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Date: 10/16/20 08:48
Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: RSD5

With the onset of distributed power, it seems that there are few manned helper districts left.  A few that come to mind are BNSF at Crawford, NE, NS at Altoona, PA. BN used to station helpers out of Gillette, Wyoming as well.   Wisconsin Central used to shove trains out of Fond du Lac, WI up Byron Hill but that doesn't happen anymore either.   Are there other places left in the United States that routinely use helpers?

Thanks for the input.

Dave



Date: 10/16/20 08:49
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: aehouse

RSD5 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>  Are there other places left in the
> United States that routinely use helpers?
>
> Thanks for the input.
>
> Dave

MRL west out of Helena is one.

Art House



Date: 10/16/20 09:15
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: Jimbo

Norfolk Southern on the Pocahontas Division.



Date: 10/16/20 09:33
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: callum_out

BNSF, Sanborn CA to Summit (Tehachapi) CA, been going on for several weeks. BNSF, Needles CA to as far West as required

Out 



Date: 10/16/20 09:50
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: Railbaron

Oakridge to Cascade Summit, Oregon (UP).



Date: 10/16/20 11:18
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: mammothlacrosse

Denver to Pueblo along the Joint Line in CO for some BNSF grain or coal trains.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/20 11:19 by mammothlacrosse.



Date: 10/16/20 12:09
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: ironmtn

CSX Grand Rapids Sub in southwestern Michigan.

As needed, for the one daily manifest freight in each direction between Chicago and Grand Rapids on New Richmond Hill / East Saugatuck Hill, the climb out of the Kalamazoo River valley.
Previous post on this operation about this time last year: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?2,4897199,4898238#msg-4898238

Posted from Android, later edited on desktop PC

Later edit 10/17/20 12:55 ET: I learned from TO member CO5232 that these manned helpers are no longer regularly operating, if at all. Trains Q326 eastbound Chicago - Grand Rapids and Q327 westbound Grand Rapids - Chicago will now have DPU's instead, apparently to save the crew starts with the manned helpers. The DPU engines may be cut-in mid-train, or on the rear, when the train is heavy enough to require them for the Kalamazoo valley grades. My thanks to CO5232 for this information.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/20 10:03 by ironmtn.



Date: 10/16/20 12:23
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: 3rdswitch

On BNSF Denver Pueblo Joint Line main, southbound grain, oil and ethanol trains get manned helper Big Lift. They cut off at Palmer Lake and either got lite back to Big Lift, or very rarely continue south to Colorado Springs, where they either help a northbound grain or cement train. Southbound coal train very occasionally get a help in hard winter snow.
JB 



Date: 10/16/20 12:25
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: Intermountain

Canadian National on Steelton Hill out of Duluth northbound.
ko  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/20 12:26 by Intermountain.



Date: 10/16/20 12:35
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: DevalDragon

CN still shoves southbound trains out of Fond du Lac and Shops Yard still has a regular shover job.



Date: 10/16/20 13:17
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: 2ebright

Union Pacific uses manned helpers on westbound coal trains out of  Helper, Utah The helpers are usually cut in mid-train and are removed on the main line a few miles east of Soldier Summit at Colton. Very ocassionally the mid-train helpers continue to Soldier Summit and are cut out there.
Dick Ebright
Rochester, MN



Date: 10/16/20 13:59
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: PHall

Some railroads have finally figured out that if a train only needs help for one short part of it's run that it's cheaper to use manned helpers rather then tie up multiple units in a DPU consist.



Date: 10/16/20 15:26
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: BeaumontHill

Beaumont Hill in Southern California, ex SP Sunset Route. 2-3 helper sets normally working.



Date: 10/16/20 16:47
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: callum_out

BNSF, other than grain trains was pulling off the remotes in Bakersfield which took people, then they had to figure out
how to get them back to Barstow. The Sanborn helper makes much sense as long as they're going to stick to the
jumbo train consists.

Out 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/20 12:18 by callum_out.



Date: 10/16/20 18:01
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: HoosierVirg

>
> MRL west out of Helena is one.
>
> Art House

Back in the late 60s ,early 70s my kids would love to follow this old Northern Pacific line up to Mullan and lean out the window and wave and yell at the engineers on the helpers as we drove beside them. Moved back to Indiana In 1972 didn’t think I would ever see helpers again but now after a recent move every time I go to my bank I see them as they are used on the Norfolk Southern to push up the hill out of Louisville on the line to St. Louis. They unhook right in front of my bank in Georgetown ,have sat and watched them many a time, brings back some great memories.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/16/20 18:31
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: AFReschief

Are there still manned helpers out of Crawford, NE on the BNSF?
Jim Leonard
Cheyenne, WY  



Date: 10/16/20 21:02
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: Laurence

What about Sheridan , Wyoming and Parkman Hill? I lived there in the early 80's finishing the last part of I 90 in Wyoming and had a front row seat to the action out of Sheridan through Ranchester and Parkman Hill into Montana. Lots of manned helpers back then. I gotta think they are gone and replaced by dupes.



Date: 10/16/20 23:33
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: wa4umr

NS north/west of Louisville, Ky in Southern Indians.  A few miles after crossing the Ohio River into Indiana they hit the ruling grade at Dunkin hill and tunnel.  About a half mile after the helpers exit the tunnel, they come to a stop, uncouple the helpers, and take them back to Youngtown Yard in Louisville and wait for the next train going up that hill.  Total distance from the yard is about 5 miles.

John



Date: 10/16/20 23:40
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: donner_dude1

On the BNSF Highline Eastbound at Essex Mt for heavy manifests.

Also on the MRL over Bozeman Pass. Mostly Westbound but sometime Eastbounds need an assist.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/20 23:41 by donner_dude1.



Date: 10/17/20 02:02
Re: Manned Helper Operations in the US
Author: johnsweetser

callum_out wrote:

> BNSF, other than grain trains was pulling off the remotes in Bako...

"Bako" means Bakersfield (why write something that possibly could confuse people?)

Posted from iPhone



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