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Thread: How big is your consist ?

  1. #1
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    Default How big is your consist ?

    Some like the simplicity of DCC mode, while others enjoy the realistic train physics, and braking of CAB mode.

    Some enjoy running the 1920 Fast Mail Express, with a speeding ancient steam loco and 4 cars (with baggage, boxcars & flats included in the consist).

    Others drive yard switch jobs, a subway train, a trolley, or even a helicopter, airplane, or ship in Trainz.

    I like driving a 15,000 ton, 137 car loaded coal train, that is over 1 mile long, with 4 head end MU locos, with 2 more on the rear, shoving.

    What kind of trains do you enjoy running, and describe your experiences, and what you like about it.

    Such as:

    We were running downgrade from Cresson, which is shortly thereafter almost flat and level trackage.

    With a consist well over 6000' in length, having 15,000 tons of TTX piggyback trailers behind us, when we started through the New Portage bore. I put the train into the throttle 1 position, and by the time we had reached the Tunnelhill side of the bore, most of the train weight was now cresting over the summit of the -1.87% grade.

    Putting the loco throttle to the zero position, and applying the 50% dynamic brake setting, I slowly put the loco throttle into the notch 6 position, which slowed the train somewhat.

    The rear end helpers now also crested over the summit, and the entire train weight was bunched up, with the slack run in. The train was increasing in speed all along the sweeping Salpino Curve, and by the time we reached Bennington Curve interlocking, I had put the dynamics into the notch 8 position, and applied several notches on the service brake application. The train speed was ever increasing past 35 mph, and by the time we had passed Allegripus Curve, the train was beginning to become out of control. Trying to avoid a full emergency braking application, that could cause a run-in derailment, I further applied the service brake, until we had a full brake application.

    Moving the throttle to zero, I applied the 100% dynamic braking, and put the throttle quickly back into the "Run 8" position.

    The train was now at 45 mph, and approaching MG tower we informed Alto tower that we were now a full fledged run-away, and our trainline air pressure had been Psssssst away in our multiple service brake applications.

    We now attempted full emergency braking, as we came within sight of the Horseshoe we were doing 55 mph. Hold on, and brace yourself I cried to my conductor, or make like the birds, and jump (NR at 55 mph).

    By the time we reached MP 241.7 we were doing in excess of 65 mph, and shortly thereafter we derailed, blocking the entire 4 track main, with 28 derailed TTX Piggyback flats of US Mail. Some trailers flipped and ripped open, and US Mail was all strewn all over creation, down over the steep, rattlesnake, copperhead and stickerbush infested hillside (and each and every piece of US Mail had to be personally retrieved by a small army of leatherneck workers, using rope harness's and winches).

    Within several hours only one track (the #4 track) had been hastily repaired, and opened for operation through the derailment site.

    This, did in fact occur, on the prototype on several occasions through out the history of the Horseshoe, the last being @ 1993.

    Just some other notable accidents were: The steamer boiler explosion at SF tower fatally injuring the tower operator (portions of the boiler were hurled 1000' into the air, coming to rest 3/4 mile distant), Bennington Wreck of the Red Arrow, Allegripus fatal wreck of a steamer (named Allegripus) that plunged down over the cliff side, and the TTX piggyback trailer US Mail train wreck at Cold Curve.
    Last edited by cascaderailroad; March 21st, 2013 at 03:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Interesting post, Cascade. I thought you were driving the train around the curve and downgrade.

    It depends upon which route. Lately I've been driving mostly trolleys on my Gloucester Terminal Electric and doing some short switching operations on this route. I added an extension out to West Gloucester and this speedway allows for a speedy run of about 30 mph because of the stop at La Page Center. After that the speed is about 20 mph, if that because of Essex Avenue, and then the eventual stop at West Gloucester after going around the loop at 10 mph. The other end of the line has one fast stretch also about 35 mph, but you're lucky to get that if you don't get a yellow ahead as the trolleys pull into the various stations ahead.

    The other part of the line is the big freight yard where I do some switching and moving consists on to the interchange track with B&M/CSX line. Here the freights come along in either direction from Boston and from Rockport along with numerous MBTA commuter trains. Occasionally I'll take over one of the freights and head the locos into my engine facility where I swap them out for others. Sometimes, I'll also run the coal train down to the power plant and drop off the load of coal. I moved the coal-fired power plant down the line away from the yard where the cement plant used to be, and put the cement plant where the power plant was. This was to minimize the traffic tie up at the crossing which was really annoying for me, and to make the grade easier to push the coal cars into the power plant because the AI would stall the train. (It would be nice to do this in real life!) This maneuver, like the switching along the trolley line, requires mingling with the trolley cars. This requires multiple dispatcher calls (looking at the map) to determine if it's safe to move without impacting the passenger service. There is a bit of some tricky and confusing track where the waterside branch crosses the trolley line to West Gloucester. In this area is the Fort Square loop which also shares the wharf tracks a bit. There's also a substantial grade here as well which requires some careful pushing to get upgrade from the pier to the branch line again.

    This operation can keep me pretty busy in a day, and I've had operating sessions last up to 3 or 4 hours usually as I move stuff around, or until the AI decides to get stupid and the session gets bogged down. I'm still figuring out why they do this because everything will run fine for hours some days, yet other days it'll go on for only 3 or 4 hours. This is completely random and totally frustrating.

    ####

    On my other route, I have an extensive long distance operation with multiple 6-car commuter trains, lots of station stops, and quite long CSX/B&M/Conrail freights which run upwards of 65 mph and more on the open road. This route is about 180 miles long and divided up into multiple divisions with each division taking about an hour or so to reach the next point. Because of the extensive distances between stations and yards, there are very few AI issues with this route. There's one combination of over-the-road freight, commuter, and switching operation I do that can get pretty hectic. Starting in Bradford, MA I drive a commuter train across the bridge to Haverhill and then on to Cottage Hill. Just as I approach Cottage Hill, I let the commuter train continue on via AI driver as I pick up the now active AI freight on the lower road. This is a 80-car CSX freight that will take the River Line from near Cottage Hill (current end of track) through Factoryville, Lynnwood, and then on to the Mountain Division cut-off at Wrentham. This line crosses the Cottage Hill to Bowdoin line, that the previous commuter train is on, so the freight can tie up the commuter train at the level crossing if the timing isn't right. Boat's little crossing controllers work here. The commuter train will travel via the Bowdoin line and stop at Bowdoin and Lynnwood, make the loop back to Greenwood, Parkdale, Oak Hill, Pembroke, Asbury Grove, then Cottage Hill, Haverhill, and terminates at Bradford so it can start again.

    Now keeping this in mind, there's a small flat stub-end yard at Lynnwood. There is a separate long yard lead which helps, but the switcher also has to run out on the Factoryville mainline to pick up some sand hoppers down at the quarry, and do this before the big 80-car freight comes along, and in between the commuter train we rode on earlier. These two trains arrive at Lynnwood about the same time, making this somewhat busy as I try to stay out of the way, and ensure that the freight stops at the station. Sometimes I forget to put the Lynnwood trackmark in the AI's schedule.

    The quarry trick requires crossing the Bowdoin line, then do a double back on to the Factoryville line, and finally take the branch line down into the valley to the quarry to pick up the hoppers. Sometimes, there are other cars to pick up at the local factories located in the valley as well. In addition to the quarry run, he also has to get another load of cars ready on the interchange so the freight train can pull through the station, back up the east-end of the yard lead to pick up the extra cars, all without tying up the line too long, because in addition to these two trains, there are also additional commuter trains making their way from Wrentham and Parkdale as they head towards Cottage Hill and Bradford. This makes this a pretty busy area and means a few dispatcher calls (consulting the in-route map). Once the extra cars have been added to the road freight, I park the switcher on the yard lead, and take over the the road freight the rest of the way. The mountain line consists of a substantial grade and tunnels. This line hosts long distance passenger trains (Amtrak), and lots of long freights. There are some smaller yards here where some cars are dropped off and picked up, and eventually the train lands in the big Northern Jct. yard where there's a big yard and interchange with the east-west lines that ends at two portals right now. Going past Northern Jct., there's a small interchange with the South Bristol Industrial Railway, and eventually the line terminates just past the big yard at Bristol. There's a little bit of switching done here along the canal and across the river in North Bristol. Sometimes, I'll run a short freight up from Plymouth and switch cars at a few mills then head down the Sandy Point branch. At Sandy Point, there's the Sandy Point Railroad which switches the small fishing-related industries along the waterfront.

    This last scenario, or session as we call it, can last upwards of 6 hours or longer depending upon whether I do some interchange work and get tied up on the passing sidings while other traffic passes. The passenger runs from Plymouth to Sandy Point take about 25 minutes each way, and if there's any switching in the industrial park at South Bristol and around the Northern Junction, these operations can take a couple of hours as well.

    John
    John
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  3. #3
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    A consist measuring contest? Is that what this forum has become?




    Any opinions in this post do not reflect those of Jointed Rail

  4. #4
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    I have set my blocks, signals, and speedboards so as they are longer than a 15,000 ton, 6000' train, on a modern mainline ... So I measure my consists with the ruler, and create a "custom consist" and re-name it, and use them as a standard train length/weight, (also handy for measuring mileposts, and distances).

    I once made a 40 mile long train with over 100 locos pulling, stretching all the way from Altoona to Johnstown.

    How big is your longest train ?

    The PRR once tested a 600 car, iron ore jenny train, with 12 locos, and it busted so many knuckles from Morrisville to Paoli, that it was broken down into many shorter trains bound for Zanesville OH, and the experiment was canceled.
    Last edited by cascaderailroad; March 22nd, 2013 at 06:38 PM.

  5. #5

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    I usually take about 135 car unit coal trains with 2x1 DPU lash ups. I can barely get to 5 MPH on the EVWR.

  6. #6
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    A NG loco, 4-5 log racks, and a bobber caboose in the deep woods. Prefect.

    Hrm2701

  7. #7
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    I'll give a try on the Cotton Belt route provided by Dave Snow, that should be LONNNNNNNNNNNNG enough. In the mean time, how FAST is your consist?

    Last edited by pdkoester; April 5th, 2013 at 10:44 PM.

    Make train simulators great again #MTSGA obiter dictum

  8. #8

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    I replicated UP's 300 car intermodal train on the Marias Pass route and also ran a 150 car intermodal train with two C44-9Ws over the Sherman hill route in cab mode. I couldn't keep up enough momentum to get over the pass. Had those big GEs growling and down on their knees trying to get traction. Even ran Sporbusts ES44s on the same train and couldn't make it too far over the pass in cab mode. But put 6 BNSF Warbonnet B40-8Ws and then watch a 150-car intermodal run at 89 mph after you've gotten over the summit of Sherman Hill. By far the craziest one I ever ran was a 16,000+ ton train with two of Ben Neal's 2-8-8-2s on the head end and a 4-8-2 cut in ahead of the caboose. Cab mode, wheelslip and coupler breakage enabled, raining, starting off near a crossing. Broke the tender drawbar on the lead locomotive.

  9. #9

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDG_pkayvOA

    Typical freighttrain on one of my bigger projects.

  10. #10
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    This is small for me. on a good day I hook up to or 3 and pull up to 60k ton train loaded if maxed freight. I bleave that's over 400 cars.

    I'll stop showing off. lol
    Last edited by dragonharh; April 6th, 2013 at 09:36 AM.
    RCW is closed this account is sold to a new user

  11. #11
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    Hey all,

    I try to keep to Schedule Loads, like this for example



    Cheers.
    Last edited by Azervich; May 28th, 2018 at 06:48 PM.

  12. #12
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    I like to run @ 140 cars, which is 1 mile long 5280' in Trainz, and equals 1609m in length (as the Trainz imperial is ruler is way off ... use the metric ruler to measure things).

  13. #13
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    5 miles of loaded coal hoppers.... 4 bigboy's clanking along the track... 4 sd40-2's hauling the 5 mile long coal train with ease...

  14. #14
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    5 miles is a tad too long, and too much tonnage ... although I did pull a 45 mile long train once.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by chickenlover View Post
    4 sd40-2's hauling the 5 mile long coal train with ease...
    This really isn't possible. Put yourself in reality. Imagine having to heave that up just the slightest grade with ONLY 4 SD40-2's. There is really no way you can get that up to speed unless you start on a downhill grade. Even so, you more than likely won't have enough momentum to get it over the next hill.

    I usually take about 135 car unit coal trains with 2x1 DPU lash ups. I can barely get to 5 MPH on the EVWR.
    What I said is true to life here on the Illinois & Midland. The coal trains, before being switched to BNSF power, had 135 cars, which is more or less a mile long train loaded with coal. Generally UP had about 2x1 or 3x1 DPU lashups to get over the near 2% grade between Tice and Hilltop (an area otherwise known as Petersburg Hill). Now that BNSF has the Kincaid Contract, they take the same 135 cars loaded with coal with only 2x1 DPU lashups. Both railroads used widecab AC/DC power. Both railroads struggle(d) to make it over the near 2% Petersburg Hill at 5-10 MPH. (Petersburg Hill speed limit is 25 MPH.)

    Now take that in comparison to 4 SD40-2's rated at 3000 HP on a 5 mile long train, to 2/3x1 AC/DC power generally rated at 4400 HP with only a mile long train at most. I just don't really think it is possible in reality.

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