If you’ve ever wondered about idling locomotive diesels …

August 23, 2015

As always, this space is jazzed to address your questions, comments and concerns as they pertain to being railroaded on Metro-North. In the wake of our last riveting installment about a diesel’s fuel efficiency, a reader who signed off on an email as simply “Tom” had an interesting question. But before we get to it, let’s bring you up to speed, so to speak, with the fun facts that inspired his query:

Reader Irwin Lifshey wanted to know what a Metro-North diesel’s fuel capacity happens to be, how often it is gassed up and how many gallons it takes to run a seven-car train between Poughkeepsie and Grand Central Terminal. Answers: 1,800 gallons, once daily, and 175 gallons — or roughly .007276 per passenger per mile (average 330 riders per train per 90-mile trip).

Tom wrote, “I also would like to know why when trains are parked at Poughkeepsie Station away from the boarding area they let them run constantly. Every time I’m on the walkway I see and hear a train sitting and idling quite loudly. Why not shut it off and start it when needed? How much fuel does it use just idling for hours every day? Seems wasteful but perhaps there is a good reason. So after accounting for the fuel use when the train is sidelined, how much is used in a day?”

Poughkeepsie Journal columnist John Rolfe has all of the details by clicking here.

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