Reverse Running UP Engine

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by upguy, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. upguy

    upguy Oregon Western Lines, CEO

    In case you ever wondered.... Yes, it is prototypical to operate a UP engine in reverse on the mainline. I caught this UP unit running in reverse east of Baker City, Oregon, in 1984 (October 13th, I think). It was probably a local detailed to MOW work, but it still counts as prototypical! :rolleyes:

    I guess I should explain that I am referring to "long nose" forward as "reverse". The engine was moving uphill to the left in the picture. The smoke from the engine makes it look like it was pushing the caboose to the right, but that was not the case. There was a strong tail wind blowing from the rear and the train was not moving as fast as the wind.

    Attached Files:

  2. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    Yes, I'm sure it's not at all un-prototypical for engines to run in reverse, especially in MOW service, or something like that. I recently completed a lengthy cross-country trip via rail, for the NRHS Convention. Although I didn't happen to see any "reverse running" engines (except as part of a multi-unit consist), I have seen them previously. While running forward may be somewhat better for the engineer, I understand that some locomotives have control stands that facilitate operation equally well in either direction. From what I've heard, although all rail equipment has a front and rear (or A and B) ends, most of it is equipped to operate equally well either way. Even steam engines have been known to operate tender first on occasion.:)
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've been watching the CN locals on the Weston and Halton subdivisons and the don't seem to care which way they go. They usually have 2 geeps with low noses, but they run them tail to tail, nose to nose, or nose to tail. I get the idea that converting to the low nose may have been a waste of money.
    Possibly your UP train was a return trip and there was no turntable at the turnaround point. :D
  4. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    The photo I submitted to this month's contest shows a CSX unit leading a train westbound through Point of Rocks, MD. It's running long hood forward.

    The autorack cars in the consist were empty, unlike the eastbound trains at the same location. The box cars may have had a load.

    This added some comfort to my modeling, since I have no facilities to turn a locomotive at my coal tipple.
  5. triman

    triman Member

    Down here in the antipodes several diesel classes, the Victorian Railways "X" class springs to mind, were designated to run long hood leading. This was on the grounds of crew safety.
    Apparently in a collision, short hood leading, you end up wearing the tractor engine of the truck you hit; long hood leading and the loco prime mover lobs into your lap:D
    The "X" c;ass is an 1800HP EMD model; I'll get some more details and pass them on later.
  6. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    Another thought occurred to me, which I did not come up with earlier. That is, some of the earlier diesels (Alco RS series come to mind, particularly) were designed to run long hood forward. This was probably for the same reason of protection in the event of a crash. Thanks to triman for reminding me of that.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There was a line in England where the turntable at the end of the line was a bit small so that tank engines (which were considered bi-directional) always run chimney first, while tender engines returned running tender first.

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