Herzog Hoppers with Solar Panels on Top

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Herzog Hoppers with Solar Panels on Top

Postby ricebrianrice » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:56 am

This morning in Binghamton, a Unit train came north on NS through Conklin, it was all Herzog Hooper Cars.
I wrote down one number, HZGX 10131.
One front and back edges of the every one of the hoppers was a pair of solar panels.

What the !@#$% are solar panels doing on open hopper cars?
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Re: Herzog Hoppers with Solar Panels on Top

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:56 am

the actuators for air operated dump doors , they are ballast cars, a MofW employee with a belt pack can dump stone, while staying in clear.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Herzog Hoppers with Solar Panels on Top

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:35 pm

On old ballast cars, the laborers walked along the cars and operated the doors. Later the operator sat on a seat which hooked onto the car's grab irons. He had a remote control, which opened the doors. These had solar panels to charge the batteries, which powered the doors.

This Herzog train is GPS based. A couple of years ago, I was the engineer of the work train. The Herzog guy set up in the rear unit. His rig had a laptop, and a GPS antenna. There is a train line cable which signals the opening of the cars. The line is mapped out before. This way the stone is dropped in the required locations. It will avoid places like open bridges. It even keeps track of how much stone has been dropped from each car. This way the system will move to the next car, when the previous one is empty. The only drawback was that we had to back up and hit one area again. This was because the line is right next to a hillside. The hill blocked out the signal from space, so we had to hit it again in manual mode.

The GPS system can allow speeds to about 35mph. On my run they were also dumping in the gauge, so we were limited to 10 mph. The real drawback it that it starts with the car on the head pin, and works back. This makes handling the train trickier.
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