• Chocking cars

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by MikeEspee
Other than Amtrak's ridiculous chocking and securement rules - which stem from us being a "scared to hold anyone accountable for their actions" passenger railroad - the only times I've seen cars chocked sensibly is (1) when the handbrake is completely inoperative and there are no other cars to secure that are coupled to it and (2) securing cars spotted on the RIP track in a freight yard. School of thought being the car department can do ANY type of repair they wish, including repairing a defective handbrake, without unintentionally compromising securement. In my opinion, a very worthy use but only in a yard designed for such activity.

Railroading 101 Rules regarding chocking:

-If on a curve, cars get chocked on the inside rail - if for some reason the car gets shoved over the chock there is a far less chance it will derail
-if an engine is chocked, it gets chocked under the engineer's side cab window
-if engines in MU are chocked, the chocks are placed under the controlling unit's engineer's side cab window
-chock both sides of 1 wheel only
  by BR&P
jaw458 wrote:We are having an internal discussion on the pros/cons of chocking cars on a siding when someone is working in/on the car. There has been a near miss with a 'flying' chock. What are your thoughts?
That depends on who "we" is. Mike SP makes some good points about railroad operations, but if OP is working at an industry OSHA regs may come into play.

I always preferred using a piece of 1x4 pine rather than the metal chocks sold by Alden, Nolan etc. You could stuff one up against the wheel and give it a couple taps with another board or some other object, and it would stay put. A slight movement would tend to crush the block slightly but would not send it out from under the wheel.
  by locked wheel
Since you must check the handbrake of a car before cutting loose (shoot and bleed air on car to be secured, then ensure slack doesn't run out BEFORE lifting pin) there isn't much need to chock a car. There have been a couple of times when I spotted a car at a location where I thought there was an increased likelihood that kids might come by later and knock the brake off and the resulting rollaway could cause inordinate damage (EG: bulkhead flat of lumber on an urban sidetrack on grade leading to major highway intersection without gates/lights). In these cases, after I checked to ensure an effective handbrake, I'd shove it on a hunk of scrapwood so that even if the little darlin's did knock off the brake, the load wouldn't roll.

On a related note, I once chocked a caboose on a penny, just to see if I could do it.
  by scharnhorst
I remember having to chock the wheels on the Sperry cars and set the hand brake. There were a few times the car would shift a little and it would require the use of a hammer to get the chocks out before starting the days work There were other times the chocks would freeze to the rail too in the winter it was no fun digging them out of deep snow when doing jobs in Canada.