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Thread: Leaving Diesels running

  1. #1
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    Default Leaving Diesels running

    I heard that the railroads can't shutdown their engines because it costs too much to shutdown and then to start them back up so they leave them running in passing tracks. Why soo much trouble shutting down and starting up?

  2. #2
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    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    I'm guessing that it is better to keep them running because it takes more fuel to start it up than it is to keep it running and another thing is that incase something happens and they have the extra unit there to use as a helper for power. The only time they shut down the engine is if the unit has a serious problem and is being towed to be serviced some where.

  3. #3
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    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    Over here in Oz, they shut them down if they are going to be idle for more than 2 or so hours.

    Cheers
    Derek

  4. #4
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    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    Railroads do shut locomotives down, itís called fuel conservation. The only reason why you would not shut a locomotive down is keep it from freezing, as they are water cooled. Most railroads that I know of and every one Iíve worked for has instructions covering when to shut locomotives down. When the temperature is not anticipated to drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the locomotive is not needed for handling tonnage it is to be shut down. Thatís not to say that every engineer complies with these instructions. Some railroads have installed equipment on locomotives that will shut the locomotive down after itís been in idle for a period of time. When the water temperature in the prime mover drops to certain point it is restarted. On very cold nights I have seen locomotives equipped with this system cycle on and off.


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  5. #5
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    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    We run about 3 shifts/3 crews per shift a day M-F and 1 or 2 sat/sun so when the diesels are not going to be used within a shift or 2 peroid we shut them down.In the winter time when temps start to drop into the 30's railroads will leave engines running constantly but other than that we always shut them down.

  6. #6
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    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    Most the new GE's have an automatic shutdown when left in idol for 10 minutes. Railroads have fuel conservation programs in place. Generally if an engine is going to be left for hours, you shut it off (unless its cold).



  7. #7
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    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    >I heard that the railroads can't shutdown their engines
    >because it costs too much to shutdown and then to start them
    >back up so they leave them running in passing tracks. Why
    >soo much trouble shutting down and starting up?

    That used tobe the standard practice. Nowadays locomtoives have much more reliable electrical systems so they will start easier. Plus, witht he high costs of fuels nowadays, every drop saved helps.

    The reason diesels were left running in days of yore were numerous. First, they were a bitch to get started, batteries weren't as reliable. Secondly, fuel was cheap....I read somewhere that an SD45 would burn only 3 gallons of fuel per hour when idling. Third, shutting an engine down is NOT good for the engine...leave it running at a constant temperature adn you don't have cylinder/sleeve/piston warpage from heating (expanding) and contracting (cooling).

  8. #8
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    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    DJT you are correct on your answer.At the NS if it wasn't going to drop below the freezing point the units were shut down to conserve that precious Saudi diesel fuel.

  9. #9

    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    Outhere on the branches the leave the locos out running for almot 12 hours or so.. I have seem them leave them on idle sometimes from one day to the next.. oh well..

    Jonny Beck

    Back when the crew use to drive the train out they always shut them down when they went to lunch.. different times I guess.

  10. #10
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    Default RE: Leaving Diesels running

    >Railroads do shut locomotives down, itís called fuel
    >conservation. The only reason why you would not shut a
    >locomotive down is keep it from freezing, as they are water
    >cooled. Most railroads that I know of and every one Iíve
    >worked for has instructions covering when to shut
    >locomotives down. When the temperature is not anticipated
    >to drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the locomotive is
    >not needed for handling tonnage it is to be shut down.
    >Thatís not to say that every engineer complies with these
    >instructions. Some railroads have installed equipment on
    >locomotives that will shut the locomotive down after itís
    >been in idle for a period of time. When the water
    >temperature in the prime mover drops to certain point it is
    >restarted. On very cold nights I have seen locomotives
    >equipped with this system cycle on and off.

    Except on the SD90MAC's, which actually have antifreeze so you can shut them down and start them in the cold as much as you want (must be pretty handy for CP :-))

    Thats what they do up here in CT. Of course all I ever see is a few Geeps :D

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