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Old 02-23-2021, 07:30 PM
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Default Rail Power

I'd heard this story anecdotally from a railfan friend and it recently surfaced in my social media feeds again. Emergency use of diesel locomotives to provide electrical power after a 1998 ice storm in Boucherville, Quebec:

https://gizmodo.com/that-time-a-cana...d-d-1846307148

https://www.thedrive.com/news/39378/...utal-ice-storm

The second article provides links to a couple of rail forum discussions with more technical information on how to accomplish this.

While I don't see this being viable in most locales circa 2000, it may have been a stopgap measure used in late 1997 or early 1998 - immediately after the nuclear strikes, when diesel fuel reserves were still a thing. This could result in PCs encountering a (damaged, stranded) locomotive in a very unexpected place...

- C.
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:32 AM
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I see your trains and raise you....
https://www.busaustralia.com/forum/v...dMRTs-Gkw6y8hw
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/a...lwOJWog39XjXiL
https://www.bluestarline.org/hinemoa...Y267ZtGaO0Bnkg
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:00 AM
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I suspect they may be in use in many areas still in 2001 - if you have oil being produced they could easily still be used to generate power - and per the canon there is still oil being pumped and refined in many areas of the country - and easier to maintain a diesel locomotive to generate power than try to bring a power generating facility back online
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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...o-3?src=newest
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:22 PM
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For the MLW M-420 that CN used in Boucherville, it was run on Notch 3 and produced 375 kilowatts of power at 60 Hz. Larger diesel-electrics like the SD40-2 can crank out around 1 megawatt when working as generators. The UP allegedly still uses their locomotives as generators fairly often for towns near their shops, but I don't know any technical details.
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Old 02-24-2021, 08:14 PM
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Past a certain point, the technical details are irrelevant for our purposes, insofar as we're playing Twilight: 2000, not Diesel Power Engineering and Frothing Railfans: 2000. This is something that, once its feasibility is known, can be reduced to a series of Mechanics/Electronics/Civil Engineering rolls at appropriate difficulty, with missions to recover appropriate technological MacGuffins from the Bad People.

- C.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:54 PM
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I was under the impression that knowing fuel consumption and power generated might be useful in a game about scarce resources. I stand corrected.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:19 PM
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No, those are wholly relevant. I thought you were referencing a deeper dive into the engineering fiddly bits.

- C.
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
I was under the impression that knowing fuel consumption and power generated might be useful in a game about scarce resources. I stand corrected.
I thought it was very useful information and as an engineer myself I love discussions of important technical details - keep them coming.
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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...-2?cPath=21_23

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...o-3?src=newest
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:54 AM
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I remember reading about an aircraft carrier being used to supply electrical power to a major town on the west coast. This was in the 1930's and the city's main power plant broke and the USS Lexington(CV-3) was sent and served for several weeks as the main power plant. Just think what a nuclear powered ship could do....
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo4795 View Post
I remember reading about an aircraft carrier being used to supply electrical power to a major town on the west coast. This was in the 1930's and the city's main power plant broke and the USS Lexington(CV-3) was sent and served for several weeks as the main power plant. Just think what a nuclear powered ship could do....
and it would be canonical to do that - think the USS Virginia and Satellite Down
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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ica-Sourcebook

Assembled, produced and contributed to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th issue of the T2000 Fanzine- "You're On Your Own"

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...-2?cPath=21_23

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...o-3?src=newest
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  #11  
Old 02-26-2021, 03:38 PM
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Not train related, but I found this article that discusses a drop-in transmission replacement for HMMWVs that allows them to function as 30 kW generators in addition to being usable as an ordinary vehicle, with similar systems under development for "larger trucks" to function as 30-125 kW generators depending on application and configuration.

Poking around on Leonardo DRS' site, the HMMWV power generation is 30 kW at 2000 RPM and 10 kW at engine idle, both 208 Vac. The "larger trucks" would be anything using an Allison 3000 or 4000 series transmission, which would include Strykers and MRAPs.

Even though it's a recently introduced item, I don't think it would be outlandish for it to have been developed earlier.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
Not train related, but I found this article that discusses a drop-in transmission replacement for HMMWVs that allows them to function as 30 kW generators in addition to being usable as an ordinary vehicle, with similar systems under development for "larger trucks" to function as 30-125 kW generators depending on application and configuration.

Poking around on Leonardo DRS' site, the HMMWV power generation is 30 kW at 2000 RPM and 10 kW at engine idle, both 208 Vac. The "larger trucks" would be anything using an Allison 3000 or 4000 series transmission, which would include Strykers and MRAPs.

Even though it's a recently introduced item, I don't think it would be outlandish for it to have been developed earlier.
Considering the technology has been around for decades and the idea has been in the minds of people who drive in remote locations of the world, I think it's entirely reasonable that this would have been developed much earlier.
I have a vague recollection of a website from the 2000s that mentioned this idea for people travelling in remote areas of outback Australia.
So I tend to think that these systems have been developed much earlier, just not on a commercial scale.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo4795 View Post
I remember reading about an aircraft carrier being used to supply electrical power to a major town on the west coast. This was in the 1930's and the city's main power plant broke and the USS Lexington(CV-3) was sent and served for several weeks as the main power plant. Just think what a nuclear powered ship could do....
That was the USS Lexington, CV-2, she use her engines to supply power to downtown Tacoma in the 1930s due to a drought made the hydroelectric dam from working effectively. See this article on the topic from a history website.

Quote:
Just think what a nuclear powered ship could do
Isn't that one of the plot points of "The Last Submarine"? That the UBF wanted to use the submarine as a source of power?
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
Considering the technology has been around for decades and the idea has been in the minds of people who drive in remote locations of the world, I think it's entirely reasonable that this would have been developed much earlier.
I have a vague recollection of a website from the 2000s that mentioned this idea for people travelling in remote areas of outback Australia.
So I tend to think that these systems have been developed much earlier, just not on a commercial scale.
I think integrating it into the transmission is the new idea. AFAIK, older systems were generally power take-offs that required hauling around equipment not needed by the new system, and sometimes required disabling the vehicle's mobility in order to use the power generation capability. Instead of the vehicle directly generating power, it would be connected to an external generator.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
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Isn't that one of the plot points of "The Last Submarine"? That the UBF wanted to use the submarine as a source of power?
As well as Satellite Down, yes.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:49 AM
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A decade too late on the scene for the classic T2K timeline, but the A3 version of the Oshkosh HEMTT truck is a hybrid with electrically-driven wheel motors and can double as a 120kW generator. https://oshkoshdefense.com/advanced-...ulse/#overview
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan View Post
A decade too late on the scene for the classic T2K timeline, but the A3 version of the Oshkosh HEMTT truck is a hybrid with electrically-driven wheel motors and can double as a 120kW generator. https://oshkoshdefense.com/advanced-...ulse/#overview
The A3 may be too late but the concepts and tech were around from further in the past.
The LeTourneau company established itself manufacturing earth moving and engineering equipment. They supplied more than half the engineering & construction vehicles used by the Allies in WW2 but it was their work on electric drives that put them years ahead of other companies.

LeTourneau is responsible for the Overland Train, along with a number of vehicles used for military purposes such as recovering beached landing craft. In most cases these vehicles used a diesel generator to supply power to electric motors on each individual wheel.
For some context, the Overland Train made use of this technology and it was built in the 1950s to carry supplies in areas with undeveloped/under-developed road systems. While it never passed the experimental/trials stage, the electric drive was well proven and continued to be a feature on later LeTourneau vehicles into the 1960s-70s.

The company was still in existence up to 2011 when it was acquired by Joy Global, itself acquired in 2017 by Komatsu Limited.
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