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Nostalgia & History > Hog Back Grades


Date: 03/25/20 12:43
Hog Back Grades
Author: wabash2800

I believe there were some sections of class one mainlines that were notorious for this phenomenon such as at least one section on the SAL and an alternate route on the southern part of the IC. (I'm sure there are many other examples.) I seem to recall the former had caboose crews taking serious precautions to protect them from slack action. Was this a matter of economics when the railroad was built in that not enough was spent on fill and cut work (or perhaps because trains weren't as long)? Or was there something in the local geography that made it too costly? Understandably, this phenomenon is more common on branchlines, shortlines and industrial roads but why on a class one mainline?

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com

 



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/20 13:11 by wabash2800.



Date: 03/25/20 13:57
Re: Hog Back Grades
Author: YoungOldHead

The old SP has lots of hogback in the desert locations. I dont know exactly why they didnt do much along the lines of grading. I was told as a kid and still believe today they just threw the ties and rail down for the sake of having a railroad laid. WP was very good about grading. They had a constant 1% period. 



Date: 03/25/20 14:04
Re: Hog Back Grades
Author: PHall

YoungOldHead Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The old SP has lots of hogback in the desert
> locations. I dont know exactly why they didnt do
> much along the lines of grading. I was told as a
> kid and still believe today they just threw the
> ties and rail down for the sake of having a
> railroad laid. WP was very good about grading.
> They had a constant 1% period. 

The one percent grade was a requirement of the bonds used to finance the building of the WP.
Of course being built in the 20th century didn't hurt either.



Date: 03/25/20 14:41
Re: Hog Back Grades
Author: exopr

I think the time period in which the line was built may be a factor.   I've noticed on some lines that I'm familiar with that the ones built later have fewer hog backs.  Example: The EL east of Marion, OH built in the 1860s was a roller coaster, west of Marion built in the 1880s was well graded.    One possible explantion is that construction techniques and equipment were better later on.



Date: 03/25/20 15:58
Re: Hog Back Grades
Author: ctillnc

Rolling hills are an unavoidable feature of the Piedmont from Virginia to Alabama. Many lines in the South built in the 1870s and 1880s were built cheap; the economy was far from recovered, and many RRs couldn't raise the money for extensive grading..In the 20th century Southern and Seaboard spent money to correct as much of that as they could. ACL largely avoided the problem; some of it was pre-war, most of the rest was built in the Coastal Plain.



Date: 03/25/20 17:19
Re: Hog Back Grades
Author: timz

Milepost 19 to 26 on the WP main line

inarevil.tripod.com/WPDocuments/WP-MAIN-WEST.pdf

That qualify as "hogback"? Guess that's where
they had that 1980 (?) fatal derailment and fire.



Date: 03/25/20 20:47
Re: Hog Back Grades
Author: tomstp

The old Ft Worth & Denver was just full of hogbacks in several areas.



Date: 03/29/20 14:49
Re: Hog Back Grades
Author: shadetree

The main difference is cost.  A cheap to build railroad has curves, undulating grades, and minimal grading.  This type of railroad is more expensive to operate and maintain.

An expensive to build railroad has minimal curves and even grades.  This railroad is cheaper to operate and maintain.

It is the classic, pay me now or pay me later.

Eng.Shadetree



Date: 03/29/20 15:04
Re: Hog Back Grades
Author: WAF

tomstp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The old Ft Worth & Denver was just full of
> hogbacks in several areas.

Especially south of Amarillo to Wichita Falls



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