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Moving locomotive inside maintenance shops

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  • Member since
    October 2008
  • 9 posts
Moving locomotive inside maintenance shops
Posted by SD40 on Sunday, July 31, 2022 2:07 AM

Hi,

I would like to know how locomotives are moved inside modern maintenance shops.

I read in several articles that nowdays, maintenance shops are frequently organised like "assembly lines". That means that locomotives are moved from one dedicated pad to another one (instead worker teams moving from a locomotive to another one). There are inbound entrances and outbound exits for the shop.

1) How are locomotives moved from one "pad" to another ? (I imagine than the diesels engines (prime movers) of the serviced locomotives cant be used inside shop to proceed for 10 meters !). I cant figure how an external yard switcher (locomotive) can do the job : there is a file of several locomotives on the rails beetween the entrance and the exit of the shop ...

2) Are the locomotives in the same line all moved a the same moment ? (synchronouly). Does it mean that all the jobs to perform on the different pads must be achivied in the same timing ? How to exit a locomotive in the middle of the line if the maintenance is completed ? What happend if a job can't be completed for a locomotive in a line ? How are correctly spaced the differents locomotives to be correctly placed on the differents pads ?

Thanks in advance !

Francis

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 8,949 posts
Posted by zugmann on Sunday, July 31, 2022 7:09 AM

1. most modern locomotives have a form of "spotter control".  Basically, the locomotive's battery power is used to power one traction motor to move it short distances without having to fire up the prime mover.  

 

 

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of

my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 10,326 posts
Posted by dehusman on Sunday, July 31, 2022 8:48 AM

Or overhead cranes.

Or another locomotive.

In a big shop there may be multiple pads, so as a spot opens up on one pad the locomotive advances.

At the UP Jenks shop the locomotives were disasembled and the components moved to each pad, then reassembled at the end, from the parts available.

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

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • 9 posts
Posted by SD40 on Sunday, July 31, 2022 12:18 PM

Thanks for your so quick answers !

It's clearer for me now. One question more, I'm curious and very interested in shops organisations : I understood that modern locomotives use battery+ 1 traction motor for short move. How locomotives were moved inside maintenance shops during the 70'/80' ? I suppose that device did'nt exist at this time ?

Best.
Francis

 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 10,326 posts
Posted by dehusman on Sunday, July 31, 2022 12:23 PM

Cranes

Another locomotive

Fork lift

Tractor

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

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,444 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, July 31, 2022 1:17 PM

I've seen a few "slugs" made from spare locomotive trucks used in various shops:

https://conrailphotos.thecrhs.org/photos/cr-0-1

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3842121

 Then there's these:

https://rollingstockmover.com/rail-movers/

 [edit] I forgot to mention the use of "capstan" car movers. I recall one being used in a C-N shop in Toronto. A slowly truning drum is wrapped with a turn or two of strong rope the other end being hooked into a "pulling staple" or designated eye.

With slight pressure being applied on the free end of the rope the force is multiplied by the geared capstan and the car easily moves.

https://www.carpuller.com/

 

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Danbury Freight Yard
  • 354 posts
Posted by OldEngineman on Sunday, July 31, 2022 9:37 PM

This is what the "shop switching crew" is for, or in some cases, hostlers (and hostler helpers).

Years (and years) ago, I worked on the diesel shop switching crew in New Haven. They'd make the necessary moves with whatever engine was around.

I was also a hostler in the Metro-North Croton Harmon shops in 1983 (one of Metro-North's "forever firemen"). We would work with a hostler helper (a separate position, he was not "a brakeman"), or with another hostler, moving all kinds of equipment in the shop -- engines, MU's, etc.

There was also a shop switching crew on duty, as well. They handled certain moves the hostlers didn't or weren't supposed to make.

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: Canada
  • 1,733 posts
Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 11:15 AM

If it's on its own wheels and can roll, another locomotive or TrackMobile type unit can move it around.

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