Just another Silly Question.......

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by N Gauger, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    ...That I can't answer off the top of my head...

    A friend & I were driving along, when we spotted 3 deisels running along at about 50 MPH.

    He asked "Hey, only the front engine has its lights on. Does that mean that is the only powered unit???" ----- "Oh I guess having only One unit powered out of 3 uses less fuel..."

    I said " I have no bloody idea" :) :)

    Well how about it?? Anyone know if you use more fuel "Towing with One unit" than if all 3 were powered????

    I would figure on "3 powered" uses more fuel than "One towing 2" :) :) :)
  2. BDC

    BDC Member

    That depends. Were the locos pulling any cars or were they running light? If they were light, I would only expect the front loco to be running while the others are shut down. If pulling cars, that will depend on how heavy the load is (and other factors). And yes, it's more fuel effecient to run one engine than all three. Also cuts down on the amount of maintenance that has to be done based on usage.

    When you mention the lights, I assume you're talking about headlights and ditchlights. Only the lead locomotive has them on, to conserve electrical power (and fuel) and to reduce useage on the lights themselves. The only way you can really be sure a non-lead loco is running (aside from stopping the train and asking) is to look for smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe.
  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    BDC -- Thanks!!! Yes youre powers of deduction are accurate.. :) there were Only 3 Locos. No cars.... And Yes again: The head & Ditch lights were the only things lit - Don't remember if the number boards were lit.

    I guessed it right - it is worse to run all 3, than to Tow 2 -- Thanks!!

    ~~ Mikey
  4. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    Just as kind of an aside, I don't recall ever seeing a multiple unit lash-up, running light or pulling cars, on which anything other than the lead unit had its lights on. That raises the question of why other units would use their lights?:confused: One question leads to another.
  5. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Rear Lights????

    I would figure that they would, at least, have One rear light lit just for safety's sake... But this is, believe it or not, the first time I've "analyzed" Engines running light.. :)

    I take too much stuff for granted.. :) :)

    Comes from growing up Two blocks from the NE Corridor.. :)

    ~~ Mikey
  6. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    Most, if not all, modern diesels have at least one and usually two red lights on both ends, for use when at the end of the train. I wasn't referring to those, just headlights and ditch lights.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've seen CN diesels running with the rear headlight on as well -- reason I could tell is that there were flats or gondolas just behind the locomotives. (Not sure about the ditch lights.)
  8. CarlFidy

    CarlFidy Member

    DPU/Remote engines

    UP and BN both run coal trains through NE Oklahoma. Generally they run with two engines leading, coal hoppers, and then one(UP) or two(BN) locomotives pushing on the end. The locos on the end have their headlights on dim - no ditch lights, red lights, or EOT device.
  9. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    I can remember seeing and photographing a train of locomotives on Conrail that was called the Engine Changers. It used to run late on Saturdays or Sundays. It was train made up entirely of locomotives and sometimes a caboose. I saw it with as few as six units and as many as twelve. It was bizarre to see SD60’s GP40s, GP9s, and SW1001s all together. The train was used to change locomotives at the various yards in the Philadelphia area. I use to catch it on the Chester Secondary in Tinicum or Chester, or along the Northeast Corridor.
  10. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Carl is right on the money. I remember reading something about this in Trains magazine in the past couple of months. Under current regulations, an engine on the rear of a train is allowed to have its headlight (I believe dimmed) on as an EOT marker. As the rear engine has everything and more as far as sensing equipment, there is no reason for an EOT device. I see this a lot on BNSF trains running around in the Southwest, (especially in California) where DPUs are used on the rear. The last unit will have its headlight on, (whichever is pointing rearward).


Share This Page