Wind Turbine Loads

Wind Turbine Loads

There have been seven dedicated trains carrying large wind turbines made by Vestas of Denmark. These trains originate at the Port of Houston, and then at Sacramento they are transfered to the Yolo shortline who moves them to the Port of Sacramento to be transfered to trucks.

More turbine trains to come in the second half of 2003! On June 1, The Vestas Group announced that it has received an order to supply V80-1.8 MW wind turbines in the United States of America. The order has a value to Vestas of approx. mEUR 100 and will be delivered during the second half of 2003.

Information on the V80-1.8 MW wind turbines, from Paul Lanyi.

The towers, coming in by ship, are composed of 3 sections, of 119,000 lbs., 109,000 lbs., and 88,000 pounds. The generators (big white things) 157,000 lbs., the hubs: 45,000 lbs. and each blade 15,400 lbs. The blades all come in 'balanced sets', but not, unfortunately, on sequenced cars.

The turbine generators (big white things) are connected to the the small generator on the bulkhead flat car. This allows for a slow rotation enroute to prevent bearing 'flat spots' from occuring during the rough trip.

The shipping containers break down, eventually get shipped back to Vestas in Denmark.

The following photos were taken by Tom Daspit on May 6, 2003 in Santa Clara, CA.

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The following photos were sent to me by Richard Boyce. They are used here with Richard's permission. The photos were taken at the port of Houston.

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The following photos were taken by Paul Lanyi in May 2003. They are used with Paul's permission.

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The following photos were taken by Robert Souter, on April 2, 2003 in San Jose, Niles, and Newark, CA. They are used here with Robert's permission.

Train is seen in a sequence of seven shots crossing from the number three main track to the number one at CP Stockton in San Jose. Amtrak San Jose Control routed train through track six at the station on account of clearance concerns.

Each turbine weighs 165,000 lbs., which added to light weight of 170,000 lbs. of the eight axle 70' KRL flats gives a total load of 500,000 lbs., still below the capacity of 630,000 lbs. Have included a shot of the SSW bulkhead flat carrying a working portable generator with fuel tank to provide power to turbines.

Next shot shows train wobbling down the light rail of Newark siding, moments before SLO crew died on the hours of service only to wait two hours for arrival of new crew. Final four shots show train in light rain crossing Alameda Creek in Niles.

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The following photos were taken by Robert Souter and are used with his permission.

"Yolo Shortline delivered the first wind turbine unit train to the Port of Sacramento today. Entire train including caboose(KRL077) had been shoved down the old Sacramento Northern Clarksburg branch and spotted between the Linden Rd. and Davis Rd. grade crossings in West Sac.

I'm guesstimating about 30 blades were on this train(most of train was already in restricted areas of the port). On the trip I caught this afternoon, YSL GP9 131 pulled ten blades north to clear the port switch north of the bascule bridge and then shoved into the port. Based on this it looks like they made three trips.

Each 120' long blade is housed in 2 40' and 2 20' open top containers, although there is a canopy type roof above the forties. Two types of flat cars are used: 89' XTTX137000 series(Trailer Train) and 70' KRL701000 series. As photos show, both forties plus about 5' of the twenties fill the length of the XTTX cars with 15' of overhang extending over the intermediate cars. About a third of the intermediates also carry a turbine unit. Each turbine accomodates three blades, thus the 3:1 ratio of blades to turbines. Containers are numbered in the VWSU478000 series, with a 40 and a 20 sharing a single number.

And, yes, there are no concerns about uncoupling cars beneath the overhang. A string in the port(not in a position to be photographed) had 15' of a 20 footer hanging in mid air on the last car!"

These photos are from first of seven special trains carrying giant wind turbine blades along with electrical equipment from Houston, Texas, to Sacramento, Calif.

The wind turbine parts, including the 135-foot blades, will move in seven ships from Denmark to the Port of Houston. They will be loaded on special rail cars along with buffer cars on each end to accommodate the overhang of the blades.

The trains, approximately 50 cars long, will carry enough material for 81 wind turbines to be installed near Sacramento. The turbine towers will be 200 feet tall. They will have the capacity to generate enough electricity for about 45,000 homes.

The final train is expected to run in early May.

The turbines are manufactured by Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark and imported by Vestas American Wind Technology Inc. of Portland, Ore.

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The following photos were taken by Windle C.Shue Jr. and are used with his permission. They were taken on March 8, 2003 at the Ina road siding.

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