Re: Helper Locomotives

Msg # 991 of 1000 on RelayNet Trains/models/railways etc
To: ALL, From: JAMES ROBINSON Time: Saturday, 8-11-7, 3:31
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mojaveg@mojaveg.lsan.mdsg-pacwest.com (Everett M. Greene) wrote:
>
> James Robinson  writes:
>> "wa-kiki"  wrote:
>>
>> > I've seen it in prototype operation and I've seen it on film where
>> > a locomotive will be put somewhere in the middle of a train to help
>> > move a really heavy load such as a coal unit train. But can someone
>> > tell me how this actually works.
>>
>> It all depends on how many locomotives are used as helpers, and where
>> they are placed in the train.

  < snip >

> Seems like a good description in an idealized situation.  Since
> the rail lines are almost never completely consistent grades,
> the neutral point will fluctuate as the grade varies.  I've seen
> descriptions of operations where the front units will be braking
> while the more rearward units will still be pushing/pulling at
> full bore as a long train goes over a hill.  So there is some
> art to getting the power balance correct at any moment.

Yes, it was a simplified description to set up a basic understanding of
how things work.  Control of slack is an art, whether the train has
helper locomotives or not.  With helpers, it just gives the engineer
something else to consider.

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