Monday, February 11, 2013

The orange juice train - five times a week!

I found this commercial quite entertaining.  It appears at first sight to be for Florida orange juice, but turns out to be for the locomotive pulling the engine, and the company that makes it!  It's a time-lapse production, compressing a journey of two days into about 2½ minutes.  Try watching it in full-screen mode.

And here's a short background piece on how they made it.

Kudos to the producers for coming up with an innovative and attention-getting campaign.



Anonymous said...

Gee, what a cool little movie. Gosh. Wow. Gollee.

According to Google maps, Bradenton, FL (on the west coast, a few miles south of Tampa) is 1183 road miles from Jersey City, New Jersey, and would take 17 hours and 35 minutes to drive.

According to the "Great Little Movie" from GE about its locomotives, it's 1221 track miles between the two, which took 47.8 hours to cover.

So....if one were driving it, and left Bradenton at the same time the train did, one could drive to Jersey City, turn around and drive back to Bradenton, turn around again, and arrive in Jersey City only 5 hours behind the train.

Divide 47.8 hours into 1221 track miles and you have an average train speed of 25.5 mph.

Good thing this was an ad from GE about "look how much our locomotives can pull" and not one from CSX about "look how fast we get your freight delivered."

trailbee said...

Can't top Anonymous, except to say that I love trains, and found the video wonderful. I won't look too deeply into the timeframe. Well done.

Scott said...

I was more interested in the fuel use ticker. Less than 6000 gal used for the trip is pretty impressive for how much OJ they hauled!

Expatriate Owl said...

Some of those stretches of trackage looked very, very familiar!

Now, if only the Amtrak folks could move travelers just half as efficiently.

Fly To Your Dreams said...

@Anonymous, sure, you may be able to drive the distance in half the time, but not while hauling 2,200 tons of cargo (plus whatever the boxcars themselves weigh).

Neat video. The more time I spend around trains, the more fascinated I am by them.

Anonymous said...

@FTYD - that got me curious, too, so I dug up some numbers.

Don't know what refrigerated rail cars they used, but a quick google turned up a 50 footer that weights 87K lb empty and has about 4K cu ft. 550K gal of OJ at 8.3 lb/gal = 2291 tons. 41 reefer cars = 56 tons (112k lb) of OJ per car at about 1800 cu ft. 87K lb = 43.5 tons, so a loaded car was 99.5 tons. Call it an even 100 tons/car (the OJ packaging must weigh something...). Locomotive weight was hard to find, and I'm not sure this is completely accurate for the ones used, but it seems 220 tons is representative.

So, there's 440 tons of locomotives and 4100 tons of OJ and reefer cars for a total train weight of 4540 tons.

5600 gal of fuel for 1221 miles is 4.5 gal/mile; 4.5/4540 = .127 ounces (.00099 gal) per ton mile for the entire train. 1221 X 4540 = 5.54 million ton miles. (I didn't add in the fuel used by the refrigeration equipment on each car).

If you pull out the locomotive and car weights the freight transport cost (payload delivery) is .00196 gal/ton mile.

For comparison, a semi-trailer truck max GVW is 80K lbs - 40 tons. Deducting tractor and trailer weight leaves 60-65K lbs for payload. Let's use 65K. That's 7800 gallons of OJ per truck, so we'd need 70.5 trucks to duplicate the train. Call it 70. At 4 mpg that's 20,700 gal of fuel (1183 road miles). .00625 gal/ton mile gross, about 6.3X the train rate. .03767 gal/ton mile for payload. Train beats truck by 19X.

Which surprises me a little. I would have guessed about 8-10X.

I realize the train had to stop - refuel (best I can tell, tanks on GE locomotives are 5K gal), crew change, etc. Still strikes me as a little slow to take 48 hours to get there - a 25 mph average. Which means, I guess, that we've really neglected roadbeds and rights-of-way; increase average speed to 40 mph and it cuts 1/3 off the trip, which is 17 more hours the locomotive can be earning money pulling someone else's freight.

For extra points, why is the "standard gauge" on American railroads 4 ft 8 1/2 inches?

8Notch said...

And the juice train is king of the road. It is pretty much the hottest train out there with the highest priority.