Fueling on the Mainline

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beiland

Well-Known Member
I was fooling around with my fueling and sanding structure ideas the other day, and a new idea arose in my head,...wonder if such an idea was ever tried on the prototypes?


Here is what I came up with. Lets say we are running some long freight trains some long distances,...so we have at least 2 big diesels with a fuel tender car between them ( I first saw such an arrangement with a CSX fuel tender). I had to have one of those, and I like the looks of the combo engines with a fuel tender between them.


Now lets say our long freight train is on a cross country trip that would require a refueling stopover. Could it be 'refueled on the main'? Certainly we would NOT want to tie up our mainline track while the locos go off to a refueling station.
What if there was one of these fuel tenders (already fueled) sitting on a siding just off the mainline. Couldn't just the lead engine pull our empty fuel tender off the main, then hook up the new full tender and bring it back to the consist? Wouldn't take up much time at all,...this 'refueling on the main'.


I think I am going to have a number of these fuel tenders (variety of road names) on my rr, .....perhaps sitting on a side track near my fueling structure,...ready to go to work on my mainline trains.,...BNSF, CSX, SF, etc.


FUEL TENDERS https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/31532


CSX 29 & Fuel Tender






CSX Transportation



Brian
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
I haven't ever seen fuel tenders on the ATSF or now BNSF lines that I railfan, but I have seen mainline fueling. There's a place nearby where I have seen a fuel truck pull up alongside the main or passing siding and fuel them up there.
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
Mainline fueling stations are common on the prototype. It would be way quicker to just refuel the engines/tender than to try and swap out a tender. A modern road locomotive has about a 1000 mile range with a regular fuel tank.

Swapping out a fuel tender would be a real hassle. You have to disconnect the engines from the train, go to the spur, break all the connections between the tender and engines on both ends (fuel lines, air lines, MU cables). Set out the old tender, pick up the new tender. Then make all the connections on both ends of the tender (fuel lines, air lines, MU cables). Then you will have to test to make sure all the fuel and MU connections are working, do a brake test and power test, then put the power back on the train. Then you will have to do a brake test on the train to make sure the brakes are still working.

At 600 gal/min it would take less than 15 min to put 10,000 gal of fuel in a tender.
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
I guess with that 1000 mile range they don't need all this number of refueling stations.

But it does appear as though they are doing some experiments with different fuels/fuel combinations.

As for our model trains, I like the looks of some of these experiments. How about one done up in the old 'traditional' SF colors??
 

J.Albert

Member
My guess is that those "fuel tender" cars worked out better on the drawing board than they did on the rails.

Back in my Conrail days, there was an "on the mainline" fueling stop in Harrisburg, that I think was called "GI 8" (have no idea what that stood for).

A train would gently pull up and stop at the rack, and the engines could all be refueled, and then the train would roll on.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are a number of these on the western main lines, as well.
 

cv_acr

Active Member
What's the sanding structure go to do with anything? You won't have that at a intermediate refueling-only spot.

You're talking about a refueling point directly on a main track or a yard facility specifically designed purely as a fuel stop to increase cross-country range without switching out or servicing the whole train. All you need is a the fueling stand beside the track, with a buried line to a tank nearby.

Hell, in a pinch all you need is a driveway for a fuel truck to pull up alongside to top off the engines. I've heard trains on the radio around here that are a little low on fuel readings and need a refueling before leaving town with a fresh crew. They call their fuel supplier and they send the truck right up along the tracks and fuel the locos right on the main.

But otherwise, for a "drive-through" re-fueling service that's built at a strategic location where cross country trains can have their engines fueled and crews changed out (happens far more frequently than refueling) all you need are the fuel stands alongside the tracks, which don't cause any sort of interference to any sort of operations.

They're not going through that much sand and won't need to top that off.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Mainline fueling stations are common on the prototype. It would be way quicker to just refuel the engines/tender than to try and swap out a tender. A modern road locomotive has about a 1000 mile range with a regular fuel tank.

Swapping out a fuel tender would be a real hassle. You have to disconnect the engines from the train, go to the spur, break all the connections between the tender and engines on both ends (fuel lines, air lines, MU cables). Set out the old tender, pick up the new tender. Then make all the connections on both ends of the tender (fuel lines, air lines, MU cables). Then you will have to test to make sure all the fuel and MU connections are working, do a brake test and power test, then put the power back on the train. Then you will have to do a brake test on the train to make sure the brakes are still working.

At 600 gal/min it would take less than 15 min to put 10,000 gal of fuel in a tender.
I see your point Dave, and that makes sense.

BTW, in that one posting I was suggesting that the second engine might not have to disconnect from the train,...only from the tender,...while the lead engine only would take the empty tender over to the siding and bring the full one back to the consist,..
Couldn't just the lead engine pull our empty fuel tender off the main, then hook up the new full tender and bring it back to the consist?
Of course, as you said, one wouldn't want to be doing this disconnection/connection and testing on the mainline. My stupid...ha...ha

But then it could be an 'operation' on our model train layout,...granted, not prototypical. Okay I'll drop this idea. 🤫
 




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