Re: Freight train speed on grades - early diesel era

Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>


While pushers are no longer used on either Glorieta or Raton passes I can
tell you what the current rule of thumb is.

Traffic on this line is 95% Eastbound. If a train can make it from
Canyoncito to Glorieta at 18 mph or above then that same train can make
Raton. If they are down to around 12 mph on Glorieta it can be taken as an
almost certainty that they will stall between the West switch at Keota and
the tunnel.


An interesting anecdote: during World War II, the Santa Fe got ten Y-3
class 2-8-8-2 mallets from the Norfolk and Western which were put to
work on Raton Pass in New Mexico, whose 4% ruling grade was one of the
steepest main line grades in North America. The ex-N&W mallets
developed lots of power, but their maximum speed on the grade was ±10
m.p.h., and at that speed the circuit breakers on the Santa Fe's E2 and
E6 passenger diesels would trip to prevent the traction motors from
frying. The Y-3s were marginally acceptable as freight helpers, though
they ran so slowly that they impeded traffic on the pass and gave the
dispatchers a lot of heartburn (the UP also got some of the ex-N&W
mallets and had the same problem with them on Sherman Hill). However,
the Santa Fe had to bring back some of its own 3800 class 2-10-2s as
helper power for the diesel-powered passenger trains.

Richard Hendrickson

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