Trains are used for three main purposes, which include transporting passengers, cargo and bulk materials, such as coal and iron ore.
This means they vary in weight and size depending on what they are being used to transport.
How much do these massive trains weigh?
Trains vary in weight from 40 tons to 500 tons (36,287 to 453,592 kg).
Most freight trains will weigh between 100 and 250 tons (90,718 to 226,796 kg).
The weight of a train depends on the number of axles its locomotive has, as well as the number of carriages attached to it.
Each axle of a train weighs in the region of 35 tons (31,751 kg).
This means a locomotive with 4 axles can weigh as much as 125 tons (113,398 kg). Locomotives with more axles will weigh even more.
How Much Does An Amtrak Train Weigh?
Here’s a look at the weights of various Amtrak trains:
- P42DC locomotives – 134 tons (121,562 kg)
- Superliner I – 80 tons
- Syperliner II – 85 tons
- Amfleet – 58 tons
- Amfleet II – 57 tons
- Horizon – 57 tons
- Viewliner – 65 tons
The average Amtrak locomotive today weighs about 134 tons (121,563 kg).
The average Amtrak passenger car weighs about 65 tons (58,967 kg).
So, an Amtrak train with one locomotive and six cars weighs about 524 tons (475,365 kg).
How Much Do Train Wheels Weigh?
Unlike the wheels on many other modes of transportation, train wheels come in pairs that are joined together by an axle (known as wheelsets).
This ensures that they rotate at the same time together on the train tracks.
An individual wheel that is not attached to an axle and another wheel weighs between 800 and 900 pounds (362 to 408 kg), while a wheelset weighs in at over 2,000 pounds (907 kg).
~ Fun Fact ~
In 2001, one of the longest trains in history transported iron ore from Newman to Port Hedland in Western Australia, which is a journey of approximately 170 miles. This huge train was made up of 8 GE AC6000 locomotives and 682 iron ore wagons. The train, including its cargo weighed a staggering 100,000 tons (90,718,474 kg) and was more than 4 1/2 miles long!