On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

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ThirdRail7
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ThirdRail7 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:57 pm

We went from Generators to Cab signals?
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ApproachMedium
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:21 pm

Yea, almost forgot to mention we are going off topic while I do have some input on the subject of the cab signals.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Tadman » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:21 am

Awesome pic, you got me... New Years resolution, no more ski masked hijackings of threads...
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ThirdRail7
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ThirdRail7 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:55 pm

For the record, this has been pursued. Product Development is looking into seeing if it is feasible to add a generator to the existing Viewliner baggage car order (I used your idea Jtg! If this works, PM your name and I'll give you the credit! If not, you probably don't want to be known). If this fails, the back up plan is to approach industrial engineering to examine if a generator can be added to future engine orders. I was informed it is definitely too late to add them to the current order of electrics and it might be too late to add them Viewliners. Cost and space limitations will obviously be a major factor (probably the deciding factor.)

I didn't even know we had an department named Industrial Engineering.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:40 am

It would make more sense to add the generator to the loco itself. The cars when on diesel trains, which they spend more time with, would almost always have two HEP sources from the two diesel locos that most trains get. Too bad they were a bit behind and they didnt buy from Bombardier. I hear their latest idea is with the space they saved in the ALP46A interior parts layout with the IGBT traction they are capable of installing a small diesel motor that can limp trains home now in the event of power failure.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by DutchRailnut » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:54 am

space may not be problem but weight sure is, its not only generator but cooling system and switchgear and all that adds up, just to carry as dead weight.
and who wants to fuel several passenger cars in each train when servicing the trains.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Jtgshu » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:23 am

ThirdRail7 wrote:For the record, this has been pursued. Product Development is looking into seeing if it is feasible to add a generator to the existing Viewliner baggage car order (I used your idea Jtg! If this works, PM your name and I'll give you the credit! If not, you probably don't want to be known). If this fails, the back up plan is to approach industrial engineering to examine if a generator can be added to future engine orders. I was informed it is definitely too late to add them to the current order of electrics and it might be too late to add them Viewliners. Cost and space limitations will obviously be a major factor (probably the deciding factor.)

I didn't even know we had an department named Industrial Engineering.
hahaaha thanks quite okay Thirdrail, but I appreciate the thought :)

It might be too late to get them added from the factory, but nothing that wouldn't allow shop forces to add them on their own. im SURE Amtrak shop forces could mount a HEP skid and splice into the 480 cables after they are delivered. Uhhh they've done it before :)

Added weight? Big deal. Id be more concerned with if the car could support the extra weight and if it would need extra support and balancing it out, but again, thats nothing really that major that couldn't be taken care of by a competitent car shop, which last I checked, Amtrak has. The extra fuel the added weight of the HEP motor would burn would be MORE than offset by the savings of not having to run the P42s at notch 6 or 7 or whatever it is constantly to provide HEP and let them idle down to.....idle!

A simple switch would be needed, like those on wayside power boxes. ON and OFF. Meaning if the switch is off, the power comes from HEP on locomotive, if switch is on, the power comes from the HEP on the baggage car. Within that switch would change the trainline complete circuits, etc, so you couldn't have them both providing HEP at the same time. (that happened with NJTs ACES train a few times during power change over, and the ALP took the hit most times, but the P40s were affected too)

Putting the motor on the loco is a good idea, however, thats not going to do any good when the locomotive is cut away for servicing or a motor swap or when train is laying over in yard or somewhere where there are no wayside HEP plugs. Might not keep them from totally freezing up, but might help. And if you are putting an HEP motor on the loco, why not use it for providing HEP for the whole train then? Seems kinda silly to be running the BIG prime mover that really likes fuel at full tilt when there is a tiny motor, that doesn't like nearly as much fuel just sitting there. NJT got a wake up call with the PL42s which use SIGNIFICANTLY more fuel than a Geep with a CAT HEP motor. If the HEP load is too much for the CAT HEP motor, then run it off the prime mover. No biggie. And if its in the baggage car, it doesn't matter if the HEP dies on the loco, electric or diesel.

Gee, putting a diesel motor on an electric loco sure sounds ALOT like the ALP45 dual mode......hmmmmmmm hahahahaha Maybe a "baby dual mode" - Mostly electric, but a little diesel hahaha.
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ApproachMedium
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:57 pm

A simple on off switch? I think not. A good example here would be the way a modern power module GTO or IGBT loco works for HEP. There is no simple on off switch. You would need large very heavy (300+lbs) 480v contactors to operate the connection and disconnection of the HEP motor in the baggage car from the train line. You would also need presence detection so that the contactor does not close when there is already 480v present, which makes a BIG boom should this mistake happen. You also would need all the components to smooth out the electricity generated by the motor and keep the frequency stable. Again, nothing light and simple there either.

Now, the point of them in the yard. Almost every place that a train is going to be in the yard there is wayside 480v present. Which is silent, requires no fueling and minimal maintenance. When a train is in the yard at the service point the wayside gets connected, and the cars stay warm. The problem with the cars freezing up cant be helped by your generator solution any more than it already is. That requires that ALL cars be trainline HEP connected. It requires they are not DRILLING the cars. Once drilling must begin, any 480V must be opened, and disconnected. The cars being separated must be disconnected and nothing can be reconnected until the track is cleared and blue flag protection is applied. So you gain zero advantage in the yard by adding a generator to a baggage car.

Also if the train does not have a baggage car, or the bag is shopped because we are short of them. Now what do you do? I have been there, i worked the yard last winter and I cabled up trains. I know whats involved, i know what the process is and I know how long it takes for a car to dump water after its been sitting off power in freezing weather. It does not take long.

When we layover cars we store them on 1 track or 26 track, both of which have wayside power. Before a car is sent there from the car shop as ready it is winterized by being drained of all water. When a car gets shopped out of a train it is also drained to prevent freezing. The wayside power is used to keep the blowers, heat and strip heaters going so that when a ready car does need to get pressed in to service it is already near toasty, and can be filled up with water right away without dumping it.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by 25Hz » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:21 am

Could RDC style layout work?
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ApproachMedium
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:28 am

25Hz wrote:Could RDC style layout work?
On a baggage car, possibly. But you would still need the other equipment I mentioned added on to provide connections. This could be placed on the other end of the car where the other motor would be on an RDC to balance out the weight while a fuel tank can remain in the center.
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ThirdRail7
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ThirdRail7 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:08 am

ApproachMedium wrote:A simple on off switch? I think not. A good example here would be the way a modern power module GTO or IGBT loco works for HEP. There is no simple on off switch. You would need large very heavy (300+lbs) 480v contactors to operate the connection and disconnection of the HEP motor in the baggage car from the train line. You would also need presence detection so that the contactor does not close when there is already 480v present, which makes a BIG boom should this mistake happen. You also would need all the components to smooth out the electricity generated by the motor and keep the frequency stable. Again, nothing light and simple there either.

Now, the point of them in the yard. Almost every place that a train is going to be in the yard there is wayside 480v present. Which is silent, requires no fueling and minimal maintenance. When a train is in the yard at the service point the wayside gets connected, and the cars stay warm. The problem with the cars freezing up cant be helped by your generator solution any more than it already is. That requires that ALL cars be trainline HEP connected. It requires they are not DRILLING the cars. Once drilling must begin, any 480V must be opened, and disconnected. The cars being separated must be disconnected and nothing can be reconnected until the track is cleared and blue flag protection is applied. So you gain zero advantage in the yard by adding a generator to a baggage car.

Also if the train does not have a baggage car, or the bag is shopped because we are short of them. Now what do you do? I have been there, i worked the yard last winter and I cabled up trains. I know whats involved, i know what the process is and I know how long it takes for a car to dump water after its been sitting off power in freezing weather. It does not take long.

When we layover cars we store them on 1 track or 26 track, both of which have wayside power. Before a car is sent there from the car shop as ready it is winterized by being drained of all water. When a car gets shopped out of a train it is also drained to prevent freezing. The wayside power is used to keep the blowers, heat and strip heaters going so that when a ready car does need to get pressed in to service it is already near toasty, and can be filled up with water right away without dumping it.
OK. I would like to repeat: the intention is to use this for EMERGENCIES.

It was not pitched as a replacement for HEP on the trains.
It was not pitched as a replacement for the 480v standby system.

It was pitched as a mean to provide HEP to trains that are in trouble, such as 2190 a few days ago, which was wrapped in the wire or when 49 had engine trouble and the nearest help was a freight engine without HEP capabilities located 200 miles away!

The baggage car was pitched because I was informed it is most likely too late to get them added to the new electrics. If they can equip the baggage cars, at least some of the long distance and day trains can have some semblance of protection until new diesels come on line.

AM, if you think this is a horrific and expensive idea, now would be a great time say yea or nay.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:33 am

Where did 49 have engine trouble? And I would assume this was with a single loco instead of the standard two that the trains normally have? I cant see why with diesel hauled trains if you have the redundancy there already of a second diesel, what is the necessity to have a 3rd backup power source on board?

The case of 2190 is a whole nother' story. Thats an acela, a high speed trainset which is a solid piece. Im sure you could pop two pony motors in the back of those power cars for emergencies but then that requires re-engineering the whole setup for the weight distribution, where will the fuel go and I wont even get in to the rest of it. Acela express trains already can be rescued by diesels or electrics with HEP capabilities. And on the NEC, there USUALLY isnt one too far away. With all of the commuter trains, diesels in Adams, hudson yard, and philly you have plenty alone in that area to help out.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by 25Hz » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:07 am

I think the only viable way backup HEP would work is via high capacity high discharge batteries. The lights all ready run on batteries when HEP is not there. Just the other day I saw an entire 10 car GO bilevel train locomotive off with all the lights on. In Albany during the engine switch, the amfleet 2 I was in had the backup lights go on. So you take that baggage/cabbage or what have you and pop in some industrial sized lithium polymer battery packs, inverters and you're in business. No, wouldn't move the train, but allow doors lights, HVAC & bathrooms to work. To conserve power simply keep everyone in as few cars as possible till help arrives. Additional auxiliary power could be drawn from packs hung under the floors of the coaches.

I know this isn't perfect, but it may be a solution.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:13 am

25Hz wrote:I think the only viable way backup HEP would work is via high capacity high discharge batteries. The lights all ready run on batteries when HEP is not there. Just the other day I saw an entire 10 car GO bilevel train locomotive off with all the lights on. In Albany during the engine switch, the amfleet 2 I was in had the backup lights go on. So you take that baggage/cabbage or what have you and pop in some industrial sized lithium polymer battery packs, inverters and you're in business. No, wouldn't move the train, but allow doors lights, HVAC & bathrooms to work. To conserve power simply keep everyone in as few cars as possible till help arrives. Additional auxiliary power could be drawn from packs hung under the floors of the coaches.

I know this isn't perfect, but it may be a solution.
Already mentioned way back in here batteries are a no go. LED lighting in the new viewdiner has proven up to 8 hours time on battery alone which is fine and good but you are not going to be operating any kind of HVAC system off of batter power. Not happening, no way, no how. Running motors, compressors and or heating elements requires a lot of juice.
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Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by jstolberg » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:33 am

I think generators on baggage cars would have limited applicability. Where do trains run with baggage cars but only one loco? And where would the addition of a baggage car on a single loco train be useful?

These come to mind:
Cardinal
Pennsylvanian
Palmetto
Carolinian
Adirondack
Maple Leaf

While a protect engine may be nearby on the NEC, these trains spend a considerable amount of time off the NEC. It would only require 15 or 16 standby generators to give these trains backup power. However, you can't just mount a generator, fuel it and forget it. Generators should be exercised about half an hour per week, preferably under load. For the Pennsylvanian, it could fit nicely in the schedule during the daily engine change at Harrisburg. For the Cardinal, Carolinian and Palmetto, the generators could run a few minutes in Washington during that engine change. For the Adirondack and Maple Leaf, would it be better to do it at the border or at Rensselaer?

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