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Hostling a B Unit

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  • Member since
    February, 2017
  • 16 posts
Hostling a B Unit
Posted by IC EC on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7:09 PM

All,

I'm curious how often B units were/are moved individually.  Did/do railroads usually move them connected with an A unit?  I read somewhere B units could only move on their own at notch 2.

Thanks,

IC EC

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  • 467 posts
Posted by pajrr on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7:22 PM

Most "B" units had control stands for limited self movement capability. As for going to only notch 2, you are in a railyard. No need to be able to do high speed or long distances.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7:26 PM

Many EMD B units had basic operator controls on one side of the locomotive near a porthole.

This is why some FT B units had a 5th porthole for instance, which signified that it had hostler controls and allowed the operator to look out to see where he was going. 

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:51 PM

The control stand is shoehorned in on the right hand (engineman's) side corridor inside the unit.  It has a reverser, throttle (only a couple notches as previously mentioned) and an independant brake valve, but no automatic brake valve (not needed when moving only locomotives).  Also our unit doesn't seem to have a bell but it does have a one note horn (Leslie A-200 maybe?) and a whistle cord above the other controls.

And the control stand is indeed right beside/underneath the aforementioned fifth porthole, whose glass sits on a hinge and can be folded down so the engineer/hostler can stick his head out the window and see a bit better.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by IC EC on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 5:01 AM

Is it possible to move two B unts together?

RME
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Posted by RME on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 9:15 AM

IC EC
Is it possible to move two B units together?

Relatively easy to move them simply by 'towing' the second one (or others) isolated, without connecting anything electrically.  Hard to imagine a situation where you'd have something like an A-B-B consist where the A unit would suffer a disabling failure, like a TM bearing failure or wheel problem due to undetected wheelslip, and you'd need to move the train with only MUed B units without attaching a substitute cab.

Preston Cook would know a definitive answer to this for different stages of F-unit evolution.

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  • From: Rhode Island
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Posted by carnej1 on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 12:06 PM

 Interestingly some industrial users, particularly coal mines, bought retired EMD F sereies B units and converted them into switchers.

http://worldwiderails.tumblr.com/post/88480642853/a-truly-unique-machine-the-haysi-1-a-former

 While most commonly these locomotives were set up to be operated by radio remote control I have seen images of converted B units that were operated by an onboard engineer. They had windows added but I've never seen a pic of one with anything like a full windshield.

 I've read that some railfans in coal country referred to them as "Bug slugs" even though they weren't technically slugs. There have of course been F units converted to unpowered road slugs;KCS was a user and I believe the Milwaukee Road was as well....

"I Often Dream of Trains"-From the Album of the Same Name by Robyn Hitchcock

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:46 PM

You can move a B-Unit by itself in the yard or in the shop, but they can not be so controlled on the maineline. 

RME
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    March, 2016
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Posted by RME on Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:21 PM

ATSFGuy
You can move a B-Unit by itself in the yard or in the shop, but they can not be so controlled on the mainline.

Well, their little control had only two notches -- so don't expect too much speed!

Be interesting to see if any of the 'bug slugs' were rebuilt with a full control stand or something that could tap into the relays to give coordinated 'higher notches' for higher engine output and making transition.

NDG
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    December, 2013
  • 437 posts
Posted by NDG on Sunday, February 26, 2017 10:16 PM

 

I know very little about Hostler Control, but, HAVE seen B-Units moving alone controlled by same. Light Years ago.

These manuals may inform schematically how control is obtained, electrically, and IF it can be MUed to coupled locomotives??

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/manual/alco-em.html

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/manual/rs2-master.html


This one from CLC is heavy in schematics.

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/manual/clc-opsman.pdf


From this site.

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/manual/manual.html


Hostler's Control 244 B Unit. Scroll down.

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/manual/rs2-opspro.html


AFAIK.

The pin can be removed to operate Diesel Engine in SHOPS thru No. 8, using controller shown. Locomotive STATIONARY.

I do NOT know if control A B C D or whatever to operate Governor is 'TRAINLINED' to MU Receptacles to Rev. other locomotives in Consist.

Ditto Air Brake Function to coupled Units thru hoses.

There is an Urban Legend story about a load test being done on a locomotive. Someone plugged in a Jumper Cable for a later move, and THAT second  locomotive went to RUN 8, dragging the first locomotive into the Turntable Pit, putting it out of action for quite some time.

May be true??

Thank You.

RME
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    March, 2016
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Posted by RME on Monday, February 27, 2017 3:24 AM

NDG
I do NOT know if control A B C D or whatever to operate Governor is 'TRAINLINED' to MU Receptacles to Rev. other locomotives in Consist.

I believe wires 3, 7, 12, and 15 in the MU jumper cable correspond to governor D, C, B, and A respectively.  The 'eight notches' come from binary control involving combinations of the relays on the governor.  (The notch 'number' isn't obtained by simple binary addition, though, as with something like SCSI: energizing D alone stops the engine, and the notch positions are:

Notch 1, idle, all four off.

Notch 2: A

Notch 3: C

Notch 4: A, C

Notch 5: B, C, and D

Notch 6: A, B, C, and D

Notch 7: B, C

Notch 8: A, B, C)

Randy Stahl and Preston Cook can probably explain or account for how you could get Run 8 'logically' by plugging a cable into a nominally standing or idling unit.  I for one would like to know what would have to happen, procedurally and electrically, inside the standing unit to have sufficient voltage (maybe not +74V) on just A, B, and C but no power on D.  Would this be the case if the controller were in notch 8 but the engine cut off with the external fuel-pump cutoff?

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