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railcar locomotive power requirements

railcar locomotive power requirements

railcar locomotive power requirements

I have read up on the "Davis Equation" and it gets more complicated than I'd like to get into.
Anyone with field experience who can tell me Order of Magnitude,
locomotive Horsepower required to pull say eight fully loaded ballast cars 80 tons each?
Assume level ground, 15 MPH, no tight turns. (construction usage.)

Thank you.

RE: railcar locomotive power requirements

That's pretty much nothing. The smallest switch engine you can get will easily handle that. In a nutshell, you need probably 300~400hp but there are NO switch engines under about 1,000hp.

You haven't mentioned used or new. Be very aware that there's a huge number of used engines that are essentially illegal emissions-wise and will land you in some really bad legal dead ends these days. You may find 'a really good deal' that is in-fact a really, really, bad deal.

I highly suggest you consider getting a Trackmobile. They're extremely capable, high tech, well appointed, operable by novices, wayyyyy more fuel efficient than any and all switchers in existence and less money. They also let you drive them off the tracks which could be very helpful in a construction site and will likely save thousands in delivery charges and transportation charges in general when you don't have to over-the-road a locomotive.

Contact Trackmobile and ask them which units would do the job for you. I expect them to say their smallest unit which has 28,000lbs of tractive effort. They also sell used units, you can even rent them.


It would be nice if you provided some feedback from any talks you have with them.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: railcar locomotive power requirements

thank you.

RE: railcar locomotive power requirements

For further reference, go to a well stacked library and get a copy of Kent M.E. Handbook "Power" as there is a whole chapter devoted to the railroad engines.

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