Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Terms Of Art

A locomotive testing facility in the midst of a residential area, where boys sneak through the fence to watch them test how much mass a big engine can pull? Why, that's a Tractive Nuisance!

Meanwhile, a chemical plant's open, ceramic-tiled pool of sulphuric acid, complete with ladder and diving board? That's a Subtractive Nuisance. No diving!

(Neither term, thank goodness, prompted by a news item).


og said...

"Tractive nuisance"
The very thing:


In the lower right corner is a building at about a 30 degree angle with black rectangles on it's roof- the rectangles are resistive loads that bleed off the DC generated by the diesel's massive generator. When they are testing a diesel, they glow red, and are visible from low flying airplanes. You have to wear earplugs, earmuffs, and a respirator to be in the building during a test, but inside the cab of the locomotive, it is completely silent.

Roberta X said...

You are indeed a pearl of great price, Og!

og said...

Also, if you zoom out you can see locomotives siting next to the test track waiting for testing.

Since EMD is a customer I didn't have to sneak into the fenced in area, I was actualy invited. When we were working on the piston and cylinder head for the v-20's, (a brochure for which can be viewed here)http://www.emdiesels.com/emdweb/products/powerproducts/media/PProductsBroch.pdf
we got to see them run up a bunch of the new engines for the first time. Very cool. In the Dirty Jobs episode "Locomotive Builder" Mike Rowe helps dismantle an EMD diesel, the same type we were manufacturing components for.


Old Grouch said...

Boisie, Idaho (Motive Power):
* 5,000 hp engine test dyanamometer
* Three-track locomotive load testing
* 10-miles of locomotive test track

In Muncie (coming!):
Caterpillar Inc. on Friday announced plans to start building diesel-electric locomotives in a vacant former transformer factory in Muncie, potentially hiring 650 workers in the next two years.
Caterpillar also plans to build a locomotive test track on the 75-acre campus...

Erie, PA

Did I hear "road trip"?

Roberta X remotely said...

What, new locomotive factory? --Ayn Rand is snickering. Rudely.

'Swelp me, if somebody shows up next with a super-duper static-electrical motor, I'll turn in my geek card.

Tam said...

Am I reading that right? A chassis dyno for locomotives?

og said...

The engine test dyno just runs the power the engine generates through a resistive load. The Boise test track is one of the nicer in the states, but EMD in Lagrange has a little straight track it uses for load testing.

Caterpillar now owns Electro-Motive, and is moving loco mfr offsite (it used to be in Lagrange) to avoid the labor entanglements that plagued them during the recent years.

Ritchie said...

That's just plain loco.