Re: How to "model the prototype" - in terms of Ops?

Chuck Soule

Tony Thompson wrote:

Most railroads in the steam era used the minimum possible power
on trains as an "efficiency" measure. There were, of course exceptions
(the Santa Fe folks in the audience all have their hands up, yelling
"Me! Me!") but they were exceptions. My favorite quote on this subject
is from SP's formidable president in this period, D.J. Russell, who,
when asked about running faster freight trains, said "What for? None
of our eastward connections do so, and we would be wasting the
resources it takes to run faster."
This philosophic divergence persisted right into the SPSF Kodachrome era, when I lived in Bakersfield. The Santa Fe ran zippy trains over Tehachapi, and the SP ran huge drag freights with distributed power in the middle.

I remember going up to the loop to railfan one day, saw no traffic for a considerable period, and dropped down the hill to the road into Caliente. At the first grade crossing (Beale, I think), a Santa Fe train was stopped shy of the crossing gates, with part of the crew standing on the ground. I asked what was going on, and they pointed up the hill at the tunnels at Cliff, where an SP train was stopped dead. The Santa Fe crew said the SP had underpowered their train again, and not only stalled it out, but burned up an engine. They had the entire main blocked up tight. From the way the SF folks were cussing, it obviously was a common occurrence.

Chuck Soule

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