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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for the average diesel locomotive fuel tank capacity and the average fuel consumption of the bigger diesels. It's a generalisation I am after not specific details of any one locomotive. I know the query is a bit vague but as long as the numbers have some relation to the real thing then it's OK. I can massage the figures later on.
 

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I have only managed to locate one fuel consumption figure. It's from "The Deltics, A Symposium" Second revised edition published by Ian Allen. The figure is from a test run in November 1955 and the results were published in BTC Bulletin No. 19. The quote is as follows:

"On one of the runs a train of 20 coaches, grossing 642 tons, was taken over the test route with the engines at maximum power for as much as was possible within the prescribed speed limits. The sustained drawbar hp was around 2,200 and the 15 miles from Ormside to Ais Gill, largely at 1 in 100 up, were covered at an average speed of 56mph and a maximum speed of 50mph (sic). Fuel consumption for the run worked out at 1.27 gal/mile"

So there you have a 3,300hp prototype diesel pulling a heavy test train over a difficult route. It is probably on the high side, but it gives you somewhere to start. It is also worth pointing out that compared to other diesel engines of the time, the Napier Deltic was much higher revving at 1,650 rpm compared to the more modest 850rpm of the others.

For fuel tank capacities, the following data comes from "British Rail Main Line Diesels" Revised and enlarged edition. Compiled by S.W.Stevens-Stratten, drawings by R.S.Carter published by Ian Allen.

The fuel tank capacities can be broadly categorised as follows

Type 1 ~1,000 bhp 400 gallons
Type 2 ~ up to 1,500 bhp 625 gallons
The more powerful classes ate up around the 850 gallon make with the Class 40s only having 700 gallon tanks and the Class 50 being 1000.

I hope this helps. My information stops in the late 70s when my interest in railways was replaced by other things and since I have renewed my interest, I have gone back in time to steam, so I have not updated my diesel library.

Whilst I only skimmed through the Deltic book tonight, I remember as being a great read. One of the articles is by Gerry Fiennes who I remember particularly for his book - "I tried to run a railway". This is the man who brought The Blue Pullman to the Western Region and subsequently bought the Deltics for the Eastern. I heartily recommend both to all "Diesel heads" out there.

If you want more detailed information, back issues of Modern Railways may help or perhaps one of the many "profile" style books that every publisher seems to have on their lists these days.

David
 

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>have 5,000 galloon tanks and get 3-4 miles
Would that be US gallons (that's the standard English spelling of gallons) which are smaller than Imperial gallons?


As for 3-4 miles per gallon, I did add the caveat that this was one figure from a test run almost 50 years ago. I would hope that fuel consumption had been reduced since then due to technological improvements in both the engines and the fuel. My car has gone from an average 51.4 mpg to 55.3 mpg just by changing to a higher speced fuel. The improvement has been consistent over the six months since I changed and I know the figures are accurate because I brim my tank and zero the trip after each fill, and now the trip reads about 40 miles more before the reserve light comes on. I have also cross checked the replacement fuel bought divided by the miles done to calibrate the trip computer which appears to be spot on. So I got about 615 miles on the last fill which sadly cost me a shade over £50.

David
 

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>I understand that 16 gallons to the mile is average for a HST
Are you sure? If I remember correctly, the engine in an HST power car are the same as a class 50. A class 50 has a 1000 gallon fuel tank. I doubt the HST has anything larger. At 16 gallons per mile, a 1000 gallon tank will take you 62.5 miles before you need a refill. Now even assuming that the 16 gallons is for both HST power units, you are looking at a range of 125 miles before pulling over for a refill. I can't remember off hand and I have no reference material to check, but I am sure that when HSTs were doing Kings Cross - Edinburgh they did it on one tank of fuel.

On the whole I think 16 Gs per mile is a wee bit thirsty.

David
 

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QUOTE I can't remember off hand and I have no reference material to check, but I am sure that when HSTs were doing Kings Cross - Edinburgh they did it on one tank of fuel.

They sure did and beyond.
I used to live in London and every month for 10 years I took the trip on the HST from Kings Cross to Kirkcaldy (past Edinburgh) and nowhere did it stop for more than 5 minutes. Short stops such as Peterborough and Doncaster were two minutes. So they definitely did not refuel.
 

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3-4mpg for a 4400hp locomotive pulling a full freight (heavy - say 4000 ton) load is a truly remarkable figure. A UK 44ton hgv does not do much better than that & whilst I know steel tyres have less rolling resistance it still seems amazing.

I know in Class 47 days a mile a gallon was a pretty good approximation for passenger (less than 750 tons) working.

Chris
 

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>I know in Class 47 days a mile a gallon
Compared to the Deltic test that seems to be in the right ball park.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh dear, we have a very wide range of figures here. It seems that I probably won't get an average figure after all as the different locomotives seem to have vastly different performance ranges. Not to worry I can probably still work something out from the information I have that won't be too far from reality. Thanks for all the information.
 

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Dennis,

Loved the link. The Evolution engine featured has a 5000 gallon fuel tank - at 3-4 miles per gallon that is 15-20 THOUSAND mile range. I know the US is big but.......

I wonder if 3-4 gallons per mile is not more likely?

Does anybody work in a MPD?

Chris
 

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The evolution document is certainly an interesting read. I didn't notice any specific fuel consumption figures but did see the "3% more fuel efficient than an equivalent 16 cylinder engine". It seems like this new power unit has been beefed up and simplified and they've done all those things that make internal combustion engines produce more power including higher compression, lower intake air temperature, more precise fuel injection technology. The two things they seem to be most pleased about are the 40% reduction in emissions and the 6 month maintenance cycle.

I was fascinated by the concept of geo-embeddded. Does that mean if the loco moves out of area it switches itself off and phone home?


At 75ft x 15ft it's too big for my driveway. (The Deltic was 70ft by 13ft).

David
 

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The latest class 66's have reduced pollution engines installed. Quite a surprise coming from America where they never seem to give a stuff about world pollution.
 
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