A switching question

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Ralph, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I'm still figuring out some operations on my layout and realized I created a little problem with my track plan!

    I'll try not to make this sound like a highschool algebra question :))) but if there was a one way train traveling North from Kingsport to Sawyer (which is considered to be miles away) and cars there were ready to be picked up from both industry A and B that were to be shipped farther North....

    1. Would the Kings Port train crew curse my track plan for the switchback at Sawyer, uncouple from the train, run light to Sawyer, pick up cars at B, bring them back to Kings Port, run around the train and tack the cars on the end of the train, recouple, and then pick up cars at A

    2. Pick up cars from both A and B and return to Kings Port with the engine in the middle of a run of cars and assemble the train at Kings Port

    3. Or would some powers-that-be assign the job of picking up cars at B
    to another train, say a local turn that orignated from the North and returned there after working in Sawyer?

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  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Thanks for your input...the folks at Sheridan Sheet Metal (Industry B) appreciate your replies! :D

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  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Ralph, it would probably depend on what "miles away" meant (10 or 100?) and how busy the rest of the railroad is.
    I see CN locals with cars tacked on both ends of the engines. CN in our area has spurs running both ways off the mainline. The crew would do whichever move was faster unless they were trying to spin out their hours on duty. Unless there was a regular train that ran south and then turned around and ran north, the KPSW run would pick up everything going north, whichever way the sidings faced. If they were going several hours, they would probably go back to the passing siding and run around there.
    (You could make interesting operations by limiting how far a train can run with cars in front of the loco.)
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Thanks David! Seems like there is a prototype for everything! I'm imagining Sawyer is probably 5 to 10 miles from Kings Port so I guess the crew can take care of all the business on the line. I appreciate hearing about the CN example and your ideas regarding rules for running cars in front of the engine!
  5. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    We shove cars several miles when we serve single ended industries in Reno. If we have a run around available then we use that and pull the cars both ways. It isn't so much making the shift longer, it is the new UP attitude about safety. We did things for years one way and had no incidents, but some 2 bit lawyer type decides things need to be safer and then things change. Also, as crews’ age and change, operating habits change too. Another point is riding on the side of a car for a few miles will wear on the arms.
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    About 10 to 12 years ago when Conrail was operating ex Lackawanna Boonton Line trackage in the Denville/Mountain Lakes area, there was an industrial park with several industries served by rail, with spurs in each direction. There was no runaround track nearby, Conrail used two locos, one at each end of the train! I had seen these trains a few times and had no idea what the reason was for for some time till I had the opportunity to see it switch this park. I've never seen anything like it before or since. None of those industries are served by rail any longer, unfortunately.
  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Thanks guys! Is great to benefit from your experience!
  8. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Here is a real life John Allen time saver. This is the track layout on the Reno Branch at the old station called Panther. It has a small run around and a total of five switches, just about like the time saver. I point this out for two reasons. The small run around was used to put a tank car ahead of the engine and shove it to a spur track around the corner about a 1/4 mile away. There was a second spur track but that one has been removed for over 15 years and I didn't show it. The track to the left holds tank cars of printers’ ink. A hopper of unknown contents is usually there also. On the right there is a track for unloading LPG. I show three towers, but now that the drawing is done, I think I should have put in a fourth tower. The switch around the corner is opposite of the two shown at the run around. The second reason is, if you look far enough, you will find a prototype for just about anything. :D

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  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Well first lets do things the easy way..A old line PRR conductor told me there is no need to make moves you don't have to.What this conductor would do is switch industry B on the return trip after all you will be going back to the yard and will surely pass by this way..This will save a lot of unneeded moves and extra work.Also if you shove a car AHEAD of your locomotive a brakeman will need to ride the car in order to protect the shove.
    Now if there was a passing siding near by then of course a simple run around move would be made to position the drop off in front of the engine to switch B out.
    Now I know some old line conductors that would simply make a flying switch in order to drop the car after he made the pickup.A brakeman would ride the car to apply the hand brake after the car cleared the switch..Then the engine would then recouple to the car and push the car to spot the car at the dock. :D
    Now remember before you spot the car at B you must switch out A.You will need the track at B for head room in order to switch A. :D
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Thanks for all of the recommendations guys! Brakie, I suppose I should keep in mind the thought "we shall pass this way again" when it comes to locomotives returning to yards! :) I imagine that if the load at industry B was time sensitive the crew would find the fastest way to pick it up, whether it was with their train or another...

    Greg, that track plan IS like the Timesaver! I'll bet it took a little thinking to switch it efficiently. Cool example!

    Well, everybody my crew is going to ponder your advice..but they best figure it out soon since they are close to scheduled departure time! ;)

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