FUEL EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT IN RAIL FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION: MULTIPLE UNIT THROTTLE CONTROL TO CONSERVE FUEL

From the results of the tests performed on the Kansas City Southern in regular freight service significant fuel savings were realized by using a semi-automatic throttle control device or "fuel saver" system to take one or more units of the locomotive consist off line when the available power and tractive effort exceeded the demand. This procedure effectively lowered the horsepower per ton ratio of the train and decreased the rate of fuel consumption. For the particular set of operating conditions tested the average fuel savings in percent reached 16.3% at a ruling grade of 0.5%. A prime ingredient for the effective use of such a device was the operating locomotive engineer. For the conditions encountered, testing of the fuel saver did not affect the total test time or the average operating speed. Using the ratio of thousand gross ton miles per gallon (MGTM/GAL) as a barometer of increased fuel efficiency indicated a possible trend toward greater fuel savings when using the throttle control device at increasingly higher operating speeds. For this test series the data results were inconclusive with respect to the correlation between the number of units of the consist in fuel save and the total gallons consumed. As presented in this report, the preliminary results have confirmed the application of the throttle control device as an effective means to reduce fuel consumption in an operating locomotive consist.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The DOT's Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, served as support agency for this report.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Research and Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590
  • Authors:
    • Jacobs, M E
  • Publication Date: 1976-12

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 31 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00147710
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FRA/OR&D-76/297 Intrm Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 16 1977 12:00AM