poling

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poling
Posted by sanvtoman on Saturday, March 25, 2006 11:00 AM
could someone please explain "poling" to me. i noticed most steam and early diesels had poling slots on the or near the steps. thank you!
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Posted by edbenton on Saturday, March 25, 2006 11:06 AM
poling was were you used a piece of timber to shove a car on an adjancent track. some RR's even had poling cars were the switchman or brakeman could stay off the ground and shove the cars around. Fell out of practice due to the danger in it pole breaks and splinters fly around. Also good to clear a fouled switch lead.
Always at war with those that think OTR trucking is EASY.
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Posted by ValleyX on Saturday, March 25, 2006 1:16 PM
From those I knew who actually did it, it was mostly used to put cars in the clear when a drop or kick move didn't get the job done. Had an old conductor tell me one time, when he was a young brakeman, he refused to stand and hold the pole when it started to creak and he thought it was going to break. The conductor he was working for wanted to turn him in to the trainmaster for failure to do his job but nothing ever came of it, he continued to railroad until retirement. This would have happened in the late 1930's.
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, March 25, 2006 2:03 PM
Poling is incredibly hazardous and a switch crew could consider itself lucky if nobody got injured or killed in such a maneuver. It has been outlawed for some time now.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by tatans on Saturday, March 25, 2006 2:44 PM
Didn't any of you wonder what that round steel plate at the corner of a boxcar and on each corner of most steam engines was for? that's where the pole went so it wouldn't slip out (supposedly) Gee, no danger there eh?
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Posted by tatans on Saturday, March 25, 2006 3:00 PM
Many, many moons ago we tried to spot a reefer beside the ice house, no locomotive was available not even a pinch bar, so one guy got a C.P.R. truck and an old fence post, well, after the pole slipped off the front bumber and destroyed the grill and part of the radiator we got the car rolling, oops, it just went off the track into the gravel, who thought to stop it, after the stationmaster reamed us out we spent the rest of the day watching B&B guys put the car back on the tracks, and we finally got a pinchbar. good times.
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Posted by trainfan1221 on Saturday, March 25, 2006 3:34 PM
A lot of locos did have polling slots, despite the danger involved. I think it was only for when a loco got trapped by a car that didn't quite get the distance to clear up. Railroads aren't immune to dangerous practices, such as link and pin couplers, which thankfully didn't last.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 25, 2006 11:14 PM
Poling was just like a lot of things around the railroad - it was only dangerous in the hands of people who didn't take care in doing it, and who used unsafe poles.

I've seen it done many times by people who knew what they were doing, and there weren't any problems.

Old Timer
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Posted by zardoz on Sunday, March 26, 2006 7:29 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Old Timer
I've seen it done many times by people who knew what they were doing, and there weren't any problems.
Old Timer

True, but I always thought it was a rather nerve-wracking operation. Extreme care had to be used.
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Posted by railroad65 on Sunday, March 26, 2006 10:12 AM
What's a pinchbar? Any pictures? Thanks
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Posted by eolafan on Sunday, March 26, 2006 10:16 AM
The last time I actually saw railroaders "poling" a car was in Shawano, WI back in the mid 1970's on the old SOO Line.
Eolafan (a.k.a. Jim)
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 26, 2006 11:16 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by zardoz

QUOTE: Originally posted by Old Timer
I've seen it done many times by people who knew what they were doing, and there weren't any problems.
Old Timer

True, but I always thought it was a rather nerve-wracking operation. Extreme care had to be used.

I didn't notice anyone involved being particularly nervous. Careful, yes. Nervous, no.

Old Timer
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Posted by tatans on Monday, March 27, 2006 8:32 AM
Pinchbar is a long handled rig with a wedge shaped shoe that slides under the wheel of a car and you push down and move the car slowly,---does anyone have a photo??? I'll try for a picture.
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Posted by FJ and G on Monday, March 27, 2006 10:30 AM
I believe poling is used on speeders that have run out of gas. Sort of like gondoleering in Venice.[:D]
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Posted by tatans on Monday, March 27, 2006 12:01 PM
rr65: for a photo of a pinch bar try: www.gwsr.com go to Quick Links then Search, type in Pinch Bar, there it is.
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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, March 27, 2006 3:53 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Old Timer

Poling was just like a lot of things around the railroad - it was only dangerous in the hands of people who didn't take care in doing it, and who used unsafe poles.

I've seen it done many times by people who knew what they were doing, and there weren't any problems.

Old Timer

At one time I remember seeing a photo of a poling car, it was a shorty flat car with a pole on either side, one end was fixed to the car and the other would swing out to contact the poling pocket on the car to be pushed [at one time most cars had a poling point on each corner of the car for this practice] The pushing end was supported by a rod or brace from the pivot point on a verticle support on the side of the car. I cannot remember the details, but I would suspect that that type of car would be located in a large yard or certainly to switch crews in urban areas that had to do a lot of car pushing. It was certainly not an unusual practice, when most rail cars would have a poling pocket made onto the car. Many steam switch engines, and early diesels had poling bars hung on the tender frame or on the walkway of the diesel. At least until the practice was outlawed b the Operational Rules of the RR's.
Sam

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 27, 2006 7:24 PM
I remember doing a poling once and once only as we would have been "poled" by the trainmaster had he known about it lol thats what we got for running late and finding a car that absolutely had to be picked up!! Oh well thats history now and we survived that and some other stupid tricks
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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, March 27, 2006 7:36 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by samfp1943

QUOTE: Originally posted by Old Timer

Poling was just like a lot of things around the railroad - it was only dangerous in the hands of people who didn't take care in doing it, and who used unsafe poles.

I've seen it done many times by people who knew what they were doing, and there weren't any problems.

Old Timer

At one time I remember seeing a photo of a poling car, it was a shorty flat car with a pole on either side, one end was fixed to the car and the other would swing out to contact the poling pocket on the car to be pushed [at one time most cars had a poling point on each corner of the car for this practice] The pushing end was supported by a rod or brace from the pivot point on a verticle support on the side of the car. I cannot remember the details, but I would suspect that that type of car would be located in a large yard or certainly to switch crews in urban areas that had to do a lot of car pushing. It was certainly not an unusual practice, when most rail cars would have a poling pocket made onto the car. Many steam switch engines, and early diesels had poling bars hung on the tender frame or on the walkway of the diesel. At least until the practice was outlawed b the Operational Rules of the RR's.
Sam


THe poling car that I was describing resembled a transfer caboose, similar to some of the ones the MoPac and UP had. Only the one I remembered seeing was a very rustic version as the "cabin" resembled a hand built shack on the car.
Sam

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 27, 2006 8:06 PM
Poling like many operations requires close attention and awareness of the potential safety hazard involved. When used only as a last resort by knowledgeable people it can be performed safely.
It was common on interurban freight operations and most steeple cabs carried poles often on brackets on each side of the locomotive frame.
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Posted by gmstm on Monday, March 27, 2006 9:25 PM
re. Pinch bar
I worked for the Southern Railway in the Carolinas in summer/fall of 1962. I was in the MOW dept. It was a real angle bar railroad back then. I used a pinch bar to move hopper car out of the way so we could patch a broken rail.
gmstm
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Posted by Tim Burton on Monday, March 27, 2006 10:56 PM
Here is a picture of the seating mount for the "pole".




And here is another image as a Poling mount:

http://www.nelsonslocomotive.com/Photos/MarkMihalyi/MarkMihalyi.htm

http://www.federalist.com
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Posted by cefinkjr on Monday, March 27, 2006 11:09 PM
Believe it or not, there were yards that were designed from the start as "poling yards". The switch engine and a poling car used a "poling track" parallel to the ladder track. This was supposedly more efficient. No wonder so few railroaders lived to retirement with all of their original equipment.

Chuck

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Posted by Gasman63 on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 2:58 PM
I once watched and L & N Switch crew try to move a car that fouled a switch trapping the engine. They wedged a piece of utility pole between the step of the switcher (SW 7) and the car. When they moved, they tore the step off the engine.

Bob
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Posted by vsmith on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 4:56 PM
Pinch bar


Poling cars


   Have fun with your trains

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Posted by espeefoamer on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 5:04 PM
I have used a pinch bar several times.When i worked in a rail served warehouse ,sometimes the railroad wouldn't get the boxcar lined up against the loading door.In this case,we had to move the car with a pinchbar.Usually took two guys to do the job.
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Posted by tatans on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 7:03 PM
Never heard of ,or saw a photo of a pole car,super photos, also of the pinchbar, who makes the model of the pole car?? You learn something new every day.
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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 11:11 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by vsmith

Pinch bar


Poling cars




Really NIce Photos, and that model is terrific![^][^][^] THanks for sharing.
Sam

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Posted by John Bakeer on Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:26 AM
I poled a punt once on the river Cam at Cambridge forty years ago.
John B.

John Baker

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 30, 2006 6:54 AM
In O. Winston Links book "The Last Steam Trains in America", there is a series of photos of a trainman "poling the gon", using a pole to shove a gondola.

Erik
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 30, 2006 12:53 PM
There was a variation on the pinch bar that we used when I worked in a chemical plant in the middle 1970's to the mid-1980's. It was called a pole jack, or at least that's what we called it. Of course, we also had some other names for them, but repeating those would get me in trouble with Bergie. The "business end" was basically a three piece assembly. there was a steel saddle with a pair of square knives that rested on top of the rail. The knives would "bite" into the rail to keep the thing from slipping. Pivoted to the saddle was lever with a pivoted shoe that pushed against the wheel near the point where the wheel and railhead touched. The "stupid end" consisted of a large, heavy wooden handle, about six feet long that attached to the steel lever that pivoted on the saddle. They worked pretty well on empty cars when we needed to move them just a bit to spot for loading, but moving a load was work! They did the same thing as a pinch bar, but provided a bit more mechanical advantage. It did take two men to move a car if there was any deviation from perfectly level that would cause the car to want to roll backward.

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