2 loco switching

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by TCH, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. TCH

    TCH Member

    when 2 locos are used when switching how easy is it to seperate them to switch individually ?
    is it simply a matter of uncoupling ?
    obviously there must be 2 crews which brings up another question.

    do the 2 crews communicate with radio or what other method is used ?

    i have just read about switching facing point spurs using 2 locos and not having to run around the train.

    this is what has prompted my question.

    it will be easy to do on the model but was wondering how it was [is] done in the real world.
  2. diesel

    diesel Member

    Hey trevor,

    If you are running DC, then you will have to either use a magnet (HO right?) to uncouple or use a wand or by hand and then put the diesel into a block you can turn the power off to.

    If you are running DCC then the same uncoupling applies (I bet you already know that but I tend to overstate -don't let it annoy you) As far as moving the one diesel away without the other you will just dial up the 'other' loco in the consist. The lead loco will stay behind since you (probably) used that as the consist #.

    I wonder if you can dial in a consist # for the 2 and have that different than either of the actual addresses of each loco. Then you could run either by dialing that address and not be in consist when you do. -just a thought

  3. TCH

    TCH Member

    thanks diesel

    I really wanted to know how easy or otherwise it is to uncouple engines in real life.
    is it simply a case of uncoupling the couplers or is more involved ?

    if they are MU`d is it easy to seperate them ?

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I don't know the full details, but a pair of MUed diesels has, as well as the coupling and air hose, at least 3 cables for the MU -- the smaller ones that sit on the end one one side of the coupler. I'm not sure how hard it is to attach/detach these. I think there's also a big electric cable, although that may be just for passenger runs.
    My other expectation is that there may be a control handle that is removed from one loco while they use the cab in the other one.
  5. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    I would be surprised to see a pair of MUed locos separated to do switching. To switch a facing point spur one of the locos would have to be behind the cars that needed to go on the spur, so they would not be connected to begin with. The crews would have to communicate somehow, at one point it would probably been with the whistle, now I would imagine radio.

  6. TCH

    TCH Member

    the article I saw stated that:-

    2 locos pulling a train which stops before the spur to be switched.

    the first loco is uncoupled and proceeds into the spur.

    the next loco uncouples behind the car to be dropped and heads forward past the spur.

    the first loco comes out of the spur and then forward to the car to be switched.
    it then reverses back past the switch - then forward to drop the car .

    meanwhile the other loco reverses past the switch and waits for the
    first loco which backs from the spur back to the waiting train.

    to me this sounded like a good way to work a facing spur when no
    runaround was near.

    from your replies it seems unlikely it was done this way, although I
    still may do it on my layout.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I think I may have read that, because I seem to recall that one other possibility is to have an engine at each end of the train. This would also allow the crew to work facing and trailing points without a run around. This is key when they are not operating a "turn" (i.e. a train that goes out and back). A turn can get away with one engine (assuming a run-around option at the end of the line) and would switch all trailing point sidings on the way "out", and the facing points become trailing points on the return trip...

  8. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    I sure wasn't thinking enough, that would work....
    As far as whether it was done, I've got no idea....


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