• Push-Pull More Dangerous?

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton


  by Michael D. Storey
The S.P. Caboose wrote:I think it is more dangerous in push mode. If I seat in the cab car and see the engineer running out of there, I;m going to follow him to a safer place on the train.

I don't know what's coming out of this tragedy as far as engine placement.
That engineer thing was common on interurbans, until the Hedley Anti-climber. Gotta say, that would have not stopped me, if I were the motorman.
  by Michael D. Storey
I wonder if it is a coincidence that this is the practice between Baltimore and Washington also. And they are fast! I have often wondered from a safety aspect if the engineer is in front for enhanced ability to see what is going on. I reckon that it would be tons easier to see things on the track if the whole train were not between your eyes and the obstruction.
  by David Benton
Not sure what your saying there, Michael. Are you comparing the engineer been in the Cab car, to the engineer been in the locomotive at the back ?. To my knowledge , no railway has the engineer in the back of a push pull train , other than for slow speed back up moves.
With todays high tech cameras, it would probably be possible, but you would have passengers wondering what the driver is doing behind them!
  by Michael D. Storey
You could know this a lot better than I, but I would say that here, a locomotive is used to haul (or push) a string of passenger cars. It does not appear to be a dedicated consist.
In truth, my interest leads more to historic, buildings, sites, Musuems, things railroadly like that. My comments here are from observation and not what I would call first-hand experience.
  by chrisf
Michael D. Storey wrote:You could know this a lot better than I, but I would say that here, a locomotive is used to haul (or push) a string of passenger cars. It does not appear to be a dedicated consist.
With push-pull commuter trains there is a cab at the far end of the train from the locomotive. When the locomotive is pushing, the engineer is operating the train from the front, in the cab inside the lead coach. At no point in normal operation is the engineer operating the train from the back.
  by litz
I've done a "engineer at the back of the train" shove move ..... once.

13 miles ... on the radio, calling clearance for every single straightaway, curve, and crossing.

It's very stressful.

Per most railroad's operating rules, the ONLY way this would be allowed is with a route certified observer in the front (ie: an engineer or conductor), calling the shove to the engineer, operating at restricted speed or less.

If you're gonna go to all that trouble, you may as well put the engineer at the front of the train anyways.

Not surprisingly, this is what the railroads do.
  by litz
Of note, more germane to the topic of the thread ...

The train in the Metrolink accident this morning was in push mode ...
  by george matthews
s4ny wrote:This topic will be in the news with the tragic wreck on the Metro North Hudson Line this morning. Having
a heavy and powerful locomotive pushing much lighter passenger cars at what will certainly turn out to be much higher
than posted speeds, resulted in deaths and serious injuries.
Modern practice is to power the wheels of the train, and have no locomotive. The practice of using a heavy locomotive and lighter carriages is a legacy of steam trains. On a modern electrified line there is no need for a locomotive.
  by litz
Actually, in a "push-pull" configuration, there is no motive power within the train ...

anything that isn't 3rd rail power/self powered (like the train in Valhalla) is going to be push-pull, with motive power only at one end.

Metra is like this, MN is like this, Metrorail is like this ... and it's not going to change any time soon.

The cost of adding 3rd rail or catenary power on these lines is simply prohibitive to the change.