Another Prototype Question on Steam

Stepchld Feb 10, 2001

  1. Stepchld

    Stepchld TrainBoard Member

    Ok distinguished readers,as some of you may know I'm building a layout based on a prototype set in 1930 on a small shortline in west Texas.It only used steam engines (Consolidations and Moguls only) and I noticed that I have yet to find a turntable anywhere on Sanborn maps of that era.Now I know in the originating city ,the engines used a reversing wye to turn around but in the only other city that it went to I can find no means to turn the engine around.Now it is a 38 mile trip one way between stops and I'm wondering did they just run the engine backwards,you think?I know that steam engines are really uni-directional and that braking and gears are really only designed for forward movement on these two particular type of engine...but...?
    Also in '32 the railroad built another 27 mile extension to another city...what about I just missing something like perhaps a turntable not listed on the Sanborn?It seems hard to imagine a steam engine backing 38 miles much less 65 miles.What do ya'll think?
    Mucho gracias,
    Gene Jackson
  2. rhensley_anderson

    rhensley_anderson TrainBoard Supporter

    They could have run backwards, but I would expect another wye operation somewhere. Did they interchange with another railroad where they could have used an inerchange track arrangement to form a wye. A wye can be made up of any combination of tracks over a mile of two.


    Roger Hensley -
    == ==
    == Railroads of Madison County (Indiana) ==
  3. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    Roger probably hit on the best possibility. Check your map carefully to see if a track goes off somewhere. Follow it to see if there is a possible turn around out there, or a connection that could bring the engine back facing the other way. It could be a round-about reverse loop, or a wye. It was not too uncommon for lower speed short line runs, to pull a train in reverse. Even some Class A lines ran helper engines in reverse when traffic was heavy. On some steep grades, the engines running foreward would push cars up the grade. Going down the engine went in reverse and stayed on the downhill end to prevent a runnaway car from going down alone.

    [ 12 February 2001: Message edited by: watash ]

Share This Page