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busyEMT
03-29-2005, 06:41 PM
Do locomotives have odometers or any way of tracking milage?

It would be interesting to know how many miles a BN SD40-2 or a shortline '50's era Alco has travelled.

J
03-29-2005, 08:18 PM
Newer equipment with on-board computers do.
25 years ago we tracked it by the mainframe computer. Presumably the sytem kept track of a unit as it was reported in a consist and added up the miles each time a locomotive was "reported" as arriving at a termina.

I was always intrigued how an SD40 might show more than a million miles while a comparable U30C was only at 600,000. In fairness, the U30's were assigned to the Los Angeles region as mountain engines while the SD40's roamed system wide.

busyEMT
03-29-2005, 11:33 PM
I would imagine many units log in more than 1,000,000 miles in a life time. Even just tooling down to the wye, the few miles with the cross country trips would add up quickly.

J
03-30-2005, 12:55 AM
I would imagine many units log in more than 1,000,000 miles in a life time. Even just tooling down to the wye, the few miles with the cross country trips would add up quickly.

I googled "locomotive mileage" and did not come up with much - an article stated that UP's 4-8-8-4's all accumulated plus or minus one million miles in their working lives. Road unit diesels would, of course, do much more. Where I worked GP40-2's assigned to intermodal trains would generate about 12,000 miles a month.

Ru1056
03-30-2005, 01:10 AM
Wouldn't they have an engine hour meter also? My previous two brand new GM vehicles had them.

J
03-30-2005, 12:29 PM
Even with tight fuel costs, locomotives spend a considerable amount of time idling. Newer units idle at a pretty low RPM so recording hours is not a very meaningful measure of wear. Railroads frequently take oil and cooling water samples to look for premature wear. Bearings, seals, etc. are manufactured with specific components so, for example, if brass alloy is found in the lubricating oil, it can be an indicator that a specific type of bearing is failing.

busyEMT
03-30-2005, 12:39 PM
Wouldn't they have an engine hour meter also? My previous two brand new GM vehicles had them.

Our ambulances (Ford) have odometers and an hours meter. But, the hours meter work while the truck is running (moving or not). So to leave the truck idling at a fire stand-by or other incident would be misleading regarding mileage.