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A drop from 38% to 20% solely due to rain is a terrible performance, and not indicative of a very sophisticated adhesion management system. Both EMD and GE for their modern diesels use a "Creep Control" system to achieve maximum adhesion whereby at speeds above 7 mph. wheel rotation is 7% faster than needed for the current ground speed, also the control computer will reduce power slightly to the leading axle to allow it to "Dress" the contact surface of the rail and eliminate material such as oil or squashed insects (caterpillars and locust are the worst) before the other axles pass. The much greater weight of North American diesels probably is high enough to break the surface tension of most materials likely to be found coating the rails which would help also.
by jfbeaulieu on Wed Jul 8th, 2009 at 01:36:07 PM EST
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