HoggerKen wrote:But they are not as you say, vertical sheet steel. The scraper plate is also fabricated from plate steel, as found in the MPI, NRE, and EMD catalogues.
What are you talking about? What is not as i say? I don't understand what your sentence means? Please do not tell me you are arguing the wording of Plate Vs Sheet steel?. Not everybody on here knows alot about loco's nor do they know about the production differences of a steel plate vs a steel sheet. By using the term "Sheet steel", a layman can relate that to a sheet of paper. I was not trying to confuse people by using the word plate steel which the average person may not understand. Lets not get into material specifics in this thread. All that matters for clarity is that a pilot must be made of STEEL. What type is totally irrelevant to the discussion.
HoggerKen wrote: Freight loco's outside of those you operate and a minority of others, are not made nor designed for run long distances backwards, especially on the carrier I work for. As I said, it is an ergonomic nightmare.
We have loco's from as far back as the 60's. So unless your running dinosaur Alco's, there is no difference. And because your carrier has an issue with doing it does not mean every other railroad in the US does. The whole idea of the cab design on freight loco's was to allow visibility in both directions for yard work and local work. That is why they got rid of the hood and went with an open walkway design. Despite your personal issue with "ergonomic nightmares", there is nothing the FRA or any carrier i have heard of in the US has against running long hood forward in a yard or for local service. If i asked to wye a GP40 each time i had to make anything more then a switching move, aside from being told no, i would be instantly branded a baby. The union will not defend you in this instance either. There is no rule that forbids this anywhere. If the railroads and manufacturers never intended all freight loco's to be able to run long or short hood forward, they why do they have headlights and number boards on the long hood end? Why do ALL EMD's have a headlight selector switch with a position that says Long Hood Lead
I am not suggesting that because all freight loco's have rear pilots that it means they were made to run road freights
long hood forward. I never said that. But unlike cowl body passenger units, freight units often will be running long hood forward in local service or when switching. There have been many times i had a consist with several loco's and the rear unit was facing long hood forward. We will setoff a block of cars on the head end and then have to run backwards to our train with just the loco's. That distance is in some cases a few miles. I stay on the lead unit and the Conductor will be on the rear unit watching out. I have had to shove train up a hill and ill take whatever loco they give me however they have it. If it's one loco, at some point, either going to the train or coming back from it, ill be running long hood forward. I may be called to grab an engine and go assist another train. If the loco will become the leader of a train, i may have to run it long hood forward. These are examples of the times you will run long hood forward on a freight unit for more then a switching move.
We have several locals out here that use one GP40-2. Some go as far as 20-30 miles. And either going to the customer or coming back, you will be running long hood forward at some point.