Home Open Account Help 164 users online

Nostalgia & History > Desk Top Garbage


Date: 02/17/17 07:43
Desk Top Garbage
Author: whistlepig

I will never understand what the deigners of the desk top control stand would improve anything.  Withe regular "old fashioned" stand you could at least get somewhat comfortable while running.  With the desk top no matter how you adjust whatever seat you have, you must lean forward to operate the controls.  Someone at U.P. finally got the right idea and returned to the old way in their newer engines.




Date: 02/17/17 08:30
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: Fredo

Bob, I think that Norfolk Southern might have returned a "conventional style" control stand first. I remember the first time I climbed up into one and saw how high up it stood, and that there was a mirror that looked like one used in stores to catch shoplifters, so the crew members could see over the top of the control stand.When the UP took delivery much later the control stand was much lower, and the hoghead much happier..



Date: 02/17/17 08:44
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: HotWater

To be fair and accurate, both EMD and GE were essentially "forced" into that stupid desk-top controller design by the various union representatives and the FRA/AAR people. I distinctly recall when the Santa Fe had one of those Canadian units brought to Chicago, and had a big inspection & design review meeting with EMD and GE. Everything was discussed from the EXTREME crash worthy full-with front nose, the "safety cab", and the desk-top controller. It should be pointed out that NONE of the Union Executives, nor AAR/FRA Executives were actually "work-a-day" Locomotive Engineers!

I remember sitting in on some of the EMD Engineering Dept. "Cab Committee" design review meetings and kept trying to explain that the whole desk-top controller design was NOT going to be comfortable for the Engineer, and used the analogy a number of times of "You try sitting at your dinning room table for 8 to 12 hours, and see how YOU like it!". In spite of various protests, the desk-top controller was FORCED on both EMD and GE, and went into production.

Quite some years later, after many years of VERY negative feed-back from Engineers all over the country, clearer heads prevailed, and the control stand layout design used today, FINALLY went into production!

 



Date: 02/17/17 09:25
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: march_hare

Thanks for this discussion.  Having some cab ride experience, but no actual working time, I always suspected that the desk design was an ergonomic failure.  Nice to know my intuition was right.



Date: 02/17/17 10:30
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: Chico43

This bill of goods was sold on the Santa Fe by Homer Henry, who was the System General RFE at the time. He accompanied the Canadian unit on a tour of the transcon so that everyone who was so inclined could have a look and he extolled its virtues like a used car salesman. Later, I often wished that Homer would have had to work with one of these morphodite for up to 12 hours like I did.
One of the Division RFEs once asked me what I thought of the new and improved control stand. I told him that I always wanted to be a locomotive engineer and now I felt like I was a backhoe operator.



Date: 02/17/17 10:45
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: HotWater

Chico43 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This bill of goods was sold on the Santa Fe by
> Homer Henry, who was the System General RFE at the
> time. He accompanied the Canadian unit on a tour
> of the transcon so that everyone who was so
> inclined could have a look and he extolled its
> virtues like a used car salesman. Later, I often
> wished that Homer would have had to work with one
> of these morphodite for up to 12 hours like I
> did.
> One of the Division RFEs once asked me what I
> thought of the new and improved control stand. I
> told him that I always wanted to be a locomotive
> engineer and now I felt like I was a backhoe
> operator.

Well, since Homer came from the U.S.Air Force (VERY large planes pilot), he was probably used to sitting at such a controller for many many hours. In some of the Cab Committee  meetings I attend, I tried to explain to Homer, that the desk-top design was NOT going to be comfortable for very long hours on duty. It was difficult to "press the issue" as Homer was still the Customer.



Date: 02/17/17 11:13
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: Chico43

HotWater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Chico43 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > This bill of goods was sold on the Santa Fe by
> > Homer Henry, who was the System General RFE at
> the
> > time. He accompanied the Canadian unit on a
> tour
> > of the transcon so that everyone who was so
> > inclined could have a look and he extolled its
> > virtues like a used car salesman. Later, I
> often
> > wished that Homer would have had to work with
> one
> > of these morphodite for up to 12 hours like I
> > did.
> > One of the Division RFEs once asked me what I
> > thought of the new and improved control stand.
> I
> > told him that I always wanted to be a
> locomotive
> > engineer and now I felt like I was a backhoe
> > operator.
>
> Well, since Homer came from the U.S.Air Force
> (VERY large planes pilot), he was probably used to
> sitting at such a controller for many many hours.
> In some of the Cab Committee  meetings I attend,
> I tried to explain to Homer, that the desk-top
> design was NOT going to be comfortable for very
> long hours on duty. It was difficult to "press the
> issue" as Homer was still the Customer.

Given Homer's military aviation background, that was my suspicion from day one. Thanks for the confirmation.



Date: 02/17/17 12:43
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: ln844south

As a Locomotive Engineer when we first got them on CSX, immediately hated them after sitting down with one. I am long legged and you either had the sit side saddle with your legs out from under it  or with you legs cramed under the stand if sitting forward. The older stand you could run from a comfortable position with one hand if needed.
​Shortly after CSX got their first GE's, the control stand became a rattle trap. Stuck spikes, fusees, paper towels, etc between the stand and cab wall to try ans dampen the vibration.

Steve Panzik
Chiloquin, Or



Date: 02/17/17 16:07
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: whistlepig

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the bloody waterfall from the overhead tilt of the windshiulds on those lemon F59PHIswhen it rained.



Date: 02/18/17 04:51
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: junctiontower

Fredo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Bob, I think that Norfolk Southern might have
> returned a "conventional style" control stand
> first. I remember the first time I climbed up into
> one and saw how high up it stood, and that there
> was a mirror that looked like one used in stores
> to catch shoplifters, so the crew members could
> see over the top of the control stand.When the UP
> took delivery much later the control stand was
> much lower, and the hoghead much happier..

Other than units NS inherited or bought second hand and units that were built to someone else's specs, like their first 10 SD70M's that were a follow on UP order,  I'm not sure NS ever actually ordered any desktop controls.   I'm sure Chris Toth would know.....



Date: 02/18/17 05:00
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: HotWater

junctiontower Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Fredo Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Bob, I think that Norfolk Southern might have
> > returned a "conventional style" control stand
> > first. I remember the first time I climbed up
> into
> > one and saw how high up it stood, and that
> there
> > was a mirror that looked like one used in
> stores
> > to catch shoplifters, so the crew members could
> > see over the top of the control stand.When the
> UP
> > took delivery much later the control stand was
> > much lower, and the hoghead much happier..
>
> Other than units NS inherited or bought second
> hand and units that were built to someone else's
> specs, like their first 10 SD70M's that were a
> follow on UP order,  I'm not sure NS ever
> actually ordered any desktop controls.   I'm
> sure Chris Toth would know.....

Correct. Besides, it would have been difficult at best to operate long hood designated "Front" with a desk-top controller.



Date: 02/18/17 06:16
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: DrLoco

Well, you guys, I have to say that while yes, they did drop the desktop in favor of reverting to the old AAR style, they still have not got it right.  Here's the problem..in the photo, you see there are 3 lights on the left, those are the 3 top switches on a control stand (Engine Run, Generator Field, Control/Fuel Pump) that's the top corner of the AAR control stand.  Now, notice where they decided to put the two computer monitors.  Yup, on a desk. In front of me. SO, yeah, I can operate the engine just fine one handed like we used to, but I still don't have any legroom because they put in the most useless desk with a molded in cup holder that only holds a can of pop.  If you're lucky you can put your folded-in-half bulletins on a clip, but that's usually broken off...

SO yeah, it's better than it was with the desktops, but it's still been designed by people who don't do this all day every day.  
HotWater, I thank you for your efforts at EMD to protest that change to desktops...I know you tried.
Someday, you guys can discuss the test pushbutton throttle and how that idea didn't pan out!
 




Date: 02/18/17 12:51
Re: Desk Top Garbage
Author: ln844south

All these electronic gdgets and recorders sure put an end to "feed Valve" braking. Don't know how many times, though illegal, I kept a train from going into ememrgency when there was a "kicker" in the train.
​The tricks we had back then to get over the road with the older power. Todays Engineers would be run off for doing.

Steve PAnzik
​Chiloquin, Or



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1151 seconds