Can Modern Locomotives Overheat?

General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

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Can Modern Locomotives Overheat?

Postby Denver Dude » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:43 pm

Of course they can, but I'd like to get a little more specific.

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

In the video here, some commenters have suggested that AC units can overheat at certain throttle/speed conditions. My theory is that the prime mover should not overheat unless something fails. After all, how could it "know" whether it's in run 8 and going 70 MPH, or in run 8 and going 12 miles per hour? All it's doing is spinning an alternator. If the track speed gets too low at full power the engine will derate.

Now, I'm not so sure about AC traction motors, but I don't see a problem there with my limited knowledge. I'm under the impression that they can take all that you throw at them.

Your thoughts? Thanks!
Last edited by Denver Dude on Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can Modern Locomotives Overheat?

Postby NorthWest » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:15 pm

Units shouldn't overheat simply due to throttle notch. Unless there is something wrong with the unit (which appears to be the case here) locomotives can run all day in notch 8 without overheating regardless of speed. That's why locomotives have radiator fans.

AC traction motors also can run at any speed all day because they lack the motor winding that can overheat on DC motors.
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Re: Can Modern Locomotives Overheat?

Postby Engineer Spike » Thu May 12, 2016 4:53 pm

This is an obvious failure. They are designed to run in full power infinitely. Unless a train is high priority, even with extra power, the minimum number are to be on line. Only after the tonnage limit is exceeded may more be brought on line.
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