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protype car "moving"

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protype car "moving"
Posted by NP Eddie on Thursday, February 23, 2023 3:47 PM

From 1986 to 1990, I was the Roadmaster's Clerk at the Northtown (Fridley, MN) Hump Tower. Several times a year, an industry at former NP East Minneapolis received a tank car of liquid ink. The spur was short and had two industries on it. The first industry off the eastbound main track did not receive any cars and were unwilling to repair their crappy track. The ink company's track was OK. The Roadmaster had a front end loaded push the ink car over the bad track so I could be spotted. The reverse happened to remove the car. The switchforeman directed the front end loaded operator to the spot and every one was happy.

True story.

 

Ed Burns

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Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, February 23, 2023 3:56 PM

NP Eddie

The Roadmaster had a front end loaded push the ink car over the bad track so I could be spotted. The reverse happened to remove the car. The switchforeman directed the front end loaded operator to the spot and every one was happy.

True story.

Ed Burns

Great story, Ed. I've heard of this and I thought there was a phrase -- though I can't recall it -- for using one or more cars in front of the spotting engine to reach into a place where, for whatever reason, the locomotive might not go, for example over rails that would not hold its weight.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by chutton01 on Thursday, February 23, 2023 4:37 PM

crossthedog
 I thought there was a phrase -- though I can't recall it -- for using one or more cars in front of the spotting engine to reach into a place where, for whatever reason, the locomotive might not go,

-Matt


Idler car?

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Posted by DSO17 on Thursday, February 23, 2023 6:55 PM

chutton01
Idler car?

"Idler car(s)" was probably the most common term, but sometimes you would hear one or more idlers referred to as a "handle".

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Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, February 23, 2023 6:59 PM

"Handle." That's what I'd heard. But now I know another term for it. As a friend of mine used to say, "you learn something new every day if you're not careful."

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by mvlandsw on Thursday, February 23, 2023 9:53 PM

A reacher car?

The Western Allegheny RR had a tunnel that was in very poor condition. They ran trains with a locomotive on both ends. The lead loco stopped at the tunnel portal and the rear loco pushed the train through the tunnel while the head end crew taxied to the far end of the tunnel and reboarded the lead loco.

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, February 24, 2023 10:44 AM

I have seen somewhere a photo of a front end loader that had a coupler welded on to the bucket for just this kind of use.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by chutton01 on Friday, February 24, 2023 1:17 PM

dknelson
I have seen somewhere a photo of a front end loader that had a coupler welded on to the bucket for just this kind of use. 


Our corporate host (Model Railroader - well Kalmbach) published an article a while back which touched on modeling this (I believe the overarching topic of the article was modeling trackage embedded in asphalt/concrete at a modern rail-served industry).  Looking for prototype images...well, looks like the industries doing this switching seem to either, a) use a rail coupler attachment which can be switched out with the front-end loader bucket*, or b) using the front-end loader's normal bucket aim for a percieved strong point low on the freight car's end and full-speed ahead...

*Looks like similar attachments are available for the rear of the front-end loader as well.

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Posted by mvlandsw on Friday, February 24, 2023 1:23 PM

Full speed ahead would likely result in damage to the front end loader, the rail car, or most likely both.

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Posted by chutton01 on Friday, February 24, 2023 2:22 PM

mvlandsw
Full speed ahead would likely result in damage to the front end loader, the rail car, or most likely both.

OK, I admit to a bit of exaggeration for comic effect...although from some comments in this long ago thread...

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Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 25, 2023 9:55 AM

mvlandsw
Full speed ahead would likely result in damage to the front end loader, the rail car, or most likely both.

Doesn't take much to move cars.  Stopping them, on the other hand....

 

Front end loaders, bobcats, tractors, winches & cables, come-alongs, pinch bar, gravity - industries use pretty much anything to move cars if they have to. 

 

Every once in awhile someone does mess up and ties(or pushes) on a part not designed for it and causes damage. 

  

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

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Posted by maxman on Saturday, February 25, 2023 4:02 PM

Moving loco with forks...see at 9:21

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Posted by PC101 on Saturday, February 25, 2023 10:06 PM

A piece of equipment that has been on many of my layouts for longer then I want to think about.

Looks like I need to replace that giant #5 coupler to something more to "scale".

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Posted by NP Eddie on Sunday, February 26, 2023 11:36 AM

Thanks for all the replies.

One final thought, the steel companies track may have been to bad that an idler car would be too heavy so a front end loader was used. Remember that ink is very heavy!

 

Ed Burns

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Posted by ndbprr on Sunday, February 26, 2023 6:28 PM

An alternate method is a car puller.  it is a loop of cable with a geared drive and length of cable attaxhed to the loop with a hook to attach to the car.  they move at about one mile an hour. one at a steel mill I saw would move 5 or 6 gons used to collect mill scale for disposal.

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