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Between Denver and Colorado Springs, the mile-long coal trains climb a steep hill near Larkspur. Modern AC locomotives provide their maximum tractive effort at walking speeds, and that's how fast they go.

What is the gradient at Larkspur?

I would agree that for high speeds on freight routes, lower gradients would be in place. I would even agree that speeding up trains would increase costs. However, the speed-power curve of electric locomotives allows definitely more than walking speeds. Some maximum gradients on European corridors with substantial freight traffic:

  • Øresund Link: 1.56%, passed with 90 km/h I believe;
  • Lötschberg line: 2.7%, Gotthard line: 2.8% (2.6% on most of the climb), passed at 75-80 km/h

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 14th, 2008 at 01:56:25 PM EST
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