Facing Point Spurs and the Crew

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Gary S., Nov 10, 2007.

  1. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I had an uncle who fired on the C&0 during steam era then became an engineer in beginning of diesel. when he passed away he was still an engineer but for CSX working in the Huntington shops. I asked him this same question. he told me how he used to do this years ago when making local run out of PeachCreek yard into Logan WV. he called it dropping or spotting on the fly if I remember correctly. he would uncouple car to be spotted from trailing cars then pull car to be spotted toward the switch. when speed became enough and they were close enough to the switch, a brakeman would I believe he called it pulled the pin. Un coupled the car to be spotted he,( my uncle the engineer) would excellerate the Loco running off and leaving the car to be spotted still rolling along. after loco goes through switch it would be thrown to direct car to business needing it. The brakeman riding the car(who pulled the pin earlier )would manually apply brakes to stop the car where needed. while he is stopping car the engine is stopped and reversed to go back ang hook up to remaining train to move on. I don't believe this could be duplicated in the modeling world
  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Ah, the "flying switch". That was banned a long tme ago.

    Some modellers have managed working hump yards and other situations where cars are allowed to roll under gravity, but momentum switching on level track is something we can't duplicate.

    EDIT: Looks like we answered at the same time.
  3. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    Lester, Hello ! This move was done by locals under PC and ConRail and was called "Swinging" a car. With the quality of most industrial track, it was often a "Puckering" move for all involved, and required a 2 or 3 man crew (Conductor and 1 or 2 brakemen), one to ride and cut off the car in motion when given the slack by the engineer, one to handle the switch, and (if the brake was on the opposite end from the loco) brake it after clearing the switch - you ALWAYS tested the hand brake FIRST. Under NS, with many jobs just an "E" and a "C", this would be impossible without about 37 rules violations, and extremely hazardous! I usually threw the switch. Bob C.
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    The flying switch is still being used..I seen it done recently.

    Short lines also uses the flying switch..
  5. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I know they still kick cars in yards which is not as dangerous can that be done in modeling?
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Lester,I am sure it could be done if the track was on a slight down grade before leveling out..Stop the car to be kicked over a KD magnet,back up a tad so the couplers will disengage and then shove the car ahead and then stop..The car should roll to a coupling.
  7. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    As for the note on wooden cars...

    It would depend on the train and the caboose. Cabooses had trussrods just like other cars to transfer the force from coupler to coupler...so it would probably be fine in the era that the car was designed for...but an 1880's caboose with 2 truss rods would be flattened by a pair of 2-10-2s and a coal drag. Most of the dangers with wooden cars were telescoping accidents...odds are good the crew would set the caboose off rather than push it. Some wooden cabooses served into the 1960s.

    Also, the flagman would be riding the caboose...and he would set up to protect the train from getting plowed into by anything else on the main. The engineer would give 5 short wistle blasts to recall him (IIRC).

    The flagman was probably the most important member of the train crew...he kept the train from getting rear-ended by an unsuspecting train on the main....which could lead the dreaded telescoping.
  8. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    Larry, didn't Kaydee advertise a variant of this - uncouple/seperate/shove - for their "Delayed - Action" magne-matics? Just have to shove a little harder, and be sure the air is bled out ! Bob C.
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    KD makes two delayed action uncouplers..
    #309 is the under the track electric delayed uncoupler while the #321 is the between the rails delayed uncoupler.

    Like you said,uncouple,sperate and shove.

    Kadee® Quality Products Co. - Sample Prices
  10. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I'm contemplating on how to accomplish this on my layout. I think using some sort of stiff bristle brushes, attached to a switch machine for an actuator might work out swell. The brushes being in or out depending on how far the car needs to roll.
  11. kutler

    kutler Member

    It's not that common around here any more.

    I asked a conductor once and he replied he felt it required a full crew to perform.
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Actually it takes a 2 men on the ground..One to make the uncoupling and the other to throw the switch.

    Of course having three man is better..One to make the uncoupling,one to throw the switch and one to ride the car so the hand brake can be applied as needed.
  13. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    For what it is worth. This was not an idea it was a practice. it was mid 70s when I was told about what they used to do. I would say 60s at the latest. I don't know if it was a legal move or how safe it was I just know he described it to me and I have told you about it to best of my memory.it was comman practice at this location and time.
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Lester,I was first taught how to execute the flying switch when I worked on the PRR..Then when I worked on the C&O under the Chessie banner we would use a flying switch as a last resort switch move..Under the CSX banner it was frown upon.

    Here's another type of flying switch..

    YouTube - CSX Y111 6-11-07
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There are 2 operations that we may be talking about here. The video shows kicking cars, which is the simple form; just shove the cars and let go.
    There is also what used to be called a "Dutch drop" (back when the dutch were blamed for everything) where the car is pulled, then uncoupled. The loco speeds up past the switch and the points are thrown before the car gets there. The dutch drop was used where there was a facing point switch and the car was on the wrong end. I think it is illegal and is certainly discouraged by the railroads, as a small miscalculation can result in the loose car running into the loco or not heading the right way at the switch.
  16. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Actually David,a "Dutch drop" is another term for "flying switch".

    Kicking cars is a form of flat switching where you "kick" the cars rather then shove the cars to a coupling..The crew uncouples the car while in motion and lets the car roll to a coupling.
    As the video shows a flying switch is not a illegal move.
  17. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

    A friend of mine had some video he took of a shortline doing a "flying runaround" - there wasn't a free double ended track they could use, so they parked a car, set the handbrake, uncoupled and put the engine in a spur. Close the switch, guy on the car releases the brake and gravity takes over. Car rolls back past the switch, guy puts the handbrake on again, so the car is now next to the engine. Open the switch, engine pulls out and couples back on to the other end of the car.

    EDIT: I didn't see brakie's posted video before posting. Pretty much exactly the same.
  18. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Way back when, when I worked for CSX we would leave our train on a single track main for certain industry moves. One of our southbound stops was another major yard, we would still leave most of our train on the main to hold the signal. We would have to get permission from dispatch past a signal to back into the yard at a crossover, but we would foul the main for as long as we needed. You would also need to keep in mind that this was not a busy line.

    About the shoving the caboose, I think there is some confusion because in some circumstances, mostly with helper service, the engine would be cut in front of the caboose.
  19. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    We would spot our train in the passing track then make the run around..Why? Most old line conductors knew we would need to wait on at least one train even if it was 15 miles away before we could make our move!!!

    We would shove against the caboose when making a facing point set out.
    Also IF the caboose had a steel underframe the the pusher could shove against the caboose.

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