• The End of the Freight Train

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by bostontrainguy
 
Story on CNBC this morning about "TuSimple" (https://www.tusimple.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) a startup company predicting cross-country autonomous trucks will travel coast to coast in 2 days! Yikes, that's not good news for the industry. The USPS is starting a pilot test program this week.

P.S. They also mentioned a rumor that Amazon was interested in acquiring the company.
  by ExCon90
 
Not very good news for ordinary motorists, either--for coast-to-coast in 48 hours I make that something in excess of 60 mph average speed start to stop, with no allowance for refueling or attending to the driver's personal needs en route, let alone for interchange ramps good for 25 mph max, as attested by routine traffic reports of overturned tractor-trailers. (Although come to think of it, the Air Force manages to refuel planes in flight; maybe something like that could be devised for autonomous trucks.) And if the system functions as intended, the trucks will have to slow down for traffic jams like everybody else--I wouldn't count on the sort of schedule performance that UPS--or Amazon, for that matter--requires.
  by gp9rm4108
 
Trains aren't going anywhere.

These types of services are good for high priority traffic that is time sensitive.

Capacity issues alone are enough of a reason freight trains will be here. Railroads may lose time sensitive traffic but that's about it.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
gp9rm4108 wrote:Trains aren't going anywhere.
I agree steel wheel on steel rail is very low friction and very efficient. If anything, autonomous vehicle technology and control will be applied to trains. It's even easier for trains as they don't have to detect lanes. It will be hard to eliminate the crews (things happen on the rails), but we may see improvements to PTC.
ExCon90 wrote:Not very good news for ordinary motorists, either--for coast-to-coast in 48 hours I make that something in excess of 60 mph average speed start to stop, with no allowance for refueling or attending to the driver's personal needs en route, let alone for interchange ramps good for 25 mph max, as attested by routine traffic reports of overturned tractor-trailers. (Although come to think of it, the Air Force manages to refuel planes in flight; maybe something like that could be devised for autonomous trucks.) And if the system functions as intended, the trucks will have to slow down for traffic jams like everybody else--I wouldn't count on the sort of schedule performance that UPS--or Amazon, for that matter--requires.
Since hybrid and battery powered technologies are available, perhaps overhead catenary could be used on high-traffic routes and congestion points. "The truck is stuck in traffic trying to cross the George Washington Bridge, but at least the batteries are charging." Tie the electric bill to EzPass.
  by scottychaos
 
ExCon90 wrote:...something in excess of 60 mph average speed start to stop, with no allowance for refueling or attending to the driver's personal needs en route, .
There aren't going to be any drivers..that's part of the plan.
Im not sure how refueling is going to work, but im sure they are getting that worked out.

Scot
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
bostontrainguy wrote:
electric-trucks-with-overhead-contact-line-to-start-testing-on-german-autobahn_3.jpg
https://www.autoevolution.com/news/trol ... 19732.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I guess it would need to be "double" catenary if you're not running on rails. Never thought of it. I should almost hand in my EE degree.
  by ExCon90
 
scottychaos wrote:There aren't going to be any drivers..that's part of the plan.
I wasn't being serious, but now I am--there will be no one on board if a tire tread comes flying off? And if a reefer load transmitting continuous information about the load's temperature reports an en route failure of the unit, there will be no one to pull it out of line at the next rest stop and try to get it restarted?
  by bostontrainguy
 
ExCon90 wrote:
scottychaos wrote:There aren't going to be any drivers..that's part of the plan.
I wasn't being serious, but now I am--there will be no one on board if a tire tread comes flying off? And if a reefer load transmitting continuous information about the load's temperature reports an en route failure of the unit, there will be no one to pull it out of line at the next rest stop and try to get it restarted?
You don't think they will have truck stops along the way to remedy problems and do repairs?
  by ExCon90
 
Sure, but if there's nobody in the cab, how does the truck get there? (See 2 posts above)
  by spRocket
 
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 9:50 pm I guess it would need to be "double" catenary if you're not running on rails. Never thought of it. I should almost hand in my EE degree.
Indeed, trolleybuses have been around for a very long time, with double trolley poles for the two wires. Chicago had some such routes, but eventually tore down the wires. They're still around in some places (particularly Russia). Everything old is new again. ;)