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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I posted this topic before in the old forums, and it has since been archived.  My internet was down for nearly an entire month!!! so I was unable to get back to the old topic. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif

I posted this before:
"Hello All,
I am a senior in high school, doing my senior exit project...

For my project, I plan to make a computer model in excell, to calculate the expense of running various types of railroad equipment. I plan to use this model to prove the economic superiority of diesel power over steam.

I have only one problem...I need lots of data for this. I've raided the library system here in Charlotte, NC. I found some basic data of expenses, but I need data that is much more in-depth. I plan to trek up to the NC railway museum in Spencer one weekend, and see if I can find anything there: in Southern Railway archives, or other secondary sources.

Does anyone know any good sources where I could find this type of data??? This project is due in April, so I've got some time to obtain stuff and work through any problems.

Of course I'll use my G-scale stuff during my presentation.


Any help would be WONDERFUL.
Thanks in advance!"

To answer any concerns that came up in the old thread:

Firstly, some of you suggested I alter the focus of this project.  Unfortunately, I can't.  I wrote a 4,000 word senior exit paper on the subject of the economic advantages of diesel over steam last year.  I am therefore bound to continue this topic in the senior exit product.  (I can email this paper to anyone who would like to read it, then tear it to shreads... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue2.gif)

Secondly, some of you offered me some help in the previous thread.  PLEASE!!!  I'll take any help I can get!!!  My email address and aim screen name are both on this website.  

Also, the North Carolina Transportation Museum does have a museum archive with lots of old southern railroad records.  I'll be heading up there sometime soon.  (The guy with keys to the archive is only there on weekdays....so I have yet to figure out how I'm gonna get there and back after school one day....but that's besides the point...)

Anyways...if anyone knows of any good sources of data, that would be just about amazing. ;)
 

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Hmm. You might be better off asking 12 inch to the foot railroaders. Know any? Some of the guys here might know some.

Back in the mid 80's I was told the fuel cost of steam and diesel was about the same and the main difference in operating cost is maintenance. I'm not sure how reliable that bit of info was. Of course, these days, the facillities steam engines would need are few and far between.

Oh. Maybe you could search around GE. Let's see... I find lots of news about GE's "Evolution" locomotive, but not GE themselves.
 

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Cephas,

I just wrote up a long reply, but for some reason, it never made it to post.

I think if you have a very specific location, such as Spencer shops, then you might be able to dig up the data you need to support your argument. 

1. years (probably want to have 3 separate years to look at operations)  I'd suggest picking one firmly in steam era, one in the transition era, and one in the early diesel era.  This will give you 3 data points (but you need to correct for inflation) that which theoretically show a decrease in costs.  

2. Manpower requirements for the items in #1, their associated unions, pay grades, etc..

3. Facility maintenance

That is a short list but might give you a place to at least start your research.

You might want to try and contact the PR office of Norfolk Southern, since Spencer is still an active shop for them.  They may be able to give you some information about what happened to their older records.

For your argument, don't forget to note that diesel locomotives have a theoretical availability of 29/30 days vs a steam engine's 15/30. 

Mark
 

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Does your data have to reflect US practice? I can ask around and search for you here. The UK went diesal not long after the introduction of "The Standards" by Riddles (1950-65). I do have some "interesting" data pertaining to the diesalisation of the "National Govt Railways of Zimbabwe" (1980-90) both from the Bulawayo end and the Toronto end...

regards

ralph
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello all,


Several of you have been ALOT of help thus far!  Thank you!


Of the ideas that have come up, my thesis from my previous paper referenced American railroads.  Therefore, I am pretty sure I am bound to deal with American railroads again in this product.

I have also heard great ideas about how to organize the data in the spreadsheet.  Honestly though, I won't really know how I'll organize this thing till I have a better idea of what data will be avaliable.


Other ideas that some have suggested include ICC reports....I'll stop by the UNC charlotte library one day soon and look at their resources... :cool:
...Tomorrow is senior skip day...I might be a nerd and go research for this project.... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif

Thank you for this community's continued support! :D
Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello All!

In school, I just knocked a few huge projects out of the way, so I put nearly all of today on this computer model.  I started  a blog on it at: steamvsdiesel.blogspot.com/.  The excel model can be found as a link on the blog.  It only helps me if anyone wants to look at it and give feedback.

Also, I have a scheduled absence to visit the North Carolina Transportation museum later this week.  I hope to look at the archives there, and have alot more data on operating expenses.  This will allow me to expand the model.  

work on this is continuing...

thanks,
Peter
 

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Peter

In early 2006, Classic Trains published a collectors edition magazine entitled Diesel Victory it gave a clear rendition from many angles why and how diesels won out over steam.

Take a look ... lots of great information.

Regards ... Doug
 

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If you're going to be doing one locomotive vs another.... and you're going to be looking in Spencer's archives..... I'd try to find the blue cards (or whatever they were then) for a steam and a diesel locomotive used for the same type of service (ie the same train, same run, whatever.) This card should show you, over a month, what maintenance was done on the locomotive between inspections, etc. You could also pull things like crew reports for the same runs. Then it would all be knowing about how much the various stuff cost..... fuel, water, consumable supplies, man hours, etc. but you may find in the archives that all that's been done for you, as the railroad would want to know how much they were spending on each piece vs. the money it made them.

And, if you're coming up Spencer way, I live just outside Winston.... if you need any kind of assistance locally, get hold of me.

Matthew (OV)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So as of today, I have entered some more lists of general industry-wide statistics on costs during the period of transition from steam to Diesel.

I will attempt to start the actual model of the operating costs of individual locomotives tomorrow. I am visiting spencer tomorrow, and so hopefully I will obtain data to make this project somewhat straightforward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
it's 1:38 AM eastern time...

but the blog has been updated. I have started an actual model based on data someone on another forum gave me (i forget who....but please take credit if you're here). The blog can be viewed here, it explains the update, and provides a link to the actual spreadsheet file: http://steamvsdiesel.blogspot.com/

Comments/Suggestions are highly appreciated, either here or on the blog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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