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Nostalgia & History > SP Pushin' at Hiland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70


Date: 01/19/06 20:47
SP Pushin' at Hiland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: the_expediter

An EB/NB (take your pick) SP manifest clears Highland and heads towards Palmdale in the afternoon of Wed, 12-30-71. Dad had taken myself and 3 friends to Cajon Pass for the day...Bless Him and my new 35mm! (but not the crummy processing which scratched my slide- I can remember it 35 years later!) -Steve. BTW- looks like a wave from the crummy! Hey-I used the term "crummy" (without thinking) twice in 2 lines- with different meanings! (Look that up in your Funk and Waggnells)





Date: 01/20/06 07:17
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: Lone Star

Neat shot. The use of a C-30-6 caboose on a mainline freight was still fairly common in '71, but not for long thereafter. I think the number on the crummie/hack appears to be 1344. If so, the old girl served her final years tagging along behind locals in the San Joaquin Valley. I had many encounters with this car when it was based in Fresno.

John



Date: 01/20/06 07:30
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: the_expediter

Quite right, John. I blew up the shot and it is indeed the 1344...Steve



Date: 01/20/06 08:19
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: Joe

Hi There.

Please tell Me Why did they put the Caboose behind the pusher?

Nice Shot.
Cheers
Joe.



Date: 01/20/06 08:22
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: BCHellman

the_expediter Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> An EB/NB (take your pick) SP manifest clears
> Highland and heads towards Palmdale in the
> afternoon of Wed, 12-30-71.

That would be a westward train.





Date: 01/20/06 08:33
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: the_expediter

You're correct, BC...I should have put WB/NB...Sorry about that, Chief!



Date: 01/20/06 09:43
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: hogantunnel

Joe,

I think a trainman could give you the definitive answer, but I think it is simply a matter of safety for the crummy crewmen. If a derail or some other calamity occured in the train ahead to bunch everything up abruptly, I know I would rather be situated behind 7000 or so and several thousand tons of steel rather than in front of it.



Date: 01/20/06 09:56
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: HUSKERHERB

Great image! It's also spelled Hiland on the former SP cutoff.



Date: 01/20/06 13:00
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: DaveE

hogantunnel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Joe,
>
> I think a trainman could give you the definitive
> answer, but I think it is simply a matter of
> safety for the crummy crewmen. If a derail or some
> other calamity occured in the train ahead to bunch
> everything up abruptly, I know I would rather be
> situated behind 7000 or so and several thousand
> tons of steel rather than in front of it.

I think it also has to do with the weight of the crummy. It's much lighter compared to most freight cars and having the helpers pushing a lighter car next to a heavy car could make the crummy want to derail. Just a thought.

DaveE



Date: 01/20/06 14:48
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: Steamjocky

The reason why the helper is behind the caboose is because the helper has too much tractive effort. At the time a helper consist could not exceed 179,000 pounds of tractive behind the caboose. Exceed that figure and ahead of the cab you would go. Three units or more and you would go anywhere fron 20 to 35 cars ahead of the cab. With 4 units you'd go even closer to 6the head end. This was standard practice until the helper formula was developed which, I think, was around 1973, I guess.

When I get up from my nap, (don't even THINK about what you're thinkin' about sayin') I'll see if I can find the formula and try to scan and post it here.

JE



Date: 01/20/06 21:10
Re: SP Pushin' at Highland (Cajon Summit, CA) 12-30-70
Author: greendot

On April 9, 1980, the Western Pacific had a large derailment and fire at Hayward, CA, caused by poor placement of helper units combined with failing to trainline the brake pipe between the caboose on the rear end of the train being shoved and the helper power.

The train being shoved was a SeaLand container (COFC) train, I recall 3 units, and about 90 TOFC-COFC flats (85-89 footers) plus a caboose. A least one of the locomotives had failed, so a following WP wayfreight with two GP40s, WP 3527 and 3540, coupled onto the long COFC train, directly behind the caboose, but the crews did not lace the air hoses between the caboose and the lead GP40 on the wayfreight, so the COFC train and the wayfreight were operating with separate air brake systems even though they were coupled as one very very long train. (It was also a bit unusual to shove the train ahead with the pair of GP40s still coupled to their wayfreight.)

As the long COFC train proceeded through Hayward, the COFC train had an emergency brake application, and the slack ran in. Since the train was passing through a sizeable dip in elevation, the COFC train experienced a massive slack run-in which was made worse because the pair of GP40s kept shoving in notch 8 against the rear of the caboose.

Because the two GP40 helpers were operating with their air brake pipe not connected to the COFC train's brake pipe, the emergency brake application did not propagate back behind the caboose, and the two GP40s kept shoving. Before the helper engineer knew what was happening and could throttle back, the combination of the COFC train "squatting down" with a major slack run-in in the track dip, plus the two GP40s shoving to beat the band behind the caboose ... lifted the caboose off the track and off the track, which at that point was crossing a street in downtown Hayward.

I recall reading in the NTSB accident report that the caboose was lifted several feet in the air, squeezed between the GP40s and the COFC train, before it rotated off the bridge. This all happened in a matter of seconds, at a speed of about 50 MPH.

The two GP40s followed the caboose over the edge of the bridge, and their fuel tanks ruptured and a large fire consumed the caboose and the two GP40s. The conductor and rear brakeman in the caboose were fatally injured.

I believe another factor was the crew on the GP40s did not establish radio communication with the crew on the COFC train power.

Ken Rattenne has several photos of the aftermath at: http://www5.pair.com/rattenne/WP/feather_river_gp40P6.htm

This is also why, in DP operations, the remote helper consists if in power immediately go to idle if the brake pipe vents at an emergency rate, so that the DP remotes don't keep shoving against a train which is now squatting down.



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