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Turbine Locomotives


Blue Comet:
In the '60s Union Pacific ran freight trains hauled by 8500 HP gas turbine-electric locomotives. There is a good wiki page about them under the heading "Union Pacific GTEL's" and some videos on YouTube including one showing a flame-out at start-up.

The locomotives used Bunker C heavy fuel oil which had to be heated in storage and before use due to its high viscosity.

I know they have been modelled in Trainz but I have not come across them in BVE.

They were nicknamed 'Big Blows' due to the high pitched screaming sound of their exhaust.

There were two experimental GTEL's in the UK both of which entered revenue earning service. Travelling behind one of them the most notable feature was the smell of kerosene.

There was also a non-condensing steam turbine locomotive on British Railways known as the 'Turbomotive'. Very successful when it was running but prone to breakdowns. It once locked-up completely on the track.


Sir Blue Comet

You may find video very good  on the locomotive turbine monsters at this website page
The smell of kerosene very much alike of the smell exhaust of jet airplanes in modern airports.
Those Union Pacific turbines were born of cause of inexpensive fuel and died of cause high cost of the fuel.
I too am sad without locomotive turbine for the openBVE program, as would be great fun to drive with very noisy exhaust.

Good day and night for you

A jet power train by the New York Central Railroad article is found on this website page

Would this name be a JPU for Jet Multiple Unit, akin with EMU for Electric Multiple Unit and DMU for Diesel Multiple Unit?

Good day and night for you.

Blue Comet:
Many thanks for your reply Hijau. I found the jet trains fascinating with their B36 engines. "JPU" sounds about right to me!

The YouTube video you mention is an extract from "Union Pacific Turbines of the Wasatch" published by Pentrax. I bought a copy a few years ago. It's very comprehensive showing the locomotives being serviced, fueled and sanded followed by journeys over the Wasatch range hauling very long freight trains.  During servicing the locomotives moved around the yards using an auxilliary diesel engine, which also acted as the turbine starter motor. The only thing that rather spoils the DVD is a superflous commentary along the lines of "...the turbines can travel at high speeds..." accompanied by a view of the turbine travelling at high speed.

Apparantly UP coupled two 8500HP turbines together but found that on entering a tunnel the train engine would flame out. They don't say why but I think it would be most likely due to air starvation.

They were very noisy indeed and a good indication of the sound level would be the YouTube video "F4 Phantom Engine Start Up and Take Off"  Incidentally on the same page is
"Afterburner Takeoff Night mission F-4 Phantom II HYAKURI AB JASDF" which might interest you.

I'm certain that the GTEL's weren't  fitted with afterburners but some of the dramatic flame-outs at start-up makes it look as though they were!

The UK gas turbines were developed by the Western Region of British Railways which at the time still had several members of the Castle Class steam locomotives in service. It wasn't long before the first gas turbine was nicknamed "Kerosene Castle" by the drivers.

Kind regards,

Blue Comet


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