How to control the train with dynamic braking?

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How to control the train with dynamic braking?

Unread postby cnbalasub » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:55 pm

I had a lot of trouble trying to keep the train within the speed limit when the train goes downhill. Especially with the route of Marias Pass and I don't know if the diesels have the dynamic brakes so I can apply the dynamic braking. Look like to me there isn't any because I have to apply the brake right down to 50% or more then the train drop the speed. I have to release the brakes and bring the train running to the speed limit where it posted but the train keep increasing the speed then I have to apply the brakes like back and forth. It shouldn't be like this and not sure if anyone else have better solution how to keep the train running downhill with speed limit?

Thank you,

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Re: How to control the train with dynamic braking?

Unread postby BNSFdude » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:06 pm

DBs up til DB4, if DB4 doesnt hold it take a minimum and vary DB effort to control speed.
Anthony Wood
Audio Engineer - Searchlight Simulations
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Re: How to control the train with dynamic braking?

Unread postby SD40Australia » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:42 pm

I am in Australia and American (including Canadian) grades are known as being 'mountainous' meaning in Railroad terms that they are very steep.

Dynamic Brake cannot hold a typical train (look on youtube) so as Anthony says apply Minimum Brake and use dynamic to hold it. If the grade is too steep then you will have to use more than a minimum application though. Knowing the route (Road knowledge) and knowing about train braking is extremely important. That is why Engineers (Drivers/Operators of trains/locomotives) go through weeks and weeks, if not months, of air brake theory, not including the operating locomotive part.

If you want to be competent I suggest you immerse yourself in the industry (by reading up (books-library or purchase and web sites), watching youtube etc).

The Canadian Mountain Pass route introduced the more realistic air brake code into Train Simulator. It takes longer to release and apply the brakes and if you are on a steep grade you will lose it if you 'fan' the brakes. That is keep applying and releasing. This video is American standards though Australia and Britain use 70PSI which is 500 kpa. The 90 PSI American/Canadian pressure is 700kpa. American railroads are heavier and bigger and with mountain grades..... thus that is a good reason to have higher pressures, but the history may reveal why.

There is a list of videos here:

1. Know the grades of Marias Pass eg where you will start increasing speed and NEED to apply the air brake.
2. Know your air brake theory.
3. Make a route map/guide, which tell you mileposts/speedlimits/gradients etc. Very helpful. I am thinking of doing this myself.

Locomotives have huge cylinders (bottles) for storing the compressed air from the compressors. When a rake of cars, a train or the brake is released (and the air brake hoses are connected) the air from this Resovoir (called Main Resevoir- ie MR) flows through a 'control valve' into the Brake Pipe ie BP. The control valve is operated directly by the engineer. On SD40 types it is known as the 26L. On the newer locomotives I am not so sure, but I could find out. Or someone may know here.

Try finding a video which shows a train going down a grade like Cajon Pass or anywhere, especially if the engineer can give some commentary on it. This will help 'mentor' you.

Another method for you John is 'power braking'.

When you reach the top of the hill leave it in Notch 2-3 and then apply the brake to 20% and try to keep well below the speed limit. If the train decides to take off and gain much speed you can apply more brake but then you will need to fully release if you stop and then (in realistic situations) you will need to 'tie the train down' which is stopped for 60 minutes to charge up the brake pipe. And applying hand brakes.

I am not sure if companies approve of power braking or not as it might use more brake shoes, but on certain grades.....

The Westinghouse Brake System is Fail Safe. It is a fail safe system. While this video is done by the press who have no idea on this (absolutely no idea), you can see how it works. Don't listen to the journalist, he is a little inaccurate.

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