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Date: 06/25/05 10:58
A question for hogheads
Author: SMV1801leavingguad

In recent weeks I have handled many tank cars that were mixed in the train for various setouts. I had one train that was a real bitch...the condr gave me a short stop and that train bucked me for about 7-8 minutes after that. After that experience, I powerbraked every move and spot until the tanks were all spotted. Question is...how do the unit tanks handle, such as the OWPDO?

Dave



Date: 06/25/05 11:36
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: spnudge

Any liquid is going to slosh back and forth even if the tank has splash plates. Thats how new brakeman loose a hand or leg, when the car moves by itself.

I was switching once when the engines ended up on a trestle. The engine brakes were set along with the air in 4 tank cars but we still moved forward and back because the trestle was moving. Makes for a very unsettling feeling when you are 40 feet off the ground and the bridge starts to move.

Nudge



Date: 06/25/05 11:58
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: stretch

I had to do a block swap on one of those heavy texas chemical trains, QDYAS, I beleive and I had a student conductor and he made a very secure (hard) joint and that thing sloshed around for god knows how long.



Date: 06/25/05 12:06
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: 6088

I used to run for a short line, and we had an old GP 7 with comp shoes and non-clasp brakes. If you got those tank cars sloshing too bad, you would have to be careful the sloshing didn't push you around. When sitting at a block to enter the main, they would sometimes start shoving you little by little towards the signal.




Date: 06/25/05 13:16
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: fjc

I've never handled tank cars, but I've heard from others who have, just as the other posters have stated. Once the contents start sloshing around, hang on ;-)



Date: 06/25/05 14:19
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: CLEAR-BLOCK

years ago, as a weighmaster, i had to weigh those sloshers (we called them). they were usually too long for the scale so you had to spot and weigh both sets of wheels (double-weigh). when the car was spotted, the scale would jump all over the place from the sloshing, you had to keep it locked. the first set of wheels could not be weighed until the sloshing stopped. as soon as the car was moved to weigh the second set of wheel, the sloshing begins anew. it could take 20 min to weigh one car.
-
i can definitely see the operational ramifications of having too many sloshers in a train (percentage-wise).



Date: 06/25/05 15:07
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: Amtkrd4man

Back in my switchman days.....We pulled a cut of cars down to the SP interchange tracks in Klamath Falls. To start with it is on a downhill grade towards the SP. Had a cut of about 20 cars to deliver. About half were loaded tanks. Before cutting away we would always let them sit for a bit. Tied down 3 of the cars and the foreman grabbed a couple more on the other end. The tuggin and pullin quit so I cut off our goat..the famous 6126 :o) The cars sat there nicely. Backing out of the track I would watch them. Still no movement. Then as we headed back up the mainline towards the yard I looked over at them. There the cars were, sloshing back and forth again moving towards the derail. Bailed off and tried to grab a couple more brakes. No luck as the first car was already bouncing along the ties as it went through the derail. Good thing we had a great roadforeman there. All he asked me as we were rerailing it if I learned something. Yuppers I did...



Date: 06/25/05 18:07
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: SMV1801leavingguad

The stuff I was handling was around 11-12 lbs./gallon and was not kind. This train beat me in the butt on a hard pull. 10 tanks mixed w/lumber, drywall, plastic pellets (all heavy)and some mty's.

I can assume from all the very descriptive answers that tank cars are a real bear when loaded. I would REALLY like to know about UNIT tanks.

I really appreciate all the feedback...loaded tanks are tough customers to handle.

Dave



Date: 06/25/05 18:53
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: ButteStBrakeman

Actually Dave, the OWPDO "sloshes" slightly. Movement is not really that bad. Only problem with the loaded oil is the weight. It takes forever to get to speed, if you even get there. Stopping is not much fun. But again, mostly because of the weight. Now, The ODOWP is a great train to catch out of LA account light and kinda like a Z train when coming up the coast towards SLO. Alas, no more for me though... 40 yrs is enough.

SLOCONDR
Save your ticket.... The P.E. will rise again.



Date: 06/25/05 19:22
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: john1082

Fascinating thread. Had never thought about "tank slosh" but it makes perfect sense.



Date: 06/25/05 19:29
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: xtra1188w

This is an interesting thread. Since I was one of "them" (o-t-r independent trucker ) I've often wondered whether or not railroaders had their own problems with loaded tank cars. I've never pulled a loaded liquid tank trailer, ( known in trucker vernacular as a "Thermos-Bottle )but I have pulled loaded dry bulk tanks, which was no big deal, except in their loading and unloading. Be grateful that y'all don't have to participate in that activity, as sometimes, that can be a whole new "can of worms". While I haven't been a liquid "tanker-yanker" I have heard a lot of stories about how that has the potential for all sorts of things to happen, most none of them n0-good.

Con



Date: 06/25/05 19:48
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: Rail1

unit tank trains are tough and challenging to handle for sure! On CN here we often run loaded unit molten sulpher trains at various times of the year. Sometimes they are only 70-80 cars but are near 11,000tons and maybe 4-4,500ft! Pretty tough to always follow fuel conservation wishes of management by throttle modulating and using dynamics! Sometimes it easier, smoother and quicker to set the air and powerbrake. But those babies like to roll and roll! They do not handle like normal trains at all. Have start them easy and plan in advance to stop. Not to mention their is slack action due to the sloshing no matter what you do! I treat every train I handle like its a coal load when starting; always work well to avoid busted kunckles and drawbars! Some of the northbound empty trains we haul destined to Canada are 7,000 to 10,000ft in the warm months!



Date: 06/25/05 23:03
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: Red

Yes...sloshers are a CHALLENGE! When I was a brand new fireman-trainee in 1995, I had a 10,000 foot, 12,000 ton manifest train (we had been asked to pick up a huge block swap online to create this monster train). The first part of the trip, I thought "Oh...this handles much like any other train". Until it came time to stop all of this, meeting a train. There were about 15 loads of molten sulpher on the rear. Then some empties. Then, about 10 loads of lube oil. Some more empties. Toward the front of the train was about 20 loaded autorack cars (which most hoggers can tell you are rather "spongy" with their cushioned drawbars). To make a long story short, when it came time to stop for the red signal, I almost crapped all over myself.

We had 5 units on this monster train. That train just kept pushing me in the butt, and pushing (I thought I had a good minimum set throughout this train, followed by a 10 lbs. set, which I felt had "soaked in"...but it had not). As the red signal got closer, and this thing kept shoving me, in SURGES...I set full service, and FULL INDEPENDENTS on the 5-unit consist, in a dead panic. Now...it is not good to set independents on a train like that, but, I did have enough air and the train was starting to settle down, and by that point, I was more willing to settle for rough train handling than I was for getting past a red absolute signal...I considered this the lesser of two evils. It was quite a learning experience for a green fireman-in-training, and taught me that a 10,000 foot, 12,000 ton manifest train is FAR more challenging than a 16,000 ton unit coal train. This also taught me that "HEY"...it pays to check out the consist carefully, and see just what that 10,000 feet and 12,000 tons consists of.



Date: 06/25/05 23:06
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: CT97

Thanks to all of you for interesting reading




Date: 06/26/05 00:01
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: Nbetween

I Vote this as the best thread of the year ( so far )..... good subject , my new head experience as a hogger is , THEY JUST SUCK.



Date: 06/26/05 01:00
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: Steamjocky

When I use to catch the Oil Train (BKDOU) out of Bakersfield in the 80's, I would always worry about the slosh. Like SLOCONDR says, they don't slosh too bad. I just know that the first set of the airbrakes is like spittin' in the air in regards to braking power. You don't have any!

Usually about a 8-9 pound total reduction with 4 6-axle units would balance the grade down the hill. If you only had 3 dynamics then a little more air was required even though by this time you exceeded the "Tons per Axle of Dynamic Braking" and were supposed to set pops (retainers) to go down the hill.

If you got stopped at DIKE or CANYON on the Mojave Sub, the train would usually start to creep. You just hoped that the DS would hurry and give you the signal to get down to the bottom of the hill.

When you did get a signal, all you had to do was just ease off of the independent brake and the train would start you rolling. One thing you NEVER wanted to do (unless you absolutely had to) was to release the train brakes to get going. If you did that you'd be up to your maximum speed before your brake pipe pressure was charged and before you could give me the definition of restricted speed backwards. It could be like an "E" ticket ride at Disneyland. Yee-Haw!


steamjocky



Date: 06/26/05 03:41
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: Red

Nbetween Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I Vote this as the best thread of the year ( so
> far )..... good subject , my new head experience
> as a hogger is , THEY JUST SUCK.

Does this mean that you have been designated to teach some "hard headed" newbies? If you've got a hard head (who knows it all because he went to school), you have my sympathy.

There is a man on my division who has been doing it for more than 30 years, and EVERY SINGLE conductor says he's the absolute best...a man any newbie could learn from. But nobody will learn anything ever again from this best engineer on the division because of a bad experience he had with a FIT last year. The fellow had it all figured out, and copped an attitude. As a result, said "best engineer" on the subdivision went to the MOP and said "assign him to somebody else...and oh, by the way...I won't be taking any more students, no matter who they are". And he's a hell of a nice guy! He must have had a real bozo (I actually know who the bozo was). I think it's a shame that nobody else will be learning his skills, because this man runs trains as an art form (from what I hear...I'll never of course, be working with him since we're both engineers fairly high on the roster). It's a shame what one punk can do...he singlehandedly wiped out a whole new generation of good new hogheads by causing this excellent runner to say "NO MORE STUDENTS".




Date: 06/26/05 06:48
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: James1

There's been a few guys that have done that here too. They've sent an unbelievable number of guys through firemen training the last couple years, and they seen to give the guys that need the most work to the good hoggers, and they just get tired of telling the same person the same thing for weeks on end.



Date: 06/26/05 06:49
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: FallinFlag

after the reading all the great posts on this subject, i now understand why tank cars have more flat-spots on the wheels than any other type of rolling stock. just listen the next time a long manifest pass you at speed. if there are 10 tankers in the train, 8 will have a flat spot.



Date: 06/26/05 08:17
Re: A question for hogheads
Author: AAK

>I set full service, and FULL INDEPENDENTS on the 5-unit consist, in a dead panic. Now...it is not good to set independents on a train like that, but, I did have enough air and the train was starting to settle down, and by that point, I was more willing to settle for rough train handling than I was for getting past a red absolute signal...I considered this the lesser of two evils.

Yes that would be a tough call. My fear would not be that jamming on the 5 independents might shake things up a bit but that it might jackknife that string of autoracks you said were near the head end. So the decision becomes, should I slide by the red absolute a few feet and get 30 days or should I risk a derailment and hope to get stopped before the signal? If you slide by the signal and foul the CP it could be very messy. On the otherhand if you jacknife those racks onto the other track it is going to be just as messy when the opposition hits them. Can I use less independents, slide by the absolute, but get stopped before fouling the other track? Decisions decisions. And you have about 3 seconds to make that decision.

>But nobody will learn anything ever again from this best engineer on the division because of a bad experience he had with a FIT last year. .... As a result, said "best engineer" on the subdivision went to the MOP and said ...and oh, by the way...I won't be taking any more students"

Yep. Same here. I like teaching student engineers but only if they want to learn. Too many of today's students just want to get by, they are not interested at all in learning WHY things happen or work the way they do. These kind of engineers manage to get by unde the normal daily operations but when something out of the ordinary comes along, look out. At the least they manage to tie up the RR with 3 broken drawbars at once and at the worst they can't get stopped and slide out in front of somebody. And of course there are those like the above who already "know it all". I had fun with these by setting them up for a fall and after their bluster was temporarily quieted I told them to get off my turn. I'd finally had enough of these lazy or obnoxious types and I too told the RFE no more students for me.

Now I take a student only if he asks for me by name and then I call the student at home and read him the riot act so to speak. If he comes with me he will be taught and tested on all aspects of running trains and I will not tolerate just sliding by. That weeds out the less dedicated.

I am now on the yard engine and since it is the ONLY yard engine the RFE asked me if I would relent and take some engineer students. I agreed. But a couple of them have just left me shaking my head.



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