Report published: Guidance on limits of freight train trailing length as governed by tractive effort (T1302)

20 February 2024

Aether contributed to a RSSB project led by Railfreight Consulting to develop a new methodology for calculating maximum trailing loads for freight trains. Current maximum loads for a locomotive’s tractive effort are contained in the industry’s Freight Train Loads Book. The last major update to this document was in the late 1990s and often imposes conservative limits that were calculated with limited data. This means that freight trains might not always be loaded to their potential, especially when using newer, more powerful locomotives.

This research project developed an updated methodology for calculating maximum loads, using sophisticated modelling that calculates the forces acting on a train over 10 m sections along the route, taking account of track gradient, linespeed, loading, and the individual characteristics of locomotive and wagons. The work was overseen by an industry project steering group representing infrastructure and train operators. The more scientific and quantitative methods developed will allow for easier and more frequent updates of the Loads Book in the future, which are essential for it to reflect the on-going changes and improvements in assets. With an updated Loads Book, freight operators will be able to use locomotives to their full capabilities, increasing the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of each freight journey.

The report is available from the RSSB website, Project Reference: T1302.

 

See all news

Testimonial

Don't just take our word for it...

“Chris was excellent to work with and always very pro active in making suggestions, taking work forward and applying his considerable technical knowledge in effective ways.”

Robert Vaughan, Defra Air Quality Team

“Both the face-to-face training and the online version have been of high quality, with dynamic methods and a practical orientation that have allowed students to reach a solid knowledge base. The products have been delivered within the stipulated deadlines with an excellent quality and the team has always shown willingness to make adjustments according to the requirements of CONAF. We are very satisfied with the work. ”

Javier Cano Martín, Professional Unit for Climate Change and Environmental Services, CONAF (National Forestry Corporation), Chile

“Engaging Aether to support us to develop the first GHG Inventory System and first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the United Republic of Tanzania has been a rewarding experience due to their high level of professionalism, creativity, timeliness and value for money. We will definitely consider Aether in our future initiatives.”

Abbas Kitogo, Programme Specialist Energy and Climate Change, UNDP Tanzania

“Aether was a great asset in involving/engaging with Member States experts on highly technical subjects regarding GHG reporting. Very clear communication of issues and results.”

Andreas Pilzecker, DG CLIMA

“We have been collaborating with Aether for several years, and our projects have greatly benefited from it. Aether staff are very knowledgeable, professional and flexible - and last but not least, very friendly and a pleasure to work with.”

Umhverfisstofnun, Environment Agency of Iceland

“The Aether team were a joy to work with and I would recommend the consultancy - the service provided throughout the process was exceptional. Where there were problems, they provided solutions. The team were working to very short time scales but were able to deliver a high quality piece of work within the specified time frame.”

Sefton Council - for the Merseyside Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

“It is always an absolute pleasure working with Aether. I always know what is expected of me. Their work ethic is of a very high standard and projects are always handled in a very professional manner. I have learnt many skills in terms of project management, quality control and workshop training styles from Aether and I hope to carry these principles forward in my own work. I look forward to collaborating with Aether more in the future.”

Luanne Stevens, Gondwana

“It has been a pleasure to work with Chris Dore and Richard Claxton from Aether: they did their job in a very professional and timely manner. The workshop was organized and carried out in a cooperative spirit; the information provided to the workshop participants was complete and clear.”

Alina Novikova, UN/ECE Secretariat

“Saint Lucia embraces the professional approach with which this project was undertaken by Aether, particularly their ability to develop mentorship relations with local government experts. This provides a basis for ensuring that the pool of local experts remain engaged and recognized over successive processes.”

Annette Rattigan-Leo, Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer

“If we have a need for any more reports in the future Aether will be first on my list.”

Alan Hardy, Kyson Design

Contact us

Get in touch

Call us on +44 1865 261 466, complete the short form below, or go to the Contact page

 Security code