fure of railroading

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by joesho, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I guess the obvious question at this point is:

    How will the modern changes in protypical railway operations change the way modellers appraoch the hobby?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the biggest change for those who are not "period modelers" is that virtually all new freight locomotives built in the last 10 years are long 6 axle power units. If I want to model the 60's, 70's or even the 80's I can build a nice credable layout with 18 inch minimu radius and run Gp 40-2's, Gp50's, with some older Gp30's, Gp35's, & Gp58-2's mixed in. If I wanted to model modern railroads, I need to have Sd70's, Sd75's, Sd90's, & the various Dash 8 6 axle big GE power units. Those locomotives are probably pushing the limit when running on 22 inch radius. It just means to run modern power, the layout needs to be a lot bigger.

    I think the other change is going to be less emphasis on passenger operations. Compared to the 1940's and earlier when there were more railroads and every railroad ran passenger trains, we now have fewer railroads and the only intercity passenger trains in the U.S. are now either local commuter lines, or Amtrak, and much of the country is not served by any passenger service.

    The other big change that has been occuring since ww2 and which we see occuring more and more on model railroads has to do with efficiency. A train is the most efficient when pulling a lot of weight. 4000 hp locomotives pulling 100 freight cars is the most efficient way to move freight. On the other hand, the typical boxcar holds about 3-4 truck loads of product. The typical truck has 300-400 horse power. If you are delivering one boxcar load with a 4000 horse power locomotive, it will use a lot more fuel to do that job than 3 or 4 trucks. More and more we see trains operated as unit trains or intermodal trailer or container on flat car, where the train hauls the freight across the country, and the truck does the "local switching" or delivery.
  3. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Take a look at any intermodal train, and you can clearly see the future of the railroads.
    I know the Chicago area has several large intermodal yards. If the intermodal container does not make the consist in time, it is the fault of the trucking company that is to bring the trailer.
  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Trucks have to pay HUGE taxes at the pumps. They also have to pay "apportioned" taxes on the license plates, and heavy use taxes for every single mile traveled. Which vaires by states. Not to mention they have to insure the truck, trailer, load, and add general liablity. They have to pay employment tax on a driver who is making around $0.32 per mile (loaded), unemployment insurance, and workers comp insurance. Trucking companies can not find people to drive. The average driver turn-over rate per year for the average company is 150%. The major trucking companies have more trucks sitting than moving, which is why intermodal is becoming big business. In trucking, insurance companies rule how things run. In the railroads, the FRA runs the show.
    The average truck can haul a MAXIMUM of 80000 lbs TOTAL weight, and averages 5 mpg at 58 mph, and can only travel for 11 hours per day. A troad train has a second crew waiting to take over. It also has the clear advantage in volumetric efficiency, as far as fuel consumption is concerned.
    I am a self employed truck driver (since I injured my back when I was a cop). I can not find enough freight to make a decent living. Finding a union truck driving job is nearly impossible these days.
  5. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    According to the Charlotte/Douglas Int'l Airport, they plan on adding a thrid parallel runway with an intermodal truck/train/plane transfer yard between the new and existing runway. Norfolk Southern is supposed to run the intermodal yard and several European air cargo companies as well as several smaller US air cargo companies are looking forward to the direct transfer advantage. When this might be built is anyone's guess...but the fact that it's in the works is amazing in itself. The airport claims this is the first intermodal like it in the country...but I can't confirm that...could just be marketing hype. But I do know that the city is buying the property and moving homes to prepare for the construction...stay tuned.

Share This Page