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#1262149 - 10/20/08 10:49 PM CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles?
outrun Offline


Registered: 11/26/02
Posts: 1714
Loc: Texas & BWI Area
Is this credible? Are they referring to Diesel Electric locomotive engines? If this is true that is pretty amazing. What are the negative loaded "factors" they are not discussing about diesel-electrics. I would assume for one that how many cars and gross tonnage of the carrier cars in tow makes a difference? Thanks, in the meantime I will read up on these locomotive types! It is old news of 2004 but wiki says GM sold-off their Electromotive Division \:\(

http://www.csx.com/?fuseaction=about.environment

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#1262158 - 10/20/08 11:02 PM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: outrun]
Camu Mahubah Offline


Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 3048
Loc: the Sandhills of Nebraska
1 gallon will move one ton 423 miles. Isn't that what they are saying? I didn't read the article. I work for the orange railroad. Number two in the nation.

Recently we had a contest in one of our newsletters to guess how many gallons of fuel was required to move a fully loaded freight train one mile. The answer was six gallons per mile. If you consider the the tonnage involved that is amazing.
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#1262164 - 10/20/08 11:05 PM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: Camu Mahubah]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 37772
Loc: New Jersey
maybe some equivalence vs. tractor trailers moving freight over some distance. A gallon of fuel on all this freight (even if it only moves 250 feet) is the equivalent of a semi moving one of those trailers 423 miles.

Or something like that???

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#1262168 - 10/20/08 11:18 PM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: outrun]
XS650 Offline


Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 12385
Loc: Northern CA
The two biggest advantages trains have over trucks are that trains run steel wheels on steel rails for an extremely low rolling resistance and air resistance is not nearly as significant on a freight train because they have extremely low frontal areas for the size of the train.

There are other smaller factors like being able to maintain a more constant speed because they own their road and being able to easily size the powertrain to the load by changing the number of engines on a train.
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#1262172 - 10/20/08 11:30 PM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: XS650]
mpersell Offline


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 309
Loc: Richardson, TX
I believe I read somewhere that an airliner is about as efficient as every passenger taking their own Greyhound bus to the destination.

Trucks and rail engines are very efficient on flat ground through most of the middle of the country. Mountainous zones probably reduce the economy substantially.

Once you get a train moving the inertia has to be like a huge flywheel as well.


Edited by mpersell (10/20/08 11:30 PM)
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#1262179 - 10/20/08 11:42 PM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: JHZR2]
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
Well, what's a semi do now? Something like 5mpg @ 40T?? Isn't that 200mpg/T/gallon? Did I do that right?

Then again ..that's just on GVW and not "freight" ..

I would think that rail would do much better. Apparently rail is (only) 3X more efficient than OTR (past figures have said 20X)
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#1262227 - 10/21/08 02:27 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: Gary Allan]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 8993
Loc: Illinois
Just looking at this as a layman, I suspect trains also benefit from their own flavor of Displacement on Demand. I've seen multiple engines, and I suspect that once the train is moving, not all the engines have to run. So unlike a truck that is pumping all of it's cylinders and all the losses associated with that, a train can shut down engines as it's reached it's speed.

Trains don't typically stop like trucks, so trucks lose more kinetic energy than trains do. Trains may speed up and slow down, but I don't think they loose as much energy as trucks might due to stopping, slowing, etc.
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#1262235 - 10/21/08 02:44 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: javacontour]
crinkles Offline


Registered: 05/28/07
Posts: 5537
Loc: Australia
it would be a mile per gallon per ton.

assuming a small car weighs a ton you could make a rough comparison between auto's MPG and the rail MPG figure.. say for a yaris.

I wish all the road trains would get off the road already and have the freight go to rail... would save us building 500million dollar 10 mile bypassess so the road is safer for exhausted truckies...


Edited by crinkles (10/21/08 02:47 AM)
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#1262236 - 10/21/08 02:45 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: Gary Allan]
duaneb9729 Offline


Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 1340
Loc: minneapolis mn
they run five to eight mpg depending on a number of factors.

and once a train gets to town some one still has to haul freight to the store from the rail yard.

another cost thats not calculated is the cost of having more inventory on hand. i believe a train load will take longer to arrive than a truck.

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#1262246 - 10/21/08 03:59 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: duaneb9729]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 32509
Loc: Oz
duane, there's fixes for a lot of that.

8 years ago, I used to see containerised transport running past my office window (well 1/8 mile away) with the trailer still on it. Trucks would bring stuff radially into a hub, loaded to trains, moved 1,000km, and moved radially out by truck.

Use the most appropriate technology for the appropriate haul.

Last 2 years, not a single one
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#1262249 - 10/21/08 04:41 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: Shannow]
oilyriser Offline


Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 7077
Loc: Ontario, Canada
What would be the passenger-mpg of a passenger train, vs. a Prius loaded with four passengers?

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#1262251 - 10/21/08 04:47 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: oilyriser]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 32509
Loc: Oz
Good question.

Top Gear Downunder presented that Ferraris were better for the environment than Priuses, as there are 90% (ish) fewer Ferarris, and they travel far less per annum.

From my perspective, work is 12km away and has a car park full of cars and bikes...when the station was built in the 1950s, it was to supply the electric rail that (also) delivered all the workers to the door.
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#1262254 - 10/21/08 04:50 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: oilyriser]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 4767
Loc: Marshfield , MA
the only part of the ad that I take issue with is the gallon used in a mower will mow 1/2 of the back yard. My 11 hp, '77 IH Cadet will mow my entire 40k sq ' yahd on 1/2 gallon.
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#1262307 - 10/21/08 07:38 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: mpersell]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 37772
Loc: New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: mpersell
I believe I read somewhere that an airliner is about as efficient as every passenger taking their own Greyhound bus to the destination.



Im pretty sure that the calculation came out about the same for a 747 (full) as for a passenger car... that is, it was something like 30MPG per person... So there is higher efficiency by cramming five people into a prius, but it takes a whole lot longer.

Aha, I found it from howstuffworks.com:
 Quote:
A plane like a Boeing 747 uses approximately 1 gallon of fuel (about 4 liters) every second. Over the course of a 10-hour flight, it might burn 36,000 gallons (150,000 liters). According to Boeing's Web site, the 747 burns approximately 5 gallons of fuel per mile (12 liters per kilometer).

This sounds like a tremendously poor miles-per-gallon rating! But consider that a 747 can carry as many as 568 people. Let's call it 500 people to take into account the fact that not all seats on most flights are occupied. A 747 is transporting 500 people 1 mile using 5 gallons of fuel. That means the plane is burning 0.01 gallons per person per mile. In other words, the plane is getting 100 miles per gallon per person! The typical car gets about 25 miles per gallon, so the 747 is much better than a car carrying one person, and compares favorably even if there are four people in the car. Not bad when you consider that the 747 is flying at 550 miles per hour (900 km/h)!


http://science.howstuffworks.com/question192.htm

Some of the assumptions may be a bit off, but if theyre off by 4, the place is still pretty decent.

JMH

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#1262427 - 10/21/08 09:55 AM Re: CSX.com : Rail fuel economy 1gal = 423 miles? [Re: JHZR2]
oilyriser Offline


Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 7077
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Here are some calculations for passenger trains. It's not great, but trains last a lot longer than cars, so maybe the embodied energy use is a bit less.
http://www.railway-technical.com/US-fuel-paper.shtml

The record for fuel economy is probably held by the Voyager and Pioneer space probes.

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