Re: Photos: Poling Action

Kenneth Montero

More than a few steam locomotives carried a pole on one side of the tender, as did some diesels. From the photos that I have seen, the pole would rest inside two hangers or brackets that were hung on the outside edge of the tender or the frame of a diesel locomotive.  A few railroads had a "poling" car with two poles on each side and mounted on a hinge in the middle of the car so that a pole could swing out to be inserted into the poling pocket of the car to be moved - probably in yard switching.

To work optimally, the car to be moved needed a poling pocket. Unless using a poling car, the locomotive that was doing the pushing also needed a poling pocket. There is a photo in the above link showing a poling operation and not using a poling pocket on the car being moved.

The danger of a wooden pole suddenly shattering has been discussed elsewhere. Also, a pole could slip out of a poling pocket and become a missile.  I am unaware of anyone using a metal pole, especially a solid metal pole in a poling operation to reduce or avoid that problem. I don't know what type of pole was used on a poling car.

Ken Montero

On 01/01/2022 11:42 AM Robert G P <bobgp5109@...> wrote:

Ive poled around too at the local club! Sure was fun! Used a piece of plastic which looked quite accurate. Was interesting explaining to the baffled just what the heck I was doing. 

I know most roads' management preferred that it wasn't in regular practice but if a crew wanted to and had the means then they did!


On Fri, Dec 31, 2021 at 8:08 PM ed_mines via <> wrote:

I saw the same technique used to open the door of a box car on a team track in the late '60s.

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