A Train Operation and Energy Simulator (TOES™) model was created in order to investigate the potential benefits of replacing three-piece trucks with the “Steered Frame Truck” currently under development. Loaded coal trains were simulated with three-piece trucks and with Steered Frame Trucks. Both trains were modeled traveling on Norfolk Southern’s Pocahontas division from MP V435 to V399. The consist and direction of travel are based on actual trains in service. It was found that the model predicts several benefits for replacing three-piece trucks with Steered Frame Trucks. These resulted from the Steered Frame Truck having a greatly reduced rolling resistance while traveling around a curve. The benefits were found to include: a significant reduction in fuel consumption, a reduction in in-train forces, and a small increase in average velocity. One drawback was also predicted: that the reduced rolling resistance would necessitate the increased use of air brakes while traveling down-hill. Although Steered Frame Trucks should produce a considerable reduction in lateral forces, modeling such a reduction was beyond the scope of this work. Similarly, modeling other potential benefits not directly derived from the Steered Frame Truck’s reduced rolling resistance was not considered here.

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