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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Good Railroading.....CSX

Date: 12/06/12 10:44
Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: cinder

It's Wednesday morning, December 5 and it just so happens ("fortuitous" is a good word) that a CSX Track Engineer is waiting in his company SUV at the Keystone road crossing for eastbound Q358 to clear. This west slope location is about a mile from Sand Patch summit. The alert CSX employee spots an unsecured load and immediately radios Q358. He then drives to the highway bridge over the tracks at Sand Patch and verifies that a flat car loaded with aluminum beams has more than one loose strap.

More radio communication between the Track Engineer and Q358's helper crew (The head end is in the tunnel) and it is decided that the 8000' mixed freight will stop east of Sand Patch tunnel with the offending car, which is 12 from the rear, spotted at Manila.

After the plan is radioed to the head end, Q358 stops with his lead engine 20 feet from the Mance road crossing (mp208) and the car of aluminum directly in front of the waiting Track Engineer at Manila. Sizing up the loose strap situation, he realizes that he needs a bar to operate the ratchets. A mile away and closing on track one is a CSX high rail truck with such a bar. Within 15 minutes the load was secured and Q358 was safe to move on down to Cumberland, MD.

It was speculated that somebody was attempting to steal some of the aluminum as the rear strap was completely undone and the other four had been loosened. In any event, it was a good catch......Good teamwork.

1.. The helpers on Q358 are in idle as they pass under the bridge at Sand Patch and are preparing to detach on the fly using helper link.

2. The Track Engineer (left) and a track maintenance employee (on flat car) work to resecure the load.

3. The head end of Q358 (506 axles, 8000'+) waits at the Mance road crossing.

Date: 12/06/12 11:46
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: PittsburghMike

Nicely documented Cinder.

Date: 12/06/12 12:32
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: goneon66

good job by those alert employees.........


Date: 12/06/12 12:51
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: coach

Helper engines detaching "on the fly" using "helper link?" I thought that was the stuff of only steam helper days on the old N&W. Tell us more about it!

Date: 12/06/12 13:37
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: Bath_wildcat

NS uses the same thing on the SD40E helpers over in Altoona,PA.

Posted from Android

Date: 12/06/12 13:39
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: cinder

"Helper Link" is a one-armed man with only three fingers on his hand who leans over from the pusher and pulls the pin.

Date: 12/06/12 16:26
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: jmbreitigan

Very interesting, thanks for sharing this.

Date: 12/06/12 17:46
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: trainman630

Great shots, thanks for posting.

Date: 12/07/12 07:19
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: tp117

Was that load shifted, maybe due to the loose straps, or were the top pieces shorter than the bottom ones and a uniform stack? A gondola, if they could find one long enough, might be a better car.

Date: 12/07/12 07:25
Re: Good Railroading.....CSX
Author: WrongMain

cinder Wrote:
> "Helper Link" is a one-armed man with only three
> fingers on his hand who leans over from the pusher
> and pulls the pin.

Link does nice work. Thank God he wasn't missing...never mind...

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