Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: Intermodal Locos

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    370
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 794 Times in 131 Posts
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    My plan is to run my intermodal trains being pulled by either SD75i's or C44-9W Locos... Although in my case, I do Canadian National, which does a considerable amount of Intermodal transportation. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Toronto Intermodal, Chicago Intermodal, New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama and their secret weapon: Prince Rupert, British Columbia which will open an Intermodal terminal to the shortest route across the pacific

    In my case, my layout is rather small, so my intermodal train is more for flavour, as they are high-speed through traffic in the area that I am modelling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,291
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 502 Times in 148 Posts
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    Up until about thirty-five years ago intermodal operations were much different than you observe them today. The modern, dedicated intermodal train didn't come into widespread use until the 1970s, and even later on most of the East Coast. Before that intermodal was mostly made up of small trailers moved individually on short flatcars, like the cars Atlas offers in N scale. You definitely wouldn't see the Chesapeake & Ohio or traditional Norfolk & Western forwarding intermodal trains anywhere; their routes were too slow and circitouitous to be effective when they were independent operations. Most intermodal operations took place out West where long distances allowed the railroads to compete more easily. In the Northeast the intermodal pioneers were the Erie-Lackawanan and New York Central and later Conrail pretty much had the market cornered. Seaboard Coast Line and later CSX operated intermodal up and down the east coast.

    Today there are essentially three classes of intermodal trains, international containers, domestic containers and trailers, and high-priority "Z" trains. International container trains are, as the media has implied for years, "land ships," ferrying containers cross-country where it's impractical to operate ocean-going vessels. Domestic containers and trailers are the railroads' greatest attempt to compete with over-the-road truckers and that's exactly what those services attempt to do. The highest priority, or "Z," trains are usually operated under contract for UPS and have the reputation of stopping everything else on the railroad. That's why they are considered by railfans to be the most important traffic on the railroad, even if that's a huge fallacy. Knowing the different types of trains can help aid in picking what power to assign for each.

    Railroads have traditionally assigned their newest high-horsepower locomotives to their intermodal fleets. Today Norfolk Southern uses its fleet of C40-9Ws, occasionally mixed with six-axle EMD power; CSX used to keep its AC60s in intermodal service although lately they've been using about any six-axle power with at 3,800 horsepower; BNSF and Union Pacific use their C44-9Ws and SD70Ms respectively, again, occasionally mixed with other high-horsepower six-axle units. These assignments are consistant for each different kind of intermodal service although it's possible to see older, lower horsepower units, like SD50s and SD40-2s, on the international stack trains when nothing else is available.

    It wasn't always this way, however. Previously railroads used four axle power almost exlusively on their intermodal trains. Conrail used a mix of EMD and GE power on its trains such as GP40-2s and B40-8s. Santa Fe acquired its (unfortunately) famous GP60Ms and B40-8Ws specifically for intermodal service. The Richmond, Fredricksburg & Potomac used GP40s for forward, SCL and later CSX, intermodal trains on the northernmost portion of their journey. Burlington Northern commonly used their leased LMX B39-8s on their Pacific Northwest intermodal trains. No doubt there are plenty of other examples of this out there waiting to be researched.

    Today the mixing of power between railroads is much more common than it was even a decade ago. Prevously railroads would almost always change power when they handed off a whole train to another carrier. Today, however it's regretably not uncommon to see western power on eastern carriers and similarly eastern power on western carriers.

  3. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to railohio For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    370
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 794 Times in 131 Posts
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    I think the same goes for the CN trains in terms of their usage for engines. Most photos that I have either seen or taken of intermodal trains are being pulled by the biggest/fastest locomotives that CN has. Usually their SD75i's or C44-9W's are out in the lead. Although I did snap one picture of an intermodal CN train coming in from Chicago through Hamilton, that had a CN C44 unit in the lead, followed by a CSX C44 and then (I think), a CN SD40-2W. If this was the train that I thought it was, then it was bound for Halifax.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    74
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    I see mainly SD70/ SD70ace and AC4400, ES4400 mixt with SD40-2 and SD45-2, SD60, and dash 8-40bw on the west coast. BNSF has over 200 dash-8 and most of these run the intermodel from LA to kanas and texas. In the north end of the west coast BNSF and UP use AC4400 / ES4400 / SD70 / SD70ace mixed with older loco like SD40-2 etc. The reason why the six axle are more important in the north, is the mountain ranges, the six axle give them more traction on those climbs. Most trains are 3 Loco head with 2 added to push over summits. I have observed this in person (last week), at Klamath falls oregon where BNSF and UP both have yards (UP uses mainline loco to switch loco add on frieght, BNSF use GP38-2, 2 heritage 1, 1 BN and one rental in BN colors).

    Not much intermodal goes down the coast but there is atleast one a day.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Windsor Junction, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    2,210
    Thanks
    88
    Thanked 160 Times in 66 Posts
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    John,
    Close...CN (at least around here) doesn't have the huge variations of motive power that one might see elsewhere. That said, it's pretty specific on what they use for power...I _think_ that, according to union standards, it must be a CN unit in the lead at all times. Normally, SD75I's or one of the C44 series units (C44-9W, C44-9WL & C44-9CWL) will lead, as they're by far the most common locomotives in the area. However, other locomotives can lead, or be seen in the consist...SD50/60F's, any of the SD40 or SD40-2 series, GE Dash-8's, and so forth. Non-CN power is sometimes in the consist, and as you might guess, that can vary dramatically. As a rule, though, at least around here, the only power under load will be the larger 6-axle units...you won't normally see 4-axle power on the Hi-Pri trains.

    Jason,
    Sounds like good choices for Intermodal power...keep in mind, though, that most larger railroads wouldn't use smaller power like that for their intermodal trains, At least, not on the mainline. If you're going to model older intermodal trains, then you should use older intermodal cars. Unless of course you're not into that proro-specific operating, in which case, enjoy!

    AR
    Siderod (II)
    Andrew Reid
    * * *
    Junction Design
    Custom Designed N-scale Stuff!
    www.shapeways.com/shops/junctiondesign

    Have a product you would like to see made in N?
    Feel free to get in touch with suggestions!

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to siderod For This Useful Post:


  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    191
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    I am doing my intermodal with BN/BNSF. I have a SD70Mac in BNSF Heritage II colors, and a SD40-2 in BN colors. Haven't decided yet which will pull the intermodal and which will do the logging duty, but it'll probably be the SD70Mac for intermodal duty. Then again I can switch them out at the yard and have one pass off to the other.
    Brian Czarnecki

    A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. - Theodore Roosevelt

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Greenbackville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    192
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 49 Times in 27 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    Sorry guys, I did'nt mean to start the thread and then run. Been a little busy this week.

    I think I am a little confused. I think I got the impression that my GP40-2 would be too weak for container cargo in the real world? Does that make my GP40-2 Conrail unprototypical? I am still looking at a BNSF GP9 Ph.2. I would assume that would be fine :?

    Jason
    RPC Electronics
    www.rpc-electronics.com
    Jason Rausch
    RPC Electronics, LLC
    http://www.rpc-electronics.com

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    260
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    Conrail used a mix of EMD and GE power on its trains such as GP40-2s and B40-8s.
    At that time, 4-axle power (with higher power-to-weight ratio) was preferred for high-speed traffic by probably most railroads. Santa Fe, however, was one road that preferred 3600-hp 6-axle power for high-speed service for many years.
    Railroads have traditionally assigned their newest high-horsepower locomotives to their intermodal fleets.
    BNSF and Union Pacific use their C44-9Ws and SD70Ms respectively, again, occasionally mixed with other high-horsepower six-axle units.
    Note that BNSF and UP don't generally use their modern AC power (SD70MACs and AC4400CWs respectively) for intermodal, keeping them on coal trains. Oddly enough, judging by the photos I've seen, UP assigns its SD70ACe's to anything, unlike all their other AC units.

    CP, unlike UP or BNSF, uses AC power for everything. Intermodal trains in the west usually see AC4400CWs and ES44ACs.
    CSX used to keep its AC60s in intermodal service
    Again jusging by photos, it seems like CSX doesn't keep AC6000CWs on intermodal. In fact, they show up often on slow, heavy trains. UP also often assigns its AC6000CWs and true 6000-hp SD90MACs to coal, mineral or rock trains. Presumably, this is because both roads think AC power belongs in this sort of service, not realizing that the higher HP/TE ratio of the big engines makes them more suited to intermodal.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    946
    Thanks
    23
    Thanked 350 Times in 193 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    Quote Originally Posted by "rpcelect"
    Sorry guys, I did'nt mean to start the thread and then run. Been a little busy this week.

    I think I am a little confused. I think I got the impression that my GP40-2 would be too weak for container cargo in the real world? Does that make my GP40-2 Conrail unprototypical? I am still looking at a BNSF GP9 Ph.2. I would assume that would be fine :?

    Jason
    RPC Electronics
    www.rpc-electronics.com

    Conrail used GP40-2s for intermodal trains. The GP9 is lower horsepower and an older unit, and being its in BNSF, it is most likely either a yard unit, or a local train unit, therefore would not be prototypical on high speed intermodal trains.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    37
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    Quote Originally Posted by "rpcelect"
    Sorry guys, I did'nt mean to start the thread and then run. Been a little busy this week.

    I think I am a little confused. I think I got the impression that my GP40-2 would be too weak for container cargo in the real world? Does that make my GP40-2 Conrail unprototypical? I am still looking at a BNSF GP9 Ph.2. I would assume that would be fine :?

    Jason
    RPC Electronics
    www.rpc-electronics.com
    Here's a pic I took last week of a UP GP40-2 pulling a intermodal train with the help of a 8-40C through Pendleton, In. I would think your GP40-2 COnrail would be prototypical.




  13. The Following User Says Thank You to LocoIndy76 For This Useful Post:


  14. #11
    Guest

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    Again judging by photos, it seems like CSX doesn't keep AC6000CWs on intermodal. In fact, they show up often on slow, heavy trains. UP also often assigns its AC6000CWs and true 6000-hp SD90MACs to coal, mineral or rock trains. Presumably, this is because both roads think AC power belongs in this sort of service, not realizing that the higher HP/TE ratio of the big engines makes them more suited to intermodal.
    -LOL- You're saying CSX and UP (and BNSF) know less than you when evaluating the suitability of their multi-billion dollar fleets?!

    AC traction motors are MUCH better suited to heavy loading for long periods of time, as opposed to DC traction motors which tend to burn up when placed under load for extended periods. That's why AC locomotives have become so popular with the coal haulers.

    No railroads have ever bought ACs with the intention of dedicating them to Intermodal duty.

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,291
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 502 Times in 148 Posts
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    Quote Originally Posted by "sootower"
    -LOL- You're saying CSX and UP (and BNSF) know less than you when evaluating the suitability of their multi-billion dollar fleets?!
    It's the Internet... everyone is an expert! 8) :roll:

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Delray Beach, Florida, USA - Ex Busselton, Western Australia
    Posts
    7,048
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    1,957
    Thanked 3,741 Times in 1,277 Posts
    Mentioned
    160 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    Quote Originally Posted by "railohio"
    It's the Internet... everyone is an expert! 8) :roll:
    Expert = Something that once was - a drip under pressure.
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    846
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 375 Times in 232 Posts
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    As I sit here typing, if I turn my chair towards the window I can watch the BNSF trains roll past, 1 or 2 every hour. The intermodal trains almost always have 3 to 5 engines. Usually the first 2 will be Dash 8's or 9's, SD70 or 75's.....after that it's whatever was available, but because of the mountains around here it's always at least an SD40 and varies depending on the train length. I also see a pretty good mix of Railroads, with CSX and NS being the most common. I see SD60's ,SD40-2's, ect. I believe the goal is 12000 horsepower. This is supplimented by my house with helpers to get over Bozeman Pass which can be SD40's,SD45's or SD70ACe's from Montana Rail Link.
    In other words, I'd upgrade that GP9 to something a lot bigger, and use that GP40-2 as the second engine and feel totally "prototypical".

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    260
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re:Intermodal Locos

    -LOL- You're saying CSX and UP (and BNSF) know less than you when evaluating the suitability of their multi-billion dollar fleets?!

    AC traction motors are MUCH better suited to heavy loading for long periods of time, as opposed to DC traction motors which tend to burn up when placed under load for extended periods. That's why AC locomotives have become so popular with the coal haulers.
    Maybe I should have said that AC6000s weren't optimized for anything. AC traction isn't much use at high speed, but then, neither is 1000 hp/axle at low speed. Modern engines, especially AC units, have a higher factor of adhesion than older units, but less dependably. Engineers often say that SD40-2s don't claim as high of performance as Dash 9s or SD70s, but their actual operating performance is, on average, closer to the claimed performance than for the newer units.

    In Australia, BHP Billiton Iron Ore uses AC6000s on heavy mineral trains. I suspect they are not so useless there. The mostly level runs in northwest Australia won't tax their tractive effort capacity so much. The desert environment means little risk of wet, snow-covered or icy rails (let alone the worst of all: wet leaves), so the big engines will be able to achieve their claimed tractive effort.

    No railroads have ever bought ACs with the intention of dedicating them to Intermodal duty.
    Conrail's SD80MACs were assigned to different types of service: 8 units to coal and mineral, 14 to general freight, and 6 to intermodal. http://crcyc.railfan.net/locos/emd/sd80/sd80proto.html

    KCS/KCSM and Ferromex, once buying AC power, have never bought DC again - like CP. However, I beleive these railroads have smaller percentages of AC power in their rosters than CP, because their fleets are on average older.

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    306
    Thanks
    277
    Thanked 241 Times in 106 Posts
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    CP is about 99% AC traction on every train, including intermodal. The reason for this is their rugged mountain grades across Canada. Many U.S. roads went with 4000 HP DC traction units for their intermodal fleets, since adding AC traction to a Dash 9 is ~$500,000 per unit. No need for the "stump puller" AC traction on a high-powered intermodal train.

    Generally, AC units perform their best in the 0.1 to 40 MPH operating range, and DC units perform better in the 41 to 60 MPH range. Tractive Effort (AC) gets a train moving, and Horsepower (DC) keeps it moving.

    IIRC, Conrail assigned their SD80MAC's to the rugged B&A Line between Boston (Beacon Park) and Albany (Selkirk). On this particular line, AC Traction made sense on intermodal trains. On the rest of the system, you'd see 3,4, and 5 unit lash ups of GP40's, B36-7's, and B40-8's mixed with 6 axle power. Later on, two or three high horsepower 6 axles were the norm; such as SD60I's and C40-8W's.

    When choosing locos to run your intermodal trains, consider what your operating characteristics are. AC traction took hold in the mid-1990's. Based on your era, and whether or not you're running a "prototype" operation, will dictate what power you assign to the "hottest train on YOUR railroad"...

    My freelanced railroad rosters a large fleet of mundane GP38's and GP38-2's, with a token number of GP39E's, and a group of SD50's for coal trains. Very boring and "Plain Jane" as far as looks go, but it works. You'll find four GP38-2's on the point of my daily TOFC/COFC train.

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to SooLineRob For This Useful Post:


  21. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Plantation, Florida, USA
    Posts
    5,598
    Blog Entries
    95
    Thanks
    977
    Thanked 2,046 Times in 1,078 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Keeping things in context, note that this thread is 2 1/2 years old!

  22. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Canal Winchester, Ohio
    Posts
    1,503
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks
    439
    Thanked 581 Times in 293 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LocoIndy76 View Post
    Here's a pic I took last week of a UP GP40-2 pulling a intermodal train with the help of a 8-40C through Pendleton, In. I would think your GP40-2 COnrail would be prototypical.



    and just as a friendly note to this two year old thread.. the lead engine appears to be a SD40-2 not a GP40-2. Either way i do believe in the conrail book i read it had a gp40-2 leading intermodal, more TOFC than unit stack but it still could be done. Heck, in Vermilion where i grew up i caught a single SD80MAC leading a unit stack. Anything really could be used from the gp40 on up with the CR. i know GP 60 was used by the NS to run their TripleCrown Roadrailer train. about 3-5 lashed up ran until the dash 9. CR used B36's i believe for this train on the Chicago line as well.

  23. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Greenbackville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    192
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 49 Times in 27 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BryanC View Post
    Keeping things in context, note that this thread is 2 1/2 years old!
    Yep! Actually, I started it back on the old boards, so I could'nt even see my original post. I had to get about four or five messages down to even realize it was the thread I started when I just getting going in N Scale.

    I have since collected a ton of TTX DS cars, containers and a few more locos for my Intermodal. We have moved three times since, so at this point, I don't have a layout to run on. I don't even have a club layout close by since we live in God's country now
    Jason Rausch
    RPC Electronics, LLC
    http://www.rpc-electronics.com

  24. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    113
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 51 Times in 25 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    As far as four axle power on intermodals:
    The WP didn't own a six axle engine, they evaluated a couple and decided they didn't want them. The determination was that the increased maintenance on the engine and track weren't worth the difference in tractive effort.

    GP40 3513, GP35 3007, and what looks to be GP7s 705 and 702 in Oroville Nov 1973.

    It is possible but not likely depending on era and prototype. Hell, WP used F7s up until just prior to the merger in 1983.

    F7A 913,918,921, and U30B 3061 in Livermore CA Feb 1981

  25. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to jnevis For This Useful Post:


Similar Threads

  1. intermodal yard
    By in forum Intermodal
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 4th Sep 2019, 10:57 PM
  2. Available N-scale Intermodal Equipment
    By styrenewizard in forum Intermodal
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 14th Sep 2005, 04:36 PM
  3. Let's See Your Steam Locos!!! :)
    By siderod in forum Steam
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 4th Dec 2004, 11:49 PM
  4. Grande Valley RR locos
    By NS-Fan in forum Diesel
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 30th Sep 2004, 11:39 PM
  5. Welcome To The New Intermodal Forum!
    By in forum Intermodal
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 1st Jan 1970, 12:00 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •