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Logging Railroads

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WPA
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Logging Railroads
Posted by WPA on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:58 PM

Just watched a great Sierra logging video that was not only entertaining but there was also a wealth of subtile details to apply to any logging line.  Learned a few details on the motive power as well.  Thought I would pass on if you have not watched it already.  

Link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WJRPzZTUUBg#fauxfullscreen

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 4:58 PM

Thanks for posting the link.  Sad to see all the wrecks, but that's life on a hillside logging operation.  Lots of curved trestles, too.

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Posted by Erie1951 on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 6:17 PM

What a terrific video and thanks for posting it! Yes

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:03 PM

I recommend taking some of the dialogue with salt.

For example, his mention of the four truck Shay.  Should have been three truck.

Also, I THINK the Westside was 3' gage, and the Pickering was standard gage.

Of course, the visuals are exactly what they look like; which is the real point of this video.  Hooray, for that.

Ed

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, December 20, 2018 4:11 PM

I'd guess that anybody working on the ground in that area where they yard the logs would be spending at least half of their paycheck on underwear.

Wayne

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, December 20, 2018 4:14 PM

It looks like the film is "speeded up", so the lads have a bit longer than it looks to get out of the way.

Certainly, there was a premium on quick agility.  And co-ordination between workers.

 

Ed

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, December 20, 2018 5:02 PM

7j43k
It looks like the film is "speeded up", so the lads have a bit longer than it looks to get out of the way.

Ed,I hope so because those mill switchmen look like a accident waiting to happen.

Such action on a railroad would cause a safety officer to have a heart attack!

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, December 20, 2018 5:30 PM

BRAKIE
Ed,I hope so because those mill switchmen look like a accident waiting to happen.

Somewhere on the forum, someone posted the annual accounting of NYC fatalities.  I can't find it or remember the exact number but 50'ish comes to mind.

  Life was cheap in the old days and the family didn't get multimillion dollar settlements.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, December 20, 2018 5:39 PM

People ask me if it's dangerous to work live on electrical.

I say: "Not if I don't make a mistake."

 

Ed

WPA
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Posted by WPA on Thursday, December 20, 2018 7:09 PM

All the action at the mill was interesting and how they hustle the wood around.  I deal with worker safety on a daily basis and when the brakeman jump off ahead of the engine to couple up I thought the same thing on the new underware.  

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, December 21, 2018 9:26 AM

A few thoughts:

The video seemed sped up and I don't know if any of those workers were really in the direct path of a moving log.  OTOH, the safety of the guy jumping off the front of the moving loco to couple a car looked jeopardized.

Professionalism is evident.  It looked to me like every one of those workers knew what they were doing.  Back then, obviously agility was a skill needed in the logging industry.  And to operate one of those big chainsaws, it looked to me like you had to be a big strong dude.  Skills of a kind that are different than what we think of today, but still used in a highly professional way, IMO.

Although I model modern era, I've always said if it wasn't for that interest, I would model a logging railroad.  Tight curves and short trains at slow speeds are characteristics that can be more easily represented with our layouts than some other themes.

- Douglas

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, December 21, 2018 11:31 AM

BigDaddy
Life was cheap in the old days and the family didn't get multimillion dollar settlements.

Around the late 1880s early 1900s families of switchen at  PRR's Bradford,Ohio yard would keep a clean sheet in case that dreaded kinock on the door came informing them their love one was dead.

The Brotherhood would give the family $25.00 and a Bible.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by NittanyLion on Friday, December 21, 2018 5:56 PM

I have a book of a shortline history that has a sentence to the effect of "he was scalded to death, and management paid his widow $20 and gave his son a job." Quite different here a century later. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, December 21, 2018 10:07 PM

I think the video was great.  Back in the day, Wisconsin had a few logging roads, one of best known is the Roddis Line.  It twisted and wound it's way through the north woods, make-shift trestles, no ballast, just what bark and debris fell of the spine cars, and constantly changing from one logging area/camp to the next.

As far as the saftey issues, yea, well, thats the way it was done.  Look at old construction pictures and videos, much different than todays requirements.

Mike.

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Posted by Erie1951 on Saturday, December 22, 2018 11:04 AM

Many years ago, back in my younger, thinner days, I worked steel construction in a large shipyard near the Huey P. Long bridge outside of New Orleans. Almost everyday, an ambulance could be seen taking away an injured worker. It was dangerous work, fer sure, but logging back then was more dangerous. Men were killed, lost or had limbs, fingers, feet, and hands crushed. Those were the days of wooden trees and iron men. In addition to the skills needed for such work, confidence and courage were also part of working the logs and on the train crews.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, December 22, 2018 11:23 AM

Erie1951

Many years ago, back in my younger, thinner days, I worked steel construction in a large shipyard near the Huey P. Long bridge outside of New Orleans. Almost everyday, an ambulance could be seen taking away an injured worker. It was dangerous work, fer sure, but logging back then was more dangerous. Men were killed, lost or had limbs, fingers, feet, and hands crushed. Those were the days of wooden trees and iron men. In addition to the skills needed for such work, confidence and courage were also part of working the logs and on the train crews.

 

To the bolded: In the video, the railroad worker jumps off the front of the loco to coule the car its about to hit, and he has to step backwards quickly to avoid getting hit. 

Just wondering, does the railroad require some sort of speed by which the car must be coupled, because it looked to me like the worker may have just took it upon himself to make the decision to jump off at the last second rather than waiting for the loco to bump the car.

Maybe the car continues to roll if he's not right there in position to couple it, so he has to jump in between the cars or else they don't get coupled.

It just seemed to me it looked like he had confidence in what he was doing and simply decided himself to not be patient and to jump off before he had to, but maybe I'm wrong?

If anybody knows, please respond.

- Douglas

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, December 22, 2018 11:52 AM

The practice led to no footboards on locomotives built after 1975 and the removal of footboards from existing locomotives after 1978.  Gradually the rules being adopted by nearly all railroads today that employees are NOT permitted to alight from ANY moving equipment except in extreme cases.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/231.30

Injuries and lawsuits became too risky and expensive for the railroad. 

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, December 22, 2018 12:08 PM

The logging job that always fascinated me was the river pigs as they were called. Jumping from log to log with a pole. I doubt if that job paid enough with the extreme danger involved with guiding the logs Downstream and breaking up log dams. 

I can imagine the likelihood of losing your balance and falling in between logs with the weight of 50 logs in the current behind, crushing you like a banana was probably pretty likelyTongue Tied  Obviously it took a different breed of men for this job. Those men had to be extremely brave, tough and extremely agile.... somewhat acrobats if you willIndifferent

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, December 22, 2018 12:13 PM

Doughless

  

To the bolded: In the video, the railroad worker jumps off the front of the loco to coule the car its about to hit, and he has to step backwards quickly to avoid getting hit. 

Just wondering, does the railroad require some sort of speed by which the car must be coupled, because it looked to me like the worker may have just took it upon himself to make the decision to jump off at the last second rather than waiting for the loco to bump the car.

Maybe the car continues to roll if he's not right there in position to couple it, so he has to jump in between the cars or else they don't get coupled.

It just seemed to me it looked like he had confidence in what he was doing and simply decided himself to not be patient and to jump off before he had to, but maybe I'm wrong?

If anybody knows, please respond.

 

 

If he jumps off of the moving loco before it hits the car, he has a "steady state" velocity, and can easily predict his movements when he jumps (assuming he reads his landing point correctly).

If he waits until the coupling happens, there will be an unpredictable acceleration (deceleration) for him.  He won't know in advance the extent.  He MAY be able to hold on.  He MAY get flung off.  He MAY get thrown against the car ahead.  He has no time to make decisions.

I answered the above in the general case.  I thought I saw such a thing in the video.  I either missed it on review or it's not there.  I recall it as a sideways view of the loco coming from the right and coupling to a boxcar on the left.  The guy is on the far side of the track.

Generally, it makes sense (to me) to get off the footboards before coupling, instead of riding all the way in.

 

For the specific one that I see in the video at 11:32, there are two guys riding the front of the loco.  It's going to couple to some empties at the log pond.  I didn't see them acting unconfident.  Their moves seemed very fluid and intentional.  I would have liked to see the event at normal speed to judge whether I thought they were being stupid--the slower the movement, the more time to react.  The location where they're working is likely full of loose bark, wood, dirt and water.  And it's kind of constricted, at least from my viewpoint.  

In this film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqpayZ2JqlU

at 9:20, there is a discussion and examples of alighting from the footboards of a locomotive.  Note that there's plenty of room to land.  

The film was shot in the late forties.  And features lots of railroad things of interest.

Ed

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