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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Southern/NS "radio cars"

Date: 02/11/09 06:28
Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: greendot

Did NS retire all of the "radio cars" which were developed by Southern? Most were purpose-built boxcar-like bodies (with smooth sides) but I've seen photos of what also appear to be converted-boxcars (with ribbed sides).

Date: 02/11/09 08:04
Re: Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: Robbman

Yes,, the radio cars were retired back in the 90s. I believe one is still in use, but not as a radio car, it's used as a spacer/MU car for a lightweight branchline.

Date: 02/11/09 08:51
Re: Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: 1019X

You have to remember that Southern was one of the first roads to experiment with radio controlled mid train locomotives and stuck with it from the late 60s. The old electronics of that era were costly, took up a lot of space, and while it could be contained in the locomotive, Southern opted to put it in receiver cars. One advantage being that you only had to have one specially equipped locomotive, the lead unit in a consist. With the receiver car you could MU it to any locomotive. As electronic components became smaller and cheaper it was simpler to put the equipment into more locomotives,saving having to haul the weight of the receiver car around.

Date: 02/11/09 18:38
Re: Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: SRSD45

NS use of high adhesion units spelled doom for the radio control cars. Earl

Date: 02/11/09 19:18
Re: Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: RailfanTerry

Man I miss those years. Yes NS had both smooth and Ribbed Side radio cars.
Photo #1 is Smooth Side Remote Car at Sheffield, AL on 3/17/1996
Photo #2 is the Ribbed Side Car at Nemo Tunnel, TN 10/19/1996

Date: 02/11/09 20:32
Re: Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: frankg290

Robbman Wrote:
> I believe one is still in use, but not as a radio
> car, it's used as a spacer/MU car for a
> lightweight branchline.

Are you talking about the branch at Blacksburg, SC? The last time I saw the spacer car, about 5 years ago, it was an ex-CofG 40' box car.

Date: 02/11/09 20:37
Re: Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: filmteknik

That's not the place where they used to MU through an old coach, is it?

Date: 02/12/09 08:13
Re: Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: knotch8

That's the line, the old "Carolina & Northwestern" that used to run all the way up to Lenoir, NC. I love the nickname they give it, "The Extension Cord Line," since they use the spacer car between engines. The North Carolina/South Carolina C&NW was a subsidiary of the Southern Railway System, and you would see many Southern engines with "C&NW" in small letters beneath the cab window, just as you'd see "CNO&TP," "AGS" and "NO&NE." And after the Central of Georgia takeover, there were "C of G" or "CG" subletterings, too. I'm sure that a Southern Railway fan could tell us if there were more subsidiaries that had their initials on Southern engines. An Official Guide or Southern timetable from the '60s would list the subsidiary companies on the map page. My October 1969 ORG shows the above lines (except NO&NE), along with Georgia, Southern & Florida (GS&F) and Georgia & Florida, and I think I remember seeing units sub-lettered for both GS&F and GF.

The list of officers in 1969 reads like a "Cradle of Railroad Presidents." Graham Claytor was President (simply President; not the inflated titles of Chairman, CEO & President, as companies like to do today); Bill Moore was VP Operations; Stan Crane was VP Engineering & Research; Arnold McKinnon was Senior General Solicitor and Harold Hall was General Manager Western Lines. For railfans, Jim Bistline was General Counsel, second in line to VP Law McGlothlin. Having met four of these men, I can say that they were, indeed, "The Men Who Loved Trains." Business people, certainly, but they loved the trains they ran.

Date: 02/12/09 14:31
Re: Southern/NS "radio cars"
Author: ctillnc

> you only had to have one specially equipped
> locomotive, the lead unit in a consist

Units with the radio equipment had black numerals on white numberboards. All other Southern units had white numerals on black numberboards.

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