Most powerful engine?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by jambo101, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    Got to talking with some co workers last night and the subject of how many cars could a full size locomotive pull,as i had never given it any thought i had no clue as to the answer but curiosity is now making me wonder which engine holds the record for freight cars pulled?
  2. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    I don't know who holds the current record, but about 8-9 years ago Model Railroader tested a Proto E8 and it pulled well over 100 cars by itself. I own two of them, and let me just say, I believe it. :)
  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I don't know the answer, but for the prototype, I'm betting it is one of the new 6 axle AC drive monsters.
  4. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    The phrase "freight cars pulled" is rather vague. That could be anything from empty 30' flat cars up to fully loaded 80' box cars. It could be as much as 10x the weight per car. I think "fright cars pulled" should be replaced by tow-bar strength :)
  5. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    OK What was the maximum tonnage a train has pulled? and what engine accomplished the task?
  6. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    The longest train ever was 7.353 km (4.568 miles) long, and consisted of 682 ore cars pushed by 8 powerful diesel-electric locomotives. Assembled by BHP Iron Ore, the train travelled 275 km (171 miles) from the company's Newman and Yandi mines to Port Hedland, Western Australia, on June 21st, 2001."

    This was a test by GE Transportation systems and was run with GE Evolution series locomotives. (AC4400)
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Oh! Oh! :wave:

    I just remembered something! The limiting factor of the drawbar pull of a single prototype loco is not the horsepower. It is how much traction the loco can get on the steel rails. And the major contributing factor to this traction is the weight per axle of the loco. And there is an upper limit of how much weight you can put on each axle, because if you put too much, the rails start to deform under the weight.

    I think the new locos with computer controlled AC traction motors can actually get slightly more pull than a loco of the same weight with DC traction motors. But based on the above, any of the six axle locos will have about the same available drawbar pull.

    There was a great discussion of the topic here at the gauge awhile back. Do a search on loco weight.
  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    There's an explanation of all of this at Modern engines, thanks to controlled wheelslip, can get a higher tractive effort than older engines of the same weight, but not under poor track/environmental conditions.

    They were neither Evolution series (those hadn't yet been introduced) or AC4400s but AC6000s like

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