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Poling Pocket Questions

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Poling Pocket Questions
Posted by cefinkjr on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 11:07 AM

In 1943:

  1. Were poling pockets required on all interchanged freight cars?
  2. What were the critical dimensions of poling pockets?

Chuck
Allen, TX

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 11:49 AM

cefinkjr
Were poling pockets required on all interchanged freight cars?

I couldn't even hazard a guess on that one, but I do believe that at some point, they were outlawed.

cefinkjr
What were the critical dimensions of poling pockets?

I'm pretty sure that there were no specified standards...many used the cast or stamped "dimples", meant to accommodate the ends of the pole, but I know for certain that the TH&B, the railroad of my hometown, used rivitted-on angle irons, as on this modified Bowser (originally Stewart) channel-side hopper...

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 12:08 PM

cefinkjr

In 1943:

  1. Were poling pockets required on all interchanged freight cars?
  2. What were the critical dimensions of poling pockets?
 

I have no idea on either question.

I model 1954, and I think all of my freight cars have poling pockets, but I am unaware of any rules.

I hope we get a good answer, now my curiosity is awakened.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 1:15 PM

Trains had an article on 'the perilous push pole' in March 1993 (see p.68).  I believe in that story an AAR representative said he could not recall any ARA or AAR interchange restriction involving poling equipment or features.  There is no present ban on carrying poles; ex-NKP 765 travels with one on the tender.  As noted I know of no Federal restriction (e.g. in NPRM or codified in the CFR) barring poling as a practice -- doesn't mean there isn't one, of course, but there will be specific language  in a specific section if there is.

That leaves individual railroad rules and practices as the reason, and it stands to reason that the costs of providing the pockets and the structural reinforcement related to them could be saved by omitting them on equipment for owning or leasing carriers not using the practice.

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 2:29 PM

Here is an article on pole switching, including a video of the process:

 

https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/2015/07/poling-railroad-cars.html

 

It's reasonable to believe that poling was used to get at a single car that was inconveniently placed (see video), but it was also used for breaking up trains in yards.  When PRR tried it, probably at the end of the 19th century, they said it cut switching time in half.

I believe the way it was done was to have a parallel track to the array of switched yard tracks.  The switcher, usually using a specially equipped poling car, would get behind a cut of cars and kick them down the track, towards the switches.  Switchmen would throw the switches accordingly.

Hump yards turned out to be even faster.

 

Ed

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Posted by NVSRR on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 3:27 PM

I think there was an article in model railroader some years ago about the history and modeling.   Both those questions most likely were answered there.   Can't find it though.  Did find one article that said railroads generally stopped poling in the early 60's   To many injuries 

shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by cefinkjr on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 3:45 PM

7j43k

Here is an article on pole switching, including a video of the process:

https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/2015/07/poling-railroad-cars.html

Thanks for that link, Ed.  For some reason though, when I tried to view the video, I got a 'Video not available' message from YouTube.  The link in the post did take me to YouTube though so I entered "poling" as a search argument and soon had the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKWyAHbWnQg on my screen.  Nice until the narrator got to the unrelated urging of masking, social distancing, etc. near the end; I could have done very nicely without that.  I suspect that the recent addition of that to the video accounts for the 'Video not available' message; i.e., the link in the post was obsolete.

Chuck
Allen, TX

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Posted by cefinkjr on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 4:02 PM

Overmod

Trains had an article on 'the perilous push pole' in March 1993 (see p.68).

Thanks for almost pointing me to that article, Overmod.  I say almost because the article is in the March 1993 Trains but doesn't begin at page 68. Wink

But don't feel too bad about that.  The table of contents in the March 1993 issue has the article at page 66 and that's wrong too; the article actually starts at page 70.

Seriously though, I can't begin to imagine how much time you saved me just by pointing to the correct issue.  Of course, access to ALL archived issues of Trains via a trains.com subscription deserves some credit too.

Actually, that article answered my questions, albeit indirectly.  If poling pockets were an AAR standard in 1946, as stated in the sentence:

In time, pockets even got an AAR standard, and were "found on each corner of the undertrame of every freight car," wrote Robert S. Henry in 1946.

my first question is answered indirectly and my Modelers License is probably safe if I assume they were standard in 1943. The description of a pole as being "3 to 5 inches in diameter at the ends" more or less answers my second question and I can go with poling pockets of 6 or 8 inches on a 3D printed flat car.

Thanks again for the reference.

Chuck
Allen, TX

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 4:37 PM

cefinkjr

 

 
7j43k

Here is an article on pole switching, including a video of the process:

https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/2015/07/poling-railroad-cars.html

 

 

Thanks for that link, Ed.  For some reason though, when I tried to view the video, I got a 'Video not available' message from YouTube.  The link in the post did take me to YouTube though so I entered "poling" as a search argument and soon had the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKWyAHbWnQg on my screen.  Nice until the narrator got to the unrelated urging of masking, social distancing, etc. near the end; I could have done very nicely without that.  I suspect that the recent addition of that to the video accounts for the 'Video not available' message; i.e., the link in the post was obsolete.

 

Mighty strange.  I just (again) followed the link, scrolled down, clicked, and got a 56 sec long b&w video, based on the still.  When I click on yours, I get A LOT of video.  Irritating.

Ed

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:02 AM

I am looking at my Car Builder's Cyclopedia for 1937 (my oldest one) and it has drawings, seemingly official, for the AAR standard 40 and 50 ton steel sheathed boxcars.   The end drawings show the poling pockets (the kind that look sort of like a crescent moon versus the full circle "crater" type you also sometimes see) and the drawing says "push pole pockets optional."

The Cyc defines push pole pocket this way: "a plate placed on the corners of freight cars, and having a cavity for inserting a pole or bar in switching, to enable the car to be moved from the side by an engine on a parallel track.  A roping staple serves the same purpose when it is desired to use a rope or cable.  A topical discussion on push pole pockets will be found in the 1909 M.C.B. [Master Car Builders] Proceedings, page 100."  

Dave Nelson

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