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Date: 12/05/18 17:31
LAUPT Train Starter
Author: jkchubbes

I was reading an old rule book on LAUPT instructions from 1956 and the instructions for departing trains are as follows:

A. Stationmaster, or his assistant, will notify conductor when train is ready.

B. Conductor will immediately push train starter button, after which he will signal enginemen to proceed.

C. Engineers will only start train on signal from trainmen.

What is the "Train Starter" button? Is it a signal to the operator at the terminal tower that the train was ready for departure? Where were they located?



Date: 12/05/18 17:46
Re: LAUPT Train Starter
Author: ExSPCondr

The train starter buttons were located on the last support column for the umbrella sheds, about waist high behind a little curved door that matched the shape of the rest of the support.
And yes, they turned on a light in the tower that told the operator the train was ready.
G
 



Date: 12/06/18 06:13
Re: LAUPT Train Starter
Author: Bob3985

On the Rock Island we either had signal cords in our coaches that would send air to a whistle in the cab to alert the engineer of the traincrews needs. We had signals for start, stop at next station for flag stops and other signals. Then on our commuter gallery cars we had a button that was the signal button and it replaced the air signal cords and would electrically activate a buzzer in the cab.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 12/06/18 07:46
Re: LAUPT Train Starter
Author: whistlepig

 There was also a bank of switches behind the desks between each door to the entrance to the boarding tunnel.  When the conductor would finish his work at the gate, he would flip the switch numbered for the appropriate track that woud turn on a light next to his train to advise the stationmaster he was on his way up to the train.



Date: 12/06/18 08:10
Re: LAUPT Train Starter
Author: HotWater

Bob3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On the Rock Island we either had signal cords in
> our coaches that would send air to a whistle in
> the cab to alert the engineer of the traincrews
> needs. We had signals for start, stop at next
> station for flag stops and other signals. Then on
> our commuter gallery cars we had a button that was
> the signal button and it replaced the air signal
> cords and would electrically activate a buzzer in
> the cab.

Bob,
What you described is the communication method used between the train Conductor/Trainman and the Engineer, on virtually all passenger trains, back in the good old days.

What the original poster was inquiring about was the "Train Starter" communication system installed in LAUPT back in the day, which provided communication between the various train platforms and the Towerman in Terminal Tower. Thus, when the "Train Starter" was activated, the Towerman knew that such-and-such train was ready to depart from Track #X, and the Towerman would then line up the appropriate route, and corresponding signals for THAT train to depart.



Date: 12/06/18 14:00
Re: LAUPT Train Starter
Author: sums007

Conductors used to "punch out" at Chicago Union Station.  Do they still do that?



Date: 12/06/18 19:43
Re: LAUPT Train Starter
Author: NebraskaZephyr

sums007 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Conductors used to "punch out" at Chicago Union
> Station.  Do they still do that?

AFAIK, they still do. It was still in use this past August when I put my wife on the Empire Builder to visit her brother in Minnesota.

The Train Starting System buttons are located on the "outbound" side of the pillars (so as not to be obviouis to boarding passengers) with the double black stripes. There are also small red, yellow and green indicator lights on those pillars.. 

When the Conductor "punches out", the red light illuminates and the appropriate Train Director gets an indication on his screen. The Train Director will acknowlege by clicking on the icon and the platform light upgrades to yellow. For Amtrak trains, the gate agent for that platform will, if all passengers have been released out to the train, push a button inside a control box by the sliding glass doors, which will bring the platform lights up to green.

CUS Special Instructions require an Amtrak train to have a green on the Train Starting System before the Conductor could give the signal to depart, but Metra trains (not having a gate agent to work with) could depart on a yellow. Of course, prior to the conversion of the CUS interlockings to computer control in 2006 the Train Directors at Lake St. (north side)  and Harrison St. (south side) would get a light on their model boards, which would be acknowleged by pressing an actual button.

Having been both a Conductor and a supervisor in the towers at CUS during my Amtrak days, I have been both the "puncher" and the "punchee" in this exchange.

NZ



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