Just a few questions about DPUs

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njurgensen

Railfanning Meteorologist
#1
I thought of these questions as I saw a few coals pass by while at work. Which railroad is credited with the first use of DPUs on their trains? Is it run by a remote control or is it wired to reproduce anything the engineer does in the lead unit automatically? Are there any differences between GE DPUs and EMD DPUs? Just a curious youth still trying to learn what he can. Thanks.
 

CNRailCDR

Conductor, CN Rail
#2
I know CP has been using remotes since the 80's ((http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4klYbnEPYU) (1:20 in there is a robot control car and the DP)), and I've seen pictures of Southern RR testing out the same thing in the 1970's.

The DP can be set up a few different ways. The basic does whatever the engineer does (throttle up, down, dynamic braking etc), and they can be also throttled up and down independently.

Only run a DP train twice, so I'm sure theres someone else out there that can go a bit more in depth.
 

washy

New Member
#3
I thought of these questions as I saw a few coals pass by while at work. Which railroad is credited with the first use of DPUs on their trains? Is it run by a remote control or is it wired to reproduce anything the engineer does in the lead unit automatically? Are there any differences between GE DPUs and EMD DPUs? Just a curious youth still trying to learn what he can. Thanks.
They are run remotely, can be run in connection or separately from the leader. Most railroads all tested remotes of some type in the 70's but I do believe CP Rail was the first to use them consistently. As for the differences between the EMD's and GE's, the GE's are more reliable, and like anything else on the railroad, if it works its great if it don't its the pits.....
 
#4
I know CP has been using remotes since the 80's ((http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4klYbnEPYU) (1:20 in there is a robot control car and the DP)), and I've seen pictures of Southern RR testing out the same thing in the 1970's.

The DP can be set up a few different ways. The basic does whatever the engineer does (throttle up, down, dynamic braking etc), and they can be also throttled up and down independently.

Only run a DP train twice, so I'm sure theres someone else out there that can go a bit more in depth.
Actually, CP started testing the first iteration of Locotrol in '66 or '67 with brand new SD40s, before putting it into regular service a couple years later with the Elkford-Roberts Bank unit coal trains.
In very simplistic terms, a distributed power unit (or whatever you want to call it, remote, radio unit, whatever) is basically a locomotive MU'd to the lead locomotive in the same way as the other units in the consist - except wirelessly. Now, someone might correct me, but I don't believe that EMD or GE have proprietary radio systems, they've traditionally been made by companies like Locotrol.
 





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