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Old 07-06-2018, 11:10 AM
puška puška is offline
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Default Kraków's Magic Carpet Ride on the Last Train to Clarksville

Has anyone tried to transport the Mil M8 from Kraków via Straczynki's train?

Some thoughts:
a) it's a ludicrous idea
b) rotary blades would need to be removed
c) there is a flat wagon in the PKP arsenal that is long enough and width is close enough to jury-rig if it didn't quite fit; wagon is common enough to assume it's in the Konin rail yard
d) loading could be achieved through a DIF skill check via landing the helicopter on the flat wagon
e) the idea is that if they miss the boat, they could theoretically assemble the blades and fly out to the ship
f) difficult to measure the work/reward value ratio

Difficult. Very difficult. But possible.
And what in T2K is easy?
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:37 PM
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Fuel is one of the more obvious problems (besides the massive amount of security around it, and high chance of being blown out of the sky during the initial theft).
That said, I did have a group try and steal it about 25 years ago - the made it to the outskirts of Krakow before being shot down with a minor hit to the tail rotor. From there it was a mad scramble to get as far away as possible, as quickly as possible while avoiding the pursuing forces. It didn't end well with them loosing all their vehicles (An M1A2 and Fox armoured car) and most of their supplies in the process.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:46 PM
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Might actually be easier to grab one of the US 8th ID's helicopters from Latvia. Fuel wouldn't be as big of a problem given the area has substantial shale oil reserves (although obtaining it and refining to usable avgas might be somewhat problematic), and the 8th would likely be just as annoyed with the PCs as the Poles unless they somehow managed to convince the commander it was a good idea to strip his division of a large part of it's (currently mostly grounded) air power.

Another really big issue is a helicopter on the back of a train is a very hard thing to hide and extremely easy to ambush. Groups would be coming from behind every rock and bush to get their hands on it, or at least deny it to their enemies.
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:48 AM
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Latvia is a long way to go to pick up a helicopter when one already has a helicopter in central Poland. As well as being the wrong direction when trying to head east to TF34. So I don't think it would be easier, nor cut their travel time and difficulty.

Trains in general are easy to ambush in general, so if I'm someone going to ambush the train, seeing a helicopter being transported isn't going to increase my desire by much. For most marauders, wheeled or tracked vehicles are going to be much more attractive, unless they happen to have a helicopter pilot in their number.

Certainly valid points as to why not to carry a 'copter on a train, but then there's a whole lot of reasons why not to do it. I was merely wondering if anyone had. I seriously doubt our group is going to stop their plans with the train to go hunt a helicopter in Latvia when they've already successfully stolen the one from Kraków, found a wagon car to carry it, and are (last session) busy making armor plates for the side of the wagon car.

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Old 07-07-2018, 11:27 PM
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John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice is 7 NM from Krakow and Katowice International Airport 48 NM both could serve as a landing area and possibly a fuel location?

1283 NM away is the Solidarity Szczecin-Goleniów Airport which is in US hands however this would require the PC's to refuel twice. Max range is 328 NM or 607 km.

If the a PC's flew in a straight line towards Szczecin they would be forced to land around Poznań

Dresden Germany is also in range but I they risk of being shot down is high.

Anyway just food for thought
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:19 AM
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Easier to obtain from the Americans than the Poles, not necessarily easier to get back to Germany via train.
Given Konin (the train's starting point) is roughly 250km from Krakow, and the Americans about twice that distance, it shouldn't be too hard to get a helicopter there though, provided there's fuel. It's certainly within range for any of the "available" machines.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puška View Post
This is a German Flat Wagon I think Soviet cars would look like this
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcaf_777 View Post
This is a German Flat Wagon I think Soviet cars would look like this
The wagon car I pictured is one of the most commonly used in Poland for (non-timber) over-sized loads since the 1970s. The wagons you show are far too short to fit a helicopter.

The Soviet cars wouldn't fit on Polish tracks. Even at the height of the Iron Curtain era, Poland didn't adopt the Soviet rail system. Soviet gauge was 1520mm, Poland standard industry was/is 1435mm.


***

I suppose I should have pointed out from the initial post, the PCs aren't stealing the helicopter and flying to meet a train. They stole the helicopter months previous, stashed it somewhere (coincidentally, less than 100k from Konin), continued on their trek through the country, and now, reaching the train, remembered the helicopter, checked on it, and someone suggested (ludicrous idea) carrying the helicopter on the train.

The helicopter, of course, wouldn't fit in nor on any standard wagon/cabin/container (it's far too long). Discovering that Poland freight has a commonly-used longer car, the idea grew into a hazardous possibility. But risk assessment of likely hazard to possible benefit is worthwhile, so further consider is being taken. The PCs might not do it (probably will), but it's certainly worth investigating since flying the copter across Poland/Germany, or north to Latvia, is just as likely to draw fire (with less defenses) as taking Straczynki's train.

I wondered if anyone had done this before.

Last edited by puška; 07-09-2018 at 05:38 AM. Reason: fixed numerical typo
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:20 PM
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From the standpoint of actually loading the helo onto a flatcar, there is NO reason why you couldn't if it will fit. There are TWO types of heavy duty railcar used in both America and Europe. The first is the 89ft Specialty Flatcar (used for very heavy loads) which has no bulkhead and will allow "roll-on, roll-off" of the load from the front or rear of the Flatcar. The second is the 89ft Heavy Pipe Flatcar with a bulkhead at the front (to prevent cargo from shifting forwards in a rapid deceleration. Both cars can hold a 90ft/27.69m load (with overlap over the coupler) up to 25ft/7.69m high (a standard limit for tunnel and bridge clearance) with a maximum total weight of 239K pounds (259k with the car's weight included). The big issue here would be the cargo width. The maximum width is only 10ft 6 inches (3.23m) in order to clear structures by the tracks (and tunnels).

Just for kicks, here are some other dimensions in Shipping... Specifically Trucking (since I have some experience here);

Older US Trailers (before the 1991 DOT/CDL changes in the US): 96"/2.46m wide by 98"/2.51m high. Lengths vary and include 27ft/8.3m, 36ft/11.07m, 45ft/13.84m, and 48ft/14.76m.

Post '91 DOT/CDL Law Trailers: 27ft/8.3m "PUP" (the ones used in doubles & triples known as "wiggle wagons"), 35ft/10.76m "PUPS", 48ft/14.76m (mostly in Flatbed configuration), and the "newly authorized" (by the '91 bill) 53ft/16.3m "long platform." Almost EVERY post '91 DOT trailer was built to the newly approved (by the '91 DOT bill) Standardized Box Configuration of 102"/2.62m WIDTH with a SQUARE 100"/2.56m INTERIOR DIMENSION (both vertically and horizontally).

The MAXIMUM height for all loads in the US is 13ft 6"/4.15m (although "Oversized Loads" DO occur).

The Maximum Standard Load for Truck AND Cargo is 80,000lbs/36,363kg before an "Oversized Load Requirement" occurs.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:31 PM
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Default Problem-solving 101

Also, for a skilled mechanic, removing the tail boom is a very doable option. Where there's a will, there's a way, people.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Also, for a skilled mechanic, removing the tail boom is a very doable option. Where there's a will, there's a way, people.
I have actually seen Hueys and even Apaches being transported like this on trucks. Apparently, most helicopters are DESIGNED to be "broken down" for transport.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:15 PM
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I'll just leave this here for you:

http://tetro.spb.ru/_eng_projects/09_example_air.html

- C.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tegyrius View Post
I'll just leave this here for you:

http://tetro.spb.ru/_eng_projects/09_example_air.html

- C.

Love cutaways and diagrams. Awesome.

Granted, these PCs aren't recon Marines, but they have survived so far...
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:12 AM
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Put the flat car at the back of the train and let the tail hang out over the tracks...
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:16 PM
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Put the flat car at the back of the train and let the tail hang out over the tracks...
That's definitely the easiest way to do it. There COULD BE one complication though. If the overall length of the helo allows the tail to strike an object alongside a BEND in the tracks or a BEND IN A TUNNEL, you could be in trouble. I remember a Norfolk & Southern train accident in West Virginia a few years back that was the result of putting an 89ft Flatcar on a track with a very sharp bend just off of a stanchion bridge. The end of the car struck the stanchion and derailed. Not one of NS's better days.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:10 PM
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I don't recall seeing many railway tunnels in northern Poland when I was there in 2010 but there were enough cases of tracks passing under a traffic bridge or situations where trees grew close to the line even at bends on the tracks, for the same principle to apply. There were also cases where the tracks ran between tall walls/fences in the outer areas of towns.
I'll stress again, that what I saw was mostly northern Poland, I didn't check any rail lines in the south of the country.

I think you could probably successfully pass through some of these locations with the helo's tail hanging over the back of the rear flatcar but you'd want to be aware of them in advance to ensure you could get the clearance needed. Which would require scouting ahead or the like, all of which would slow the pace of travel for as long as it's necessary to do a recce - and then you might have to cut down trees or shift the helo to move the tail out of the way. In a worst case scenario you would have to remove the tail, so it might be worth doing that right at the start anyway.

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 07-18-2018 at 02:38 AM. Reason: Fixing the brainfart I had when typing this - necessary is not spelt nessecary!
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:11 AM
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Another issue with putting it at the rear is you're sacrificing the chance of properly defending the rear arc of the train. Sure you can put a couple of machineguns and sandbags there, but not a lot more. Having a box car, or even just an empty flatcar at the rear allows building up a decent strong point.
Probably not a huge concern while the train is moving forward, but as we know in 2000 Poland there's a LOT of bridges and tracks destroyed or damaged - the train will be motionless, or even travelling in reverse more often than not while repairs are made, or an alternate route found.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:30 AM
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Good points. I agree, that if you have the expertise, removing the tail boom is best. I know in the US, active rail rights of way are generally kept clear of trees, so I just assumed the same was in effect in Europe. These shouldn't have grown to the point of serious hindrance from the start of war to the present. As for rear security, another flat car, followed by third flat with fortifications or box with same should suffice.
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:25 AM
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Bear in mind though that there are only limited cars available as per the module, and their order, at least to begin with, isn't exactly ideal for most purposes (although adjustable with a little time and effort). Also two of the three flatcars are already loaded with rails and sleepers.
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
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Put the flat car at the back of the train and let the tail hang out over the tracks...
Put the chopper on a flat car, and have another flat car (an "idler") under the tail, but don't tie it down. The tail can swing loose over the flat car.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:59 PM
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Put the chopper on a flat car, and have another flat car (an "idler") under the tail, but don't tie it down. The tail can swing loose over the flat car.
Again, there are only three flat cars available, two of which are loaded with rails and sleepers.
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I have actually seen Hueys and even Apaches being transported like this on trucks. Apparently, most helicopters are DESIGNED to be "broken down" for transport.
Just saw a local crop duster service that uses helicopters that was hauling an old Huey on a trailer this morning in fact on the I-81 near Hagerstown MD - and it cleared the road bridges on the freeway easily
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:01 PM
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I have actually seen Hueys and even Apaches being transported like this on trucks. Apparently, most helicopters are DESIGNED to be "broken down" for transport.
The UH1D that never lost a man in Vietnam is hauled around that way to save fuel and lessen wear. It would be a good prize stateside.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:58 AM
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Again, there are only three flat cars available, two of which are loaded with rails and sleepers.
Surely, one of these won't be stacked so high that the tail boom cannot swing freely above it?
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:18 AM
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I don't see how.

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Old 07-25-2018, 06:02 AM
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Even if you can get the helo with tailboom intact onto any of the flatcars, there's still going to be the problem of some railway bends in Poland are quite closed in. Either because they have trees growing within a metre or two of the tracks or because they have fences/walls in some areas or they pass under bridges with support pillars within a two metres of the track.
Obviously on the straight there's no problem but the Mi-8 family is about 18 metres long from nose to tail with seven or so of that being the tailboom so corners are something to be concerned with.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:00 AM
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Urk!
Trying to find dimensions of Polish rolling stock is soooooo much fun!
Don't suppose we could have one of our Polish members contact the PKP and get a list direct from the source of what they have, what would have been available in the 1995-1997 period, and their sizes?
That would be a LOT easier than trying to get the info online...
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
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Urk!
Trying to find dimensions of Polish rolling stock is soooooo much fun!
Don't suppose we could have one of our Polish members contact the PKP and get a list direct from the source of what they have, what would have been available in the 1995-1997 period, and their sizes?
That would be a LOT easier than trying to get the info online...
Didn't "Going Home" say they were close or the same as German rail stock?
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:59 AM
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No, just the same gauge.
A quick search online shows that most countries use Standard Gauge of 1,435mm.
Finding information on the rolling stock used by the PKP (Polish State Railway) is...difficult. This could well be because there's many, many different types in use and no particular "standard" size.
I did find though that flat cars throughout the world (mainly US sources of info though) are approximately 12-16 metres bumper to bumper (so a little less actual cargo space), some shorter, a (very) few longer.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:53 AM
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There isn't as wide of a variance in PKP Cargo as some countries might have. I lived in Kraków for 5-6 years in late/early 90s/00s, and a friend was a (don't remember the Polish term) railyard stevedore for PKPCargo. That's where the suggestion of the longest freight wagon (the german model i pictured above). Most wagons in the 90s are going to be hodge-podge of Polish-made with a LOT from Germany, some from Hungary, and still a few more of Czechoslovakian make.

Now that I've played T2K, I do wish I could go back and visually mark some places around the city and countryside for details within the game. Like one module that states you can see the river from a certain overlook and, as I remember and have photos from, you simply cannot see the river from there.

Legbreaker's estimate of common lengths is correct, but (I would make the educated guess based on types of freight being shipped & origin/destination) southern Polish lines are going to be using the long cars more often than northern lines. In Poland circa the canon years, there's is little chance the railyard outside Konin would not have a long freight wagon.

In our playing, canon cannot be canon when it is written that way by guys who just didn't have complete information when they wrote it. Limiting possible options to only the cars described as being the only available for PCs during the game is more ludicrous than disassembling a helicopter to transport it via a freight train wagon.


[For contacting PKP, there's no inherent need for an email to be in Polish; unlike German and Russian, Polish folks I've known love opportunities to speak or write in English.]
[I've not yet read the Colo Springs thread... the other half of our household was born and grew up there; her father was a hardware engineer for the Mountain '61-'74.]
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