1. maintainance in the way

    maintainance in the way E-Mail Bounces

    63
    0
    13
    You T&E guys
    Say, is that illegal now.

    I mean the move, similar to kicking a car (car's), gotta bleed off the air.

    were ya get your engin(s) and cars(s) moving....not too fast just fast enough.

    at the signal the engeneer drops a notch to get the pin...
    uncouple....
    amps it up

    gain space between the power and cars

    so once the power clears the heel blocks the brakeman lines the switch ahead of the cars, and hopefully they roll past the foul point.


    Got a buddy who told me they cant do it anymore.

    Was wondering if it was outlawed by the FRA or just there GCOR.



    Thanks
     
  2. taz

    taz TrainBoard Member

    108
    0
    14
    You're talking about a "drop". Some RRs have outlawed it (by GO) but there's nothing in the GCOR (...or from the FRA, as far as I know...), that specifically outlaws the practice. There are, however, a few GCOR rules that cover when and where a car can or can't be "dropped"...6.32.1 (Cars Shoved, Kicked or Dropped [at Road Crossings]), 7.7 (Kicking or Dropping Cars), 8.1 (Hand Operation of Switches [specifically dealing with spring or dual control switches operated by hand]), and 8.19 (Automatic Switches [again, dealing with spring or dual control switches operated by hand]).

    As far as whether or not it's still done...Yep!...But that would depend completely on the RR in question. With a three man crew, it's a cinch...Two man crew, it can be a little tough (on the Conductor ;)) but it isn't impossible.
     
  3. SteveM76

    SteveM76 TrainBoard Member

    617
    1
    17
    I'm also unsure of the FRA ruling, but a running switch has been a no-no on CSX for at least 9 years.
     
  4. Frank Campagna

    Frank Campagna TrainBoard Member

    332
    0
    18
    I know it was illegal in many places. What happens is that a car waiting for the locomotive to pass starts moving, and gets hit by the following car. The railroad crossing signs did say "Watch out for the cars."

    Frank
     
  5. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

    652
    79
    21
    Running drops are generally prohibited, but I believe static drops are still permitted. This is where a car is held on a grade, the engine is cut away and runs up and into a side track. The car's brake is released and permitted to roll by the switch where the engine has ducked in the clear. The car is stopped with its handbrake, and the engine can come out and couple on the opposite end of the car.
     
  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    11,937
    1,878
    149
    I saw a flying switch done a while back in the local industrial park...nice job, BTW. I didn't think anything about it because I had seen them off and on since I was a kid in the 40's. But listening to Steve and Rick, I now wonder about it. The conductor and engineer may have been OK with it because it was on "private" ROW, i.e. County Industrial Park ownership, and not their company home rails.....ya think?.
     
  7. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

    652
    79
    21
    I wonder how they would have explained it to their boss if it had gone wrong?
     
  8. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    11,937
    1,878
    149
    Rick, I agree with you, it would have been an unpleasant situation if they had goofed the switch. But how should the following situation be resolved legitimately?

    The crew was five miles into the industrial park on a dead end single track with no run-around capability. They were configured with the engine facing into the park and a caboose facing back to home rails. This run has to use a caboose to signal numerous grade crossings when they back the five miles out of the park.

    They now have to drop a car at a warehouse which is up a spur with a facing point switch. I don't know how they would be able to drop the car without pushing it all the way into the park, which I doubt they could do because of all the grade crossings.
     
  9. taz

    taz TrainBoard Member

    108
    0
    14
    Dropping a car in this situation is legitimate as long as the RR in question hasn't "outlawed" the practice...If it were me, AND dropping a car wasn't "outlawed", I'd do exactly the same thing if I didn't have any other way to get around it.

    On the "technical" side of dropping cars, there are a whole lot of things that need to be checked, or decided upon, by the crew before you drop a car(s). Things like how easily the switch throws, are you dropping the car into a "bowl" or other standing cars (sometime referred to as a "heel"...Same as kickin' 'em), if into "standing cars", how many handbrakes are applied (...better be at least one...), if not into "standing cars", are you going to "catch" the car as it comes past you to tie the brake (so that it doesn't run off the end of the track or hit the bumper), how fast (speed wise) you're going to go, is the car loaded or empty (and if loaded, with what), etc., etc. There is also a point at which the conductor (if he's working the ground) has to make a decision as to whether or not he can safely throw the switch ahead of the car that's coming at him (once the engine has cleared). Trust me, it's not as easy as it sounds, but like I said, it ain't impossible either. There are a lot of things that can go wrong...

    As far as Rick's "static drop", that would be the way to do it and decrease the number of items that can go wrong. Ya just need a minor (down) grade near the customer's site to make it work.
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    59,935
    4,483
    600
    If such a move is outlawed by your company, what do they instruct for the crews? Set it out at the nearest siding, for a train working the other direction to handle? Take it on to the nearest terminal? Or?

    Boxcab E50
     
  11. taz

    taz TrainBoard Member

    108
    0
    14
    I've never seen anything in any of the sources (timetables, SSIs, etc.) that I have available to me that have had any sort of specific instructions as far as a "how to" for this type of situation where a "drop" was "outlawed" (whether for the entire RR or for a specific customer/track)...Most of these types of "instructions" usually tell you what you can't do (...RRs tend to be real positive when it comes to "instructions" [he says with tongue firmly planted in cheek ] :rolleyes:...).

    Boxcab, if I may, I'm gonna pick on you for a (short ;)) minute. You mentioned "Set it out at the nearest siding...". So, what is a "siding"? The definition of a siding (from the GCOR) is "A track connected to the main track and used for meeting or passing trains." If I had a siding that I could use (whether it was blocked with cars in storage or not), I would have a way out where I could get the car into the correct position to be shoved into the customer's track...In other words, I could run-around the car(s) in question and a "drop" wouldn't be my only option. However, if all that I had was a "spur" (or "lead"), then I'm stuck since there isn't any way to get around the car (The term "spur" isn't defined in the GCOR but the UP has the following definition "Short, usually dead-end section of track used to access a facility or loading/unloading ramp. It also can be used to temporarily store equipment.").

    The trick to (potentially) solving this (without having to "drop" the car) would be in how the train was made up and what type of work was being done along the way, along with the physical characteristics of the track (where are the "sidings", grades, etc.)...That's something that the crew working this job would know. My guess is that the "drop" that was observed was an exception and probably not the regular method for delivery.
     
  12. BOK

    BOK TrainBoard Member

    184
    0
    16
    Taz:

    You are right in that the true use of the word "siding" is a track connected to the main track and used for the purposes of meeting and passing trains.

    Although this is the rulebook definition for the term, railroads have and do consistently use the word to define any track where cars are switched or "spotted" (left). An example would be: "we are going to spot six cars over on the elevator siding (track)".

    Barry
     
  13. BOK

    BOK TrainBoard Member

    184
    0
    16
    Boxcab:

    In place of making a "drop", crews can usually accomplish the same task by making what we call a "controlled drop". This is where the car, which needs to be placed ahead of the engine (and there is no run around track to use) is secured using both air and a handbrake, the engine is cut off, runs past the switch and stops in the clear.
    The conductor then lines the switch for the spur, "bleeds" the car of air, then climbs aboard the car, releases the handbrake and the car begins to roll down the slight grade into the spur to clear with the conductor controlling the speed of the car with the handbrake.
    Before making a move of this type it is always best to see if the car will roll by itself once the engine is cut away. By leaving the switch lined for the main track the car is released and allowed to roll free so if it "stalls" it will not be "trapped" but instead just be recoupled to the engine.If it dose'nt work, the the car is hauled down to the location of a run around track even to the next town or end of the line and then brought back and spotted on the return trip.

    Barry
     
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    59,935
    4,483
    600
    Taz-

    You'll have to excuse me for lacking clarity. Two months ago, I was in a hospital, dying. I have some minor memory troubles. I am still daily rather doped up on pain killers. Also, a lot of my days were back in timetable, train order, ABS and CCOR days.

    I do know what a siding is, a spur, and blah blah. You can use a siding, if near, clear and allowed to do so. Depends upon by other traffic, the dispatcher, limits of your orders, yard limits, etc. You can't always just trot to the next siding, set out, or run around and come back. There may be a house track, or other yard type trackage which can be used at another station, if you are allowed to do it. This may be simpler to just set it out for your trip back the other way, if an out and back type local. Or for the next opposing move to grab and tuck it in for the customer.

    Boxcab E50
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    59,935
    4,483
    600
    Barry-

    Yes. I know about that move. As there seems to be a variety of what is ruled out today, I was just trying to learn what the engineers who have responded are allowed to do by their specific companies.

    Boxcab E50
     
  16. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    11,937
    1,878
    149
    Fortunately for the crew I watched, the car they switched was a center-beam flat loaded with finished lumber. It was switched onto a spur about 1000 feet long that was flat or up a very slight hill. There was nothing else on the spur until two empties next to a warehouse at the end of the spur.

    The car was next to the engine, so they could drop the rest of the train a ways back from the switch and have lots of space to get the lone car rolling. When the coupler pin was pulled, the engine, a GP40-2, took off like a screaming eagle giving plenty of time for the guy on the ground to throw the swtch.

    Another thing I noticed was that the empties were taken back to the yard with the engine between them and the rest of the train. I assume that was not a problem because they were backing out of the park and the caboose was whistling the crossings instead of the engine.

    All in all, it was lots of fun for my teen-age grandson to watch...along with his grandfather. :tb-wink:
     
  17. BOK

    BOK TrainBoard Member

    184
    0
    16
    Boxcab:

    Hope you are feeling better.

    On WATCO properties only a "controlled drop" is allowed by crews.

    Barry
     
  18. taz

    taz TrainBoard Member

    108
    0
    14
    Boxcab, you're definately excused and not a problem!! Sorry to hear you're not feeling well and I hope that everything is getting back to normal for you...

    As far as what my company allows, I'm allowed to drop cars when I see fit as long as none of the other previously mentioned rules are broken and as long as they're cars that can be "legally" dropped (or kicked)...Can't drop a "shiftable load" car, etc. Personally, I generally try to find another way to accomplish the task rather than utilize a drop, especially if I'm working a 2 man crew.
     

Share This Page