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Interesting Train Facts You Probably Haven't Heard About

Interesting Train Facts You Probably Haven't Heard About
photo: ÖBB/ Interesting Train Facts You Probably Haven't Heard About
13 / 10 / 2023

Trains play a crucial role in transportation. While many might overlook their importance, trains offer advanced technology, environmental advantages, and even aid in decreasing highway congestion. Globally, drones are now used to fly over railway tracks and bridges, enabling the detection of potential track issues.

One fascinating fact about trains is that a single railcar can accommodate the load of three to four trucks. This implies that a train can transport as much cargo as 300 trucks. In terms of weight? Most railcars, including the railcar's own weight, can support up to 129,727 kg. Those with heavy axles can bear a total weight of up to 142,881 kg. Railways are, on average, three to four times more fuel-efficient than trucks. They can move a ton of freight over 772 kilometers on just a gallon of fuel, generating a carbon footprint that's up to 75% smaller than that of trucks. This efficiency positions railways as the most economical method of land-based freight transportation. Improved fuel efficiency also translates to reduced emissions.

Modern Tier 4 locomotives come equipped with supercomputers capable of processing vast amounts of data, enhancing operational and fuel efficiency. These units boast 15 million lines of computer code, five times more than their predecessors.

Internationally, drones are becoming instrumental in the railway industry. To ensure the safety of a railway line, it's vital that the tracks are well-maintained. Drones are employed for this purpose, flying over tracks and bridges and using ground-penetrating radar and track sensors to spot potential track defects.

Furthermore, did you realize that locomotives utilize energy management systems? These systems factor in land topography, train length, and overall weight to optimize the train's power and speed. In essence, these energy management systems operate similarly to a car's cruise control, leveraging throttle, range, and braking to conserve fuel. The outcome is a fuel savings of 3-5%. Series 4 locomotives weigh a staggering 195,952 kg—equivalent to around 108 hippopotamuses. These six-axle engines, with a traction of 4,400 horsepower, can hit speeds of up to 112 kilometers per hour and haul thousands of tons of cargo.