Has ABS ever been used for locomotives or cars?

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TucsonRailFan

New Member
Has ABS ever been tried on locomotives or cars? If not, was it too expensive? Or was the engineering not practical? If it is being used, how well does it work?

(Sorry if this has been discussed -- I searched but couldn't find any references.)
 

TucsonRailFan

New Member
Just to clarify. . .

I know that ABS for cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc., is for preventing loss of steering control and enabling quicker stops.

For trains I was curious about ABS and enabling quicker stops and preventing flat spots on the wheels.
 

Ed Sand

General Idiot
The railroads have experimented with various forms of electronic braking (try that as a search term, or electro-pneumatic) for a while. NS has a coal train set they've been testing for a year or so.

Electronic braking is more common on the passenger/transit side, but I don't really know much about it.
 

NM_RailNut

Member
Most of the electro-pnuematic braking systems used on transit equipment (subways, light rail/streetcars, etc.) and some commuter and intercity trainsets have ABS capability or something like it, and the electronically controlled pneumatic braking (or ECP braking) systems that NS and other railroads are testing may have something like an ABS feature as well. (It's likely not going to be true ABS, though, as that requires being able to monitor wheelslip on some or all wheelsets of the individual cars, which the ECP systems in testing probably don't provide for and would require fitting speed sensors onto each car; I'm not sure freight railroads or car fleet owners/lessors would want to spend that much additional money on top of adding ECP, but Amtrak and other passenger operators might. We shall see...) Some of the newer locomotives may have an ABS function built into the independent (locomotive) braking system, but I doubt it, since there's probably not much need for it when running light.

Keep in mind that ABS requires both electronic controls and a braking system that can be precisely controlled. Most modern types of transit equipment, passenger trainsets (HSR and otherwise), and EMU/DMU railcars have that or have been refitted with it; conventional locomotive-hauled trains using standard air or vacuum brakes don't (ECP may change that, though, depending on how it's implemented and what systems are used).
 

TucsonRailFan

New Member
It should be noted that "ABS" in railroading is commonly used for "automatic block signals." Spelling out what you're trying to say rather than using abbreviations will make for much less confusing posts.
Didn't look to me like anyone was confused -- unless you were confused.

BTW, It should be noted that I did make post number 2 where I clarified what I meant:
Just to clarify. . .

I know that ABS for cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc., is for preventing loss of steering control and enabling quicker stops.

For trains I was curious about ABS and enabling quicker stops and preventing flat spots on the wheels.

And I appreciate the info supplied by the other posters. Thanks.
 
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