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New to the forum! This is awesome. Been in rail for the last 6 years and it's a never ending learning process that I've been learning.

I need your help! Specifically my Canadian friends. I run a facility to which capacity overruns are often. Also capacity is a continual issue as the business decides it continuously wants to push limits. Tell me:

1. What is base operating capacity?
2. What is considered a max capacity?

We have a yard with loading racks. The racks are being spotted throughout the day continuously. Our fleet sizes are massively bigger than what we do day over day as we are shipping product all over North America.

Business is looking to grow to 200+ in and out within a day. What type of capacity should we be considering needing? What factors should we consider. Currently dealing with two separate inbounds every day.

Thanks in advance!
Hello Railroader1234,

First of all, I offer information strictly as an outsider, so what I have to tell you may be incorrect. However, I have done some searching on the internet & what I have come up with requires simple math to figure. I assume you are referring to capacity of locomotives. There are two things to consider when looking at it through locomotive pulling needs: horsepower vs. tractive effort. Horsepower seems to me to be a generality Back in the days of EMD vs. GE vs. Alco vs. Baldwin (the list may go on) a locomotive's horsepower might not tell the whole story. Tractive effort was a topic of consideration. At low speeds a vehicle (automobiles, trucks and locomotives) use torque to start. Once moving, horsepower is used to figure maintaining speed or acceleration. From what you have described, finding a locomotive or locomotives with the needed tractive effort is a major part of your problem. This website may be a good place to start -

I will attempt to attach a file for you to look over.

If, on the other hand you are referring to car-load capacities, I am afraid I can't be of much help. There was at one time a book published entitled "The Car & Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practice". I happen to have the 1974 copy; however, I am unsure as to whether the book is published anymore.

I hope this information will help answer any questions you may have.

D. Warnick


  • Tractive Effort Formula for Diesel.txt
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