce East. The reefers cars are running one of the same reefers that 18 wheelers would run, but the car is big enough to hold 3-4 trailer loads of produce and the rail cars are better insulated than the trailers are. Therefore the total fuel usage for each rail car is 1/3 - 1/4 of what the 3 or 4 trailers would use. That is not even considering the fuel savings of 4 locomotives pulling the 55 cars versus 165 - 200 trucks needed to pull all of those trailer loads.
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I'm confused - is it the same as the 18 wheelers run or isn't it?
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Yes it is the same unit. They can use the same unit for a rail car as a trailer that is 53 feet long because the rail car has much better insulation. The railroads do not have as tight of weight and size restrictions as trucks. If a truck trailer was as well insulated as a rail car, they could only carry 15 tons of freight instead of 20 on a single trailer. They have some cars that run in the Australian outback that run two refrigeration units, one at each end of the car, but apparently the ambient conditions in Australia are more extreme than they are here in the states.
  16. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I'm still confused...and the reference to the Australians, who never do anything the way anyone else does, doesn't help a bit. :cool:

    Either these things are the size of a standard trailer unit or they aren't. It sounds like they are the size and capacity of 3-4 trailer units.
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Sorry about the confusion. The rail cars that were on that Extreme Trains episode were big enough to haul 3-4 trailer loads of produce. The refrigeration units were the same units that a trucking company would buy for a single trailer, but installed on the rail car, each unit is cooling the same space as 4 53 foot trailers.
  18. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    So in other words, the Reefer units on a 53' Reefer Trailer are WAY over sized for the space they have to cool in a single 53' trailer lol

  19. Ammler

    Ammler New Member

    But they'd have to be, as the truck trailer isn't as insulated as the railcar. Otherwise the thing would be running non stop.
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Right on. Refrigeration units don't "make cold." They remove heat. As long as they remove heat from a space faster than the heat leaks back in from the outside, the space gets colder. Once you reach the point where the heat leaks back in faster than the unit can remove it, the space stops getting any colder. With some types of produce you also have to factor in heat of respiration as well. Citrus fruit produces gases that make heat and cause them to be harder to cool down than other fruits. That gas is the strong "orange" smell you will get if you open up a trailer that is loaded with oranges. As an example of the difference between the insulation of a rail car and a trailer, the doors on the back of a trailer weigh a few hundred pounds. A plug door on a refrigerated car weighs about 2000 lbs if I remember correctly, and the mechanism that closes it makes a much tighter seal than any trailer door made.

    Josh, the units are not way oversized for a 53 foot trailer. The other problem is that trailers are not constructed as well as a rail car, and the reefer manufacturer needs to make the reefer with enough capacity to hold temps even when the trailer suffers damage. Rail cars are made with thick steel walls, trailers are made with thin aluminum skins. If a plug door sticks, the workers use a forklift to push it open or closed. If the forks hit the side of the car, they scratch the paint and maybe put a dent in the side. If a fork lift is used to push a tight door closed on a trailer and it slips, it punches a hole in the trailer. A hole in the trailer is a heat leak. The life expectancy of a trailer is probably less than 10 years. I don't know what Kroger's practice is, but before Kroger bought out Ralph's markets, Ralph's practice was to keep a trailer only 9 years before replacing it. A rail car is expected to last 40 years barring wrecks.

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