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Western Railroad Discussion > Moving freight cars without a locomotive - questions


Date: 02/02/07 08:55
Moving freight cars without a locomotive - questions
Author: PasadenaSub

I'm sure many of us have seen rail operations where freight cars have been moved without the benefit of a locomotive. Often through the use of modified trucks (fitted with flanged wheels and couplers), self-propelled cranes, trackmobiles, and other vehicles. Not just within the confines of an industrial plant, but sometimes out on mainlines in MOW service. In Southern California, I've seen Metrolink contractor Herzog move ballast hoppers around on the San Bernardino mainline near Pomona without a locomotive. Also when UP rebuilt the former SP/PE Azusa branch, they had cranes coupled to gondolas shuffling around the line.

I'm curious as to what FRA regulations apply to these operations, and how much training the operators receive. I'm not 100% certain, but I don't believe these vehicles can pump up the air in the cars, so setting handbrakes would be very important to avoid runaways if a long string of cars were coupled together behind the vehicle on a grade.

Thanks for any info,

Rich



Date: 02/02/07 09:05
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: QU25C

Yes they do have air the training part i don't know but RULES test up to date



Date: 02/02/07 11:06
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: iliketrains

Ten of us volunteers just shoved this car about 50 feet inside the shop last Saturday. Stopped it with a 2x4.




Date: 02/02/07 11:57
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: RD10747

My experience around fruit packing houses and warehouses, I
have seen their employees us 'buggy' bars or 'pinch' bars to move a car from one door to another...also, poling cars was alway of interest to observe...



Date: 02/02/07 14:04
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: DRLOCO

another method not yet discussed is the winch, or cable puller method.
The industrial plant I swith has at least 6 of these.
http://www.aldonco.com/docs/TECH_winch.pdf

Essentially, a system of a which and cables. These guys have pretty much NO experience with railroad rules per se, although OSHA rules apply(hardhats, fall protection gantry's etc). What clues me in to the employee's relative lack of experience was when they called the handbrake the "manual brake stopper." They usually just bleed the cars off, tie one or two handbrakes on one end, and hook the cable end(which has a hook on it) to the part of the car near the bolster that says "pull here." and then they can spot the cars up under the unloading tipple like any other switcher, only more boring! The winch units have red flashing lights (which don't work anymore) and have a klaxon buzzer that goes off when the system is in use.
I saw what happened once when some guy tried to just hook it into the stirrup step...it came flying off!

~~Hope that helps!



Date: 02/02/07 18:12
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: EMDSW-1

Proof as to why the railroads install derails at the end of the industry spur.



Date: 02/02/07 19:33
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: SLOCONDR

Agt-Highland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My experience around fruit packing houses and
> warehouses, I
> have seen their employees us 'buggy' bars or
> 'pinch' bars to move a car from one door to
> another...also, poling cars was alway of interest
> to observe...

When I worked the Guadalupe Switcher I had a 1974 Dodge PowerWagon 4x4. My crew and I would use it to spot cars from one track to the other on the Depot side since the dispatcher would not give us time on the main to take the engine from the yard side to the Depot side. My rear brakeman would ride the handbrake whiole the head brakeman would line the switches.
Remember that SPHogger ???

V

SLOCONDR



Date: 02/02/07 21:36
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: 2720

iliketrains Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ten of us volunteers just shoved this car about 50
> feet inside the shop last Saturday. Stopped it
> with a 2x4.

I shoved that car and its sister into the shop, 20+ years ago by myself(on a forklift)



Date: 02/02/07 22:12
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: Bobisie

A few years ago on a Sunday afternoon I watched a guy pulling grain cars at Vancouver, WA with a cable hooked onto his truck. He wasn't on the track, but pulling outside the rails. He moved quite a few while I was watching - one at a time.



Date: 02/02/07 23:24
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: sploopconductor

V:

Was SPhogger taking it easy in the yard office, while you guys toiled away? Or, in other words... Who was RRing in the office, and who was being 'rail-roaded' moving the cars? (LOL)

Take Care, Stay Safe, Have Fun!

Larry



Date: 02/03/07 09:48
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: SLOCONDR

sploopconductor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> V:
>
> Was SPhogger taking it easy in the yard office,
> while you guys toiled away? Or, in other words...
> Who was RRing in the office, and who was being
> 'rail-roaded' moving the cars? (LOL)
>
> Take Care, Stay Safe, Have Fun!
>
> Larry

Larry... actually, the hoghead and Bill Giles were in the depot BS'ing. SPHogger wasn't a hogger in those days. He was my head brakeman on that day we spotted the car on the TT. He was the one handling the switch. Mighty fine Brakeman he was....

V

SLOCONDR



Date: 02/03/07 12:05
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: MThopper

In 1974, when I worked at a gray iron foundry in Lousville, Kentucky, I saw the plant people shove cars with an Allis-Chalmers front end loader.



Date: 02/03/07 13:44
Re: Moving freight cars without a locomotive - question
Author: SLOCONDR

MThopper Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In 1974, when I worked at a gray iron foundry in
> Lousville, Kentucky, I saw the plant people shove
> cars with an Allis-Chalmers front end loader.


MT.... the problem with those guys shoving the cars with the end-loader is they either damage the ladder or cut the air hose with the bucket....

V

SLOCONDR



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