Cowford wrote: ↑Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:03 pm
This reminds me of the old joke: Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded.
Roadrailer has, unfortunately, failed in just about every market in which it has been introduced - here and abroad. And it's ALL about economics and efficiency. (Interoperability, train length restrictions and freight hauled per train-foot are integral measurements of both.)
First of all, Triple Crown was no "failure" - they don't run services that aren't "economically viable" (to quote another detractor below) for 30 years any more; Staggers fixed that.
It is definitely NOT about "economics and efficiency." Double stacks are great in "conventional" intermodal operations - high volume, long hauls, big expensive terminals
. They are all about railroads playing to their traditional
strengths and improving upon "conventional
" TOFC/COFC intermodal services. "Interoperability, train length restrictions and freight hauled per train-foot" are NOT "integral measurements" of "economics and efficiency" - they are all about "INSIDE the box" railroading and nothing more.
There is no way double stacks beat Roadrailers on "economics" or "efficiency," because domestic double stack adds about 7,000 pounds of tare weight per "box" compared to Roadrailers including the Roadrailer bogies
, and that's making the generous assumption that every "well" has two containers loaded in it (FAR from reality) - so even more extra tonnage per "box" in reality. There's NEVER any "empty buckets" on a Roadrailer train, either - the "boxes" ARE your train. Ditto for the wind resistance
encountered moving trains which are 20 foot+ high with big spaces between "boxes." BNSF basically had to add an extra 4400hp unit (from 4 to 5) to keep their schedules on their "Z" trains between Chicago and California when UPS wanted to be able to start using double stacked containers (as opposed to TOFC/COFC with spine cars). Roadrailers, by comparison, have essentially NO wind resistance, since they are low and closely coupled.
Double stacks also require big terminals (including lots of track space for "empty buckets" awaiting their next outgoing loads/trains; you can move Roadrailer "bogies" off
the track and have it available for another train without all the extra "storage" tracks being required) with big "lift" equipment, heavy pavement, and "chassis management" logistics headaches (which generally leads to a large "oversupply" of chassis, to ensure the ability to "ground" boxes - more inefficiency), none of which are needed for Roadrailer operations. A forklift to move "bogies" and a track with gravel or cinders up to the rails so you can back a truck up onto the track is all you need.
So, double stack has higher
tare weight, higher
wind resistance, and higher
terminal and logistics costs. Not to mention the massive cost of "clearance" projects needed for double stack operations, which are totally unnecessary for Roadrailers. Which means double stacks have lower efficiency
and are less economic
compared with Roadrailers.
GE, not EMD, makes the best locomotives now; has for over 20 years. Get over it.