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Thread: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

  1. #1
    I_totally_love_trains Guest

    Default U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    On freight trains in the U.S.A. when they're going down the tracks over no switches or any mechanisms it seems like on the lighter loaded cars they make a rumble rumble rumble rumble noise. My Uncle said this is the suspension on the cars flexing back and forth. I need a couple people to back this up for what I'm going to use the fact for if what my Uncle said is true. Please reply if you know if what my Uncle said is true or if you know what the sound is caused by otherwise. Thank you!

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Fordyce, AR, USA.
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    2,912

    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    That is true. For instance there could be a sinkhole, a area washed out in the ballast that causes the rail to sink where washout occured. They're not a big issue but does allow for a rought ride, especially hittin em at 60mph. Also they tend to move from side to side, horizontally. Bulkheads, boxcars, flatcars, steel coil cars, gondolas, and especial side dump 40ft MOW gondoals, tend to have it bad when empty. I forgot what its called. But track conditions and speed of train are also a big factor in it. Also swaying motion tends to cause this noise. I hope this is what you were talking about, if not im sure someone else can enlighten you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    nebraska, usa.
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    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    he is right but also arond here be live right NEXT to the tracks and every time a coal freight ( almost all that goes trough here ) goes by glass breaks, people ven fall!
    and i go out and when the train is done goin by i get on the tracks and look at the end of the train and as always rockin back and forth!!!
    and the rails are like hills up and down! and these tracks are used ALL the time 125 trains a day over that and its double lined!



    Union Pacific railorad is the the best railroad in the world!
    if we want it to stay like that we better pay tribute!
    Union Pacifc Railroad has ben around longer then any other MAJOR railroad. UP is the best MIX of all railroad stuff.

  4. #4
    SHEPLEY1935 Guest

    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    The rocking of cars from side to side is commonly referred to as "walking the dog"! This condition is caused by track structure
    and the condition of the trucks (truck bolster snubbing devices in the truck side frames) under the cars. I'm sure that bcdef can give us a full report on AAR Specification 214 that dictates the mechanical requirements for the repair and/or reconditioning of truck side frames and bolsters. He is so wonderfully knowledgable about railroading!

    Don Shepley-Chicago

  5. #5
    I_totally_love_trains Guest

    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    Thanks for your answers! I'll remember them if what I have in mind goes into effect! Thanks again!

    Adam



  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jun-19-02 AT 04:23PM (EDT)[/font][p]Hi Adam, good to see you here. Hard to say what exactly is causing the sounds you hear, but the suspension is a likely culpert.

    Hmmm...125 trains a day and almost all of them breaking glass and knocking people over. Exactly how close IS your house to the tracks bcdef??? :) Does anyone remember the I Love Lucy episode where they spent the night in a cabin by the RR tracks.. funny stuff.

    Cliff

  7. #7
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    Nov 1999
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    Myrtle Beach, S.C.
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    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    lmao
    thats a LOT of glass

    Make a Mess!!
    I am :-)

    " I do what my Rice Krispies tell me to do "

    VNARC
    vp:hs
    Make a Mess

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.
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    3,596

    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    This general rocking & rolling is referred to in the industry as "train-track dynamics". The rocking is most severe on jointed rail, where the rail joint spacing is 50/50 as in the US, rather than opposite each other as in some countries, and where the truck (bogie) center to center distance is approximately the same. If the average car rolls more than about 7 degrees from the verticle, the high wheels will lift right off the rail. In tangent track, this is not usually a bad problem - but it is scary to watch. However, on curves - well Katy bar the door.

    The noise of empty cars, is the suspension, but may also be rattling brake rigging, as well as flat wheels.

    Another problem which I have only seen on the "great UP" as one of you likes to put it, is switches where the points are badly out of line. I was eastbound on the Sunset between Houston & Beaumont a couple of years ago, and the lateral motion of the train was so great that the diaphragms were opening up between cars (side to side, like scissors). On my return to Jacksonville, I called Amtrak and advised them of this problem. They had a supervisor ride the train the same night I called, and he reduced speed on it over that stretch. I was able to get to the rear of the train - oddly, no boxcars on that one -- and what I saw was terrible alignment in the turnouts, through the points area (moving part of the turnout). I contacted the UP and reported it - so on August 30, when I am over it again, I hope it is fixed, or else they get another call. As it happened the conductor had reported many rough spots in the same area, but did not know what the cause was.

    Although the L&N is my favorite road, my vote for the all around BEST, from the safety, smoothness, handling of Amtrak trains etc., is BNSF - who have the Sunset between New Orleans and Iowa Jct. I have rode the UP from Portland to LA, and from LA to Iowa Jct., and I don't think it is so hot.

    J. H. Sullivan

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Milepost 8.3, BNSF Omaha Sub.
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    539

    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    An empty grain hopper will make a nice hollow rumble just from the vibrations of the road. Fill it up with soy beans ( what else on the Council Bluffs sub going to Bunge Corp?! ) and that hollow, drum like sound disappears. Not that it becomes any quieter, just a definite change in the sound

  10. #10
    I_totally_love_trains Guest

    Default RE: U.S.A. Freight Train Question

    Well I was with my Dad taking pictures at the Johnstown Amtrak Train Station, the Amtraks get held way up there by the freights and not just there many other places also, anyways I'm getting off topic. I was standing near the tracks and this CONRAIL and NS (Norfolk Southern) freight came rumbling by. You wouldn't even hear it until it was too late if you were out on the tracks. Anyways it was carrying some of them cars that carry crates and the ones that had a lighter load seemed to go boom boom boom boom. Thanks for all your answers! Nice to see you here too Cliff (Xacto)!

    Adam

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