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Wheel stops or bumper inside engine house?

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Wheel stops or bumper inside engine house?
Posted by Damon on Thursday, March 12, 2015 10:43 AM

Which would be more appropriate inside an engine house, wheel stops or track bumpers? Or something entirely different perhaps?

I'm thinking track bumpers would be overkill but I can't seem to find many photos of interiors.

Thanks

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Posted by ACY Tom on Thursday, March 12, 2015 10:57 AM

In the roundhouses I have visited, the rails were simply embedded into the floor.  There is a flangeway, of course, for the usable length of the rail, and often a pit between the rails where workers could gain access to the undercarriage.  When you got to the bitter end of the track, there was no kind of bumper or wheel stop. The rail just ended, and there was space at the front of the engine where work could be done.  A bumper or wheel stop would just be in the way.  Movements over those tracks were expected to be made at slow speeds, under strict control.  Since the brakes might be inoperative during some maintenance activities, removable wheel chocks were often used.  I have seen chains placed around the point where the wheel meets the rail.

I've seen several photos that showed locomotives that had been allowed to go past the end of track, right through the rear wall.  Not a good way to impress the Superintendent.

Tom

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, March 12, 2015 11:10 AM

I agree with Tom. None of the facilities I've been in had any kind of physical stopping device. I'm a bit surprized watching some of the vintage films of the time seeing engines with the wheels slipping coming off the turntable—sometimes those hostlers seemed to be in a bit of a hurry! They had to be in some of the busier terminals.

I can speak from experience that it can be pretty challenging to move an engine into the house after the fire has been dumped, the boiler pressure is low and you don't have much air left. Head in a little too fast, grab for the independent and... nothing happens! That outside wall can come up pretty fast.

Once the engine was "tied-down" I have seen a length of large chain sometimes with a steel rod handle at one end, used as a wheel chock. Other times a block of wood was used.

Engines dropping into the turntable pit was a more frequent occurrence than roundhouse foremen would care to admit, too!

Have fun, Ed

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, March 12, 2015 11:11 AM

Will the inside be detailed and visible?

Having a prototypical stop is nice, but you should also consider running engines into the engine house and stopping them.  If you can't see the stop, then you might overrun the track.

I've got a dead-end subway station where I can't see the end of the track.  I have detection and LEDs to let me know when I'm there, but there's a block of foam rubber to stop the trains without damage if they bump the end.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by selector on Thursday, March 12, 2015 11:14 AM

I have not seen anything of note in the many photos I have looked at.  They all show the pilot just above the concrete floor, often with the smokebox door open.  I have never seen any visible stopping device.  I expect that chains might have been thrown in front of the leading axles' wheels in some cases.

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Posted by Damon on Thursday, March 12, 2015 11:19 AM

I do plan on adding detail to the inside as the 2 stall engine house sits parallel to the edge of the layout only a few inches from the front edge. I laid the track on N scale cork and will surround that with HO cork and top that styrene, effectively burying the rails in concrete. I figured that the "concrete" at the end of the rails would be enough of a stop, but wondered if a pair of the Custom Finishes Buda wheel stops would add just a bit more detail and make the rails look more finished. 

I plan on adding lighting, shelving, work benches etc and am working on animating the doors so they can open and close.

 

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Posted by mlehman on Thursday, March 12, 2015 1:09 PM

I agree with Mr. B. For model roundhouses, some sort of stop is highly recommended.

In my case, I use a small piece of black foamcore board glued down. This usually avoids any damage to the loco without being a place where it will be "speared" and unable to get loose.

It only needs to be big enough to stop things. You could disguise it as a tool bench, etc, too.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by ACY Tom on Thursday, March 12, 2015 3:34 PM

Absolutely!  The prototype didn't install bumpers, but that does not mean you shouldn't!  Disguising the bumper as a tool bench, etc., as Mike suggested, is a very good idea.

Tom

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Posted by NP2626 on Thursday, March 12, 2015 5:07 PM

I can not see the back of any of the 7 stalls in my roundhouse, so I need something to let me know when the loco should stop moving.  Because it can't be seen, I laid a well glued down wood tie across the railheads at the point I wanted my locos to stop.

NP 2626 "Northern Pacific, really terrific"

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association:  http://www.nprha.org/

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Thursday, March 12, 2015 5:54 PM

You can stop a locomotive anywhere by running it onto a dead rail.  Then use a pushbutton to bring the rail to life when you want to back out.

Since I run analog DC I substitute a diode for the button.

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, March 12, 2015 7:13 PM

tomikawaTT
You can stop a locomotive anywhere by running it onto a dead rail.

Chuck,

That would work fine in most cases but I can envision a problem with some locomotives that have multiple wheel pickup that would effectively bridge the gap until the last wheel that was electrically connected crossed the gap.

An engine like a PRR T1 might stop a bit later than, say, an 0-8-0.

On such a short track as a roundhouse lead some engines would stop in time, others, say a brass engine with right/left pickups on the engine/tender would stop sooner.

How about a N.C. Microswitch with a stiff wire sticking up at the end-of-track to kill the power, then an override switch, similar to what you suggest to back the engine out.

Ed

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Friday, March 13, 2015 12:31 AM

Howdy, Ed,

The trick is to put the gap in the left rail at the roundhouse door - and then NEVER, EVER assign a stall to a locomotive too long to fit.

Then use the override button to ease a shorter loco forward, under direct eyeball control.  (I prefer a button because you can't forget and leave the dead rail powered.)

I gap the left rail in my back-in staging yards just past the clearance point for my longest locomotive, and then never assign a track to a too-long train.  (Actually, I can't assign a track to a too-long train.  The yard lead is a switchback the same length as the holding tracks.)

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, March 13, 2015 3:38 AM

I get the idea, Chuck. Pretty clever!  Fortunately, my roundhouse walls are much stronger than the equivalent 1:1 brick walls so even if I bump into the wall the foreman won't be chasing after me!

Time to dust off this old pic!

Take care, Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, March 13, 2015 5:28 AM

If the front of the locomotive strikes the back wall of the roundhouse, I say, Operator Error.

I don't use any form of wheel stop in my 9-stall roundhouse.  I just watch for the back of the tender to reach the roundhouse doors and then stop the loco.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by NP2626 on Friday, March 13, 2015 5:49 AM

Wow, so many intelligent answers!  Model railroaders certainly are a cut above the average when it comes to determining fixes to issues that are almost problems!

NP 2626 "Northern Pacific, really terrific"

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association:  http://www.nprha.org/

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Posted by Medina1128 on Friday, March 13, 2015 9:47 AM

NP2626

Wow, so many intelligent answers!  Model railroaders certainly are a cut above the average when it comes to determining fixes to issues that are almost problems!

 

That's why we model railroads and not race slot cars..  Smile, Wink & Grin 

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Posted by gn.2-6-8-0 on Friday, March 13, 2015 10:03 AM

I'm with Rich on this one!!

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, March 13, 2015 1:22 PM

richhotrain
 I just watch for the back of the tender to reach the roundhouse doors and then stop the loco.

I see MANY photos of roundhouses where there's a good portion of the tender hanging out the door. I'm sure there's several reasons, one being the fact that locomotives grew in length by the 1940s and didn't fit well in 1910 era roundhouses.

And if any smokebox, cylender or other front end work was needed the hostler  would stop short to give the shop crew more room.

Many roundhouses have had additions made to them, Crestline and Collinwood come to mind, where the back wall gets progressively farther away from the turntable center as each new addition was added.

I'm not implying that I hit the wall on a regular basis, but if I do there's no real damage done.

Enjoy! Ed

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Posted by Steven S on Friday, March 13, 2015 11:04 PM

Here's a photo by Jack Delano that shows no bumper or wheel stop.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Locomotives-Roundhouse2.jpg

 

Steve S

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Posted by ndbprr on Saturday, March 14, 2015 1:34 PM
Any device would be a tripping hazzard and limit access
Most major terminals had an old switcher converted to a tank engine that located the engine for servicing.
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Posted by CTValleyRR on Saturday, March 14, 2015 3:15 PM

We're kind of talking at cross purposes here.  A real roundhouse has something we modelers do not, and that's a set of Mark I, Mod 0 eyeballs down inside the loco, connected to a Mark V manipulator device via a logic circuit.  That is, an engineer / hostler riding the loco who can tell where to stop.

The real issue with using a mechanical object is that you might derail your loco or get it stuck on the object, requiring the old five fingered intervention to set it right.  To this end, unless you want to rig a camera inside either your loco or your roundhouse, a foam bumper would be a good solution.  you could also just wire a sensor and indicator light to let you know when the front of the loco reached a certain spot on the track.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

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Posted by Damon on Saturday, March 14, 2015 7:58 PM

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful input, I think in an effort to not only keep it simple but also prototypical I will just have the rails end in the concrete. My concern was never really actually stoping the train before it hit the back wall, but more of what looked better or was more correct.

 

 

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