Do Not Hump Signs


John Hitzeman
 

Hi,

Having just released some new flat car load kits, I want to
include some "Do Not Hump" signs with the instructions.

This got me to wondering about when the first signs
would have started to appear on such loads.

I found out that the first hump yard in the US was at
Altoona, PA and was opened on;

"May 11, 1903 - New westbound hump yard opens at
Bells Mills (East Altoona), first hump yard in the U.S."

This from;

Timeline of Railroad Events at Altoona, PA
http://www.altoonaworks.info/timeline.html

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the "Do Not Hump"
signs would have started appearing on loads in 1903.

I guess it's safe to assume that the signs did start popping
up sometime shortly thereafter. So, for us Steam Era Modelers,
I suppose that we're pretty safe in putting these signs on
loads within the time frame of this List???

Any thoughts?

John




John Hitzeman
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Bruce Smith
 

John wrote:

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the "Do Not Hump"
signs would have started appearing on loads in 1903.

I guess it's safe to assume that the signs did start popping
up sometime shortly thereafter. So, for us Steam Era Modelers,
I suppose that we're pretty safe in putting these signs on
loads within the time frame of this List???
John,

The F22 gun barrel loads, circa January 1941 are labeled "DO NOT HUMP" so clearly the use of such warnings pre-dates WWII.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
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http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/index.pl/bruce_f._smith2

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George Simmons
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

John wrote:

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the "Do Not Hump"
signs would have started appearing on loads in 1903.

I guess it's safe to assume that the signs did start popping
up sometime shortly thereafter.
Probably shortly after the first car they humped that sent its load
through the car it coupled to. Since they originally had no
retarders, could you imagine being the switchman riding a flat car of
pipes on the leading edge of car car to work the hand brake to stop
the car and hoping that the load didn't shift and maim or kill you.

George Simmons
Dry Prong, LA


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Feb 11, 2008, at 8:16 AM, rgspemkt@aol.com wrote:

I found out that the first hump yard in the US was at
Altoona, PA and was opened on...May 11, 1903 ...
However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the "Do Not Hump"
signs would have started appearing on loads in 1903.

I guess it's safe to assume that the signs did start popping
up sometime shortly thereafter. So, for us Steam Era Modelers,
I suppose that we're pretty safe in putting these signs on
loads within the time frame of this List???
I can't say when "DO NOT HUMP" placards were officially adopted, though
there's probably an answer buried somewhere in the proceedings of the
MCB or ARA. However, I have photos showing such placards in use as
early as the mid-1920s, and they were certainly common in the
1930s-1950s period modeled by most of us on this list.

Richard Hendrickson


Guy Wilber
 

In a message dated 2/11/2008 10:17:36 AM Central Standard Time,
rgspemkt@aol.com writes:

I guess it's safe to assume that the signs did start popping
up sometime shortly thereafter. So, for us Steam Era Modelers,
I suppose that we're pretty safe in putting these signs on
loads within the time frame of this List???
What are the loads?

Guy Wilber
West Bend, WI





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Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

Note that "do not hump" signs don't necessarily mean a car didn't go over the hump. With the advent of "electronic yards" in the late 50's when computer control of retarders was introduced, hump yards had much better control of car speeds. On the NYC we ignored those placards at the new yards because it was thought that there was less risk of unacceptable coupling speed than in a flat yard.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Robert <riverob@...>
 

I believe the rulebook says "do not hump" means do not let car roll
free. Regardless of the retarder quality. (At least when I worked
the UP's East Yard hump 18 years in the future, '78-'84) Cars
placarded "do not hump" were to be shoved to a joint with a yard
brakeman on the point. Nevertheless, in the name of expediency the
yardmasters would sometimes let DNH cars roll free. I saw loaded
ammonia cars(!), unknown DOT placarded tank cars, and an NW2 let roll
free. The endplate of the NW2 caught on the mechanism of the first
retarder, coming to an instant stop. I think it put the retarder out
of service, but I can't remember. It should not have went over the
hump...too low.

The hump retarders were more often than not out of calibration or
otherwise not working properly. Not uncommon for cars to hit
standing cuts way too hard or to leave cars fouling other tracks.

A good crew could flat switch a cut almost as fast as the hump, but
that usually meant a four-person crew vs. three on the hump. (Steam
era cars with high mounted brakes afforded a great view of the yard.)

Rob Simpson


--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
wrote:

Note that "do not hump" signs don't necessarily mean a car didn't
go over the hump. With the advent of "electronic yards" in the late
50's when computer control of retarders was introduced, hump yards
had much better control of car speeds. On the NYC we ignored those
placards at the new yards because it was thought that there was less
risk of unacceptable coupling speed than in a flat yard.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

Posted by: "Robert" > I believe the rulebook says "do not hump" means do not let car roll
free.

That was a UP rule and not a general railroad rule. Was that actually in the book of operating rules, or was it the procedures for particular yards ?

Something else that makes me curious is that UP president John Kenefick came from the NYC, as VPO, where I believe he was one of the officials who would have gone up in smoke if yard crews had given those cars special handling.

> The hump retarders were more often than not out of calibration or otherwise not working properly. Not uncommon for cars to hit standing cuts way too hard or to leave cars fouling other tracks.

That sounds like apretty poor operation. Did they neglect putting the skates on the far end of the bowl tracks ? I've been in enough hump towers on different railroads to think that what you describe is not usual.

A good crew could flat switch a cut almost as fast as the hump,
The best I've ever heard of for a flat yard, and that a well-designed new yard, is two cars per minute, unless there are a lot of multiple car cuts. A hump can get up to four cars a minute when operation is going well and shouldn't fall below three. Of course they couldn't do that all day because the constraint in a hump yard is the building of outbound trains.

> but that usually meant a four-person crew vs. three on the hump.

In the steam era, even through at least the early 70's, it was all five man crews.




Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Robert <riverob@...>
 

I'm not sure where the "do not hump" rule was written. But yes, any
official could have nailed the yardmaster and switchcrew for humping
a DNH car. Especially if freight was damaged or nearby schools
evacuated due to ammonia fumes. Bad PR, very bad.

BUT, it was the terminal trainmasters who (nudge nudge wink wink)
urged expediency and smiled on high car counts.

Indeed we did some stupid, dangerous things.

Two cars per minute for flat switching sounds about right, but that
includes reaching in for the occasional car that stops short,
stopping to clear up a misprint or to ask the YM a question, etc.
When things were going smoothly with an "in sync" crew, you'd see
four cars or rolling down the lead & into their tracks at the same
time. Everyone had to be on the same page as it required thinking
ahead about where the field men needed to be in order to catch cars
down the tracks. If they had to cross-over cuts, etc. No one wanted
to line a car into an empty track without someone on the brake (first
car into an empty track got a handbrake test before being cut off).
The engineer would also be synced with the foreman/pinpuller's hand
signals, almost to the point of anticipating his signals. Hand
signals would be prefered over radio, limiting the length of the cut
to due to visibility. A good switchman / engineer combo working
together was almost like the switchman having his hand on a no-lag
throttle & brake.

There were fixed tension retarders at the far end of the bowl, not
skates. They kept cars in the bowl unless you pushed or pulled them
out. More or less. Squealed badly.

I don't know why the East Yard retarders had so many problems, but
crossed drawbars, broken knuckles, and thunderous joints were common.

I meant 3 or 4 man switch crews, not including engineer. Just
switchmen. And by men I mean mean person, as there were a few women
switchpersons & engineers by the late '70s. But switchperson sounds
funny.

Rob Simpson



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
wrote:

Posted by: "Robert" > I believe the rulebook says "do not hump"
means do not let car roll
free.

That was a UP rule and not a general railroad rule. Was that
actually in the book of operating rules, or was it the procedures for
particular yards ?

Something else that makes me curious is that UP president John
Kenefick came from the NYC, as VPO, where I believe he was one of the
officials who would have gone up in smoke if yard crews had given
those cars special handling.

> The hump retarders were more often than not out of calibration
or otherwise not working properly. Not uncommon for cars to hit
standing cuts way too hard or to leave cars fouling other tracks.

That sounds like apretty poor operation. Did they neglect
putting the skates on the far end of the bowl tracks ? I've been in
enough hump towers on different railroads to think that what you
describe is not usual.

A good crew could flat switch a cut almost as fast as the hump,
The best I've ever heard of for a flat yard, and that a well-
designed new yard, is two cars per minute, unless there are a lot of
multiple car cuts. A hump can get up to four cars a minute when
operation is going well and shouldn't fall below three. Of course
they couldn't do that all day because the constraint in a hump yard
is the building of outbound trains.

> but that usually meant a four-person crew vs. three on the
hump.

In the steam era, even through at least the early 70's, it was
all five man crews.




Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Robert Gross
 

Were the "Do Not Hump" signs a standard sign or did each railriad
have their own font and style?

Robert Gross


--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <riverob@...> wrote:

I'm not sure where the "do not hump" rule was written. But yes,
any
official could have nailed the yardmaster and switchcrew for
humping
a DNH car. Especially if freight was damaged or nearby schools
evacuated due to ammonia fumes. Bad PR, very bad.

BUT, it was the terminal trainmasters who (nudge nudge wink wink)
urged expediency and smiled on high car counts.

Indeed we did some stupid, dangerous things.

Two cars per minute for flat switching sounds about right, but that
includes reaching in for the occasional car that stops short,
stopping to clear up a misprint or to ask the YM a question, etc.
When things were going smoothly with an "in sync" crew, you'd see
four cars or rolling down the lead & into their tracks at the same
time. Everyone had to be on the same page as it required thinking
ahead about where the field men needed to be in order to catch cars
down the tracks. If they had to cross-over cuts, etc. No one
wanted
to line a car into an empty track without someone on the brake
(first
car into an empty track got a handbrake test before being cut
off).
The engineer would also be synced with the foreman/pinpuller's hand
signals, almost to the point of anticipating his signals. Hand
signals would be prefered over radio, limiting the length of the
cut
to due to visibility. A good switchman / engineer combo working
together was almost like the switchman having his hand on a no-lag
throttle & brake.

There were fixed tension retarders at the far end of the bowl, not
skates. They kept cars in the bowl unless you pushed or pulled
them
out. More or less. Squealed badly.

I don't know why the East Yard retarders had so many problems, but
crossed drawbars, broken knuckles, and thunderous joints were
common.

I meant 3 or 4 man switch crews, not including engineer. Just
switchmen. And by men I mean mean person, as there were a few
women
switchpersons & engineers by the late '70s. But switchperson
sounds
funny.

Rob Simpson



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@>
wrote:

Posted by: "Robert" > I believe the rulebook says "do not
hump"
means do not let car roll
free.

That was a UP rule and not a general railroad rule. Was that
actually in the book of operating rules, or was it the procedures
for
particular yards ?

Something else that makes me curious is that UP president John
Kenefick came from the NYC, as VPO, where I believe he was one of
the
officials who would have gone up in smoke if yard crews had given
those cars special handling.

> The hump retarders were more often than not out of
calibration
or otherwise not working properly. Not uncommon for cars to hit
standing cuts way too hard or to leave cars fouling other tracks.

That sounds like apretty poor operation. Did they neglect
putting the skates on the far end of the bowl tracks ? I've been
in
enough hump towers on different railroads to think that what you
describe is not usual.

A good crew could flat switch a cut almost as fast as the hump,
The best I've ever heard of for a flat yard, and that a well-
designed new yard, is two cars per minute, unless there are a lot
of
multiple car cuts. A hump can get up to four cars a minute when
operation is going well and shouldn't fall below three. Of course
they couldn't do that all day because the constraint in a hump yard
is the building of outbound trains.

> but that usually meant a four-person crew vs. three on the
hump.

In the steam era, even through at least the early 70's, it was
all five man crews.




Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Dennis Williams
 

A lot of railroads did not care about the signs.
They even humped cars they were not supposed to.
I worked in Conway when the NS took over and watched
them hump loaded auto racks with costly results. They
did this for a couple of days B4 they got the idea.
Personal opinion, it was on purpose. One car had, note
the word had, high end SUVs in and now out of it.
My job was a conductor. Imagine walking back through
the yard at 2:00am and finding a rack with end doors
burst open and autos hanging out. This was 1 of 6
cars, if I am correct, that they humped. The insurance
claims were outstanding!
So guys, If you wish to throw a wrench into the
works, hump those racks and tie up that yard for a
day. That will make youe conductor very happy! Dennis

--- Robert Gross <betazeta144@yahoo.com> wrote:

Were the "Do Not Hump" signs a standard sign or did
each railriad
have their own font and style?

Robert Gross


--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <riverob@...>
wrote:

I'm not sure where the "do not hump" rule was
written. But yes,
any
official could have nailed the yardmaster and
switchcrew for
humping
a DNH car. Especially if freight was damaged or
nearby schools
evacuated due to ammonia fumes. Bad PR, very bad.

BUT, it was the terminal trainmasters who (nudge
nudge wink wink)
urged expediency and smiled on high car counts.

Indeed we did some stupid, dangerous things.

Two cars per minute for flat switching sounds
about right, but that
includes reaching in for the occasional car that
stops short,
stopping to clear up a misprint or to ask the YM a
question, etc.
When things were going smoothly with an "in sync"
crew, you'd see
four cars or rolling down the lead & into their
tracks at the same
time. Everyone had to be on the same page as it
required thinking
ahead about where the field men needed to be in
order to catch cars
down the tracks. If they had to cross-over cuts,
etc. No one
wanted
to line a car into an empty track without someone
on the brake
(first
car into an empty track got a handbrake test
before being cut
off).
The engineer would also be synced with the
foreman/pinpuller's hand
signals, almost to the point of anticipating his
signals. Hand
signals would be prefered over radio, limiting the
length of the
cut
to due to visibility. A good switchman / engineer
combo working
together was almost like the switchman having his
hand on a no-lag
throttle & brake.

There were fixed tension retarders at the far end
of the bowl, not
skates. They kept cars in the bowl unless you
pushed or pulled
them
out. More or less. Squealed badly.

I don't know why the East Yard retarders had so
many problems, but
crossed drawbars, broken knuckles, and thunderous
joints were
common.

I meant 3 or 4 man switch crews, not including
engineer. Just
switchmen. And by men I mean mean person, as
there were a few
women
switchpersons & engineers by the late '70s. But
switchperson
sounds
funny.

Rob Simpson



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Laughlin
<mlaughlinnyc@>
wrote:

Posted by: "Robert" > I believe the rulebook
says "do not
hump"
means do not let car roll
free.

That was a UP rule and not a general railroad
rule. Was that
actually in the book of operating rules, or was it
the procedures
for
particular yards ?

Something else that makes me curious is that
UP president John
Kenefick came from the NYC, as VPO, where I
believe he was one of
the
officials who would have gone up in smoke if yard
crews had given
those cars special handling.

> The hump retarders were more often than not
out of
calibration
or otherwise not working properly. Not uncommon
for cars to hit
standing cuts way too hard or to leave cars
fouling other tracks.

That sounds like apretty poor operation. Did
they neglect
putting the skates on the far end of the bowl
tracks ? I've been
in
enough hump towers on different railroads to think
that what you
describe is not usual.

A good crew could flat switch a cut almost as
fast as the hump,

The best I've ever heard of for a flat yard,
and that a well-
designed new yard, is two cars per minute, unless
there are a lot
of
multiple car cuts. A hump can get up to four cars
a minute when
operation is going well and shouldn't fall below
three. Of course
they couldn't do that all day because the
constraint in a hump yard
is the building of outbound trains.

> but that usually meant a four-person crew
vs. three on the
hump.

In the steam era, even through at least the
early 70's, it was
all five man crews.




Malcolm Laughlin, Editor
617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478



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Greg Martin
 

Rob Gross writes:




"Were the "Do Not Hump" signs a standard sign or did each railroad
have their own font and style?

Robert Gross

---

.

Rob,

The shipper supplied the DO NOT HUMP placards and were a good source of
shipper advertising. We have a great collection stapled to the wall at work in
the warehouse. Neat to stand back an review.

Also the shippers bill of lading for was coded for shipments that were
clearly marked DO NOT HUMP and recorded on the waybill. I am sure there were
plenty of claims settled because crews didn't read the placards or the special
instructions.


Greg Martin








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Awards. Go to AOL Music.
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water.kresse@...
 

Mr. Laughlin,

Is there a resourse for understanding how they shipped Ford Model T and Chevy 490s in auto-boxes out of Detroit/Flint/Pontiac Michigan area back in the early-1920s? . . . . . descriptions of number of cars in 36, 40 and 50 foot double-door cars, distribution by various lines, and photos would be great. Also, when did they start to regularily use end-doors?

Additionally, if the car made it to the east coast as a final destination, whos box car would it be in . . . a midwestern or east coast railroad's auto-box?

Al Kresse
C&O, HV, and PM interests

-------------- Original message --------------
From: Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@yahoo.com>
Posted by: "Robert" > I believe the rulebook says "do not hump" means do not let car roll
free.

That was a UP rule and not a general railroad rule. Was that actually in the book of operating rules, or was it the procedures for particular yards ?

Something else that makes me curious is that UP president John Kenefick came from the NYC, as VPO, where I believe he was one of the officials who would have gone up in smoke if yard crews had given those cars special handling.

The hump retarders were more often than not out of calibration or otherwise not working properly. Not uncommon for cars to hit standing cuts way too hard or to leave cars fouling other tracks.
That sounds like apretty poor operation. Did they neglect putting the skates on the far end of the bowl tracks ? I've been in enough hump towers on different railroads to think that what you describe is not usual.

A good crew could flat switch a cut almost as fast as the hump,
The best I've ever heard of for a flat yard, and that a well-designed new yard, is two cars per minute, unless there are a lot of multiple car cuts. A hump can get up to four cars a minute when operation is going well and shouldn't fall below three. Of course they couldn't do that all day because the constraint in a hump yard is the building of outbound trains.

but that usually meant a four-person crew vs. three on the hump.
In the steam era, even through at least the early 70's, it was all five man crews.



Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

I am sure there were plenty of claims settled because crews didn't read the placards or the special instructions.
Greg Martin

=========

But in a well designed hump yard with computer controlled retarders, there was a greater chance of a claim from flat switching. In older yards with manual retarder control there was a much greater chance of a high speed impact.


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Larry Jackman <Ljack70117@...>
 

There were cars especially LCL cars that had what we called a "clock" in them. Couplings were to be made at 4 MPH or slower. The "clock" recorded the impact. They would break at 8 MPH. Beside the recording the impact the kept time and recorder that also. So when the car reached the destination they would remove the recording and then tell where the mishandling happened. That is why dispatcher sheets were saved. You never knew when a car had "clock" in it.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
ljack70117@comcast.net
Boca Raton FL 33434
My parents did not raise
any stupid children. They
sent the ten of us to the
neighbors to play and then
moved. They raised the four
of us that found them.

On Feb 14, 2008, at 11:46 AM, Malcolm Laughlin wrote:

I am sure there were plenty of claims settled because crews didn't read the placards or the special instructions.
Greg Martin

=========

But in a well designed hump yard with computer controlled retarders, there was a greater chance of a claim from flat switching. In older yards with manual retarder control there was a much greater chance of a high speed impact.


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478





Yahoo! Groups Links



Greg Martin
 

Or how about a flat yard or a bowl... I used to work in the Albina Yard and some of the things I would hear and then see in the shops later would curl your toes... 3^)

Greg Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@yahoo.com>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 8:46 am
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Do Not Hump Signs






I am sure there were plenty of claims settled because crews didn't read the placards or the special instructions.
Greg Martin

=========

But in a well designed hump yard with computer controlled retarders, there was a greater chance of a claim from flat switching. In older yards with manual retarder control there was a much greater chance of a high speed impact.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478







________________________________________________________________________
More new features than ever. Check out the new AOL Mail ! - http://webmail.aol.com