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Locomotive headlight use

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  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • 51 posts
Locomotive headlight use
Posted by 2002p51 on Monday, June 11, 2018 9:45 AM

When did railroads start using the locomotive headlights during the day? In researching the transistion era (1950-1960) I notice in most daytime photographs it deasn't appear that headlights are in use.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,278 posts
Posted by dehusman on Monday, June 11, 2018 11:05 AM

During the 1950's and 1960's they changed the rules to have the headlight shown from dusk to dawn to continuously.  

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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    February, 2015
  • 210 posts
Posted by NHTX on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:39 AM

   The rule change came about in the 1950s as the diesel replaced steam.  The New Haven Railroad Book of Rules, Effective October 28, 1956, and the Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway Company, Rules of the Transportation Department, Effective June 1, 1957, two very different and widely separated railroads both say pretty much the same thing in Rule 17: The headlight will be displayed to the front of every train by day and night.  The rule goes on to give guidance on what to do when meeting other trains, standing in sidings, at junctions, etc.  The thinking was generations of the public and railroaders were accustomed to the plumes of steam and smoke along with the exhaust sounds of steamers.  Without the audio and visual display of steam power, diesels could "sneak" up on the unwary with possibly fatal results.

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Posted by j. c. on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 11:30 AM

i belive the icc mandated it in 1956 , but dont know the applied date. 

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 11:38 AM

"The Consolidated Code of Operating Rules" of 1959 states:

"17.  The headlight must be displayed burning bright to the front of every train by day and by night."

and then goes on about various exceptions and additions.

 

These rules applied generally to the northwestern railroads.

 

It would be interesting to hear about earlier editions.

 

 

 

Ed

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Omaha, NE
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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 11:44 AM

One of the barriers to establishing a change date using rule books is that rule books can be amended by general order or timetable special instruction without being changed in the rule book itself.  The change in the physical rule book might not come until a new rule book is issued  If a railroad issued a new rule book in 1955 and the ICC mandated a change in 1956, the railroad would issue a general order or a timetable special instruction until the rule book was reprinted, which could be a decade later.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 5,611 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 1:07 PM

Right.  But the quote above means that the event happened earlier than 1959.  How much earlier is still unknown.

Ed

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