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- The potential for energy savings by reducing the aerodynamic drag of rail cars is significant. A previous study of aerodynamic drag of coal cars suggests that a 25% reduction in drag of empty cars would correspond to a 5% fuel savings for a round trip . Rail statistics for the United States  report that approximately 5.7 billion liters of diesel fuel were consumed for coal transportation in 2002, so a 5% fuel savings would total 284 million liters. This corresponds to 2% of Class I railroad fuel consumption nationwide. As part of a DOE-sponsored study, the aerodynamic drag of scale rail cars was measured in a wind tunnel. The goal of the study was to measure the drag reduction of various rail-car cover designs. The cover designs tested yielded an average drag reduction of 43% relative to empty cars corresponding to an estimated round-trip fuel savings of 9%.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20090026079.
AfricaRail 2008; 2-6 Jun. 2008; Johannesburg; South Africa.
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