Reason for MU'ed switchers

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by LocoIndy76, May 21, 2007.

  1. LocoIndy76

    LocoIndy76 Member

    I have a question with MU’ed loco’s that are used for local switching. Is there a reason for this? Here in the Indianapolis are CSX does a LOT of local switching and they tend to run two engines lashed together on a regular basis. IN fact they tend to keep there local switchers lashed together all the time(parked or on the move). Is this a power issue or a visibility issue? Most of the time these engines aren’t pulling much freight so I wouldn’t figure it a power issue… Is it more of a visibility issue where they “drive” one engine to the location to switch then once they arrive and switch they change engines and drive back always being in the “front” engine for best visibility. Most industrial spurs are in and out and no turn around… CONFUSED!!! :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Some examples here in Indianapolis
    Heres a few that parked lashed together… there are two more sets behind these

    However in this case SINGLE loco headed into the switching spur forwards and once done had to back out and back to yard….

    This one actually on the same spur as above BACKED into the spur from the yard and then left later going forward….
  2. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    i think its just a visibility issue,since there are no turntables,reverse loops or any other way to turn around,they need a way to see easier in industruial spurs where buildings on corners can block the veiw of the end of a spur behind it.just my 2 cents :D --josh
  3. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    You've hit the nail on the head, visibility. Also if they are doing any mainline running having two engines is insurance that if one breaks down they can still keep moving and clear the mainline.

  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Also horse power and braking while switching long cuts of cars.As far as 2 locomotives for visibility that doesn't really figure in as far as the railroad is concern after there are locals that use one engine even on the main line.
  5. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

    It's both a power issue and the fact they are back to back. This allows for the engineer to change ends for the return trip back to the home terminal.

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