fast freight train consists


ed_mines
 

Does anyone know for sure if railroads limited fast freight consists
or other specially selected trains to house cars so train men could
walk between the caboose to locomotive? I am specificly interested
in the post WWII before 1950 era.

We've been having an ongoing discussion of train men walking on the
roof tops of cars for some time.

It is my contention that walking across open top cars would be very
difficult to impossible.

Walking across a loaded hopper would be precarious - the load is
liable to shift. Crossing empty hoppers would be almost as
difficult. Walking on slope sheets would be awkward and time
consuming and each car had a waist high obstacle in the middle.
Climbing over the end would be an athletic feat.

Walking in a gon loaded with scrap could be precarious too. One slip
and a man's foot could get wedged in or cut to the bone. Getting
over the ends of some empty gons would be near impossible. Some
common gons had inside height of 4'8". Few men are capable of
getting over those ends that height(I never could and I used to be a
strength athlete capable of 20+ chin ups). Getting over a tall box
on a flat or in a gon would be impossible too.

A year or so ago Schuyler Larabee (SGL) listed half a dozen or so
consists from the '30s headed by Erie Berkshires. These were fast
freights containing a lot of reefers. I don't recall any open top
cars in those lists.

Was this a coincidence or a railroad policy? I know most open top
car loads aren't very time sensitive but a shipper might not want to
have some open top cars hanging around in a yard or even as part of
a slow freight - a gon loaded with scrap brass or copper for
instance.

Ed


Michael Aufderheide
 

Ed,

In talking to ex Monon carman Bob Schultz he stated
that the Monon's hottest train in 1948, #71 from S.
Hammond In to Louisville never ran with any open top
cars. The reason being that delays due to shifted
loads were a cause of delay and more common with open
top cars.

Mike Aufderheide

--- ed_mines <ed_mines@...> wrote:


Does anyone know for sure if railroads limited fast
freight consists
or other specially selected trains to house cars so
train men could
walk between the caboose to locomotive? I am
specificly interested
in the post WWII before 1950 era.

We've been having an ongoing discussion of train men
walking on the
roof tops of cars for some time.

It is my contention that walking across open top
cars would be very
difficult to impossible.

Walking across a loaded hopper would be precarious -
the load is
liable to shift. Crossing empty hoppers would be
almost as
difficult. Walking on slope sheets would be awkward
and time
consuming and each car had a waist high obstacle in
the middle.
Climbing over the end would be an athletic feat.

Walking in a gon loaded with scrap could be
precarious too. One slip
and a man's foot could get wedged in or cut to the
bone. Getting
over the ends of some empty gons would be near
impossible. Some
common gons had inside height of 4'8". Few men are
capable of
getting over those ends that height(I never could
and I used to be a
strength athlete capable of 20+ chin ups). Getting
over a tall box
on a flat or in a gon would be impossible too.

A year or so ago Schuyler Larabee (SGL) listed half
a dozen or so
consists from the '30s headed by Erie Berkshires.
These were fast
freights containing a lot of reefers. I don't recall
any open top
cars in those lists.

Was this a coincidence or a railroad policy? I know
most open top
car loads aren't very time sensitive but a shipper
might not want to
have some open top cars hanging around in a yard or
even as part of
a slow freight - a gon loaded with scrap brass or
copper for
instance.

Ed






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Norman+Laraine Larkin <lono@...>
 

I recall an article in the B&M Bulletin regarding an interview with a brakeman (or conductor) and their having to walk from one end of the moving train (mixed freight) to the other over the tops in winter. The open top cars had layers of snow covering their loads. Seems the man heading forward jumped into a loaded gondola (about half full) and wound up sinking through the snow up to his waist into offal that had been sitting outside long enough to cool and accumulate snow. He was several cars from the buggy and they could hear him yell all the way back. The inteviewee said he climbed back to the buggy, but they didn't want to let him in because of the stink.
Regards,
Norm Larkin

----- Original Message -----
From: ed_mines
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 4:41 PM
Subject: [STMFC] fast freight train consists



Does anyone know for sure if railroads limited fast freight consists
or other specially selected trains to house cars so train men could
walk between the caboose to locomotive? I am specificly interested
in the post WWII before 1950 era.

We've been having an ongoing discussion of train men walking on the
roof tops of cars for some time.

It is my contention that walking across open top cars would be very
difficult to impossible.

Walking across a loaded hopper would be precarious - the load is
liable to shift. Crossing empty hoppers would be almost as
difficult. Walking on slope sheets would be awkward and time
consuming and each car had a waist high obstacle in the middle.
Climbing over the end would be an athletic feat.

Walking in a gon loaded with scrap could be precarious too. One slip
and a man's foot could get wedged in or cut to the bone. Getting
over the ends of some empty gons would be near impossible. Some
common gons had inside height of 4'8". Few men are capable of
getting over those ends that height(I never could and I used to be a
strength athlete capable of 20+ chin ups). Getting over a tall box
on a flat or in a gon would be impossible too.

A year or so ago Schuyler Larabee (SGL) listed half a dozen or so
consists from the '30s headed by Erie Berkshires. These were fast
freights containing a lot of reefers. I don't recall any open top
cars in those lists.

Was this a coincidence or a railroad policy? I know most open top
car loads aren't very time sensitive but a shipper might not want to
have some open top cars hanging around in a yard or even as part of
a slow freight - a gon loaded with scrap brass or copper for
instance.

Ed





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rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
 

I the M&StL company movie 'Fast Freight' (available for purchase)
They dhow and talk about a brakeman walking the moving train with all
types of cars.
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa