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Branchline combine question

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 7:07 PM

The idea if a passenger caboose is an interesting one. I read about such a Santa Fe branchline train in Classic Trains a few years ago. The rare passenger they would get would ride in one of the few seats they had for them in the caboose. It didn't sound like that caboose was as elaborate as the models I see above.

My issue is not related to equipment. Operationally, it doesn't matter whether a combine or passenger caboose is used. It has to do with whether it would ever be prototypical to run the combine right behind the loco. As I stated in the OP, the depot at the end of the branch is not far from the bumper post. There is just enough room for the loco to pull past the depot so the combine can stop in front of the depot. Any other location for the combine would require a switching and runaround move. When leaving the terminus, the combine will be at the end of the train which is the more typical location, but to save switching when it reaches the end of the line, it would need to be at the front of the train. If it is located there, a separate caboose is needed at the end of the train. That's my reason for having separate combine and caboose on the same train. I'm still trying to determine if there are any real world examples of that arrangement. The photo evidence I've found seems to be inconclusive. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, August 4, 2022 2:16 PM

Here a series of photos of Canadian Pacific's station and yard at Goderich, Ontario, with a fairly cramped arrangement not unlike what you describe.

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/CPR_London/history_G_and_G.htm

In addition to being a mobile office and lunchroom, the caboose was where the train crew slept at away-from-home locations during this era.  So unless your combine has been fitted with bunks or your railroad has decided to spend extra $$$ and put the train crew up in a hotel or bunkhouse you need both a caboose and combine.  

At least one railroad converted older passenger cars into coach-cabooses, with passenger seating in one end and the usual caboose interior in the other.  Northern Alberta's 'combooses' also ended up being the last revenue service wood passenger cars in North America, some lasting into the mid-1980s on the La La Biche-Fort McMurray 'Muskeg Mixed'.  

http://www.cnrphotos.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=101366

CN also converted a former NAR baggage car into a 'bagboose' during the final years of this service.  This car is now owned by the Rocky Mountain Rail Society and I believe it was used as a tool car and accompanied CN 6060 on excurisons between 1986 and 2001.  

http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=46600

A regular caboose could also end up on the tail end instead of one of the funky rebuilds.  

http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=25392

And while the standard mixed train configuration on most railroads was engine-freight-passenger-caboose, it's also important to remember that the crew could and would switch things up depending on daily requirements, and the caboose could end up next to the engine or in the middle of the freight cars for part of the run if this would make switching easier.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, August 4, 2022 2:36 PM

SD70Dude

Here a series of photos of Canadian Pacific's station and yard at Goderich, Ontario, with a fairly cramped arrangement not unlike what you describe.

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/CPR_London/history_G_and_G.htm

In addition to being a mobile office and lunchroom, the caboose was where the train crew slept at away-from-home locations during this era.  So unless your combine has been fitted with bunks or your railroad has decided to spend extra $$$ and put the train crew up in a hotel or bunkhouse you need both a caboose and combine. 

There's no need for sleeping accomodations for crew. The mixed train is a turn which goes up and down the branch during a normal shift. 

 

At least one railroad converted older passenger cars into coach-cabooses, with passenger seating in one end and the usual caboose interior in the other.  Northern Alberta's 'combooses' also ended up being the last revenue service wood passenger cars in North America, some lasting into the mid-1980s on the La La Biche-Fort McMurray 'Muskeg Mixed'.  

http://www.cnrphotos.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=101366

CN also converted a former NAR baggage car into a 'bagboose' during the final years of this service.  This car is now owned by the Rocky Mountain Rail Society and I believe it was used as a tool car and accompanied CN 6060 on excurisons between 1986 and 2001.  

http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=46600

A regular caboose could also end up on the tail end instead of one of the funky rebuilds.  

http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=25392

And while the standard mixed train configuration on most railroads was engine-freight-passenger-caboose, it's also important to remember that the crew could and would switch things up depending on daily requirements, and the caboose could end up next to the engine or in the middle of the freight cars for part of the run if this would make switching easier.

 

Going from the terminus to the branch, a lone combine in the typical position at the end of the train would be sufficient for both passengers and crew. It is when the train goes toward the terminus that having the combine at the front of the train is the most efficient way of getting the passengers to the depot. Doing so makes a separate caboose at the end of the train necessary. Going toward the junction, the caboose could be placed either behind the combine or right behind the loco. The more I think about it, it might make more sense to put the caboose at the end of the train going in both directions. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, August 4, 2022 4:41 PM

SD70Dude
Here a series of photos of Canadian Pacific's station and yard at Goderich, Ontario, with a fairly cramped arrangement not unlike what you describe.

It was interesting to see that photo of the Goderich station, as it also included the turntable, which was gone long before my first visit there.  The station, somewhat shortened, now serves as a base for the town's road-maintenance crews.
The Goderich CNR station is, as far as I'm aware, still extant...I visited there several years ago with intent to possibly buy the station, but there was a list of "can't do this, can't do that" which disuaded my intentions. 
The trains there, originally CNR, then Goderich & Exeter, were later Rail Link, at that time still hauling covered hoppers up the extremely steep grade from the salt mines, which extend several miles out beneath Lake Huron.


The CNR had a lot of shortlines extending down to the north shore of Lake Erie, and many saw daily mixed trains.  Some destinations included a turntable, which might be man-powered or steam-powered, the latter through the loco's steam connections for the combine.

When I built my layout, I kept in mind those shortline trips, so that many of my trains could run as mixed trains, (or also as one-day excursion trains, mostly to vacation spots).
To ensure that train make-up was reasonably prototypical, I have stations in each of the seven towns along the rail lines, and three means (two turntables and a turning wye) that allow turning of locos and/or combines fairly close to any of the trains' destinations.
Since I'm the layout's sole operator, only one train is in motion at any point in the operations, and I have lots of choices for how I want the return trips to be made.

Of course, freight is the money-maker, so those excursion runs often spend time in the passing siding that's include in most of the layout's towns.

Wayne

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, August 4, 2022 4:55 PM

John-NYBW
EDIT: On closer look, the combine doesn't appear to have windows so this might be a combine that was converted to a mail & express car only. I guess I need to keep looking.

In the enlarged version of that photo, there does appear to be windows at the far end of that car.

Wayne

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Posted by cv_acr on Friday, August 5, 2022 9:19 AM

doctorwayne
SD70Dude
Here a series of photos of Canadian Pacific's station and yard at Goderich, Ontario, with a fairly cramped arrangement not unlike what you describe. 

It was interesting to see that photo of the Goderich station, as it also included the turntable, which was gone long before my first visit there.  The station, somewhat shortened, now serves as a base for the town's road-maintenance crews.

The CP Goderich station was lifted and moved closer to the beach and converted into a restaurant.

https://www.beachstreetstation.com/our-history

It most certainly wasn't cut down and converted to a road maintenance structure.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Friday, August 5, 2022 11:04 AM

wjstix

It would be nice if the passenger station had some type of house track, even just a spur next to the depot, so the combine could be spotted there for loading and unloading passengers and express while the train does it's freight switching.

 

I missed this comment when it was made earlier. A house track is completely unnecessary because the depot is at the end of the line near the bumper post. The track leading to the depot is a spur and the only time freight cars will be on that spur will be when they are backed down to the depot to couple with the combine. When the train comes into town, the first thing it comes to are the industrial spurs and the small yard. It passes the engine servicing facility and then has a couple blocks of street running before reaching the depot. There are no spurs on the section of street running. 

When the mixed train enters town, it will drop the freight cars in the yard, then pull the combine down the street track to the depot. Once the passengers, mail, and express are off loaded. The loco will back the combine down the street to the yard where a runaround move will allow the loco to push the combine back to the depot to be loaded for the return trip. The loco can then get turned on the turntable, do whatever pick ups and set outs that are needed to reassemble the train in the yard, then back the train down the street track to couple back to the combine.

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, August 5, 2022 1:17 PM

John-NYBW
I'm still trying to determine if there are any real world examples of that arrangement. The photo evidence I've found seems to be inconclusive. 

I am sure in all of history in all of the railroads in N America, you can probably find a picture of a combine being used as a passenger car on a mixed train behind the engine.  Just like you can find a picture of a steam engine pulling a double stack train.

However there are several reasons why 99.999% of railroads put the combine on the rear all the time.  The primary one was not bouncing the passengers around the inside of the car while switching.

As I said before, the Reading Co. operated a combine on the head end of the W&N branch local, past WW2, but it was NOT carrying passengers and was there to handle express shipments.  That is about the only pictures I have seen where the combine was on the head end of a freight train.

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Posted by cx500 on Friday, August 5, 2022 11:19 PM

One important reason for the combine being at the rear of the mixed train is that is where the conductor is based, whether in an attached caboose or the combine itself.  It is the conductor who makes certain that every passenger pays the appropriate fare, whether by selling the ticket or lifting a prepurchased one.  And that includes making sure said passenger disembarks at the specified station, stopping the train as required.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, August 6, 2022 2:54 PM

cv_acr
It most certainly wasn't cut down and converted to a road maintenance structure.

Well, it's certainly nice to see it repurposed, Chris, but it was, several years ago, used for road maintenance, mostly storage of equipment, but not necessarily vehicles.  An employee there also mentioned that there had been roof over the the original waiting platforms, as shown in your first two linked photos...otherwise, I might not have noticed that they had ever been there.


That must have been interesting watching a brick structure of that size being moved. 
My late mother had friends and relatives in various place near Goderich and especially in Southampton, too, and my brother and I have cousins in the area, too.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, August 6, 2022 7:37 PM

doctorwayne

 

 
John-NYBW
EDIT: On closer look, the combine doesn't appear to have windows so this might be a combine that was converted to a mail & express car only. I guess I need to keep looking.

 

In the enlarged version of that photo, there does appear to be windows at the far end of that car.

Wayne

 

It certainly looks like there were windows there at one time but I can't say I see glass there now so that maybe the windows were filled in or maybe it's just poor resolution disguising the windows. Here are a couple more short C&O trains with coach(es) right behind the loco and a caboose behind them.

36253175571_0132732584_b.jpg (1024×652) (staticflickr.com)

https://live.staticflickr.com/4370/36489617592_37fc917554_b.jpg

Not sure what the story was here. Were these mixed trains that had set out their freight cars or did the C&O run branchline passenger trains with a caboose on the end?

I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco.

gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com)

It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s. 

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Posted by crossthedog on Saturday, August 6, 2022 10:04 PM

John-NYBW
Here are a couple more short C&O trains with coach(es) right behind the loco and a caboose behind them. 36253175571_0132732584_b.jpg (1024×652) (staticflickr.com) https://live.staticflickr.com/4370/36489617592_37fc917554_b.jpg Not sure what the story was here. Were these mixed trains that had set out their freight cars or did the C&O run branchline passenger trains with a caboose on the end? I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com) It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s.

Huzzah! There ya go, John. The long search is over. I'm very pleased because like you I have a depot that fits in the layout most comfortably at the far end of the terminus, near the end of the track, and I want to pull the combine into the station at the head end of a mixed local, which will leave just room for the loco to get beyond the turnout and then come back out on the escape track. But I didn't want to have to invoke Rule #1 if I could point to photographic proof that it was done. My situation will be similar to that second photo where the loco has almost got its nose in the street.

-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 dehusman on Saturday, August 6, 2022 10:11 PM

John-NYBW
I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com)

And no caboose.  Looks like they ran around the train and were just coming back with the whole train reversed.  With just two freight cars, they aren't going to do much switching and the conductor just has to walk two car lengths to do an air test.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, August 6, 2022 10:45 PM

John-NYBW
I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com) It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s. 

It appears that the second passenger car is a pullman.  I'm thinking it's the Hot Springs train to that fancy resort, so it's a somewhat unique mixed train.  Those cars would needed to have been connected to the loco for steam heat.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, August 6, 2022 11:11 PM

MidlandMike
John-NYBW
I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com) It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s. 

It appears that the second passenger car is a pullman.  I'm thinking it's the Hot Springs train to that fancy resort, so it's a somewhat unique mixed train.  Those cars would needed to have been connected to the loco for steam heat.

There was an article about this line in the fall 2012 issue of Classic Trains.  In addition to keeping the passenger cars next to the locomotive there was a turntable at Hot Springs, and the crew would turn business and observation cars so they would always face the right way.  

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 5:53 AM

dehusman

 

 
John-NYBW
I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com)

 

And no caboose.  Looks like they ran around the train and were just coming back with the whole train reversed.  With just two freight cars, they aren't going to do much switching and the conductor just has to walk two car lengths to do an air test.

 

The end of the train isn't visible. The foliage hides what is around the bend. The other two photos showed C&O trains with a caboose behind the passenger cars even when there were no freight cars so it appears at least the C&O would run their branchline trains that way.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 6:10 AM

MidlandMike

 

 
John-NYBW
I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com) It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s. 

 

It appears that the second passenger car is a pullman.  I'm thinking it's the Hot Springs train to that fancy resort, so it's a somewhat unique mixed train.  Those cars would needed to have been connected to the loco for steam heat.

 

I'm guessing you are referring to White Sulphur Springs. A very popular resort especially for the Washington crowd. In addition during the Cold War, there were underground bunkers under the resort as a place for high ranking government and military personnel to shelter. Not sure how they expected to get there in the event of a missile atttack unless they had a real fast train. Maybe the plan was to go there if tensions got real high as in the Cuban Missile Crisis although my reading of that episode indicates the high ranking people in the JFK administration as well as the Joint Chiefs remained in Washington the whole time.

The bunkers built to survive an apocalypse - BBC Future

I like the staged shot of the guy hunkering in his fallout shelter with his tie on. His wife is dressed like June Cleaver. 

White Sulphur Springs had several golf courses and Sam Snead was their host pro. In his retirement, he would offer to play a round with your group for several hundred dollars.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 6:25 AM

crossthedog

 

 
John-NYBW
Here are a couple more short C&O trains with coach(es) right behind the loco and a caboose behind them. 36253175571_0132732584_b.jpg (1024×652) (staticflickr.com) https://live.staticflickr.com/4370/36489617592_37fc917554_b.jpg Not sure what the story was here. Were these mixed trains that had set out their freight cars or did the C&O run branchline passenger trains with a caboose on the end? I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com) It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s.

 

Huzzah! There ya go, John. The long search is over. I'm very pleased because like you I have a depot that fits in the layout most comfortably at the far end of the terminus, near the end of the track, and I want to pull the combine into the station at the head end of a mixed local, which will leave just room for the loco to get beyond the turnout and then come back out on the escape track. But I didn't want to have to invoke Rule #1 if I could point to photographic proof that it was done. My situation will be similar to that second photo where the loco has almost got its nose in the street.

 

-Matt

 

I'm the same way. I don't like to invoke Rule #1. My railroad is fictional but I want it to be plausible. I don't mind employing an unusual practice as long as I know it was done by some real railroads. I don't know if this practice was unique to the C&O but I now have four photos where passenger cars were at the front of the train with freight cars and/or a caboose trailing. If it was good enough for the C&O, it's good enough for me. 

My situation is similar to yours except I have a bumper post just before the street. The local post office is between the depot and the street. Across the street will be a large Victorian style hotel which I have yet to build. I was hoping to get to it this summer but haven't found the time. I want to put in interiors and lights in some of the rooms as well as the lower level so it's going to require lots of time. I bought the kit about 30 years ago as I was conceptualizing the railroad I would build in my retirement home. I had read about this kit in MR's product reviews but couldn't find anyone to order it from. I finally found it when the NMRA national convention was held in Columbus, OH. The guy who created the kit had a table at the train show and he had a built up version of it on display. Really nice looking. He also gave me some tips on how it should be painted. I really want to get this done sometime over the fall and winter after I put the golf clubs away.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 6:29 AM

SD70Dude

 

 
MidlandMike
John-NYBW
I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com) It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s. 

It appears that the second passenger car is a pullman.  I'm thinking it's the Hot Springs train to that fancy resort, so it's a somewhat unique mixed train.  Those cars would needed to have been connected to the loco for steam heat.

 

 

There was an article about this line in the fall 2012 issue of Classic Trains.  In addition to keeping the passenger cars next to the locomotive there was a turntable at Hot Springs, and the crew would turn business and observation cars so they would always face the right way.  

 

I have debated whether to turn the combine. There are small turntables at both ends of the branch to turn the loco so I could turn the combine if I choose to do so. Since it will usually be the only passenger car in the consist, I'm not sure that will be necessary. 

DrW
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Posted by DrW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 10:32 AM

MidlandMike

 

 
John-NYBW
I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com) It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s. 

 

It appears that the second passenger car is a pullman.  I'm thinking it's the Hot Springs train to that fancy resort, so it's a somewhat unique mixed train.  Those cars would needed to have been connected to the loco for steam heat.

 

 

It is indeed the Hot Springs train. At https://www.trains.com/ctr/photos-videos/photos/great-passenger-trains/co-gallery/ you can find the legend of the photo:

C&O’s Hot Springs mixed

Covington–Hot Springs, Va., mixed train with through Pullman from New York, June 1954.
Bob Lewis

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 10:52 AM

DrW

 

 
MidlandMike

 

 
John-NYBW
I finally found this one. A mixed train with the passenger cars right behind the loco. gl130715-3-1.jpg (1024×701) (trains.com) It doesn't appear to be an excursion train. I'm guessing a mixed train from the 1950s or 1960s. 

 

It appears that the second passenger car is a pullman.  I'm thinking it's the Hot Springs train to that fancy resort, so it's a somewhat unique mixed train.  Those cars would needed to have been connected to the loco for steam heat.

 

 

 

 

It is indeed the Hot Springs train. At https://www.trains.com/ctr/photos-videos/photos/great-passenger-trains/co-gallery/ you can find the legend of the photo:

C&O’s Hot Springs mixed

Covington–Hot Springs, Va., mixed train with through Pullman from New York, June 1954.
Bob Lewis

 

Great stuff there. The map is really helpful. I see that Hot Springs is at the end of a branch that diverged from the mainline just east of White Sulphur Springs. It makes sense it would be served by a mixed train while the mainline took passengers to White Sulphur Springs, which I was far more familiar with. 

This is very similar to my branchline which diverges from the mainline in New York near the Catskills. 

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Posted by crossthedog on Sunday, August 7, 2022 11:09 AM

John-NYBW
I really want to get this done sometime over the fall and winter after I put the golf clubs away.

Golf! Well, there's your problem, right there. "A good walk spoiled," Mark Twain said. Big Smile

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 John-NYBW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 12:21 PM

crossthedog

 

 
John-NYBW
I really want to get this done sometime over the fall and winter after I put the golf clubs away.

 

Golf! Well, there's your problem, right there. "A good walk spoiled," Mark Twain said. Big Smile

I started playing in 1966 and just recently though I might finally be figuring it out. I've reached an age where it is a realistic possibility I could shoot my age. I'm 70 now and on my home course that would require me to shoot one under par. I've shot under par a number of times on other courses but even par 71 is the best I've been able to do on my current home course. I've been close a couple times this year but just make a couple mistakes too many to get it done.

I've been working on my current layout for over 20 years but it would be more accurate to say over 10 years because I hardly touch it during the golf season which in Ohio is from early April to the end of October. I used to play even in the cold weather months but those days are over. 

For me, there are really only two seasons, golf season and train season.

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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, August 7, 2022 2:05 PM

John-NYBW
The end of the train isn't visible. The foliage hides what is around the bend.

Actually it is.  If you enlarge the image the top of the rail is clearly visible behind the hopper car, under the branches, with nothing on top of it.  There are only two freight cars attached to the engine.

It could be switching someplace and has uncoupled from the rest of the train, it might not be running with a caboose that day,  dunno.  What is clear is that there are only two passenger cars and two freight cars coupled to the engines in the picture.  Unless the following cars are floating along with no trucks or wheels touching the rails or are made of Star Trek's "transparent aluminum".  8-)

Looking at the other pictures only having 2 freight cars does not seem out of line since all the other pictures of that train don't show any freight cars, only passenger cars and a caboose.  Looking at Historic Aerials photos and topo maps it looks like there really isn't very much industry up that narrow valley, so only an occaisional couple of freight cars by the late 1950's early 1960's isn't out of line.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, August 7, 2022 4:07 PM

The line to Hot Springs was abandoned in 1972.  The Classic Trains article noted that the only remaining freight traffic at the time of the author's ride was coal for the Homestead's boiler plant.  

Here's a plan for a model of this line.  It's based on old C&O charts and aerial photos so the terminal layout at Hot Springs is probably fairly accurate.  The line had more local traffic in the 1950s but presumably all this had switched to trucks during the 1960s.

https://appalachianrailroadmodeling.com/co-hot-springs-sub-va-track-plan-n/

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 5:44 PM

Your argument that a railroad would not want to involve a passenger car in switching moves on a mixed train makes no sense in light of the fact that passenger trains routinely switched cars in route. This was true in the pre-Amtrak days and carried forward into the Amtrak years. There is nothing hazardous about switching cars with passengers onboard. Furthermore, if a facing point spur is involved, the passenger car is going to be part of the move no matter which end of the train it is on because of the necessity of doing a runaround move.  

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, August 7, 2022 7:48 PM

SD70Dude

The line to Hot Springs was abandoned in 1972.  The Classic Trains article noted that the only remaining freight traffic at the time of the author's ride was coal for the Homestead's boiler plant.  

Here's a plan for a model of this line.  It's based on old C&O charts and aerial photos so the terminal layout at Hot Springs is probably fairly accurate.  The line had more local traffic in the 1950s but presumably all this had switched to trucks during the 1960s.

https://appalachianrailroadmodeling.com/co-hot-springs-sub-va-track-plan-n/

 

If that is the depot to the right of the turntable at Hot Springs, that might explain why they would have placed the passenger cars on the front end. It would make it easier for an arriving train to spot them on the spur track. Although I don't have the same track arrangement, having my combine on the front end also makes the arrival at the depot much simpler. 

Positioning the passenger car in the train for the return trip would require the runaround track whether the passenger cars were placed at the front or the rear of the train.

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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, August 7, 2022 10:19 PM

John-NYBW
Furthermore, if a facing point spur is involved, the passenger car is going to be part of the move no matter which end of the train it is on because of the necessity of doing a runaround move.  

Not necessarily.

When the train approaches the runaround they stop however many car lengths they need before they get to the switch.  The cut off with teh car to be spotted and any car in front of it.  Drag that up between the switches, run around the cars.  Couple into the car to be spotted, pull it back to the switch into the industry.  Work the industry.  Put any pulls back with other cars on the runaround.  Run around the cut, shove back to the rear of the train.  

Passenger car was never touched.  Easy peasy.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, August 7, 2022 11:54 PM

What you are looking at in the pictures is probably the death throes of both passenger and freight service.

According to the 1928 ORG there was a sleeper from New York that made connections to Virginia Hot Springs via Covington, VA.  It was on the PRR from New York and C&O No 5 from Washington, arriving Covington at 922 pm.  It left Covington on No 305 at 925pm and arrived Hot Springs at 1045 pm.  It left the next day at 745 pm on No 302, which arrived Covington at 905 pm to make connection with No 4 that took the car back to New York.  Based on the times it appears that the 1928 operation was based out of Hot Springs and the turn went there to Covington and back.  There were also 4 other passenger trains on the schedule, Nos 301, 303 and 304, 306.  None of which show as mixed trains in the 1928 ORG.

In the 1950 ORG there was a connection from the FFV, No 3-43 that arrived at Covington at 455am and the car made connection with No 303 departing at 615 am, arriving Hot Springs 830 am.  The car went back out at 815 pm on No 306 to Covington, making connection with C&O No 6 for the return to New York.  According to the ORG Nos 303 and 306 were not mixed trains.  However the other passenger trains on the branch were shown as mixed trains, Nos 305 and 310.  Form the times it looks like the crew on No 303 turned back on No 310 and the crew on No 305 turned back on No 306.  According tothe ORG the through sleeper to Hot Springs was  6 compartment, 3 Double room car.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, August 8, 2022 10:59 AM

dehusman

 

 
John-NYBW
Furthermore, if a facing point spur is involved, the passenger car is going to be part of the move no matter which end of the train it is on because of the necessity of doing a runaround move.  

 

Not necessarily.

When the train approaches the runaround they stop however many car lengths they need before they get to the switch.  The cut off with teh car to be spotted and any car in front of it.  Drag that up between the switches, run around the cars.  Couple into the car to be spotted, pull it back to the switch into the industry.  Work the industry.  Put any pulls back with other cars on the runaround.  Run around the cut, shove back to the rear of the train.  

Passenger car was never touched.  Easy peasy.

 

All of that adds extra moves and extra time. In addition, if it involves a grade, I don't think they would risk setting out the passenger car where it isn't flat. That would certainly be the case at one of the towns the mixed train works on my layout. 

I don't dispute that railroads would want to limit the amount of switching involving their passenger cars but it wouldn't be a hard fast rule. Other factors would enter into the decision. Passenger trains were often switched in route in the pre-Amtrak days, often in the middle of the night. Your claim that 99.999% of the time a passenger car on a mixed train would be on the rear seems rather dubious. Can you cite a source that would back that up?

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