Long Hood Versus Short Hood

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Long Hood Versus Short Hood
Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:59 PM

Ok so I recentely received Kalmbach's "A Model Railroader's Guide To Coal Railroading" and in it was a photo of a set of Fairbanks Morse Trainmasters with the leading unit long hood forward was this because of lack of turning facilities, coincidence, or engineer preference? And if you were a transition era engineer which would you prefer the long hood ahead like a steam loco or the short hood forward? (Thats is if the unit has a tall hood the entire length railroads probably required short front hood units to have it forward <I'm guessing so correct me if I'm wrong!>)

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Thursday, March 30, 2017 10:32 PM

I would prefer whichever way the control stand faces, that is whichever end is designated as the front (more ergonomic, less twisting around to see).  If it has dual controls I would prefer short hood leading, to keep the diesel exhaust out of the cab (FM units were quite fumey).

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, March 31, 2017 9:09 AM

When Geeps came on the market in the late 40's and early 50's there were, obviously, two schools of thought.

Long hood forward emulated steam engine operation and had the majority of the locomotive's heavy machienry between hitting something and the crew.  Short hood forward, in some circles, was viewed as offering the crew less protection than operating long hood forward.  A minority of carriers installed dual control stands so that the engineer could operate from a 'normal' position no matter which hood was leading.

Once the low nose, wrap-around visibility, cab was developed for the short hood, virtually all carriers flocked to this form of cab.  Southern and Norfolk Western were notable holdouts to low nose short hoods.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Friday, March 31, 2017 11:49 AM

And nowadays a unit must be short hood leading, right?

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Posted by DSchmitt on Friday, March 31, 2017 11:53 AM

The long hood was the defailt front for ALCOS.  The short hood default front for EMD. The standard placement of the conlrol stand reflected this.  The actual configuration was at the option of the purchaser,  so there were ALCOs built and normally operated with the short hood front and EMD with the long hood front.

 The Southern Pacific purchaced Alco RS11 demonstrators  which were set up long hood front.  The rest of their RS11 were set up short hood front. 

As stated in an earlier post the railoads could also had the option to  purchase dual control locomotives.   On which end the "F" designating the front was painted was at the option of the railroad,

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Posted by NP Eddie on Friday, March 31, 2017 12:10 PM

ALL:

The CBQ and NP ordered their Geeps short nose forward. The GN ordered their SD 7 and 9's and GP20's long nose forward. The second generation GN's road units were all short and chopped nose forward. One X-NP engineer was working a switch job on the X-GN side and was cussing the long nose because he was not used to it. The NP paid ALCO $550. per unit for have them setup short nose forward, probably to the engine crew would not have to breathe in exhaust.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, March 31, 2017 3:38 PM

cascadenorthernrr
And nowadays a unit must be short hood leading, right?

If the long hood end is equipped with ditch lights - the unit can be operated in the lead, without restriction.  If there are no ditch lights on the leading end of a locomotive, it is then restricted to 20 MPH over road crossings by Federal Regulations.  There are, at present, no regulations upon which side the control stand must be located.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Friday, March 31, 2017 4:42 PM

So would it be possible albeit rare to see a unit running long hood first on a class I today, correct?

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, March 31, 2017 6:56 PM

cascadenorthernrr
So would it be possible albeit rare to see a unit running long hood first on a class I today, correct?

On CSX all 4 axle engines and some 6 axle engines are equipped with ditch lights on both ends.  They area mostly used in Local Service and operate in both directions over their territories.

I don't know how other carriers have equipped or use their locomotives.

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Posted by NP Eddie on Friday, March 31, 2017 7:03 PM

Ditto for the BNSF. I have never seen a six axle road unit with ditch lights on both ends. Most four axle locomotives (Geep's) have ditch lights on both ends due to their use on locals AND the Special Instructions for individual subdivisions specify that four axle locomotives are permitted on certain industry or other tracks due to weight restrictions.

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Posted by rvos1979 on Friday, March 31, 2017 7:24 PM

A few Wisconsin Central SD45s were set up with ditch lights on both ends for use in aggregate train service. One of the few times I've seen an SD45 running long hood.........

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, April 01, 2017 9:13 AM

Once in a blue moon, Norfolk Southern still dispatches a train "Southern style"...oft times these are reported on sites like Railpictures.net...this particular picture is captioned as an SD70M leading...

Image result for norfolk southern long hood forward

This one was reported as NS 252...

Image result for norfolk southern long hood forward

This one was reported as NS 833...

Image result for norfolk southern long hood forward

This one was reported as a BNSF Peavine train from Phoenix where the scheduled leader was bad-ordered and the NS unit that otherwise would have been second in line was "lead-capable" with the long hood and so was dispatched long hood forward...

Image result for norfolk southern 9376

Here is an SD40-2 on NS 305 as recently as March 18, 2016...you can tell by the dust it is kicking up that it is still bringing its A game after all these years and is really moving along...

Image result for norfolk southern long hood forward

I would surmise that Norfolk Southern still needing locomotives for mine runs, even though coal is down, would have a need to have more units set up to run long hood forward.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Saturday, April 01, 2017 10:21 AM

Why would they be dispached "southern style" is it pure coincidence or is there a specific reason.

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Posted by Kielbasa on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:20 AM

It's usually just bad luck. If we get engines out of the shop longhood out, it's hell and a half getting permission to turn them. Also, if your LEADER equipped motor is leading but backwards, that is the one we have to use. And occasionally power will get set out en route, and it just so happens #2 is long hood. That being said, for road trains, it is an infrequent occurrence. Our engines don't have outward facing cameras for the back windows either. Road switchers and locals don't have a front as much, they go the way it's pointed. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:29 AM

I'm guessing it's coincidence, unless the units were specifically set up to run that way.

The Southern preferred to run long hood forward for crew safety reasons in the old days, as a matter of fact from what I've read the crews preferred it that way.  A lot of veteran engineers who started with steam liked having all that machinery in front "just-in-case."  Nowadays I don't think it makes a difference to modern crews.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:31 AM

So nowadays it's just luck of the draw.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:38 AM

I'd say so.  Several years back I saw an NS GP-50 (high short hood!) running long hood forward, and frequently see CSX GP-38's and GP-40's running local freights long hood forward as many times as I see them running short hood forward. 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Saturday, April 01, 2017 6:38 PM

About 5 or 6 years back I had to operate a train long hood forward after an engine failure.  The lead engine, a brand new (only 400 miles on it) SD70ACe suffered a locked traction motor.  After setting it out, the rest of the consist (also all new) were all facing the other way.  These engines weren't equipped for long hood road service, no ditch lights or operable cab signals/ATC for "backwards" movement.

I was instructed to keep going to a point where we were going to get a new lead engine from another train.  It was at night with rain/drizzle/foggy conditions.  Since we didn't have ditch lights, we had to get down to 20mph over public grade crossings.  I was sitting on the inside of double track, the wayside block signals on the outside (field side) for our direction of movement.  It's a good thing I had a conductor because I never saw the signals in those foggy conditions.  We met a couple of trains and I was able to see the block signal reflection on some covered hoppers at one point.

I've noticed from moving power around in the yard, even in broad daylight that the radiator "wings" or overhang really obstruct your view on the modern engines.  When sitting in the engineer's seat looking out the back window you're looking right at the "wings".  I'm glad we don't regularly run our modern engines long hood forward.

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Posted by zugmann on Saturday, April 01, 2017 9:22 PM

jeffhergert
I've noticed from moving power around in the yard, even in broad daylight that the radiator "wings" or overhang really obstruct your view on the modern engines. When sitting in the engineer's seat looking out the back window you're looking right at the "wings". I'm glad we don't regularly run our modern engines long hood forward.

I always wondered, since the companies are already installing lots of cameras and screens in the cab, would it be that big of a deal to put a back-up camera on these engines?  Oh yeah... that would actually benefit a crew.  Heh. Nevermind. 

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, April 01, 2017 9:26 PM

zugmann
jeffhergert

I always wondered, since the companies are already installing lots of cameras and screens in the cab, would it be that big of a deal to put a back-up camera on these engines?  Oh yeah... that would actually benefit a crew.  Heh. Nevermind.

Something else to fail and be a reason for a Engineer to SHOP an engine.  FRA Regs being that if a locomotive is equipped with a feature, it must work when a crew takes charge of the engine.

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Posted by zugmann on Saturday, April 01, 2017 9:47 PM

BaltACD
Something else to fail and be a reason for a Engineer to SHOP an engine. FRA Regs being that if a locomotive is equipped with a feature, it must work when a crew takes charge of the engine.

Please don't quote that tired company line.  It's beneath us both.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:08 PM

zugmann
 
BaltACD
Something else to fail and be a reason for a Engineer to SHOP an engine. FRA Regs being that if a locomotive is equipped with a feature, it must work when a crew takes charge of the engine.

 

Please don't quote that tired company line.  It's beneath us both.

 

There are times when Industry persons offer lame excuses as to why something is a certain way.  This is not one of those times.  Airliners, I suppose, operate under "minimum equipment lists" -- if there are 3 radios and one is broken, you are permitted to fly the jet, and so on. 

If the FRA Regs don't allow for this sort of thing, they don't allow for such a thing.  A person could write their Member of Congress if they have concerns with this state of affairs.

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Posted by zugmann on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:14 PM

You missed the point completely, Professor.

Using the excuse that "it may break" is lame.  There's lots of stuff on engines that "may break", but they are still included.  I've run plenty of engines LHF, including desktop GEs.  I believe a rear view camera could add an additional layer of safety.  There are industrial operations that do it.  Of course, many of them fall outside FRA jurisditction, but I don't think it's a non-starter.  And I'm not even getting into the efficiency argument, either.  I understand the objection.  I just think it's lame.

 

I'm not just a trackside observer.  These are the tools of my trade.

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, April 02, 2017 7:29 AM

kgbw49
Once in a blue moon, Norfolk Southern still dispatches a train "Southern style"

Due to rules, I don't think that they can "dispatch" a train out of a terminal long hood forward, unless, it is a single unit on a turnaround shifter. Hostlers delivering units to trains many times had to bust up the consist and turn a unit in order to have a short hood forward on multi-unit turnaround job.
Personally, I never had a problem with exhaust coming in the cab when running an EMD long hood forward. I even told the RH Dispatch Foreman that I would take an SD40 that way (a long hood forward SD40 once saved me from serious if not fatal injury), but, he said that the unit had to be turned.

It was the GE units that would make you sick with their exhuast coming in the cab. It was even worse when in dynamic brake running 45-50 mph. Simply awful! 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, April 02, 2017 7:54 AM

zugmann
Using the excuse that "it may break" is lame.  There's lots of stuff on engines that "may break", but they are still included.  I've run plenty of engines LHF, including desktop GEs.  I believe a rear view camera could add an additional layer of safety.  There are industrial operations that do it.  Of course, many of them fall outside FRA jurisditction, but I don't think it's a non-starter.  And I'm not even getting into the efficiency argument, either.  I understand the objection.  I just think it's lame.

Zug -

You forget that it isn't men and women that actually use the devices that make the decisions about the devices being used on locomotives - it's the bean counters and others that wouldn't know a locomotive if one ranover them at a grade crossing.  Yes it is 'lame', however, bean counters live in the world of lame. 

I don't have facts and figures on what a camera installation would cost - knowing railroad equipment and the enviornment that it operates in as well as the reliability required - it will not be cheap on initial installation and will most likely be even more expensive to maintain.

There is a gulf of difference between consumer grade equipment and industrial grade and even a bigger gulf between industrial and railroad grade. 

I have a consumer grade 'action camera' for my race car.  The 1st several, I mounted 'solidly' to the roll bar, using wire ties.  Inside of several on track sessions the camera malfunctioned - handled with the manufacturer and was provided a replacement - same mounting and shortly got the same failures.  Also handled with the manufacturer and got another replacement.  This time I mounted it to the fiberglass roll bar fairing - it has been working like a champ.  The vibrations that were contained within the steel frame & roll bar with the solidly mounted engine and drivetrain was shaking the internal electronics to failure in short order.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, April 02, 2017 8:00 AM

BigJim
kgbw49

Due to rules, I don't think that they can "dispatch" a train out of a terminal long hood forward, unless, it is a single unit on a turnaround shifter. Hostlers delivering units to trains many times had to bust up the consist and turn a unit in order to have a short hood forward on multi-unit turnaround job.
Personally, I never had a problem with exhaust coming in the cab when running an EMD long hood forward. I even told the RH Dispatch Foreman that I would take an SD40 that way (a long hood forward SD40 once saved me from serious if not fatal injury), but, he said that the unit had to be turned.

It was the GE units that would make you sick with their exhuast coming in the cab. It was even worse when in dynamic brake running 45-50 mph. Simply awful!

They can and will dispatch any engine consist that they can talk an Engineer into taking.  Long hood, short hood - it don't matter.

NW, SOU and ultimately NS only switched to low nose short hood power when the manufacturers made high nose short hoods a extra cost option.  The carriers in all their forms exclusively purchased engines to operate long hood forward.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Sunday, April 02, 2017 10:41 AM

The other thing about "backup" cameras is that the view from a camera is never the same thing as with your eyeballs.  The older aerial tanker planes has a Sergeant lying on his stomach to look out a window to steer the boom whereas the newer ones place that crew member in the cockpit looking at video screens.  I don't think it is the same thing.

RME offered an opinion on another thread why the miniature camera as a "cab ride in your HO-scale locomotive" isn't nearly as cool as you would think it would be when you spent money on such a thing.  Not only is there no depth perception, you have a fixed, unvarying gaze, which is not the situation were you in an actual locomotive cab.

You could say that in the locomotive, you are looking at distances well beyond your binocular depth perception, but that your view changes as you move your head must also supply some depth cues.  The F-35 "Lightning Two" Joint Strike Fighter has that gosh-awful expensive virtual reality helmet to couple head movement to a video display, and I heard that thing has its share of problems.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, April 02, 2017 11:53 AM

Some operators of the Class 20s in Britain have mounted hood cameras.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Sunday, April 02, 2017 10:14 PM

Yeah, well in U.K., they once ran steam locomotives without lights.

I looked up "Class 20", and my eyes hurt.  They are the ugliest pieces of railroad equipment since the Leader Class steam locomotive.  There are things you just cannot ever un-see.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by challenger3980 on Sunday, April 02, 2017 10:30 PM

Gee Thanks Paul and Northwest, Paul is right, there are some things that just can't be unseen. I wasn't familiar with either the Class 20 or the Leader class steam locomotive, unfortunately my innocence in that regard is shattered. And I thought the GG1 was UGLY, man both of those are beyond Pug Ugly and make even a GaG-1 look good.

Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

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