- White Belt
- Posts: 4
- Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:57 pm
Benefits of the process over conventional methods of unloading cargo.
Faster shipping times
Reduced fuel consumption
Increased Shipping Capacity (due to faster turnaround times)
Generally, trains with large payloads must stop in order to offload the cargo. Every time the train stops, it needs to start back up again, expending a great deal of energy in the process. I have developed a method which I think will reduce dramatically the amount of energy wasted by getting trains up to speed. The solution is fairly simple and requires little in the way of initial investment.
The solution to the problem of energy waste by starting and stopping freight trains is a simple one – devise a way to unload cargo without slowing down or stopping the freight train. In order to do this, trains can order their cargo by order of destination, the first stop all the way in the back, the second stop, second from the back, third third from the back etc. (the last arriving cargo would be all the way up in the front).
When near the destination - at predetermined distance dependent upon the speed of the train, the weight of the cargo and the grade of the track is reached, the train lets go of the specified cargo, and as the train passes by a fork in the track onto its next destination without slowing. – once the train passes this fork, a lever diverts the drifting cargo onto the unloading track. (the unloading track is made of a material with a high frictional coefficient to the wheels of the cargo car - which retards the speed of the cargo on the track - the cargo should also be slowed by onboard breaks or arresting wires or by some other method. After the cargo is successfully diverted, the lever adjusts back to the engine rail to allow for the next train to pass through.
Each car is retrofitted with a hook, to grab onto arresting wires which is built into the unloading rail. The arresting wire latches onto the hook onto cargo car – similair to how a catch latches onto the hook of a landing jet fighter on an aircraft carrier. When the car comes to a stop, the arresting wire is released, and a tow cable is attached, the cargo is then pulled by a crank which pulls the car up as far as possible, to allow for maximum capacity on the unloading rail.
At the other end of the unloading rail is a wench which pulls cars further down the rail. Compacting the cars to allow for additional cargo. The maximum capacity is based on the number of cars available to fit onto the rail beyond the length of track designated as a safety buffer.
Once the unloading track is full of empty cars, a designated train picks up the empty cars back to their origin so they may start another cycle.
The efficiency of this process is largely dependent upon the number of unloading points, and the maximum number of cars allowed to be pulled by the designated return locomotive.