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But also a larger share of bulk freight in Europe is water freight, so much of that freight on those lines might fall within the design envelope of what is called Rapid Freight Rail in this diary (and for US contexts elsewhere).

The appropriate consist for high speed container freight on a schedule and the appropriate consist for coal or marble being delivered at lowest cost per ton-mile on the basis of getting there before existing stockpiles exhaust and not wanting to tie up the cars for an excessive length of time ... are two quite different things

It is straightforward that a medium freight train can go up a hill faster than a heavy freight train, especially if that is both a shorter consist and less weight per axle, provided that the commercial advantage of the speed justifies the higher power per ton required.

Adding capacity for a different class of freight changes the commercially preferable speed in that capacity in the same right of way, which changes the optimal super-elevation for that new capacity for that different class of freight, which reduces the time required to traverse bottlenecks on the route, which increases the proportional benefit of higher speeds elsewhere in the route.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Dec 14th, 2008 at 03:26:44 PM EST
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