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Who Switches The Switches ??
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 Posted: Fri Aug 8th, 2014 04:24 pm
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Salada
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Imagine a single line "main line" with a small station-depot, water tank, not much else.

I have in mind particularly the D&RGW NG somewhere along the San Juan Extension

There are 3, maybe 4, passing sidings where East bound & West bound trains can pass, take on water etc. plus 1 or 2 short team track spurs. A small passenger/freight depot, maybe 2 or 3 employees or a few more. The "main" is used for switching the other tracks; traffic ain't normally very frequent.

Imagine a West bound freight arrives to take on water, drop off a few cars, maybe pick up a few & maybe wait for an oncoming East bound.

The Questions:

1) in this scenario WHO decides which road or passing track the incoming West bound will take ?

2) Will the incoming West bound roll straight into the station area, or stop on the main before the first switch points to sort out their route into & through the yard ?

3) Who throws the appropriate switches ?  The West bound Fireman ? The West bound Brakeman ?

4) Who returns these thrown switches to their correct or normal position ?

5)  Or maybe these switches are left as thrown for the entering West bound ?

6) If the main has to be used by this train to drop off/pick up & switch a few cars does anyone walk back along the main to oversee these manouvres and to protect the line against any unsheduled arrivals such as a Special (Not Timetabled) following on some way behind.


Thanks,                       Michael

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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 12:04 am
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W C Greene
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Vexing questions. I have some ideas but they are like a#$$%%^^&s, everybody has one! I know somebody will have the right answers.

Woodie



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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 09:52 am
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Herb Kephart
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I agree, Woodie.

My only comment is based on what I saw as a kid on the branch of the PRR behind my house. I never saw a conductor, but there was a caboose for him to hide in. I don't believe there was more than one brakeman, but can't believe that union featherbedding rules would allow that, again, perhaps,the other was asleep in the hack. A brakeman threw the switches, and I believe that the rule was to return the switch when the move was finished to the ''normal'' or favoring the main,

But again, this is based on what I remember seeing 65+ years ago.

Herb



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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 10:33 am
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Cody Case
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From my railroading experince we always threw the swtich back to the main. Execptions would be in yard limits. Otherwise its lined back to the main and locked up.

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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 03:56 pm
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Salada
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My thanks to Woodie, Herb & Cody. We are away from home from tomorrow for a couple of weeks so I am without Internet access for a while.

The D&RGW MUST have had an "Operations Rule Book", even for the NG, but where could I find one ??.

US style RR operations are very different to English, Irish or Continental Europe so I cannot "guess" the answers from my own RR experience. Nothing happens over here without the Signalman throwing the appropriate switches, clearing the signals & then "accepting"  the oncoming train from the next Signalman down the line. Almost every possible movement is fully signalled (mechanical semaphore or electric light).
NOTHING happens except by permission from the Signalman, even on remote rural single lines though 'radio tokens' are now used in some areas - where the traditional Signalman now acts as a sort of US style 'dispatcher'. 


Regards                 Michael

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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 05:00 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Leave it to those English to make a big thing about throwing a lousy switch.

Herbicide



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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 07:55 pm
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Salada
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Herb: That's because WE like to look after "our"*  trains, what few we've got left !!.


* actually the stock is now all owned by the Banksters who rent 'em out at max $£$£.


Shylock  (he knew the value of a pound of flesh, just like the bankrupt Banksters.)

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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 08:12 pm
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Salada
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All my questions now answered (almost). Thanks all.

Just found the D&RGW 1891 Operating Rulebook on t'Internet !!  I should have looked before asking but never thought I would find a copy.

It's all there, fascinating stuff. (e.g. 5 blasts = reduce train heating, who knew that ?)
(never move a spotted car showing a purple light without car supervisor's permission)
Etc. Etc. Now I'm becoming a paperwork rivet counter !!. I only started in On30 for fun !

Interestingly not all my operating questions have a specific answer, even in the full Rule Book but they are probably covered by the US 'Train Order' system which seems more widely used than over here. It's all in the Orders for the day if it ain't in the Rulebook.

Now, What does a STATION "AGENT" do ??   Undercover CIA perhaps ??.

Regards              Michael

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 Posted: Sun Aug 17th, 2014 12:54 am
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madmike3434
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A station agent is somebody who cleans the toilet, sweeps the sawdust, gives directions, hangs around drinking beer and smoking.

mike :pimp:

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 Posted: Sun Aug 17th, 2014 11:54 am
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Herb Kephart
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Hey Mike

You forgot "talks to to the cat out of sheer boredom.''

One very important duty, at least in small stations that only had one railroad employee, was telegraph operator.

Herb



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