Pump 'em up!!

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by oldline1, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. oldline1

    oldline1 New Member

    I have a question about operations. I've seen comments about operating more realistically by allowing the time for a brakeman to throw turnouts and move from the front to the back of an engine or train and hooking up air hoses, etc.

    I would like to know a little more about the time required to pump up the brake line. Assuming a mine run arrives at a mine to pick up the loads. Assuming the engine has a single cross-compound air pump and picks up 20 loaded cars that would have had the air bled off completely. How long would it take to recharge the train line so the train could be safely moved?

    Roger Huber
  2. TCH

    TCH Member

    when operating I allow about 4 or 5 seconds per car after the loco has been hooked up. this gives the impression of waiting to pump up the air without having to stand around too long. my trains are usually only 8-12 cars long-
    any longer and I would probably use 2 to 3 seconds per car.
  3. oldline1

    oldline1 New Member

    Thanks for the quick answers to my question. I appreciate your time. Takes quite a long time to charge the train and make the inspections. Now I can understand why I saw train lines at some of the rail yards I've visited in the past.

    Might explain why many mine run engines carried 2 cross-compound air pumps since they probably dealt with the dead train-line situation more than, say, a local or through train leaving a yard.

    Thanks, again.
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Actually the brakeman does not connect the air hoses that's the Carmen's job.Why? It is the carmen's job to inspect the train,connect air hoses,open the air vale and check the car's retainer valve.
    The only time a brakeman connects a air hose is when the locomotives is coupled to the train or the crew is doing enroute switching.
    In terminal switching the engineer relies on the engine brakes to stop the cut of cars they are switching.
    Now some outbound tracks has a air hose that is connected to a underground pipe..The carman will connect this hose to the train and will fill the train line.This saves the road crew time.

    As a side note carmen will connect all hoses on a passenger train.
  5. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    You normally wouldn't have carmen stationed at an industry such as a coal mine. It is entirely within a brakeman's scope of work to couple air hoses outside a yard. So if the train is picking up cars at an industry it is the brakeman/conductor's job to lace the air. Even today.

    Dave H.
  6. hubba90bubba

    hubba90bubba New Member

    When picking up a car or two out on the road, do you connect the air hoses when the car(s) couple to the trian, or do they have to have air connected from the time when the engine couple to the car(s) at the industry?

  7. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    It can be done either way, the engine can pick up the cars and bring them back to the train, then do the air test or test the cars first and then bring them back to the train. Testing the cars before you add them to the train has the advantage that if there is something wrong with the air brakes on a car you can switch it out before you add it to the train.

    The other consideration is if you are moving around any other cars with air on them.

    Either way you have to do an initial terminal brake test on the cars you pick up.

    Dave H.
  8. hubba90bubba

    hubba90bubba New Member

    Ok, interesting.

    If it's more complicated moves, like if you have to do a run around after you pic up the car or if you're picking up cars from different tracks at an industryplant. Is it then more efficent to do all the connecting when the cars are coupled to the train, or is it still either way?

  9. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    There is no point to connecting the air hoses before you switch because every time you switch a car the air hoses disconnect. That would be silly. Once you put air on the cut, every time you uncouple from cars and then recouple to them you have to pump up the air to get the brakes to release.


    As I said before, AFTER you have done all the switching and you are about to go back to the train, you can lace the air and do a brake test before you put the cars on the train or you can put the cars on the train and then lace the air and do a brake test. Either way. Only requirement is that you HAVE to do a brake test before you depart.

    Dave H.
  10. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First,we would uncouple the engine after setting the train brakes and proceed to make the uncoupling(to include closing the air valves) and runaround move.
    We would recouple to the train,open the air valves on the engine and caboose and proceed to do the required work.After we finish the work we would inspect the retainer valve on the car or cars we picked up to ensure its not in the "release" position" and then connect the air hose after making the joint.

    However,some of the old line conductors I worked with would not make this run around move but,would switch the industry on the return trip.After all as one old conductor told me when I was a student brakeman "we gotta come this way on the way back anyway so,we switch her out on the return and save a lot of unnecessary work."
  11. hubba90bubba

    hubba90bubba New Member

    Thanks Dave and Brakie for clarifying that. Now I think it’s all clear to me.

    Interesting thing about the run around move Brakie, it’s a valid point.

  12. kutler

    kutler Member

    Bottling the Air?

    Brakie or someone with RT experience please:

    When a 100 car trains stops to set out a car. Then returns to it's train.
    It doesn't take 100 minutes to recharge the air.

    They brake test any cars they pick up before tying onto the train, right?

    Is the train crew bottling the air on the 100 cars and holding it with a hand brake? That can't be. Isn't it against the rules to bottle to air?


  13. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    Because the brake system still has air in it. When you cut away from the train ain it goes in emergency, the air pressure is gone from the train line but there still is air pressure in the brake cylinders and in the reservoirs. So when the head end ties back on, all they have to pump up is the train line and whatever air leaked out of the reserviors.
    In a yard, they bleed off the air from the cars, which means they drain the entire air system. So on the initial terminal test they have to charge everything on the brake system.

    Dave H.

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