• All things fuel conservation

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by Cheeseknob
Hi. I work as an engineer on a small rail system in Australia and we are just starting our first fuel conservation scheme. I'm interset in how other rail systems have set up these type of programs, there successes or failures and whether they were embraced by the train drivers with enthusiasm or dread. Also any ideas or suggestions would be welcomed regarding driving techniques and skills. We do have dynamic brake on most locos and auto shutdown on newer ones. Pretty much anything related to the topic would be great....thanks
  by charlie6017
Moved to "Railroad Operations, Facilities, Maps and Resources" forum........good luck.

  by Desertdweller
In the US, at least on the smaller railroads, the thinking (of management) is that fuel is saved with a two or three unit consist by shutting down trailing units and flogging the hell out of the lead unit. The stress this puts on the remaining working unit is not considered.

I once worked on a railroad that had several stiff grades out of river valleys. Track speed was 10mph. Any use of over 1/2hp per ton was considered excessive.

These rules are generally made by people who do not have to follow them.

When you overwork an old loco, especially one with poor injectors, the oil will thin out. When you let off the throttle, the governor button will pop, shutting the unit down. Injectors are not normally changed out or rebuilt on a regular basis. The prevailing theory is "If it still works, don't fix it."

  by rovetherr
I work for a smaller RR, we have had a fuel conservation program in place for about a year. Most guys are buying into it since they get a performance bonus every quarter. For quite some time, we had had the same mentality as Desertdweller speaks to. However, after looking into the issue it was determined that the fuel usage, coupled with the excellerated wear and tear on the locomotive, of running trains at max tonnage was far more expensive than powering them at a 65 to 80% of max tonnage level. Once this change was instituted, we saw a dramatic reduction in mechanical, electrical, and operational failures. Another big part of the fuel program is one that is still being rolled out. It is a focus on track speeds. The data clearly shows a very significant reduction in fuel usage and track damage by increasing speeds from 10 to 25mph. Upwards of 40% fuel reduction! A further 25% reduction can be found by raising speeds to 40. However, the increased expenditures on track maintenance to maintain 40 mph can equal or exceed the fuel savings if certain conditions are present.