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How do I handle a facing point interchange

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How do I handle a facing point interchange
Posted by xdford on Monday, May 27, 2019 7:21 PM

The scenario is a way freight that needs to pick up a car at an interchange point where the train is heading towards a facing turnout. The nearest run around is two or three miles away.

Does the loco pick up the car and push it to the nearest passing siding then arrange it into the train or does it take its train to the passing siding and go back and fetch it?  Or does it leave the train at the previous passing point and fetch the car?

Hope this is clear but being where I am I cannot readily work out where and how this might have happened,

Thanks in Anticipation, 

Cheers from Australia 

Trevor

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, May 27, 2019 8:30 PM

xdford
take its train to the passing siding and go back and fetch it?  Or does it leave the train at the previous passing point and fetch the car?

Probably one of those.

You called it an interchange, is this an interchange with another railroad?  where cars are routinely interchanged, from one road to the other?

If it is, the engineers better get busy at their drawing boards and figure out how to make a regular used interchange  more user friendly. 

Mike.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, May 27, 2019 8:55 PM

xdford
The scenario is a way freight that needs to pick up a car at an interchange point where the train is heading towards a facing turnout. The nearest run around is two or three miles away.

I'm a little confused on terminology.  What's considered a way frieght?  Is it returning to where it started, or does it end another terminal?

 

We have a branch line that has an interchange that is facing point.  But since that is near the end of the branchline (and end of where the crew does work), they either (a) hop off the branchline to the mainline and run around their train on a siding a mile away, and then pick up/set off  the cars on the return, or (b) set up push-pull with an engine on each end and swap ends at the interchange to set off/pick up. 

 

Of course (b) only works if you have 2 engines and are able to split the power beforehand.

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, May 27, 2019 8:58 PM

Generally, a "turn" or a local is a well orchestrated operation. Sidings (or interchanges) are worked trailing point on the way out, and the opposite ones worked on the way back.

I have seen "Dutch Drops" where a car is kicked in order to get it in the proper orientation and I have seen "rare" occasions where a car might be shoved ahead of the locomotive until it can be run around but this is the exception rather than the rule.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, May 27, 2019 9:16 PM

What we would have done is pick the interchange car(s) on the return trip making it a simple switch and no extra work would be needed by making a unnecessary runaround.  If the local return the next day then that's when the interchange would be picked up.

Larry

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Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 1:29 PM

Switch it in the direction that the train can actually access it and just haul the cars through to the next yard and then backhaul as necessary. Or, haul the cars for the interchange past the interchange to the next yard and switch them to the interchange on the next train heading in that direction.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 7:16 PM

These rules apply if you're doing an OPS Session where freight cars are being picked up, then dropped off. 

Our Club has done a couple of these, the train should be no longer than five/six cars and you have a brakeman riding in the caboose who dosen't want to walk too far.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 9:34 PM

zugmann

  

 

I'm a little confused on terminology.  What's considered a way frieght?  Is it returning to where it started, or does it end another terminal?

 

 

Yes.  Way freight is just another term for a local freight.  Could be a turn that ends up where it originated from or could run to a distant terminal, out one day back the next.  Like many railroad terms, it's popularity is probably railroad and/or region dependent.

Jeff  

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 10:22 PM

jeffhergert
Yes. Way freight is just another term for a local freight. Could be a turn that ends up where it originated from or could run to a distant terminal, out one day back the next. Like many railroad terms, it's popularity is probably railroad and/or region dependent. Jeff

Jeff, A urban local could be called the 18th St Industrial job or maybe the Westinghouse job.

While working on the PRR I remember being call for the 3:00am Westinghouse job. I really hated that call because I knew very little about the track numbers and names since this job was held by a periment crew of old heads that's been doing that job for years.. The extra board man usually treated like a rookie brakeman regardless how many years service he had.

Larry

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, June 06, 2019 6:53 AM

A train going in the direction the switch faces would most likely pick up the car, regardless of where it goes.  If it goes in the direction the train is heading it will handle it like any other car.  If it goes in the opposite direction the train picking it up will handle it to the next yard or place where cars are exchanged between trains.  That will probably NOT be a passing siding since if you park cars in the siding, it is probably not going to be able to be used to pass trains.  Then a train going the other direction will pick up the car and handle it.

This could mean that the car takes an extra day or two to get where its going and it might have to be hauled 10-20-100 miles out of route.  That's not unusual.   Cars roll both ways.

If it just HAD to be picked up and there was a trailing point switch at that location on some track, they might drop the car by.  they would leave they train about 1/4 mile away.  Pull the car from the facing point interchange, with the car on the front of the engine. 

At the trailing point switch, assuming they  had a conductor and two brakemen, they would put a man at the switch, one on the engine and one riding the car.  If they only had a conductor and a brakeman, they would put a man on the car and a man on the engine.  They would bleed the air of the car.

The engineer would start moving toward the trailing point switch (lined into the track), get the engine and car up to 4-5 mph, then he would back off the throttle.  When the slack ran in the man on the engine would pull the pin and the engineer would accelerate the engine away from the car into the siding/spur.  The man at the switch would immediately line the switch for the main track (or the man riding the engine would drop off and line the switch).  The car would roll past the switch and when clear of the switch, the brakeman riding it would set the handbrake to stop the car.  The engine ould come out of the spur and then couple into the car, now on the rear of the engine.

 

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, June 06, 2019 7:18 AM

zugmann
I'm a little confused on terminology. What's considered a way frieght? Is it returning to where it started, or does it end another terminal?

A way freight is just a freight that works industries along the line, over the road.

There are different types of jobs that do industry work.  There is a switch engine that just stays at one location and switches there.  There are locals that originate at a terminal and run to a location, then return back to the origin one the same tour of duty with the same crew.  They are called turns.  They may work industries between the origin and the turn location or just at the turn location.  And lastly there are the "road locals" that work industries over a territory one way one day.  They tie up at the far location, get their rest and then return home working industries the other way the next day. 

Generally those are the type of train called a "way freight", although a turn could be called a way freight.  Its a"slang' term so it could have different meanings in different areas.

If you have one local crew they run east Mo-We-Fr and west Tu-Th-Sa, off on Sunday, its called a tri-weekly local.  If you have two crews and one crew works east one day and returns west the next, and the other crew works west one day and returns east the next, its called double daily service.

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Posted by OldEngineman on Thursday, June 06, 2019 10:52 PM

Back in the early 80's, there was a Conrail job out of Danbury that went up the Harlem line to Wassaic (NY) to switch a couple of customers up there (feed mill and box factory). The problem was one switch faced north and the other faced south, and the runaround track there was out-of-service.

So, the train was made up in Danbury with two cabooses, with the cars in between. We hauled it engine first to Dover Plains (which still had a runaound). At Dover we put the engine "in the middle", with cars and a caboose on either end.

Then we shoved the 4+ miles up to Wassaic, did the work, shoved back to Dover, put the engine on the south end, and ran back to Danbury. I brought the camera along one day and took a pic in the farmer's field north of Dover. You can see the two cabooses. Not sure what that lone boxcar was doing right behind the engine.

 

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Posted by NWP SWP on Monday, June 10, 2019 11:22 PM

Heres how my club handles it,

I was on train 120 the southbound "unit grain" this Saturday for our ops session.

At North Robeline I am required to switch a facing point industry in the form of a grain elevator, I proceed SB over the Diamond at Robeline and into the Siding at S. Robeline, there I cut the power loose from the train (two sd40s) proceed out of the south end of the siding onto the main and proceed to do a runaround, I clear the north switch for the siding then proceed to couple to the caboose, I now lug the train northbound back to N. Robeline to perform my *now* trailing point move, I grab my pickups and do my setouts, now I can do one of two things, proceed NB to Boyce Yard and perform another runaround to head back SB or I can shove back to the siding at S. Robeline and do that there, in this case I did just that.

Is it correct? I dont know, but that's how we do it.

Steven

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 4:54 AM

If possible why not switch that elevator on the return trip instead of doing all that work and tying up the dispatcher's main?  A simple runaround requires time as does making that return trip to the elevator and recall if the dispatcher has any trains to run you will wait until he runs his trains by you.

If the club uses DCC why not place a engine on both ends of 120 and consist them?

Another option would be to use Boyce yard and shove caboose first to the elevator and do the require work and return to Boyce and pickup your train. This will not tie up the main making switching moves like that runaround. Should the dispatcher need you to clear then a simple shove to S.Robeline and your in the clear.

Larry

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:15 AM

I think one of the misconceptions about local switching is the notion the train has to switch every turnout on its first pass.  On our layouts, that can get tedious if the turnouts are only a few feet apart.  Lots of back and forth.

Simply switch all of the trailing point turnouts on your way to the runaround.  Runaround the train once. Then switch the formerly facing point turnouts on your way back. 

You may be pulling a car 100% of the way to the runaround, then 90% back, but the goal is to wind up with the correct train at the very end, not necessarily before that.  

 

- Douglas

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Posted by NWP SWP on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 8:32 AM

The grain train is a road train starts in Little Rock terminates in New Orleans, S. Robeline is closer than Boyce Yard, the problem is both places are high traffic areas. I'm going up there tonight I can post some more information later.

Steven

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Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 8:46 AM

Optimize work efficiency, not the travel distance of an individual car.

It's better to haul an individual car even a significant distance more than necessary than to spend an extra two hours trying to get it spotted, unless it's a super-hot rush car or something...

The train is going all the way out and back anyway, hauling one extra car around makes no difference.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 1:56 PM

cv_acr

Optimize work efficiency, not the travel distance of an individual car.

It's better to haul an individual car even a significant distance more than necessary than to spend an extra two hours trying to get it spotted, unless it's a super-hot rush car or something...

The train is going all the way out and back anyway, hauling one extra car around makes no difference.

 

Which is something to consider when designing a trackplan, especially smaller layouts.

No need for a runaround at every town or industry cluster, like so many plans default to.  It saves space to simply have one runaround near the end of the line.  I think its also more prototypical since a real railroad wants to spend as little money and time on building and maintaining runarounds as possible.

- Douglas

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 8:01 PM

Doughless
I think its also more prototypical since a real railroad wants to spend as little money and time on building and maintaining runarounds as possible.

I would say all of my conductors would avoid the extra work needed to make a runaround since we would be returning later that day. Unlike model railroading we had:

to stop and close the air valve before we uncoupled the cars.

Pull the engine(s) ahead stop,unlock the switch throw the switch,check the points and replace the lock back in the lock holder. 

Then the engine(s) could proceed through the switch and then stop while the head brakeman removes the lock, close and lock the switch,walk to the engine and then proceed with the runarond.

All of the above takes time around 10-15 mintues.

The rear brakeman has his switch already lined for the move after setting three handbrakes. He would radio the head end and advise them the brakes are set and the switch is open.

With a engine on both ends of a local today I don't think runaround moves is needed like in the old days..

Hopefully one of our current railroaders will pitch in. This brakeman of the old days likes information on modern operation. 

Larry

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 5:55 AM

That's been my general understanding.  Both in terms of costs of the physical plant and eliminating coupling/uncoupling runaround moves, its simply more efficient to have as few runarounds as possible.  

Its cheaper and makes more sense to find a used old loco to stick on the back of the train to handle a few facing point moves than it is to build a runaround.  Especially if the customer goes away, the railroad is stuck paying for track it no longer needs.  It can sell the loco or use it for spare parts.

Not sure we've answered the OPs specific question.....

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 7:10 AM

Depends on your era.

In olden days locomotives and cars had poling pockets cqast onto their frames, used for pushing a car on one track from an engin on another. It was interesting for the guy placing and holding the pole.

NOT DONE ANYMORE.

Kicking a car, already described by others is a possibility up until when ever that manuver was disallowed.

With locomotives at both ends of the train, the project become moot.

 

An interchange track with one switch is unusual, but would be handled by a train headed in the convienent direction.

 

ROAR

 

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:42 AM

BroadwayLion
An interchange track with one switch is unusual, but would be handled by a train headed in the convienent direction.

Seems to be the norm around here.

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 12:10 PM

NWP SWP
I was on train 120 the southbound "unit grain" this Saturday for our ops session.

If its a unit grain train why are you switching industries along the way?  If its a unit grain train why are there mixed loads and empties in the train?

Other options. 

1.  Send a cab hop light out to the elevator, pull the train out of the elevator back to Robeson yard, then originate the unit train out of the yard with no work.

2.  Assume it not a unit train its just a grain sweeper.  In that case run it as a "local" between the northmost point and the southmost point it does work.  The northward train switches northward trailing point switches, the southward train switches southward trailing point switches and its only a "unit train" so of the southmost point it does work.

 

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Thursday, June 13, 2019 11:34 AM

Here in Richardton, full unit sand trqins arrive and the locomotyives depart light.

When the empty cars need to be pulled, they send in light engines and pull the train out.

 

Same deal witht the Ethanol pland. BNSF brings empties and Red Trail stores them on their loops. The fill them as the need them and then call BNSF when they have a train ready to go.

BNSF sends out car knockers to assure that the train is ready for the road, and then light locomotives come in to pull them out.

Lots of light moves. but that is life.

Both  of these facilities have both east and west end switch points. The points closer to town will foul the city streets with extensive switching. They tend to use the distal turnouts for this reasosns.

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, June 13, 2019 11:59 AM

BroadwayLion
Both of these facilities have both east and west end switch points. The points closer to town will foul the city streets with extensive switching. They tend to use the distal turnouts for this reasosns.

If I had a dollar for every time we fouled city streets with indusrail switching moves on the PRR I could afford to buy at least three 45'  high cubed containers of Genesis DCC/Sound equipt engines. It was a part of getting the job done and keeping those industries working.

 

Larry

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Posted by xdford on Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:52 PM

Hello Again,

Thank you all for your replies so far.  It is obvious the "problem" was handled in many ways depending on the local settings and operating standards.  

My own layout is based on the "Turning Lead into Gold" layout by EE Seely in MR back in December 73 and my layouts since then have evolved around the operating theme.  The article used the idea of a couple of interchange or industrial tracks midway between stations a few scale miles apart facing each direction. 

A lot of plans in 101 track plans showed similar sidings/spurs (one can never quite get the terminology right to suit everyone given the breadth of the hobby)  labelled as interchanges or industrial  spurs.

For operating purposes I assume these sidings were by pretence to be in the "middle of nowhere" in a similar mode to the articles tenet. I use a combination of scenarios suggested by that article for local freights/ turns/ way freights/ wayside goods/ "scavenger" freights depending on whatever your local nomenclature happens to be.  

Doughless made a point about not necessarily answering my original question. The question itself was prompted by my installing a new siding and wondering how I would best apply it close to a "station" or in the "middle of nowhere" in my operating scheme ... based on all your information inputs collectively, I have opted for the former scenario.  So I guess my question was answered and I have learned a bit more with all the inputs.

Thanks Again and I look forward to hearing of other scenarios

Regards from Australia

Trevor

 

 

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Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, June 13, 2019 10:41 PM

dehusman

 

 
NWP SWP
I was on train 120 the southbound "unit grain" this Saturday for our ops session.

 

If its a unit grain train why are you switching industries along the way?  If its a unit grain train why are there mixed loads and empties in the train?

Other options. 

1.  Send a cab hop light out to the elevator, pull the train out of the elevator back to Robeson yard, then originate the unit train out of the yard with no work.

2.  Assume it not a unit train its just a grain sweeper.  In that case run it as a "local" between the northmost point and the southmost point it does work.  The northward train switches northward trailing point switches, the southward train switches southward trailing point switches and its only a "unit train" so of the southmost point it does work.

 

 

The problem is this train does not make a NB return run, it terminates in New Orleans, hence the need to switch the elevator during the run.

Steven

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, June 14, 2019 4:44 AM

NWP SWP
The problem is this train does not make a NB return run, it terminates in New Orleans, hence the need to switch the elevator during the run.

I have a wonder.. How do they return empties to the grain companies?

In that case Boyce yard would be the best bet for doing the require work.

However,any local out of Boyce could do  the work on their return trip to Boyce. Then all 120 needs to do is pick up the loads at Boyce.This would be the best way.

Also on some roads a road crew was limited to three enroute setouts or pickups.

Larry

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Posted by cv_acr on Friday, June 14, 2019 10:47 AM

NWP SWP

 The problem is this train does not make a NB return run, it terminates in New Orleans, hence the need to switch the elevator during the run.

*Something* must make a north bound run...

The cars from the "grain train" can be dropped in the yard and transferred to the NB local to serve the elevator. The cars the local picks up from the elevator can be hauled to the next yard to the north and set off for transfer to the SB grain train or another SB manifest.

Remember there's always tomorrow/next session...

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, June 14, 2019 2:35 PM

BRAKIE

 

 
NWP SWP
The problem is this train does not make a NB return run, it terminates in New Orleans, hence the need to switch the elevator during the run.

 

I have a wonder.. How do they return empties to the grain companies?

In that case Boyce yard would be the best bet for doing the require work.

However,any local out of Boyce could do  the work on their return trip to Boyce. Then all 120 needs to do is pick up the loads at Boyce.This would be the best way.

Also on some roads a road crew was limited to three enroute setouts or pickups.

 

It's not that crews were limited to only X number of work events, it's after that number has been exceeded the road crew gets paid at the local rate of pay for the entire trip.

So often I read or hear crews can only do this or that because of the work rules.  The railroad can have any crew do anything they want them to do. If it violates the work rules the employees doing work in excess of what's required or work that belongs by contract to others can put in claims for a penalty payment. Those other employees affected who should have preformed the work can also put in claims. Sometimes in an emergency it may be worth to pay out those claims.  In normal day to day operations not so much. 

The application and enforcing of work rules is something that's hard to replicate on a model railroad. Maybe those holding group sessions could have those who exceeded the work rules claim an extra donut at the end of the session. 

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