Re: Helper Locomotives

Msg # 995 of 1000 on RelayNet Trains/models/railways etc
Time: Sunday, 8-12-7, 10:07
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--- UseNet To RIME Gateway @ 8/12/07 10:02:08 PM ---

On Sun, 12 Aug 2007 15:06:26 -0500, James Robinson 

> wrote:
>> (Everett M. Greene) wrote:
>>> 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.
>> You do not want the helpers pushing while the headend is braking, as
>> this could lead to jack-knifing.
>It is sometimes done for short periods as trains crest grades.  It is a
>slack control measure, where the head end locomotives begin to gently
>collect the slack in the train in preparation for descending, while the
>trailing locomotives keep moving the rear of the train up the hill.
>The result, if done correctly, is less severe slack action in the train.
>Of course, many engineers aren't very good at it, and can make the slack
>action worse.  Some crews don't try to be fancy, and just run both sets of
>locomotives in the same power or brake positions to simplify things.

This may have been done with the old Locotrol setups...but not current
DP setups.

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