On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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ApproachMedium
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:29 am

AC eats up a lot of power. Look for the future of the cars having a LVPS (Low Voltage Power Supply) Like the viewliners, multilevels etc, but with LED lighting in the cars. In testing the Viewdiner provided up to 8 hours of full continuous lighting via LED for the car and kitchen area with no HEP applied. AC is asking for a bit much though, there is no way you can run the 3 phase 480V blowers and compressors off some kind of battery system. And a generator in a baggage car? I wouldnt count on it. The baggage cars are the least cared for cars on the whole system and the trains that they do end up on spend more time with a diesel than with an electric. For the 3-4 hours the train would be on the NEC with an electric it does not pay to keep a diesel generator backup in a car. Its just another heavy thing to have to maintain that will eat up revenue space in the baggage car. Believe it or not, they actually do get filled up sometimes!

One thing that Amtrak really needs to find a way to overcome is a way to keep the cars warm in the winter when off HEP. And not just for passengers but for the purpose of keeping the water from dumping out and pipes freezing. I have tried to think of a way that via inductive charging that batteries could be kept charged on the cars while in the yard when off HEP, and then off the batteries 74VDC the heat traces could keep the pipes warm. Maybe with that small ventilation fans could keep air circulating in the car when its warm out to keep passengers cool? I just dont know if that kind of infrastructure would be cost effective beyond yard use.
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John_Perkowski
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by John_Perkowski » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:10 am

Thanks Jack.

I grew up travelling the Union Pacific, which loved Waukesha ...
jhdeasy wrote:
John_Perkowski wrote:Amtrak went to Head-End Power because they wanted out of the business of having generators on each and every car.

What do folks think ran the air conditioning before Amtrak? Auxiliary power. Axle generators weren't enough.

It's a cost control thing.
The statement pertaining to air conditioning is not an accurate statement.

Air conditioning on the majority of lightweight passenger cars was powered by the individual car's DC battery system, which was charged by an axle driven generator or genemotor (Spicer Drive) when the car was moving, or by standby ground power when parked in a yard or terminal station. Standy power (240, 220 or 208 VAC three phase) powered the motor section of the genmotor which spun the generator sectiuon of the genemotor which produced DC to charge the batteries, which were used to run the 32 VDC, 64 VDC or 110 VDC car. There was only a limited number of lightweight passenger cars that were self-contained with "auxiliary power" provided by a diesel generator or by a propane fueled Waukesha engine-generator unit or a propane fueld Waukesha Ice Engine.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:56 am

John_Perkowski wrote:Thanks Jack.

I grew up travelling the Union Pacific, which loved Waukesha ...
Colonel, the Union Pacific's attachment to Propane generator driven Air Conditioning, commonly known as a Waukesha system, appears confined to cars that were interchanged with the Southern Pacific.

According to March 1963 Official Register of Passenger Train Equipment (ex libris). The 70XX, 80XX, and 90XX Domes had Diesel Electro Mechanical systems. Sleepers of the 6-4-6 "American--" series as well as 4-4-2 "Imperial--" were Waukesha equipped, but that seems to be the extent. Otherwise (somebody will find an exception, I know) UP lightweight fleet was Electro Mechanical.

The "Waukesha lovers" were the Southern Pacific, Chicago & North Western, and my MILW. In the case of the latter two, anyone care to wonder why (hint: get out a RR map of Wisconsin)?

JimBoylan
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by JimBoylan » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:05 pm

The I.C.C. accident report for the Amtrak's Panama Limited on the Illinois Central Gulf on June 10, 1971 in Salem, Ill. mentions propane tank powered air conditioning on some of the wrecked cars. I'm not sure if Amtrak was already moving cars of different ownerships around its new system, or if it ever actually acquired any propane equipped passenger cars.

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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:25 pm

Mr. Boylan; Tonti (IC) vice Salem (C&EI)

A review of the earlier cited publication shows that the IC had 25 some Coaches and several Lounge cars with Waukesha systems.

I think the cars in question were some heavyweights rebuilt to at least look like lightweights.

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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by JimBoylan » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:53 pm

You are correct, the title is "near Salem", the narrative is at Tonti, 1.5 miles North of Salem.
TAN: This happened at 90 m.p.h. with cab signals and jointed rail, not in the NorthEast Corridor!
I have the March, 1971 edition of "The Official Register of Passenger Train Equipment" (No. 36).
It may tell a good deal about what was available for Amtrak and Auto Train to buy.

Tadman
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Tadman » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:41 am

Despite the best efforts of the feds and safety "experts", IC ran 100mph passenger trains on jointed rail for decades. Betcha the dining cars didn't have fixed McDonalds-style booths, either... Oh whoa is me, how did we ever get by without the nanny state.... The pre-1980s must have been a terrible time in American history.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:04 pm

Mr. Dunville, how about the immediate headache I for one developed when all too many around me "just lit up" during the '60's when I was in college followed by military service? Somehow, I don't miss them.

Tadman
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Tadman » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:34 pm

You got me there. Ever since Chicago banned smoking in bars, my weekends have been a lot nicer. I even remember a late-90s ride on the CZ when it still had a smoking compartment, that was pretty foul. No complaints against anti-smoking laws, but I distinguish those because they have a definite public mandate behind them. The 70% of us that don't smoke also don't want to smell it.

That said, there is a lot of crap put out by fed agencies that feel the need to "prove their value", including fixed booth diner regs and cab signal for 79+ running. You don't seem to see those problems cropping up in Canada, where those crazy cold daredeviles dare to operate Budd heritage cars at 90 sans-cab signal with scoot-able dining car chairs. There's little public mandate as the public doesn't even know what cab signal is.
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Noel Weaver
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Noel Weaver » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:29 pm

Tadman wrote:You got me there. Ever since Chicago banned smoking in bars, my weekends have been a lot nicer. I even remember a late-90s ride on the CZ when it still had a smoking compartment, that was pretty foul. No complaints against anti-smoking laws, but I distinguish those because they have a definite public mandate behind them. The 70% of us that don't smoke also don't want to smell it.

That said, there is a lot of crap put out by fed agencies that feel the need to "prove their value", including fixed booth diner regs and cab signal for 79+ running. You don't seem to see those problems cropping up in Canada, where those crazy cold daredeviles dare to operate Budd heritage cars at 90 sans-cab signal with scoot-able dining car chairs. There's little public mandate as the public doesn't even know what cab signal is.
I tend to agree about the fixed booth diner regs. but cab signals and train control are a vital help in safe and high speed train operations. Even railroads like the Union Pacific and the Florida East Coast have cab signals and train control over lines that host no Amtrak trains. Every line should have cab signals and train control, when and if this ever happens train operations will be safer and I have no doubt of that. The public might not know what cab signals are or what they contribute to make all raiiroad operations much safer but railroaders whom are familiar with them and use them appreciate their value. Over the years there have been many nasty accidents that could have been prevented with an effective cab signal/train control system. It is too bad that the federal government has to mandate them but if that is what it takes to increase their use and their coverage then so be it, I favor cab signals period.
Noel Weaver

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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:12 am

Tadman wrote:Despite the best efforts of the feds and safety "experts", IC ran 100mph passenger trains on jointed rail for decades. Betcha the dining cars didn't have fixed McDonalds-style booths, either... Oh whoa is me, how did we ever get by without the nanny state.... The pre-1980s must have been a terrible time in American history.
The nanny state (for railroads)came to be, when trafic on highways and highway crossings nearly trippled, and in regards to trucks more than quadrupled.
Add to that the size and weight of todays trucks the chances of crossing accidents multiplied.

remember for each and every rule there is a bunch of caskets in the ground.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by slchub » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:58 am

Noel Weaver wrote:
Tadman wrote:You got me there. Ever since Chicago banned smoking in bars, my weekends have been a lot nicer. I even remember a late-90s ride on the CZ when it still had a smoking compartment, that was pretty foul. No complaints against anti-smoking laws, but I distinguish those because they have a definite public mandate behind them. The 70% of us that don't smoke also don't want to smell it.

That said, there is a lot of crap put out by fed agencies that feel the need to "prove their value", including fixed booth diner regs and cab signal for 79+ running. You don't seem to see those problems cropping up in Canada, where those crazy cold daredeviles dare to operate Budd heritage cars at 90 sans-cab signal with scoot-able dining car chairs. There's little public mandate as the public doesn't even know what cab signal is.
I tend to agree about the fixed booth diner regs. but cab signals and train control are a vital help in safe and high speed train operations. Even railroads like the Union Pacific and the Florida East Coast have cab signals and train control over lines that host no Amtrak trains. Every line should have cab signals and train control, when and if this ever happens train operations will be safer and I have no doubt of that. The public might not know what cab signals are or what they contribute to make all raiiroad operations much safer but railroaders whom are familiar with them and use them appreciate their value. Over the years there have been many nasty accidents that could have been prevented with an effective cab signal/train control system. It is too bad that the federal government has to mandate them but if that is what it takes to increase their use and their coverage then so be it, I favor cab signals period.
Noel Weaver
I agree. I love running over cab signal territory (rare opportunity with Amtrak, only when we reroute between Salt Lake City and Denver through Green River, Wyoming). With the advent of PTC I think it will deff. help, especially on routes where Amtrak operates.

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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Tadman » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:38 pm

Noel and Dutch, I respect you guys both as you've both moved many trains quickly and safely over the years. I also don't doubt that it makes an engineer's job easier to have cab signals. However, is there any honest studies that show cab signal significantly reduces incidents? I'm not aware of any studies either for- or anti-cab signal.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:14 pm

enough evidence, name one incident of major collision other than where rules were circumvented or equipment cut out ??
and now look at how many collisions on passenger rail with no cab signal/atc.
now compare the amount of caskets needed .
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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ApproachMedium
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:41 pm

Indeed there is. Anyone from the NJ/NY area remembers the 1996 wreck in Secacucs before the junction station was built. There was two non cab signaled trains that had a cornfield meet. Cab car to locomotive, in no cab signal territory. After this collision NJT went right ahead and began installing CSS over the entire system. They were known for pioneering some of the most advanced systems alongside Amtrak. Since that collision NJT has not had any major collisions. Stop signal violations can and will still happen because there is no PTC yet, and humans can make errors. It happens, but I would definitely say the railroad is far safer with the cab signals than it was without. With cab signals if a train passes a stop signal it cant be doing it any more than 20mph, without it, could be any speed. Also when that train steps in to the other trains block, its cabs will also drop to restricting forcing the engineer to brake the train to a speed below 20mph.
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