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Nostalgia & History > Coos Bay Oregon, 1954

Date: 04/30/04 15:43
Coos Bay Oregon, 1954
Author: mdo

Here is a photo of a Coos Bay , Oregon switch engine taken about 1954. This photo was taken by a SP signal maintainer and was given to me when I was Asstant Trainmaster at Coos Bay, 1n 1970.


Date: 04/30/04 17:24
Re: Coos Bay Oregon, 1954
Author: Nitehostler

It's always a nice surprise to see SP steam on this site. More surprising to me that an 0-6-0 was all the way out on the end of this branch instead of them using a 2-8-0 like they did in a lot of yards.
There were not many 0-6-0s on the Portland Division by this time. My assignment book of 9/30/53 lists only one other, the 1232.
Also assigned to yd. service were the 2756 & 3298.
Portland Division still had a pair of 4-6-0s, 31 2-8-0s, 15 2-10-2s, 27 4-8-8-2s & 5 4-8-2s.
Appreciate your sharing this pic.

Date: 04/30/04 20:13
Poling Pockets on Tender
Author: Westbound

Typically, this tender had poling pockets and one is clearly visible. But no pole. I can't recall ever seeing an SP engine photo that showed a pole hanging on the tender. Does anyone know if in fact SP ever "poled" cars? In the meantime I will review one of my old rulebooks to see if it was even covered in the rules. All the old switchmen I knew never mentioned it and now it is too late to ask them!

Date: 05/01/04 09:51
Re: Poling Pockets on Tender
Author: stash

Westbound Wrote:
> Typically, this tender had poling pockets and one
> is clearly visible. But no pole.

What's a poling pocket?

Date: 05/01/04 10:47
Re: Poling Pockets on Tender
Author: trainmaster3

It's the circular depression visible on the end of the tender on the bottom left there. It gave the push pole a sturdy home. A push pole would be inserted in the pocket on the engine or a car and the other end would be inserted in the pole pocket on a car on adjacent track and then the car could be shoved to a position or spot without the engine having to be on the same track. While switching, this could save a runaround move, or save the day where there is no runaround track. Although it was a dangerous practice for the uninitiated(for a number of reasons), it was also very efficient(and probably sorely missed by some). Steady force against the pole kept it in place for the move, slack action made bad things happen with push poles.

Date: 05/01/04 10:49
Re: Poling Pockets on Tender
Author: Clarence

It's that dimple at the corner of the tender frame. There would be a matching dimple at the corner of freight cars. Back in the day, if you needed to move a car on a parallel track a short distance, you could put the poling pole (a stout timber (ok) or some piece of wood you found (bad)) into both pockets and push the car until it reached it's destination or the pole fell out.

This was DANGEROUS! If the pole snapped under the load, splinters flew everywhere, if the pole slipped under load it would go flying. If any of this hit you, you were at best in a world of hurt. I suppose it could have gone under the wheels and derailed something too, or damaged freight or other equipment in the area.

For safety reasons this was discouraged and eventually prohibited. More modern equipment didn't have the necessary poling pockets, making it impossible (unless really deterrmined to do so) to use this switching technique.

Date: 05/01/04 16:11
SP 1245 & Sisters
Author: Westbound

From my reference materials, it appears that the 0-6-0 #1245 was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works as were a number of other identical S-10's of her class. They were built with poling pockets, so poling must have been an approved, even if discouraged, activity at the time (1918). The next class of 0-6-0s were built by the SP in Sacramento from 1919 through 1923. Photos show these too had poling pockets. My oldest SP Rulebook went into effect December 1, 1951. I cannot find any mention of poling in the book, not even a rule forbidding it. My guess is that "poling" was a last resort and far less common than even the dangerous "Dutch Drop".

Giving further thought to the matter, my best guess is that "the pole" was kept at the yard office and was only brought out with supervision, further discouraging its use.

Date: 05/01/04 17:50
Re: SP 1245 & Sisters
Author: DaveE

Since the topic of poling came up, I remembered that the 2472 has poling pockets on its tender. She's a Baldwin built in 1921. In this link,


if you scroll down the page and click on the photo of 2472 doing a reverse move, you can see the poling pocket just in front of my right knee.


Date: 05/01/04 22:52
Re: SP 1245 & Sisters
Author: bearease

Not to drag this out, but what's the "Dutch Drop?" And why was it so dangerous?

Date: 05/03/04 11:30
Re: Poling Pockets on Tender
Author: rdsexton

Poling pockets were standard on all equipment until at least into the sixties or whenever the practice was outlawed. Obviously dangerous but always allowed if circumstances required it.

Date: 05/03/04 22:26
Dutch Drop
Author: Westbound

bearease Wrote:
> Not to drag this out, but what's the "Dutch Drop?"
> And why was it so dangerous?

Good question. See my new post on this discussion group.

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