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Worsening the Shortages

As if our supply chain issues weren’t bad enough, the Biden administration wants to cut the number of cars per train in half.

6 replies on “Worsening the Shortages”

wouldn’t you have to run more trains to get the same amount of good to said location?… same amount of pollution either way?… morons running the country

Shorter trains means more pollution.

It’s one of those things that makes rail travel so efficient. Yes, takes lots of power to get moving, but once moving doesn’t need as much power. It all deals with friction blah blah blah.

One engine is for local short trains. Two is for medium-sized trains. 3 or more are for big trains. That’s all on relatively flat grade railroads. On heavy slopes or lots of curves or such, railroads add additional engines.

Long long trains are the most fuel efficient. It’s why the railroads run them, because it’s all about economy of scale. Railroads make so little per car, it takes a lot to make a profit.

And it’s far safer than trucking.

Shorter trains also increase costs and transportation times. Look for shipping times and costs to go up.

Where I’m at, UP has a east-west main run that gets seriously heavy use 24/7. Coal trains for local power generating plants and tons of container trains (two containers high per car) are the primary payloads. The latter sometimes approach a mile long, which I’m told by a UP employee I’ve spoken with, is about the practical physical limit. Tis a long assed wait at a grade crossing for those monsters.

Worth noting that those really long container trains have at least two, if not three big diesel locos up front, one at about the midpoint, and yet another at the end, for a total of 4-5 power units. The one in the middle is a fairly recent development (for a year or so now) not seen before on this line. I suspect modern telemetry/remote operation tech has made such arrangements feasible where it previously wasn’t.

Oh, and fuck joe biden.

Good grief! Wasn’t there a scene in “Atlas Shrugged” where the government decreed shorter trains?

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