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11-28-2022, 01:36 PM   #6136
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QuoteOriginally posted by gifthorse Quote
Out here in the west it's common to see one semi pulling three containers down the freeway. A freight train OTOH can carry literally hundreds of containers.
Generally speaking, upping the scale = lower cost per item transported. Container ships have become behemoths because the more each one transports, the lower the cost per ton for the cargo. As Myth Busters found, a single school bus, despite it's low gas mileage, uses significantly less gasoline gathering children and bringing them to school than if each child were transported by a parent in a family auto that uses far less gas per mile than a school bus.

As to a single semi pulling multiple trailers, I first heard of that from a friend who moved to Australia in the 1980's where such rigs had long been used to haul freight on the endless, ramrod straight roads of the desert interior. I think they called them "road trains" or something of the sort. He said it was prudent to pull off the road if you spotted one in your rear view mirror.


Last edited by WPRESTO; 11-28-2022 at 06:24 PM.
11-28-2022, 04:31 PM   #6137
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
the vast majority of steam locos have the cab at the back of engine (there were also some exceptions to this generality, a few rather odd-looking cab-forward steam locomotives). .... It's seems like a leftover from the days when someone had to stoke the engine manually
In the UK, steam locos were hand stoked to the very end. There was one prototype built with cabs at both ends (it looked like a diesel) with the fireman in the centre of the loco sandwiched between the boiler and the coal bunker/water tank, but the lack of communication between driver and fireman made it a poor performer. Of course, tank locos (ie without tenders and used for shorter trips), were not turned at the ends of the line so spent half their lives going "backwards" anyway.
QuoteOriginally posted by Geodude Quote
I'm assuming it's MUCH cheaper to ship by rail than by truck for long hauls.
One would think so, but in the UK the tax situation is very favourable to lorries. I pay far more road tax per mile for my car than do even the largest lorries. Also, so many railway freight yards and private sidings have been closed in the UK that most rail freight journeys (even long heavy-haul) require transfer to road at some point with the additional time delay and cost of extra handling. Don't get me started.
11-28-2022, 04:47 PM   #6138
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Intuitively, the railroads must maintain the RoW and tht cost must be paid by the shipping, the RoW for truckers is paid by state or federal government, but the truckers contribute through taxes. For trucking, its one driver per container. For RR transport, it's one driver for potentially a hundred or more containers (never seen a container train so I don't know how many are in one string). The savings in labor cost for the RR is therefore huge, so for long hauls, RR is probably significantly less expensive, provided the handling and local delivery at each end is reasonable. The first experimental Jerry-rigged container ship vastly reduced the cost of shipping by boat even without the special-purpose loading/unloading machinery that now exists because of the enormous saving in labor costs.
Our coal trains run about 145 cars @ 10,000 tons (not tonnes, which is more). The coal is loaded by down chute and then sprayed with latex to stop the coal dust from spraying all over the place on the 600 mile (approx) trip to the port on the West Coast.
11-28-2022, 06:50 PM   #6139
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This brief summary of cargo ships is paraphrased from "Atlantic" by Simon Winchester.


In 1956 cargo shipped by boat had an average cost of $6.00 (USD) per ton. That year Malcom McLean used a converted a US Navy tanker to ship 58 containers (=something akin to the trailer of a standard USA "18 wheeler") from Newark NJ to Houston TX for a cost of $0.16 per ton (yes, that is sixteen cents versus six dollars). And so the era of stevedores was brought to an abrupt end. At the time the book was written (2010), the largest container ship, probably the largest ship built to that point in time, was the Emma Maersk displacing 170,00 tons (US tons, not metric tonnes). It can transport 15,000 containers at over 30 knots*

*The largest warship built to date is the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R, Ford with a displacement of 100,000 tons and a top speed in excess of 30 knots. In terms of shear size, the container ship is significantly larger.

11-29-2022, 01:43 PM - 1 Like   #6140
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
As to a single semi pulling multiple trailers, I first heard of that from a friend who moved to Australia in the 1980's where such rigs had long been used to haul freight on the endless, ramrod straight roads of the desert interior. I think they called them "road trains" or something of the sort. He said it was prudent to pull off the road if you spotted one in your rear view mirror.
My uncle used to drive those early road trains in the Northern Territory in the 1950s. The prime movers werenít as powerful then as todayís equivalents, so the problem of insufficient torque to cope with the hills was solved by adding another gearbox behind the original. Slow work in the lowest of the low range available, but it got the job done, and said a lot for the sturdiness of the transmission system.
11-30-2022, 04:55 PM - 1 Like   #6141
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About three hours of hot rods and classic cars.




11-30-2022, 07:56 PM - 2 Likes   #6142
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(hot) dog truck



Last edited by paulh; 11-30-2022 at 09:04 PM.
11-30-2022, 08:16 PM - 2 Likes   #6143
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These big dump trucks that work in open-pit mines are something else. Only when you stand near one of the behemoths do you get the feeling of being overwhelmed. SCAN from the Film Era
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12-01-2022, 02:31 AM   #6144
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QuoteOriginally posted by gifthorse Quote
About three hours of hot rods and classic cars.




My favourite is the Nash Metropolitan.
12-01-2022, 07:07 PM - 4 Likes   #6145
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Metros by the dozen here/







One of my favorites...

That will fill Grannie's Depends!
12-02-2022, 04:59 AM - 1 Like   #6146
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Flying boat, the first trans-Atlantic commercial passenger plane (SFAIK). This is a replica at a museum in Ireland, the first landfall in Europe after Iceland, a location scouted out by Charles Lindbergh (location had to have a stretch of reliably calm water). All the original flying boats were scrapped during WWII for material to build military aircraft. This landing in Ireland was also the place where Irish coffee was invented to warm passengers forced to turn back by severe weather during a flight to the USA. BTW: This plane is called "Yankee Clipper" which I believe was the name of an actual flying boat.
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12-02-2022, 05:07 AM - 3 Likes   #6147
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An hour before sunset on the final day of November 2022. Norfolk Southern intermodal train 25P at Torrance Pennsylvania.
KP with HD DA 1.4X and DA* 50-135/2.8 @ f8
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12-02-2022, 07:44 AM - 2 Likes   #6148
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I've posted this image before. Fascinating to see this feature of a large ship when it is floating high without cargo aboard.
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12-02-2022, 09:08 AM   #6149
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QuoteOriginally posted by gifthorse Quote
Metros by the dozen here
Nice shots. A girlfriend once owned a cute little yellow and black Metro, nicknamed The Bumblebee
12-03-2022, 07:20 AM - 3 Likes   #6150
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Overlooking a Rt-66 Event
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