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Nostalgia & History > Could only happen on the SP

Date: 12/06/12 17:32
Could only happen on the SP
Author: choochoocharlie

At least I think it did, as I had not seen anything like it before. My family was camped at Fields just around the curve to the railroad West (SP directions) of the MOW gangs buildings. The time was 6:03 PM.

1 - SD45T-2 rebuild #6800 leads Extra 6800 East downgrade towards Eugene at Fields on May 29th, 1988 near the end of the use of cabooses on the rear end. Although one unit for a train was kind of rare, but then the train had only about 30 cars or so. Photo by David Lange.
2 - Another angle of the head end taken by me.
3 - On the end of this train was SD45 rebuild #7449. Both units in dynamics as they rolled down the hill. This was not what I expected at the time. Apparently it was not what the other crews expected either as they met other trains on their way down to Eugene. Photo by me.

Date: 12/06/12 17:43
Re: Could only happen on the SP
Author: choochoocharlie

Last photo of the "rear end" of Xtra 6800 East by David Lange. Our VW camper is just behind David off to the right.

What was going on here, we wondered?

Engineer on Xtra 7304 West made the comment as they met at Cruzatte, " Strange looking caboose you've got there".

Another comment from another Westbound that they met at McCreddie Springs, "Interesting way to travel".
The 6800 engineer said, "Wait till you see the other end". After a very long pause, "Tom, which way you headed?"
The 6800 engineer said, "Whichever way is the handiest."
Similar question and answer from Rick Kang the Hill Dispatcher was "Where you headed, Buck?"

Found out later from Rick Kang that there were no more cabooses (cabeese?) at Klamath Falls, so they took the other unit from the head end and put it on the rear end of the train. There was also a deadhead crew on that rear unit. The train was the KFEUY, of course.
Another fun learning experience on the hill. Thankfully, I have a good stereo sound recording of the event as well.


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/12 17:51 by choochoocharlie.

Date: 12/06/12 19:22
Re: Could only happen on the SP
Author: Abqfoamer

A powered caboose.
Verrrrrrrrry interesting.
Where did this happen? Looks like Oregon.

Date: 12/06/12 19:40
Re: Could only happen on the SP
Author: DynamicBrake

Thanks for sharing some good Oregon style SP. I really like that nicely composed second shot, you done good Charlie. I can hear those dynamics whining.

Kent in Carmel Valley

Date: 12/07/12 01:57
Re: Could only happen on the SP
Author: Fizzboy7

See? SP knew all about DPU's way before anyone else. ; )

Date: 12/07/12 09:30
Re: Could only happen on the SP
Author: JLY

Fizzboy7 Wrote:
> See? SP knew all about DPU's way before anyone
> else. ; )

Rear end helpers were instituted on all trains across Donner Summit in 1986 to eliminate cabooses. The conductor or rear brakeman was instructed to ride in the locomotive to handle the wayside safety devices (draggers and hot box detectors) until they were converted to "talkers".
Due to state legislation the Oregon Div. did not eliminate cabooses until after 1988.

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