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Nostalgia & History > Around Chicago, Milwaukee & Rondout in '76

Date: 03/19/17 05:43
Around Chicago, Milwaukee & Rondout in '76
Author: GPutz

The "Valpo Dummy" departed Chicago Union Station, 7/19/76.  There's more, including some IRM, at:



Date: 03/19/17 06:46
Re: Around Chicago, Milwaukee & Rondout in '76
Author: Englewood

With 8 cars, this is probably the first dummy, No. 454.

A hot summer day.  The open doors on the Valpo dummy were discussed


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/17 06:49 by Englewood.

Date: 03/19/17 08:46
Re: Around Chicago, Milwaukee & Rondout in '76
Author: PFE_COI

Interesting that the "Conrail" on the hood was painted over sometime between the photo above and August 25, 1976.

Ron Hawkins


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/17 08:47 by PFE_COI.

Date: 03/19/17 08:58
Re: Around Chicago, Milwaukee & Rondout in '76
Author: Englewood

454 was one of the daily challenges for the Englewood towerman
In a few minutes the CR operator at South Branch will OS's the train
to the CR Dispatcher.  At Englewood the RI leverman will overhear this on
the speaker located above the CR operator's desk.  The RI leverman will look at the Standard
Clock over his desk and mentally add 8" to the current time.  If as usual 454 is on time
the leverman will thread it between two of the Rock's outbound rush hour dummies.

Minutes later 454 "hits the first bell" at 47th St. and lights an approach light on the model board.
A RI dummy is lined up and the leverman is at the east end of the machine ready to put signal levers
16 and 15 back in the machine as the train moves through the plant. As the Rock dummy hits the diamond the
leverman puts the 15 back in the machine and walks to the window at the west end of the tower to look over
the dummy. About this time 454 comes on the CR radio "Conrail 454 to Englewood tower, on the approach to
58th St).  454 has come around the curves skirting 55th St yard and now has the distant signal at 58th St. in view.

After the Rock dummy clears the diamond the leverman walks over to the 41 lever and waits for it to release. When the RI dummy
clears the plant the foot button on the floor in front of the 41 lever will make a click to indicate the lever can now be put back
in the machine. The E unit on the head end of the Rock dummy starts to roar as the train has cleared the 25mph restriction over
the diamond.  The lock in the 41 releases and the leverman slams it and the 39 back into the machine, makes a few steps to the
right and pulls out the 50 and 49 levers to begin the lineup for 454.  A quick sprint to the west end of the machine and lever 90
reverses, clearing the home signal on CR main 1 for the Valpo dummy.  If everything workes as usual and the leverman was
quick in his sprints, 454 has not passed the signal at 58th St yet and now gets a Clear.  Now 454 will not have to drag around
the curve west of the plant an search of the home signal through the CTA elevated bridge. 

The two geeps on 454 get throttled out as the rear end clears the curve and the trains rattles accoss the diamond.  The leverman
puts the 90 back in the machine, and walks over to the 50 and 49 to get them back normal.  Then it will be another set of sprints
to line up the next RI dummy which is already closely approaching.


Date: 03/19/17 09:23
Re: Around Chicago, Milwaukee & Rondout in '76
Author: GPutz

Ron, Your photo shows the other side of the unit from my photo.  But it does look like CONRAIL was painted over.

Thanks for the great story, Englewood.


Date: 03/20/17 18:36
Re: Around Chicago, Milwaukee & Rondout in '76
Author: highgreengraphics

Another great batch, as usual! Neat history on that well-traveled E-unit! === === = === JLH

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