Re: Horizontal Brake Wheel Above Running Board Question

Todd Sullivan


Thanks for your post of the anecdote about having to align couplers to make a good joint.  That happens more than we might think.  I'll add a couple of anecdotes from my train-watching experience involving getting couplers to work.

One afternoon long ago, I was taking freight car photos in Erie-Lackawanna's Port Jervis Yard, and a switch crew was trying to couple their loco to a NYC boxcar.  For some reason, the coupler pin on the boxcar was not dropping, and the coupler was misaligned for the  joint to begin with.  So, the switchman adjusted the coupler's position, followed by about 10 attempts to couple up, accompanied with a lot of loud banging.  I think they finally got the pin to drop after yankiing on the cut lever several times in between coupling attempts.

I also witnessed a situation where a Conrail crew tried to pull a new locomotive (might have been an SD70) with its brakes set.  The GP38s revved up and revved up, wheels slipped, and suddenly the GP38's coupler popped up and out of the grip of the SD70's coupler.  I've had similar things happen with Kadees where the load is too much or the loco to pull.

These prototype experiences taught me that the problems I've had with Kadees that are correctly installed have prototype corollaries, so Kadees work in a very realistic fashion.

Todd Sullivan

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