• Rail Car Mover Tools

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

Is this type of tool still used by "Short Lines" and "Industrial Switchers"?
  by BR&P
Many lines may have one laying around, but there's probably not a big market for them at railroads. And while a lot of customers used to move their own cars around like that, the combination of heavier cars and more focus on safety is lowering that number. I know of a couple places which used to jack their cars but have now forbidden employees to do so. No doubt some still do and I'd guess there's a bigger market for those car mover jacks at individual customers than at railroads themselves.
  by Passenger
I'm not getting it. What is the man doing in the picture?

Moving the car where? Along the track inch by inch with something like a crowbar?
  by BR&P
That's right. The illustration is fairly primitive, but the device in question has a small "foot" which gets raised up through a lever action, and can be used to inch the car along. You push down on the lever, which rolls the car along, then raise the lever and quickly scoot the device ahead the few inches that has been vacated as the car rolls. On fairly level track with an empty car you can achieve some momentum. Trying to move a 100-ton load uphill is not so easy!
  by DutchRailnut
Only thing this device is good for is basic spotting at a loading door or discharge gate if car is a few feet off the mark.
  by ex Budd man
The car mover gets a good work-out if the crew doesn't spot the car exactly right on the lift. Our car lifts have a small area to lift on the carbody so fine adjustments are routine at Overbrook Shop on Septa. Newbies are flabbergasted that one person can move a married pair set with a pry bar!
Some time the car puller overshoots the wheel truing machine and the car has to be moved a foot or so back, the car jack does the job. I never tried that with an AEM-7, at 202,000lbs. thats too much for me :wink:
  by wis bang
I used to work for the trucker @ Hercules Cement in Stockertown, PA and would watch one man roll a small string of empty cement hoppers into the loading silos with one. It looked like he wasn't straining all that hard.

The silo is visible from Rt. 33 It is 10 large units in 2 rows of 5. one side was set up to load trucks & the other side was for rail cars. He would roll a string down and inside from a staging yard closer to Rt. 33. The truck side was isolated from the tracks so the two operations woild load independently. I know that the trucks were loaded thru a large hose that just fit inthe 20" manway w/ a air valve. You would hear it woosh open & close then 'WHUMP' as 40,000# landed in the trailer. never got to watch them load the railcars but I don't remember any sort of trackmobile so I think they jacked the loads on out the other end too!
  by radrians
That vintage photo brings back memories for me when I worked the summer of 1973 at an isolated sugar beet dump near Windsor, Colorado for the now-defunct Great Western Sugar Company. We called this tool a "pinch bar" and you really understood the principle and power of the "fulcrum." I could move by hand either an empty belly-dump car or a fully-loaded car quite a few yards down the siding. I wouldn't want to guess how many tons a railroad car loaded to the gills with sugar beets weighed, but once the empty car will filled I had to not only move the loaded car down the siding but then position an empty car for the next load of sugar beets. Once the dump closed in the early evening, a dinky would come by and haul all the loaded cars to the Steffen House sugar processing plant in Loveland, Colorado. These were the days before OSHA but I never was injured during that long, hot summer working alone in the middle of nowhere at the GW sugar beet dump. Wouldn't mind if I had one of these as a souvenir of those days.
  by Ðauntless
I am pretty sure these are still made new, dont remember the company.