I'm happy to see it earning revenue.
Are they using the train brakes from all of the cars to help 4014 braking? What about the dynamic braking from the Diesel locomotive?Actually those were brand new covered hoppers that were empty. The reason they're towing them is to save on using the brake shoes on 4014. The brake shoes on 4014 were not replaced during the rebuild. This was told to me by Ed Dickens himself.
I've been able to visit UP's steam shop numerous times and to talked to various members of the steam crew, including Ed Dickens (head of UP's steam program and the only one that operates 4014). Ed told me they know the steam purists would love to see the steam engines operate without a diesel in the consist, but it's there for several reasons.Are they using the train brakes from all of the cars to help 4014 braking? What about the dynamic braking from the Diesel locomotive?
Train and locomotive braking is not something I know a lot about.
It's nice to get that perspective and explanation. I've often figured it was for multiple reasons.One is in case the steam engine breaks down, the diesel can push it to a siding. Another is the dynamic braking. Like the cars the steam engines pull, they can use the wheel brakes on the diesel and save the brake shoes on the steam engines. Another reason for the diesel is that it allows them to ease off the throttle and stretch the fuel mileage out on the steam locomotives. And lastly, Ed has said he does not want to work the steam locomotives hard. He wants them to last for many years to come. So using a diesel reduces the wear and tear on the steam engines.