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Re: Operational question for Jon Bush or Earl

August 10, 2017 02:42PM avatar
dougvv Wrote:
> Hi,
> I found my 1995 video of the C&TS. I think this
> was the last year John was there before going to
> the White Pass.
> It was interesting seeing if again. By my best
> accounting, 497, 489, 487, 484, 463, 19 and 012
> were all running.
> There was a double header with 497 and 484 for the
> last train of the season.
> The following weekend had a tripple header with
> 489, 484, and 487. It was extremely interesting
> seeing the train break for the Lobato Trestle.
> 1) When running a train up the hill, is it better
> to run a tripple header or two on the front end
> and one on the rear?
> 2) is it better to set up the train with one on
> the front, one about 5 cars back and a pusher to
> avoid breaking the train at Lobato?
> 3) I assume each type of loco arrangement has its
> operational differences. Do you care to comment on
> how each arrangement's pros and cons?
> Thanks.
> Doug vV

Assuming we are running a 3-engine train for operational reasons, and not a fantrip exercise, the decision of where to put the helpers is based on train make up and tonnage. With a passenger train it is best to put all three locomotives on the head end. With a helper cut into the train you will have slack action in the consist where the rear helper engine stops pushing and the engines up front are pulling. Slack action in passenger trains is a bad idea. It makes for a rough ride. In our case, back when we triple headed the passenger train, we had the heavy steel cars on the head end and the lighter wood cars on the rear.

When we had freight or work train cars to be taken to Cumbres with the regular train, we would regularly put the freight cars between the two locomotives. This was done for two reasons: 1. If the added cars were more than 100', we could bypass stopping Lobato and roll up the hill non-stop. 2. and more importantly.... At Cumbres it simplified switching greatly. With the road engine stopped for water, the helper and freight cars could be cut off and run ahead to wherever, the cars would be set out, leaving the rest of the train to do its brake test etc. If the cars were behind the road engine, a second stop would have to be made to set the cars out, and another air test performed.

When the Grande was doing this, a two engine train generally had the helper ahead of the caboose. However if there were a lot of wooden flats and idlers on the consist, the helper might be cut into the train to avoid shoving hard on the wooden cars. Generally, the old wood cars take to being pulled hard than to be shoved. I suppose there were long 3-engine trains with 2 engines on the front and the 3rd engine cut into the train to keep from folding up frail wooded cars.

Operationally, there is not much difference. Going back to an earlier thread, each engineer knows about how hard he should work his engine. Unless you are starting and stopping with the helpers cut in, there isn't much of a difference. If you do have to have start and stop, the helpers back in the train keep shoving, with reduced throttle, until the train stops. Getting underway again, the helpers start first, the road engine up front starts last to keep from putting too much strain on the head end cars and pulling out a drawbar.

Of course if we doing for "fun" all bets were off

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2017 02:45PM by Earl.
Subject Author Posted

Operational question for Jon Bush or Earl

dougvv August 09, 2017 10:45PM

Re: Operational question for Jon Bush or Earl

trainrider47 August 10, 2017 07:09AM

Re: Operational question for Jon Bush or Earl

gregcoit August 10, 2017 08:23AM

Re: Operational question for Jon Bush or Earl

dougvv August 10, 2017 08:28AM

Re: Operational question for Jon Bush or Earl

Bill Scobie August 10, 2017 01:11PM

Re: Operational question for Jon Bush or Earl

narrowgaugejoe10 August 10, 2017 01:42PM

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Cbq4002 August 10, 2017 01:45PM

Re: Operational question for Jon Bush or Earl

Earl August 10, 2017 02:42PM

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