Flying Switch.

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by brakie, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    When I worked on the PRR I was called as rear brakeman on a intercity industrial switch job..We had to set out a empty gon out at a scrap yard that was on a facing point switch.Now usually we would switch this on the return trip to the yard but that particular night we had no work to do beyond the scrap yard.
    It was decided by the conductor that we would simply do a flying switch to save time after all we have done that in the past before with no problems but still considered a high risk move and frown on by the PRR..
    Well we set up the flying switch and the engineer gave that old gon a pretty good shove and all was going as we planned--until the head brakeman realized he swung onto the wrong end of the gon to use the hand brake to stop that gon so he swung off the gon to catch the other end but misjudged the grabs and could not swing back on...Now the scrap yard siding was on a slight down grade and that gon of course picked up extra speed with 2 brakemen and conductor in hot foot pursuit needless to say that gon whiz off the end of the scrap yard siding,through a wooden fence gate and onto the street.:eek:
    Needless to say we had to answer up to the division superintendent who had no kind words for us concerning our lack switching skills..Of course we received 5 days off .We was advised to buy some toy trains while we was off and brush up on our switching skills as we surely lack those most important skills.
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Larry, that's a great story!! :)

    The best kind of accident, where nobody gets hurt
    and everybody learns something!! :) :) :) :thumb:

    I can just picture you all racing after that gon!!!! :D :D
  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Great Story Brakie - Glad no-one got hurt!!!!
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :thumb: :thumb:
  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Whoops! Hmmmm, I think I could easily model that on my layout. :D
  6. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member


    Great story, Brakie. Would have been a hoot to have seen...:thumb: Glad only egos were hurt.:)
  7. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    Kinda reminds me of a story my father told. Bear in mind that he told this when I was maybe nine years old, so I may not have the details correct.

    He worked at a warehouse, and they got a carload of steel in. The engine spotted the car, but they had to move it with the crane so they (I guess) released the air, and my Dad was on the back of the car to tighten the handbrake when they got it where it was supposed to be. For some reason the handbrake failed though, so the car, with my Dad on board, rolled down a grade. One of his co-workers was running after to to try to grab the car (to stop it??) and was yelling for him to jump. My Dad decided that (a) he had 40 or so tons of steel between him and whatever he hit and (b) the track leveled out right past the gate (which was closed, but not for long) so the car would stop then, and he could get off without hurting himself. The car made short work of the gate, rolled to a stop, and they had to get the crane to tow it back to the yard where they put a 4x4 under the wheel.

    I can just picture the other guy trying to grab the car to stop it.
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    ;) Goodun' Larry!

    Was this the launch of your moel rail career? :D :D :D

    Thanks for another great story! :thumb:
  9. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I never have been able to do a flying switch on my "MODEL" trains. So how did he expect you to pratice? FRED
  10. McFortner

    McFortner Member

    Why do I see this as a Benny Hill sketch here? :eek: :eek: :D :D :wave:
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Dash 10,That was another one of his insults..That was his way of saying No more flying switches..:D

    Jon,Actually my dad was a railroader and model railroader that is how I got started in the hobby.:D
  12. Skunk Valley

    Skunk Valley Member

    Love the story, Brakie. Used to watch Piedmont & Northern crews pull it off at the cannery behind my grandmother's house. They actually had the trackage to do runarounds, but would have had to travel a couple of miles. Guess they preferred the flying switch.

    I bought several of the "Drifter" HO cars from NorthWest Short Lines. These things have a flywheel driven off one of the trucks. Thus, these monsters act like prototype cars: once rolling, they tend to keep going. When you put a boxcar top on one, it looks like a normal car.

    Several members of the local club like to spot cars at industries by taking advantage of the Kadee "delayed uncoupling" feature. That way, they can push the car to the industry spot, reverse the locomotive, and drop it in place. More than one engineer has given one of these drifters a shove only to have it keep on going past the spot and end up "on the ground."

    Anyway, I've added a few Kadee permanent magnets at several locations around the layout. With a little practice, you can actually pull off flying switches in HO. Even has all the usual problems: Getting uncoupled on the fly, throwing points without derailing anything, car stopping on the turnout, or not stopping at all.

    Ain't modelling fun !!!!

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