For all of You Train Lovers

General Discussion

  1. Photon440

    Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Yes they are, we had classes with instruction and films - both animated and actual - showing the reasons for the shape of the tread and wheel plates, and how a proper, new tread would enable the wheel to self center if it was pushed to one side of the rail and how the elevation and track geometry were engineered to keep train trucks in line around curves at proper speeds.
     
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    • BLK 68 R/T

      BLK 68 R/T FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Thanks for all the information. It provides an interesting seldom seen view of the different designs.
       
    • polywideblock

      polywideblock FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      TGSE00087_m.jpg
       
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      • polywideblock

        polywideblock FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Two electric locomotives, a steam engine and a goods train damaged in raids by Allied Air Forces on the Cortona-Arezzo Line
        large.jpg
         
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        • polywideblock

          polywideblock FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          tumblr_m7x8etSlsK1qk6uvyo1_1280.jpg
           
        • Photon440

          Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Sometimes you look at some graffiti on the sides of freight cars (and they pretty much all have some) and you think...
          that took awhile to do. Like this grain hopper car.



          upload_2020-11-22_22-33-3.png
           
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          • Photon440

            Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            The LMS Turbomotive looks like a regular steamer, but look closer and you'll see no pistons. Built in 1935, it used
            2400 hp. steam turbines to drive the wheels.
            upload_2020-11-27_18-18-28.png
             
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            • MiradaMegaCab

              MiradaMegaCab Well-Known Member

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              16C7E880-7F50-4F0E-BE3A-A14EADB8885A.jpeg 6AB8FE10-450A-45B6-B69E-60A3A56F2F15.jpeg
               
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              • Photon440

                Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                Have you wondered what trains do without cabooses these days? At one time, they were a familiar sight on the end of each train, with a self contained crew who watched out for problems that the front end engineer didn't see. With radio communication, they'd let the driver know when they started moving, what the rear brake pressure was, when they were clear of a switch when pulling into a siding, plus they could apply emergency brakes from the rear. I was working on the caboose track, getting them ready for train trips and got the news around 1987 that they were on the way out. Now all you see on the back end of a train is a flashing red light.
                upload_2021-2-5_23-15-2.png
                However, it's not just a light. This is an EOT, or End Of Train device, also known as an SBU (sense and braking unit) or FRED (flashing rear end device) and gives the locomotive engineer a lot of information.
                upload_2021-2-5_23-16-58.png As you can see, it attaches to the rear coupler on the tail end car with a screw on clamp - the fingers engage four holes cast into the coupler. You can also see that it is attached to the rear brake hose. This device has a motion sensor and will let the engineer know when there is movement at the rear of the train. See that number on the side (87172), each one has it's own unique number. When it is applied to the train, the person radios the head end and tells them the number which is then punched into a special radio control to communicate with this device. This make is impossible for one train to accidentally pick up a signal from a different unit on another train.

                Besides the motion sensor, the radio signal also allows the engineer to initiate an emergency brake application from the tail. There could be a good reason to do this emergency braking, if there was a problem such as a kinked brake hose (it could happen when the cars bunch up together during deceleration) or water condensing in a hose and freezing to block airflow and preventing brake application from the front end. To make sure the signal is reading correctly, the pressure is also visible in a digital display on this unit, and if they don't match to front end reading within a couple of psi. then the unit must be replaced.

                So there you have it, a piece of machinery that did away with the caboose. Originally, we had to keep a bunch of batteries on chargers and change them out every trip, but then they started installing tiny turbine generators in them so they'd develop their own power whenever the brake line was pumped up. They make a high pitched whine and are efficient, using very little air to power them.
                 
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                • Bold & Old

                  Bold & Old if its to be......... then its up to me FBBO Gold Member

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                  I worked on the CSXT (C&O) for 40 years as a Conductor and brakeman retiring in 2005.

                  We employees back then call it a FRED & a (EOT) in the true railroad technical term for this device.

                  Another we put it was........ "end of trainman device"... EOT

                  I remember this device was the reason that got rid of all the Cabooses in the USA!...... along with another crew member.......... the rear Brakeman on long hauls.

                  this was done in later the 1980s-90s making are jobs much more dangerous and harder to do!!

                  A lot of train wrecks and life's were lost due this this device...

                  LET it be known!!
                   
                  Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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                  • 1968rt

                    1968rt Well-Known Member

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                    No trip to Strasberg, PA is complete unless you stay at the Red Caboose Motel. Every motel room is a converted caboose. It is awesome. You can have breakfast in the dining car. I was amazed how large it was.. https://redcaboosemotel.com/motel-cabooses
                     
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                    • Photon440

                      Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      I have no doubt that it could have been beneficial to have crew riding the tail in a caboose. The unions at CN argued that point repeatedly. Then we had a sulphur train pull in, it had a carload on fire. The rear crew could have easily seen the smoke as well as smell it, and reported it. However, they said nothing. They were found asleep in the cab after it yarded, another nail in the caboose coffin.

                      Nowadays though, it's common to use locomotives on the ends and center of long trains as well as just pulling (distributed power) so there wouldn't be room for a cab on the end of one of those trains anyway.
                       
                    • Dibbons

                      Dibbons Well-Known Member

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                      When I was checking freight trains as a Border Patrol Agent we found, more than once, illegal aliens riding in the auxiliary power units attached to the front/main unit where the railroad engineers controlled the train. They sat in the vacant engineers seats. In the power units, there was also a removable trap door in the floor for maintenance access where the aliens would open, crawl down inside, and hide from us. Of course, their favorite place to hide was sitting inside the new cars. Photo is me with USBP in downtown El Paso, Texas circa 1985.

                      Border Patrol1 copy.jpeg
                       
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                      • Bold & Old

                        Bold & Old if its to be......... then its up to me FBBO Gold Member

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                        Looks like you dealt with a lot too!

                        found several dead bodies frozen like a popsickles in the big fli-ash containers.

                        doing a class A air test in Detroit (CP interchange container yard) we had to have a RR Dicks walk standing guard while we walked the air test both ends from being shot or robbed... this was a everyday event.

                        I personally been shot at several times at the CP container yard.

                        Me when i was running locomotives with remote satellite control........... a one my crew in Port Huron Michigan in 2005 hauling 25 loaded img038.jpg Fathers day 2003.jpg 000_1096.jpg propane tankers!
                         
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                        • Bold & Old

                          Bold & Old if its to be......... then its up to me FBBO Gold Member

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                          We had a leaking loaded propane taker from Port Huron leaking one winter as i recall and as it passed over the rail burners it ignited the cars turret..... flames shot up 75 feet or more coming into McGrew railyard......... that was fun....... we ended up evacuating half of Flint and it blew up (blevied) braking windows 1/4 mile away. What a concussion it made

                          Those tanker had over one inch in skin thickness at the bulk heads.

                          The fire was almost biblical with it pillar of fire coming down the track! Lit up the night sky like daylight.

                          ....of course there was no cabooses then.
                           
                        • Bold & Old

                          Bold & Old if its to be......... then its up to me FBBO Gold Member

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                          if I remember the Canadians cabooses back then were called "Vans" and were equipped with everything............. blankets electrical generators fresh water and fuel oil stoves in both ends to survive being stranded in the wilderness...

                          They took better care of there equipment then the USA did.
                           
                        • Photon440

                          Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          We just called them "cabs" but you're right, they were well equipped. Most of the long haul ones had shaft driven generators that were coupled to one of the axles, they kept the big bank of lead/acid batteries charged up. Short haul cabs were different, they had a diesel generator for the power source because they might not travel long enough to keep the batteries charged. As you say, they had fuel oil stoves at each end and they could belt out a lot of heat. Windows were double glazed, lots of insulation in the walls. A big drinking water tank, electric stove, some had a fridge, personal locker space and of course those bunks to make use of the blankets. All electric lighting, chemical toilet and a supply closet with spares, things like extra air hoses, knuckles and pins, brake shoes etc. for stuff that broke or needed replacing on a trip. It is not unusual for a knuckle to break, causing the train to come apart. That means that the conductor has to grab a spare, hoist the 60 pound lump to the separation, and install it. There are more than one kind of knuckle, but he'd usually know which one to take depending on the types of cars the train consisted of. He might also be carrying a spare knuckle pin, another few pounds..

                          Also in the cab, supplies of flares and track torpedoes. The radios however were portable lunchbox types with their own 6v square dry cells (three of them) so the crew could carry them along if they had to go outside of the caboose for any reason. Each end had a table with a lift up lid that had storage space for charts and documents, it was a place to lay out the trip plans. Also on the table was a bank of switches for headlamps (so they could see at night if they were backing up), red and green marker lights, interior lights, and an emergency pull cord for the brakes. I've probably forgotten some stuff, it has been a long time.
                           
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                          • The Rebel

                            The Rebel Well-Known Member

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                            • Bold & Old

                              Bold & Old if its to be......... then its up to me FBBO Gold Member

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                            • Bold & Old

                              Bold & Old if its to be......... then its up to me FBBO Gold Member

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                              :canada: The Canadian cabooses also had at least......... the ones i remember had............a long telescoping pole and at one end there was a cable strung along its length to get near the ground level at high speed..

                              I understand they were for some communications as you traveled passing a buried underground cable along side the track with the telescoping pole with the wire.

                              When no Satellite connections could be made in the wilderness.

                              The cabs doors were locked to keep out the thieves too.

                              We never had good cabs in good condition after the 60s for :bs:budget $$ reasons even tho they were FRA :lowdown: regulated here in the USA.
                               
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