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Industrial switcher pick up cars on main

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PED
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Industrial switcher pick up cars on main
Posted by PED on Sunday, May 27, 2018 9:22 PM

When a local is delivering a group of cars to a industry (that has a switcher of its own), can the local cut the cars loose on the main and then let the industrial switcher come drag the cars off the main into the industry......or....is it more typical for the local to push the cars off the main into the industrial area with no involvement of the industrial switcher.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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Posted by NHTX on Sunday, May 27, 2018 11:56 PM

     Observation of many situations as you describe indicates that a privately owned locomotive is restricted to its owner's property.  The common carrier (railroad) and the private owner agree to a boundary between the two properties, past which the crews and locomotives shall not pass.  Either may shove a half mile or longer string of cars onto the property of the other but the power must not trespass.  To operate on CC iron, the crews must possess documentation, pass a rules examination, have a timetable and rulebook---everything required by the agencies overseeing rail transportation.  As long as the private crew stays on company rails, OSHA is about the only irritant they face.  Another factor is the  expense in meeting government rules and regulations that apply to common carriers regarding accident liability.  Imagine that had been an industrial crew that had left the switch open where the Amtrak train rammed a tied down CSX freight earlier this year.

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, May 28, 2018 7:43 AM

The railroad will deliver and pull from the industry.  Many reasons for this.  The railroad doesn't want the industry switcher on its main track (liability, rules compliance, air brakes, safety) and the railroad doesn't want to tie its operation to the industry's operation (what happens if the local is running 6 hrs late, what happens if the industry's engine isn't available, what happens if the industry's engine can't handle the whole cut in one chunk).  The railroad wants a straight pull and shove.  Quick and simple.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, May 28, 2018 8:21 AM

Paul,That's not the industry's switch crew job,it's the job of the local to deliver and pick up the outbound cars.

Larry

SSRy

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“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
PED
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Posted by PED on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 8:40 AM

OK. Once the local has pushed the cars off the main onto a siding, is that still under jurisdiction of the RR or can the industrial switcher grab the cars and move them around? Trying to understand where the operational limits arefor the industrial switcher.

Example: I have a grain elevator with multiple tracks to load and store cars both full and empty. I am assuming that the industrial switcher can shuffle the cars around as needed as long as he stays off the main and does not interfer with any other industry that may be on the siding.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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Posted by cx500 on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 1:59 PM

The railroad will usually install a derail at the limits of the industry's permitted operation.  That will be clear of the main tracks, including passing sidings.  While the industry will (in most cases) not enter the railroad's trackage, the reverse often can and does happen.  The industry switch crew will stand clear while the local comes into the premises to drop off and pick up cars.  If the industry's track is in poor condition the railroad may suspend service until it is returned to a safe state. 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 7:50 AM

PED
Example: I have a grain elevator with multiple tracks to load and store cars both full and empty. I am assuming that the industrial switcher can shuffle the cars around as needed as long as he stays off the main and does not interfer with any other industry that may be on the siding.

There won't be another industry on that grain elevator  tracks because they need every foot of track to load grain cars.This will include several hundred feet beyond the loading area so several cars can be loaded and shoved through so the next car can be loaded..

Nothing looks as stupid as a model grain elevator with several cars with no track beyond the loading area. Even a small elevator will have head room on the other side of the loading area so they can pull cars through as they are loaded.

Concerning industry sidings. These sidings are owned and maintain by the industry and finding more then one industry on a single siding is very rare unless you are looking at a layout.

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 8:42 AM

In order to have an industry switcher in the modern era, the industry has to have a contract with the railroad that sets out how much of the track the industry owns or leases.  Normally the industry will lease up to the clearance point of the track coming off the main.  The agreement will specify which tracks the railroad will deliver and pull from.  The industry switcher can ONLY operate ont eh tracks covered in the agreement.  In the vast majority of cases, that does NOT include the main track of the railroad.  An industry switcher use a main track or active siding of the railroad for any purpose is highly unusual.  

If there are other industries on the tracks, then the industry switcher will not be permitted to operate on the lead or siding that connects them.  Unless the industry leases ALL the tracks and ALL the industries agree to be switched by the industry switcher.  Its one or the other, either the railroad switches them or the industry switcher does.  The railroads are not interested in sharing tracks with industry switchers (except at the set out/pick up tracks).  Its too dangerous for the railroad and its crews as well as the industry and its crews.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by NHTX on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 7:20 PM

     When Brakie addresses "headroom", it applies to not only grain elevators but, any industry that loads products in bulk.  Coal mine, cement plant, chemical plant--- any industry with a fixed loading point.  There should be  track space for loads and empties equally.  For example:  You have room for  five empties beyond the loader, with one empty under the loader.  This becomes five loads out the other side with one load under the loader.  Even if your industry uses front end loaders to load from stockpiles on the ground, in the interest of efficiency, they will move cars rather than have the loader(s) travel the length of a 20 car string with each bucket load.  This what drives large industries to have a network of track and a way to keep a steady flow of cars in and out.

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, May 31, 2018 7:28 PM

dehusman
he railroads are not interested in sharing tracks with industry switchers (except at the set out/pick up tracks). Its too dangerous for the railroad and its crews as well as the industry and its crews.

I've worked plenty of industries that we shared with industry switchers/trackmobiles.  *shrugs*.

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, June 01, 2018 2:38 AM

dehusman
In order to have an industry switcher in the modern era, the industry has to have a contract with the railroad that sets out how much of the track the industry owns or leases. Normally the industry will lease up to the clearance point of the track coming off the main. The agreement will specify which tracks the railroad will deliver and pull from.

Actually the industry own their siding not the railroad and therefore the industry must maintain their track or run a risk of it being embargoed by the serving road as being unsafe...

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, June 01, 2018 9:17 AM

zugmann
I've worked plenty of industries that we shared with industry switchers/trackmobiles. *shrugs*.

So you are switching the same tracks and the same cars at the same time the "shrug" is switching those same tracks and same cars?

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, June 01, 2018 2:27 PM

dehusman
So you are switching the same tracks and the same cars at the same time the "shrug" is switching those same tracks and same cars?

No, we don't couple to the same track or cars. We would win that tug of war.   Job briefings, blue flags, special TT instructions and restricted speed rules all apply.   Consult your local trainmaster.  Certain restrictions apply.

You can't expect a large insutry with multiple tracks and sidings to shut down operations for the daily local to do their work.

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, June 01, 2018 3:46 PM

If an industry is big enough to warrant owning it's own switcher, it's probably going to have what amounts to some sort of 'interchange yard'. This might be as simple as single track, or a track with a double-ended siding, located between the mainline railroad and the industry. The industry puts outbound cars on the track. The railroad picks up the cars and drops off inbound cars. The industry switcher picks up the inbound cars and hauls them back to the industry to be spotted.

The industry itself doesn't have to be right next to the track, it might be a mile away. Seems to me I've seen layouts that just model the interchange yard / area, with the industry represented in the distance on the backdrop, and the industry switcher pulling inbounds into some type of hidden staging area.

Stix
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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, June 03, 2018 4:35 PM

wjstix

If an industry is big enough to warrant owning it's own switcher, it's probably going to have what amounts to some sort of 'interchange yard'. This might be as simple as single track, or a track with a double-ended siding, located between the mainline railroad and the industry. The industry puts outbound cars on the track. The railroad picks up the cars and drops off inbound cars. The industry switcher picks up the inbound cars and hauls them back to the industry to be spotted.

The industry itself doesn't have to be right next to the track, it might be a mile away. Seems to me I've seen layouts that just model the interchange yard / area, with the industry represented in the distance on the backdrop, and the industry switcher pulling inbounds into some type of hidden staging area.

 

Also industrial parks

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Sunday, June 03, 2018 6:10 PM

Whether there is more than one industry per track depends on era.  Pre-Staggers Act, the norm was the railroad owned all track so they'd string industries on a siding like beads on a string.  Pretty much the opposite now.

Note I said "norm," not "absolute ironclad rule in every case."

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, June 04, 2018 7:55 AM

Bayfield Transfer Railway
Pre-Staggers Act, the norm was the railroad owned all track so they'd string industries on a siding like beads on a string.

First why would a railroad own and maintain track on private property which would make them liable for any injuries on that track?

Even when I worked on the PRR the industry owned their siding in fact Zimmerman's Lumber and Home Improvement Company track was embargoed as was Hubbard & Sons Manufacturing for being unsafe.

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 3:53 PM

A century ago, a common small-town / prairie town set-up would be a single track mainine running through town say east-west. On the south side of the main would be a long passing siding, so trains could meet there. On the north side of the main would be the passenger station. Another long sidetrack would run behind the station, commonly called a 'house track'. It wasn't unusual for there to be several industries (well 'industry' might be too grandiose, but a grain elevator, feed mill, beverage warehouse, and a team track) to all be located along the house track.

In "One Man's Locomotives", author Vernon Smith describes his hometown of Crosby MN as being on one leg of a wye, and includes in the book a diagram of the town c. 1915 showing how the leg the town was on split into two parallel tracks. Each track had several businesses located along it; I think there was a spur track off one to an industry too.

Stix

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