Can someone comment on what the exact meaning of the shown hand signal is?


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 

Hi List Members,
 
The set of images linked below show a trainman on top of a boxcar giving hand signals to the locomotive crew. The title sez 'Switchman giving the "go ahead" signal on an Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad train'. Can someone comment on what the exact meaning of the shown hand signal is?
 
 
 
 
Thanks in advance
 
Claus Schlund


radiodial868
 

That must be a staged photo or a lot of artistic license. Even when men were men, you wouldn't stand on top of an icy running board of a car being switched like that. Couldn't see anything from that standpoint anyway.
BTW, this is one of the best explanations of all the signals I've come across, including some that don't show up in the Rues book of the RRs I follow:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBJc1ljBmZk
--
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RJ Dial

Mendocino, CA


Charles Morrill
 

Assuming that the switchman is facing away from the loco: the signal is "easy goes it" "slow down" "one car length to stop".

Charlie


From: "Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;)" <claus@...>
To: "main" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 7:50:23 AM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Can someone comment on what the exact meaning of the shown hand signal is?

Hi List Members,
 
The set of images linked below show a trainman on top of a boxcar giving hand signals to the locomotive crew. The title sez 'Switchman giving the "go ahead" signal on an Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad train'. Can someone comment on what the exact meaning of the shown hand signal is?
 
 
 
 
Thanks in advance
 
Claus Schlund


Edward
 
Edited

I've seen that gesture used on the ground to show how close cars were coming to be coupled.
The brakeman with arms extended would bring both outstetched hands toward each other as the cars were moving to show the relative gap closure, until he grasped both hands to indicate the coulping was achieved. 
Helpful when pushing cars together that were a few car lengths away from the locomotive.

The brakeman could also use that gesture in reverse (hands together then arms spread out), to signal the engneer to pull away as the coupler pin has been lifted. 

I'm not sure why this appears on top of a box car unlss there is another meaning.
It's not the best place to stand and signal a "go ahead".   

Ed Bommer


Gary Roe
 

Claus,

When I worked for a railroad back in the 70's, riding on the top of cars was not done, of course.  However, some of the older fellows used a signal similar to the one shown; but it has to be animated to be shown properly.  They would stretch their arms out like that to indicate that the cut was nearing where they wanted to stop.  The Engineer would start slowing down.  Then, as the cut got within a car length or so, the Switchman would rock his body side to side, bending at the waist, arms still outstretched.  The Engineer would start applying the brakes.  Just before the cut reached where they wanted it to stop, the Switchman would drop both arms in the traditional "stop" signal.  Hope you can get the idea from my description.

gary roe
quincy, illinois



On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 07:50:39 AM CDT, Claus Schlund \(HGM\) <claus@...> wrote:


Hi List Members,
 
The set of images linked below show a trainman on top of a boxcar giving hand signals to the locomotive crew. The title sez 'Switchman giving the "go ahead" signal on an Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad train'. Can someone comment on what the exact meaning of the shown hand signal is?
 
 
 
 
Thanks in advance
 
Claus Schlund


David Wiggs
 

I caught a fish this big!


Todd Sullivan
 

Or,
I sure hope I don't fall off this icy roof!  (balance, balance, balance)

Todd Sullivan


Randy Hees
 

Railroad hand signals are not consistent across all railroads or regions.  GCOR, one of the common nationwide rule books only lists three: arm moved vertically (go away from me), arm moved in a circle (come to me), and arms moved horizantally (stop)...   These are the only ones which would work in the dark with a lantern.   Then states that any signal which is understood by all members of the crew are ok... 

Randy Hees


Dave Bayless
 

It means EASY, Slow, Almost going to make a JOINT, given just before a stop.
Dave SilverStreak Bayless

Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE device

------ Original message------
From: Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
Date: Wed, Oct 27, 2021 5:50 AM
To: STMFC;
Cc:
Subject:[RealSTMFC] Can someone comment on what the exact meaning of the shown hand signal is?

Hi List Members,
 
The set of images linked below show a trainman on top of a boxcar giving hand signals to the locomotive crew. The title sez 'Switchman giving the "go ahead" signal on an Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad train'. Can someone comment on what the exact meaning of the shown hand signal is?
 
https://www.loc.gov/item/2017842573/
 
https://www.loc.gov/item/2017842576/
 
https://www.loc.gov/item/2017842539/
 
Thanks in advance
 
Claus Schlund


Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, Oct 27, 2021 at 10:37 AM, Dave Bayless wrote:
It means EASY, Slow, Almost going to make a JOINT, given just before a stop.
Dave SilverStreak Bayless
I'm coming in late, but I too would read that as an EASY.

As to men on the car tops passing signals, worked great on curves. If the man was ten cars back he was easily seen  from the cab.

A comment about the variation of hand signals. I was taught in the seventies, by men who had been in train service before WWII, that the EASY signal was similar to the STOP signal in that you didn't use it to request a movement; you had to use a direction signal (go FORWARD, come BACK) then an EASY if the engineer was building more speed than you wanted. Imagine my surprise when out railfanning, watching a C&NW transfer crossing over the Burlington at the former site of Union Ave. Tower, now all hand thrown, when the conductor on the ground lining the route sticks his arms out and starts waddling like a duck, and the engineer throttles up and follows him. It just goes that any motion understood by the whole crew can be a signal.

Dennis Storzek