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Railroaders' Nostalgia > What's the fastest....


Date: 12/03/22 19:39
What's the fastest....
Author: RetiredHogger

....you guys ever snagged orders on the fly? And from which end?

30 MPH (from a locomotive) for me. Never ran past a train order station where the speed limit was higher than that.



Date: 12/04/22 10:18
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

RetiredHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ....you guys ever snagged orders on the fly? And
> from which end?
>
> 30 MPH (from a locomotive) for me. Never ran past
> a train order station where the speed limit was
> higher than that.


60 mph at Surf, Ca.On a curve.. I always used a flag stick instead of my bare arm to prevent injury if the operator put the hoop in backwards on the delivery post.  It was much more fun grabbing orders in the middle of the post when working as a cut in helper. 

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/22 11:51 by SanJoaquinEngr.



Date: 12/04/22 11:23
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: hogheaded

HA! I tried to snag orders from the vestibule of the Coast Starlight while doing 60 mph at Paso Robles. Result: a miss. The conductor, Charlie Schaefer (sp?) ordered Engineer Danny Wulf to stop the train, of course. He then told me to takes my time walking back to retrieve them because he was tired of Danny not slowing for orders. I don't know how he wrote this up on his delay report.

EO



Date: 12/04/22 11:57
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: Notch7

When I was firing passenger trains on the former Seaboard from Richmond VA to Raleigh NC, I would grab orders from the train order rack at the Raleigh yard office at around 60 with the train brakes setting up for a stop at station down the track.  They weren't even our orders.  They were for the relieving engine crew that ran Raleigh to Columbia SC.  To be at the right height I had to step outside my E-unit cab door with one foot on the ladder and holding on to the inside long grabiron that our E-units had with my right hand.  Back in the day, Seaboard had a hotshot Atlanta freight - No. 27.  It was allowed higher higher speeds than other freights.  I watched no. 27 grab train orders at 70 from a wayside station order rack, leaning out the cab window of their GP30.



Date: 12/04/22 13:43
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: TAW

From the other end of the hop, I worked with a NYC dispatcher who had worked a place where he hooped up to trains doing 90. I'm sure that was exciting at both ends of the stick. Fastest I've done is 50.

TAW



Date: 12/04/22 18:40
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: CPCoyote

60 mph at Paso Robles from the locomotive. At night.

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/22 19:15 by CPCoyote.



Date: 12/04/22 22:42
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: BigSkyBlue

Fastest was 45 MPH at Oakland Tower in St. Paul.  But the trickiest one was eastbound at St. Croix Tower....the hoop sat a little low for either the engine or caboose and you had to really concentrate, even though it was only 25 MPH.  (This was in Minnesota for those of you who may not be familiar with the BN route from the Twin Cities east).   BSB



Date: 12/05/22 13:33
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: 3rdswitch

Normal speed at Barstow terminal on Amtrak, fifty.
JB



Date: 12/05/22 19:58
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: Drknow

Knew some operators/agents on the IC that held the stick up to both freight and passenger. Fastest they both said was guessing 80-90 at the agencies that didn’t have fixed TO hoops.

One of the gents was working Xtra board at a small town depot on a vacation vacancy, 24 hr agency about 1950. The depot sat at the apex of a small sweeping curve on the outside. One asshole Hog had it in for this guy, opening cylinder cocks, blowing the whistle, kicking coal out at him etc.

Finally Virgil had enough and left a message with the roundhouse Forman at Div. know that said hogger was lining up for a ass kicking at his convenience if the BS didn’t stop.

Stop it did.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/06/22 09:16
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: TAW

Drknow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One asshole Hog had
> it in for this guy, opening cylinder cocks,
> blowing the whistle, kicking coal out at him etc.

I showed up at MILW Kent WA one night for 3d trick. There was an east man blowing at the west end of town. The 2d tricker was out on the platform to watch him by. There were orders in the stand. The string in the bottom hoop was tied to a string , the other end of which was tied to a bundle of newspapers on the platform.

The conductor on this job hated operators and harassed them at every opportunity. The most popular with him was to throw off the bills for the West Siding setout, as much as 30 cars, loose at 40 mph passing the station, forcing the operator to run along behind trying to get all of them before the wind carried them off. My 2d trick colleague had enough.

Looking at the setup, I knew who it was without asking.

The train came by at 40. The markers came in sight. We watched with a striaght face as it rained waybills, fluttering out of the sky like autumn leaves, following the draft of the train... and as the bundle of newspapers was wisked off the platform and the conductor remained on board.

I think he noticed. I was working for his next trip. As the caboose went by the station, a bundle was thrown from the caboose. It was waybills folded in half around a list. The package of folded waybills and list was stapled... with what looked like a box of staples. There were rows and rows of staples through every surface inch of the waybills - hundreds of them.

Right after that, I bid into Bellingham and never had to deal with that jerk again.

TAW



Date: 12/06/22 17:56
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: monaddave

Well... not from the headend. I was working flagman on Amtrak No. 3 back when Santa Fe crews still covered the jobs, We were headed west by AY Tower at about 60 MPH after departing KCUS late at night. I had been covering a lengthy vacation and had been working it for about three weeks, but this trip we had an extra board conductor, as the regular guy, Mr. George Fancher, had laid off a trip. I knew AY was coming up and was stationed at a  vestibule door on the rear Superliner. The train order transmitter rack came into view and was well lit at the tower. I realized the extra board conductor had forgot to grab his set of orders so I reached out with both hands to grab his set and mine. Orders grabbed and then I heard a click-click from the ballast. I looked back to see my portable radio tumbling along the right of way. It had fallen out of my uniform jacket pocket. I made my way to the conductor to hand him his orders and told him I no longer had my radio. He called the headend to contact the operator at AY to look for my radio. He had already found it, as he saw what had happened. The next day's No. 3 brought my portable west to Newton and I had it for the next trip east on No. 4. Just a few nicks and scuffs. There's something to be said for those Motorola portables.

As an aside, I had an old head conductor tell me when you do grab orders, always tuck your thumb in and make a fist, as those train order strings could cut your hand at speed if they went between your fingers.
Dave in MT



Date: 12/06/22 23:23
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: santafe199

monaddave Wrote: > ... I looked back to see my portable radio tumbling along the right of way ...

I still remember when you told the gang that story. It was the stuff of legend!!! But I had forgotten the part about the ex-board conductor missing his orders. That story helped me out, though. When I got my few turns working the SW Limited out of KCUS I never forgot your cautionary tale. And I never had a problem snagging my orders at AY...

LFG



Date: 12/08/22 11:50
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: RetiredHogger

Thanks for the replies. I'm thankful that when I hired in they were still doing enough stuff "the old way" that I got a good taste of it.



Date: 12/09/22 07:06
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: OldPorter

I have a small story to add here. As a new hire OBS guy, I had a good friendship going with an ATSF condr on the old Amtk train Desert Wind #36. One day, while heading out East from LAUPT he asked me to snag the orders at SNB/ San Bernardino, CA. For our Run up the Cajon Pass to Barstow, and the handoff to the UP crews, who then conducted our train to Las Vegas, NV. "Are u kidding me?" I said. Go get it/ I got them without incident, and delivered them to him. This was early 1980s. We were not going through Fullerton in those days. The old ATSF Second Division/ now the Gold Line Metro for LA light rail.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/22 07:07 by OldPorter.



Date: 12/09/22 10:48
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: DocJones

Here's another one. On the SP Los Angeles Division I worked vacation relief as an extra board operator.  While working at Burbank Jct. there was an operator there who was working for the railroad long enough for him to get through the California College of Mortuary Science in LA. He had a job waiting for him in - I think, Ajo, AZ - where the undertaker also ran the ambulance and tow truck services. One way or the other there was always work. Anyway, there was a conductor who used to mark up errors on his orders, tie them to a fusee and throw them at this operator when he went by Burbank Jct. We had to be on the ground out of the tower to roll trains by so he was a target. 
One day this operator did not hang the orders and stopped the train. The conductor stormed out of the caboose to give this operator a bad time. The op. was a big guy and not to be trifled with so the conductor thought better of starting anything physical. The operator told the conductor, "you keep doing that and the next time you come by Burbank Jct. the hoop will be strung with music wire and wired to the post. If it doesn't cut your arm off it'll drag you right out of the caboose!" From that day forward no more fusees got thrown and this conductor always had his rear brakeman snag the orders. 

Have fun, be safe,

Bruce "Doc" Jones, Sierra Madre CA



Date: 12/09/22 11:42
Re: What's the fastest.... -- when 50 is too fast
Author: TAW

Date: 12/17/14 23:24 Handing on - the rookie student Author: TAW
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,3606726,3606726#msg-3606726

TAW



Date: 12/09/22 19:37
Re: What's the fastest.... -- when 50 is too fast
Author: donnerpass

These kind of stories are the main reason I subscribe to TO.  Keep them coming.



Date: 12/10/22 06:17
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: hogheaded

CPCoyote Wrote:
> 60 mph at Paso Robles from the locomotive. At
> night.

hogheaded Wrote:
>I tried to snag orders from the vestibule of the Coast Starlight while doing 60 mph at Paso Robles. Result: a miss.

Well Mike, I have an excuse for the miss. My vision was obscured by the infamous "brown mist" that used to waft along the sides of pre retention toilet trains...and fear.

EO



Date: 12/10/22 17:11
Re: What's the fastest....
Author: CPCoyote

Guess I had a clearer view Ed.

Posted from iPhone



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