Re: Open boxcar doors and operations

Jim Wolf

--- In STMFC@..., newrail@s... wrote:
Quoting David Soderblom <drs@s...>:

I suspect we need information on operational practices to answer

but my guess is that you'd see more open doors in locals that
the empty cars. After they're cleaned and checked at the major
the RRs closed the doors before they hit the main line. Hence
observations are correct, yet incomplete.
When I was a young brakeman in the late 60's, old timers (from the
Steam Era of course) taught me never to pull an empty from an
industry unless the doors were closed. I saw this practice
deteriorate drastically during my career. Also, I was taught to
make sure that there was no dunnage in the cars before I pulled
them, and this also began to deteriorate in the MFCL period.

In yards, conductors used to walk their trains prior to departure,
and I've seen them demand that the car department close doors prior
to departing. I think that deviation from this practice began in
the MFCL period. The rare open doors that you may see in a video or
picture in the Steam Era are probably cars that weren't latched
correctly (everyone makes mistakes or the latch was worn), and came
open in transit.

Jim Wolf
Otis Orchards, WA

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