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Engine terminal operations

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  • Member since
    August 2003
  • 6 posts
Engine terminal operations
Posted by bcrews on Thursday, December 18, 2003 10:29 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Andy's suggestion in the 12/3 MR Express to "Think about the hostler." An engine terminal is a major portion of the layout I'm building.

I was surprised by a statement in the article describing operations of the Frisco in Springfield, MO in the 12/03 Trains. The final paragraph of page 53 indicates that in the mid '50s all trains changed locomotives and cabooses in Springfield. Were locomotives changed because tonnage changed significantly at Springfield, or did locomotives never run through at this time for another reason? I would have guessed that it would be advantageous to run locomotives further than St. Louis-Springfield or Kansas City-Springfield before taking them off of a train, even if the crew did change there.

A second question: typically, how far were first-generation diesels run before being serviced?
  • Member since
    September 2002
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Posted by ndbprr on Friday, December 19, 2003 8:02 AM
For a person with little space an engine terminal can be a great layout that can be added to something more later. The movement of inbound engines into an engine house for minor or major inspections or repairs, fueling, sanding, water, safety checks, movement to the ready tracks facing the right direction and finally the movement of the consist off stage to meet its train in either a hidden staging yard or a loop where they reside nose to tail for return to the engine facility. Allows lots of engines with minimal train. Sounds like a winner to me.
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 19, 2003 11:05 AM
Someone more familiar with Frisco's traffic and physical plant would have to give us a technical answer for the power change at Springfield, but the caboose change most likely was dictated by a collective bargaining agreement. Modelers often overlook the huge influence organized labor had on railroad operating practices during most of the 20th century. If you can pick up a labor-management agreement at a railroadiana show, you may find a wealth of material describing how particular operations were to be conducted, and by whom!

--John
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, January 2, 2004 12:47 AM
I don't know about the Frisco, but I was recently reading something about the PRR.
They liked to keep locos in one geographic area for maintenance purposes, assigning them to certain engine servicing facilities, so they had limits to how far they could go before the loco was taken off a train to be sent back the other direction.
This was more common in the steam era, I believe.
Eric
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    September 2002
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Posted by ndbprr on Friday, January 2, 2004 1:29 PM
Yes the PRR kept steam pretty much at home and typically switched engines at division points. The Broadway would switch engines at Ft. Wayne, Crestline, Pittsburgh, Altoona and finally to a GG1 at Harrisburg for the run to New York. In an emergency power was run through but it was rare.
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Philadelphia
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Posted by michaelstevens on Friday, January 2, 2004 2:15 PM
I know that one reason for keeping steam engines, in their home regions, may have been the availability of various types of fuel.
Oil versus coal is the obvious one, but different types of coal also affected performance.
For a fact, in England, e.g. the Great Western locos were designed/tuned to run on Welsh coal -- and to this day they run poorly on anything else -- whereas the LNER Pacifics would only perform on Northumbrian coal -- and so on.
British Mike in Philly
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: WV
  • 1,249 posts
Posted by coalminer3 on Monday, January 5, 2004 12:00 PM
L&N for example, changed passenger engines (SB diesel-powered "Pan" from Cincinnati as an example) at Louisville, Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery and, IIRC, Flomaton). This was a holdover from steam days. Other roads, even in the days of steam had long runs for their locomotives. L&N again comes to mind here.

work safe
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,300 posts
Posted by Sperandeo on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 9:37 AM
This has been an interesting discussion. From the early '50s, as soon as it had built up its fleet of passenger diesels, the Santa Fe regularly relayed the engines on westbound transcontinental passenger trains at Barstow, Calif. This was the location of the shop where these locomotives were maintained, and the idea was to inspect and maintain them on a regular schedule. A fresh locomotive would take over a westbound train at Barstow and run to Los Angeles (or Oakland in the case of the "San Francisco Chief"), turn and run all the way back to Chicago, and then come west again and be cut off at Barstow. After a thorough inspection and servicing, and any needed repairs, the locomotive was ready to take over the next westbound and repeat the cycle.

So long,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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