Other Reports

Resistance of a Freight Train to Forward Motion

  • 01
  • Nov
  • 1977
AUTHOR: John D. Muhlenberg
OFFICE: RPD
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Air Resistance, Cost Savings, Track Technology
ABSTRACT: This interim report documents the results of the initial portion of an intensive investigation of the train resistance phenomenon. The history and development of prior investigations are discussed and the formulas for train resistance developed by investigators in the U.S. and abroad are analyzed with respect to their present applicability to the phenomenon. Factors contributing to the considerable discrepancies among various formulas are discussed. A methodology suitable for a quick and accurate solution of the hitherto ignored problem of the air resistance of different arrangements of the same consist is developed and utilized in determining train resistance. Preliminary estimates of reductions in train resistance and consequent fuel and cost savings resulting from possible modifications to train and track technology are given. Recommendations are made for further investigations during the remainder of this study and possible fruitful areas for new research. Two appendices explain the rationale behind the calculation of air resistance of various consist arrangements and discuss the related computer program in detail.

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