When did you get your first cab ride?

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Posted by BLS53 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 7:52 PM

The one and only. Age 9, 1962, an IC SW-7 kicking cars around a small yard in Paducah KY.

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Posted by 3rd rail on Sunday, July 08, 2018 4:00 AM
Well, unfortunately I don't have any photos I can find right now, but when I was a kid, My father and I were part of the local model railroad club that with help from the Army Corps of Engineers, laid the track for the (Z,O &O) R.R. at the,What else, The Zoo...  It is still there, It is a 24" gauge RR with, last I knew, a C.P. Huntington 4-2-4 replica, powered by a Ford 4-cylinder gas engine.   I ran that thing for about 3 years with my dad. then, I became a teenager, got into other interests, and I think you can figure out the rest. And, I don't know how this thing just went into Italics... I did NOT do that on purpose...  I HATE Computers!!!!!!!!   
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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, July 06, 2018 9:46 PM

Absolutely gorgeous locomotives!  More like pieces of jewelry or self-propelled scuptures. 

Thanks for that post Becky!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, July 06, 2018 6:39 PM

Yes, the WDW RR is also 3 foot gauge.

The 5 locomotives were purchased from the Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatánfor $32,750 ($8,000 for each of the four locomotives in the boneyard plus an additional $750 for the fifth locomotive) The locomotives, along with an assortment of brass fittings and other spare parts given away for free, were immediately shipped by rail back to the United States.  They were restored at the Tampa Ship Repair and Dry Dock Company.

From Wikipedia: "The general idea for the restoration was to make the locomotives appear as if they were built in the 1880s.[9] The original, dilapidated boilers of the four locomotives built by Baldwin Locomotive Works were replaced with new, smaller boilers built by Dixon Boiler Works.[9][10] Their worn-out wood and steel cabs were replaced with new ones made of fiberglass, and they were given new tenders, which used the trucks from the originals.[5][9] Many of the smaller original parts on the locomotives such as the domes and brass bells on top of the boilers, the wheels, and the side rods were successfully refurbished and retained.[5][10] The locomotives' fireboxes were also modified to burn diesel oil.[10] Replicas of their builder plates were also made to replace the originals.[11]

The Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works locomotive acquired along with them could not be restored.[10] Built in 1902, this locomotive was the oldest of the five locomotives purchased and was determined to have too many problems to be rebuilt.[4][10] It was stored out of use in California for a period before being sold to an unknown locomotive broker.[10] Some of its parts were used to help restore the four Baldwin locomotives, including its smokestack, which was fitted to the WDWRR's No. 4 locomotive.[12]

When working on the line, each WDWRR locomotive consumes 25 US gallons (95 l) of fuel and 200 US gallons (760 l) of water per hour, and each tender can hold 664 US gallons (2,510 l) of fuel and 1,837 US gallons (6,950 l) of water.[16][48] In the past, all four locomotives received overhauls at the Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.[17] Each of the four locomotives pulls a set of five passenger cars with seating capacity for 75 passengers per car, for a total of 375 passengers per train.[13] Steam-driven generators at the rear of the tenders supply electricity to the locomotives and passenger cars.[49] The locomotives do not contain brakes, but the passenger cars do.[17]

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Posted by Fr.Al on Friday, July 06, 2018 12:38 PM

Yes, picture 2 here clearly shows the gauge. I rode the Florida Disneyworld line during our honeymoon in 1975. I honestly don't remember if the track there was 3 foot. I've ridden 3 foot gauge track at the Huckleberry RR in Michigan.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, July 05, 2018 8:19 PM

Fr.Al
That's not Disneyland, is it, Penny? Looks like a 2 foot gauge to me.

The DLRR (or Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad as it was named from 1955 to 1974) is 36 inch gauge.

The E.P. Ripley was built by Disney staff at the Burbank studio:

As was the C.K. Holliday:

The roundhouse got a second story with the addition of the Monorail in 1959:

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Posted by Fr.Al on Thursday, July 05, 2018 4:15 PM

That's not Disneyland, is it, Penny? Looks like a 2 foot gauge to me. My first and only ride was in thev cab of Santa Fe Southern GP-10 in 2006. We stopped to pick up freight cars on the way out of Santa Fe, so it was also my first mixed train.

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Posted by 3rd rail on Wednesday, July 04, 2018 1:27 AM

Yes Mike, The D.T.&M  origionaly went right past the old Ralston cereal plant on the north side. Until about 1974 there was still a diamond across the GTW there, I remember a small tower there. The D.T.&M. did exist through town as far west as Bedford Road until Clark Equipment, and Eaton shut down in the early 1980's.  Battle Creek has changed a lot since those days. Of course, things on the railroads have changed too... No longer can a kid on a bicycle hanging out by the tracks get invited to ride in an engine.... But I will never forget those times. Wasn't just riding on the switcher, was also having free-run of the GTW engine shops (them knowing that I respected RR safety rules), And several cab rides there, and lots of time hanging out in Nichols Tower.  The thing that really sucked, I wanted to hire out on the RR, but at that time there was the "Reagan Ression" and the GTW had guys with 20 yrs senority laid off..  I finally ended up enlisting in the US Army since you couldn't find a decent job in B.C. in those years. Turned out to be a good decision, To this day, my veteran status helps me out from time to time. But, I still wish I could have gotten a job with GTW.  I had lots of fun riding around with the guys though..Memories that I'll never forget. 

  Walt Wilson, Tom Shue, Dick Enos, Pete Sabolic,Bill Pontius, Bob Spillner, Les Willey,  all these guys are long since retired, or deceased, that is why I can publish their names without fear of any reprecussions that might do them any harm. 

 

Good times for sure........

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, June 30, 2018 8:44 PM

3rd rail

... This was when the old D.T&M was still intact to Rumely yard.  ...

 

I have long been interested in the old DT&M, even though it disappeared into the NYC System over a hundred years ago, and was largely abandoned in the 30s.  I see on old topo maps where the line ran in Battle Creek, and I see there were remanents south and west of the city.  Where was Rumely Yard?  Was Ralston (plant?) on this line?

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, June 30, 2018 7:08 PM

xboxtravis7992
Riding on the tender of Disneyland Railroad's #1 when I was eleven years old

Look something like this (not my photos)?

If you're VERY lucky, and the crew is in a good mood...

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Posted by 3rd rail on Saturday, June 30, 2018 12:22 AM

Oh, Those old SW-1's!  I have read from several sources that they never had traction motor blowers because EMD deemed them unnessesary due to the low H.P. rating. I do recall seeing a single SW-1 pushing about 90 cars from Rumely Yard to Hinman Yard past Nichols Tower about 1976 or so. That thing was just barely moving, and I thought it was going to blow-up. It made it through the interlocking after about 45 minutes though. 

 

Todd 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, June 29, 2018 5:02 PM

timz
I was astonished-- my first cab ride, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Apparently engines do that to you.

Worst ride I had was 'bird dogging' the Local crew that worked from Clark Ave at Cleveland to Sterling and back to Cleveland, a job that was consistantly going on the 16 hour law before making it back to Cleveland. 

Sunny Winter day after a several inch snow fall the day before.  We got the train together at Clark Ave - 15-20 cars and got to moving out on the Cleveland Sub - Max speed 25 MPH - jointed rail - outdoor temerature about 20 degrees - cab heater going full blast - the Sun's glare off the new fallen snow was blinding.  Between the cab heater, blinding glare and rocking along on 25 MPH jointed rail - was all worse than being a baby in a cradle.  Took every trick I could think of to keep the eyes open and I don't know if I was entirely successful. 

Worked several customers while inroute to Lester.  From Lester we operated on the Medina Sub to Medina to work the 'Pickleworks', max speed on the Media Sub was 15 MPH.  Leaving Medina we continued at 15 MPH to Lake Jct. where we got on the CL&W Sub, a 30 MPH railroad to Sterling, working a couple of customers along the way.  At Sterling we set off a cut of cars that were desined to locations on the Lower CL&W that ran between Warwick and Holloway, OH, which would be picked up by a mercandise train that operated from Willard to Holloway and performed local work on the Lower CL&W.  While at Sterling we also picked up a cut of about 50 loads of coal to take back to Cleveland; those cars having been set off by a Holloway to Willard (and beyond) coal train, we also had to hold on to several cars that we had picked up out of the industries we had serviced.

On the trip back to Clark Avenue we worked a couple of industries between Lake Jct and Lester on the CL&W Sub and then 'hightailed' it to Cleveland.  We went on the law at RD Tower (the edge of Cleveland Yard Limts) and were pulled in by one of the Cleveland Yard Crews. 

Crew was on duty 16 hours - didn't 'dog' it in performing their duties.  Marked off after 17 1/2 hours; crew claimed their 8 hours rest, moving their assigned call time 1.5 hours ahead for their tour of duty the next trip.  Note - Hours of Service at that time was 16 Hours on duty and 8 hours being the minimum required rest period.  There was a caboose to be handled and a Engineer and 3 man train crew.

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Posted by AgentKid on Friday, June 29, 2018 10:15 AM

Living in railway stations I can't really say precisely when I had my first cab ride. I am going to guess and say I was about 8, at Irricana. My brother and I had sereral rides over the course of one summer while the crew of the mixed switched cars at the elevators. I would guess the total one way distance would be less than a 1000 feet.

Neither of us liked the sound of the air brake releasing on the first ride. But I was proud of myself for quickly figuring out when it was going to happen on my next ride. I got the sense of the rhythm of starting, pushing, and then stopping to couple or uncouple the cars.

It was in several GP7's or 9's and one end cab switcher that I found out much later had been set up for road service. Even though we lived there for a couple of more years I never did have any more rides.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Thursday, June 28, 2018 12:49 PM

Riding on the tender of Disneyland Railroad's #1 when I was eleven years old. As a teenager I would also get the chance to ride in the cab of an RS-4-TC used in inustrial switching service at a local salt plant. 

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Posted by timz on Thursday, June 28, 2018 12:45 PM

I rode a BN helper out of Crawford in 1979. Before the Orin line opened there were maybe 15 coal trains a day up the hill, and four helper sets (and seven helper crews) were based at Crawford. There had been a work window somewhere to the west, and the four sets were on duty at 15-minute intervals around dark, when traffic resumed.

I was astonished-- my first cab ride, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Apparently engines do that to you.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, June 28, 2018 9:38 AM
The speeds would be proportional. If top speed is moved from a change in gearing from 65 to 45 mph, then the minimum continuous full-throttle speed would move from 12 to 8.31 mph. A good question is what is the time limit on full throttle with a stall, with no movement at all. That time limit might be the same for a specific motor type regardless of gearing. I did know the answer to this in the distant past for the typical EMD motor, but forgot this information.
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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 9:59 PM

I got my first cab ride late in life.  In 2005 during the bicentenial of the Lewis and Clarke Expedition, they ran a train along the Colombia River from Portland to Astoria.  It was three RCDs.  I was looking out the door window thru the vestibule and out the front center window.  The engineer noticed me and motioned me into the front vestibule cab.  Soon other passengers were invited in.

In 2007 we rode the Rio Grande Scenic out of Alamosa.  It was a true mixed train, wih a ballast car and a side dump car.  As they were starting up the grade, they stopped, uncoupled the side dump car from the passenger cars, went ahead a little and dumped some rip-rap along a fill.  I was walking back thru the train between cars when the conductor was letting a passenger out onto the ROW.  The conductor asked if I was going too.  Figuring it was to take photos, I said yes.  I was following the other passenger forward, when the Conductor got on his radio to the engineer, to say he was sending two to the front. It was only then that I realized I had stumbled into a cab ride.  I called back to the conductor, to tell my wife where I was going.  The loco was an ex-Amtrak F40.  The ride going up LaVeta Pass around sweeping curves and the loop at Fir was scenic, but the ride down the east side with its 3% grades and unbelievably tight curves was spectacular.  It's hard to believe 2-8-8-2's ran on the line back in the day.

My last cab ride was on the Eureka Springs tourist RR, riding the switcher around the yard and on the turntable.

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 7:52 PM

Becky, I think you would have enjoyed the cab rides I had in freight locomotives. Except for one round trip to Aliceville, they were all in the yard in Reform, Alabama (where I lived for nine years). I came to know the men who ran between Reform and Aliceville very well, and they did not mind my riding--and even let me run the engine around the wye on two occasions. The trip to Aliceville and back took two hours each way for the twenty miles, and was after a December sunset. They ate in a restaurant in Aliceville, and paid for my supper. 

I would also play brakeman or switch tender; apparently they had confidence in me.

I regret that I did not take my wife  with me at least one time and ask if she could run the engine.

Johnny

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 7:50 PM

Ain't happened for me yet neither.  Maybe one of these decades.

In the meantime, I just live vicariously through the You Tube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHIJBAP9l_I

Better than nuthin'...

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 6:41 PM

I'll let you know if it ever happens for me.  Wink

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 5:52 PM

BaltACD
SD70Dude
Many switchers were ballasted to give additional traction, our NW2 weighs more and will out-pull our F3A at low speeds, even though they are both geared for 65 mph.

No matter the gearing, operating at 1 mph in full throttle would definitely put the unit into the short-time ratings.  The only upside of running in notch 8 is that the traction motor blower is also running at maximum speed, they were belt-driven off the crankshaft in older units.

I don't recall smelling the characteristc smells associated with overheated electrical wiring.

Depending on the unit, you can run for a surprising amount of time with the ammeter in the short-time ratings zone before something gives. 

Not sure exactly what a SW1's ratings would be, but on most DC locomotives they seem to start at around 1000 amps, and the ratings for 1 hour, 30 minutes and 15 minutes are normally listed on the control stand, along with the continuous rating. 

A locomotive geared for 65 mph will have a minimum continuous speed of around 12 mph.  I would think a lower gear ratio would result in a lower minimum continuous speed, but am not sure.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 4:58 PM

SD70Dude
Many switchers were ballasted to give additional traction, our NW2 weighs more and will out-pull our F3A at low speeds, even though they are both geared for 65 mph.

No matter the gearing, operating at 1 mph in full throttle would definitely put the unit into the short-time ratings.  The only upside of running in notch 8 is that the traction motor blower is also running at maximum speed, they were belt-driven off the crankshaft in older units.

I don't recall smelling the characteristc smells associated with overheated electrical wiring.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:07 PM

Many switchers were ballasted to give additional traction, our NW2 weighs more and will out-pull our F3A at low speeds, even though they are both geared for 65 mph.

No matter the gearing, operating at 1 mph in full throttle would definitely put the unit into the short-time ratings.  The only upside of running in notch 8 is that the traction motor blower is also running at maximum speed, they were belt-driven off the crankshaft in older units.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 12:21 PM

daveklepper
BaltaCD:   How many minutes altogether would you estimate that SW1 was really lugging at less than one mile-per-hour?   The DC EMD motors had short-time ampere ratings roughly twice that of long-term; the limitation being heat dissipation and not cooking the insulation for motor-blow-out.

Although the SW1's horse-power rating was much less, the DC traction motors were the same as used on F-units of higher horsepower.  With much lower-speed gearing, they could actually outpull the higher-horsepower F-units as far as low-speed lugging or starting a train.

Probably 20-25 minutes - I am aware that SW-1's were geared much lower than road power (B&O at one time had several sets of F7's that were geared for a maximum of 50 MPH that were kept in helper service on the grades between Cumberland and Grafton).  I don't know what the minimum continuous speed for a SW1 was or what it's short time restrictions were.  The B&O SW1's dated from 1940 and their electrical gear would be of the FT generation, most likely and Timetable limited them to a maximum of 45 MPH.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 12:08 AM

BaltaCD:   How many minutes altogether would you estimate that SW1 was really lugging at less than one mile-per-hour?   The DC EMD motors had short-time ampere ratings roughly twice that of long-term; the limitation being heat dissipation and not cooking the insulation for motor-blow-out.

Although the SW1's horse-power rating was much less, the DC traction motors were the same as used on F-units of higher horsepower.  With much lower-speed gearing, they could actually outpull the higher-horsepower F-units as far as low-speed lugging or starting a train.

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Posted by Enzoamps on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 8:12 PM

My one and only cab ride was in the late 11950s, I was maybe 12.  I spent hours on the porch of the B&O YMCA at Brunswick, MD, across from the roundhouse.  A hostler had seen me there all summer and motioned me down the stairs and invited me over to the roundhouse.  We climbed onto a GP7 next to the roundhouse, track lined up with the turntable.

He showed me to the engineers seat, showed me the dead man switch I had to stand on.  Told me to pull back the throttle three notches, release the brake, and off we went onto the turntable.  Notch throttle back down to zero, and apply brakes once on t he table.  They turned us to a dofferent track, and we drove over to another spot to leave the locomotive.

It only lasted a few minutes, but I still remembe the feeling of the power of the engine behind me as it wound up to move us.  Didn't go fast, didn't go far, but I treasure the memory.

I remember trying to sound knowledgeable, "This is a GP7, right?"  "Oh, this is a General Motors,"  he said.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 4:14 PM

While working in Official capacity for the B&O I had numerous occasions to ride the cab.  Some were memorable.

Riding from New Castle to Akron on the train known as DETR or Detroiter - a empty autoparts trains that originated at Cumberland with cars moving back to Michigan from the GM assembly plants at Wilmington & Baltimore as well as the parts distribution facility at Martinsburg, WV.  As I recall, the train out of New Castle had approximately 150 cars and a single SD-40 for power - and even though the length of trains wasn't calculated in those days - the train was approacing 8000 or more feet in lenght - auto racks, high cube box cars - 89 foot empty frame flats.  Engineer notched the train up to #8 and there it stayed from OA Tower at New Castle to Center Street Crossing at Haselton to make a statuatory STOP for the non-interlocked railroad crossings at grade.  Getting the Green Highball from the Train Director at Center Street - the engineer notched back up to #8 and we were off again - with the knowledge that the locomotive with the train's tonnage of about 5600 tons was overloaded for Akron Hill, with Akron Jct being the pit of the 1% hill and having a permanent speed restriction of 10 MPH.  Akron hill was a descent and ascent in both directions with Akron Jct. being the bottom.  Each part of the grade was approximately 1 mile long.  Short heavy trains frequently stalled - both Eastbound and Westbound.  Long heavy trains would normally fare better as the rear part of the train would still be descending and 'adding horsepower' to the head end of the train that was climbing the hill.  At 8K feet the DETR had the advantage of having its train help it over the hill - the engineer slowed to walking speed as we passed the platform at Akron Union Station and my boss and I dismounted.  Maximum observed speed for the run was 24 MPH and the approximately 58 miles were covered in 2 hours 30 minutes.

Another memorable run was riding with the Valley Local out of Cleveland one morning.  Power was a SW-1 - 600 HP yard engine. The job was to take 84 loads of cement from Clark Ave. Yard to a customer out a Willow - about 5 miles from Clark Ave.  The 84 load comprised about 8K tons - a lot for one of the earliest freight diesels to enter the B&O's roster.  Once the train was doubled together it had to depart going over Clark Avenue's 'Hump' - not much of a hump compared to a genuine hump yard but a track of raised elevation.  Our speed pulling the train over the 'hump' could be measured on tenths of a MPH or less - but the SW-1 just kept pulling and pulling - once the train cleared the hump it only took an hour to get to Willow and start putting the train away on the customers track.  I didn't think a engine could go that slow, load that hard and not burn up - that SW1 did.

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 1:29 PM

It wasn't much of a ride, but back in 1976 (I was 16), my uncle took me to the old PRR (CR) Pitcairn engine terminal.  There was an SD40/SD35/SD40 consist at the fuel racks and the hostler let me move them up and down the track a couple of hundred feet.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 12:54 PM

I should have noted that I have had cab rides in Israel, the first in 1960, on my first visit, but none for the last 22 years, and all on the scenic old T. A. - Jerusalem line, not the fast T. A.- Haifa line.

My one British experience was on a Deltic diesel, London - Newcastle, the year before the line was electrified.  Steady 100mph running, on-time departure, two or three miniutes early arrival.  No Canadian cab rides, but Edmonton westbound to too sleepy to stay awake in a CN office car with Jack May and Bruse Russell,  CN Continental.

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