US train feedback, and distributed power

Travel

I got some fun feedback about my posts on battery-powered passenger trains, and Jeb Brooks’ video on the California Zephyr.

Mike Harley of Obsolete29 recommended Alan Fisher, who does some excellent takedowns of silly ideas that only a Silicon Valley tech person could have concocted, and discussions of regional trains in Pennsylvania where he lives. But it was his poignant commentary about shipping waste that I appreciated the most:

All of these [delivery] steps, except for the home delivery part, is done by a truck … These are the vehicles that transport everything that you buy online to the warehouses that hold the goods. And they’re a huge problem.

Andrew Feinberg recommended Distant Signal out of Florida. Like Jeb’s channel I blogged about recently, it’s incredibly well produced with some great commentary and video.

Play How Distributed Power Works

I just finished his video on how distributed power (DP) works:

… with two engines leading, and another engine mid-train DP. DP helps makes these two mile beats possible, By minimising slack runout and bunching en route. A single change in throttle notch on a train powered only on the head end can result in a severe slack-action wave. DP maintains a much better level of slack action and control throughout the train.

When you have motive power at mid-train, that also serves as another air compressor. The brakes respond more quickly and efficiently. Distributed power not only improves train handling, it also improves fuel economy and reduces rail wear.

I got through all that technical gab and QO26 is STILL coming out of the yard!

There’s so much not to like about These Times™, but we’re spoiled by so much independently produced video now, made by people who care about their interests. Enthusiasm is infectious… and not the bad kind.

Author bio and support

Me!

Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

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