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  • Could someone please tell me about these devices. Logic tells me that it is a device used to derail trains. If that is the case, what-when and where would they be used?? Also do the Genesis locomotives used by Amtrak, have the same braking systems as is typical on freight locomotives.[8D]
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  • A derail is a metal piece attached to a rail which when in the derail position will cause the wheels of a railcar to jump off the rails (rail term: on the ground). They are usually located on spur tracks especially those which slope toward the main line. The idea is that if a car parked on a spur started to roll toward the main, it would hit the derail and stop rolling before any serious damage would occur such as rolling in front of a moving train. Loose cars can travel many miles depending on the profile of the track. A derail normally has a sign next to it to remind trainmen to put it in the off position before entering a spur track. The switch leading into the spur is also marked with a sign and the switch stand, at least on the CP, is painted yellow. Woe to the conductor who forgets to remove the derail and backs his own train over it!
  • There is also a derail that in essence is one switch point that serves the same purpose.
  • I see now--thanks for the replies. Hope that I get some info on the braking systems of the Genesis locomotive too. I think it is a P42??