• Torpedoes and fusees

  • 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 Arrestmespi
don't use torpedos anymore
but the rules still cover fusees
for either night operations of watchman look out, also for flag protection if your authority expires, signaling a train to come to restricted speed, flagging a crossing, lighting off heat(fire snake or diesel and cellulose), lighting torches, setting off welds, lighting random * on fire, and pranks cause fusees look like dynamite
  by Gadfly
130MM wrote:Let me add to the chorus about the B&M rules. The link below leads to an ICC accident report in which a Sperry Car operating as a train is wrecked because the flagging rules were not followed:

http://dotlibrary1.specialcollection.ne ... 5C3979.PDF

After that wreck (I don't know if it was a direct result, but eventually they were changed) the rules were changed. As part of the new rules in ABS territory a track car could receive a "Line C". It would say something to the effect of "Operate between Waltham and South Acton. Clear for trains 419, 421 and 423." It was the foreman's responsibility to get out of the way. The trains were not notified you were out there, nor were any blocking devices applied. The dispatcher was not allowed to run extra trains without having noted them on the Line C. It certainly kept you on your toes.

In 1986 when Amtrak was hyrailing the area prior to taking over the Commuter Rail service, we had to hyrail them around. You should have seen some of the looks when we would clear for a train, and hop right back on after the train passed.

Amtrak guy: "Aren't you going to call the dispatcher to get the track?"

Us: "Nah, don't feel like it today."

Those rules were gone very quickly after Amtrak took over.

Would a "Line C" be the equivilent of "Lineup authority"? This was a form on Southern and NS that work groups, track cars, and system gang foremen received so they could keep abreast of the movements of trains. Any work group or track car, according the the rules of that era (1980 and prior) had to clear the time of any scheduled or Extra train (dispatcher would notify Foreman by radio) by 5 minutes. IOW, he had to be actually IN THE CLEAR prior to the five minutes expiration. Each movement, proceeding on "Line UP Authority" had to have a fresh Line Up + pertinent orders for running over the Division prior to departure and note any changes when told by dispatcher (radio). I was one of the last generation of old style Train Order clerks operating under the old TO regime, so I am not at all familiar with Track Warrants and modern rules changes. I've forgotten a lot, too! :-D
I do recall that the Sperry cars didn't usually get any special treatment and were handled the same way the other non-revenue movements were worked.

  by 130MM
Would a "Line C" be the equivilent of "Lineup authority"?

A Line C was one line on a "Track Car Permit Form TC". It authorized movement in one direction on certain designated main tracks; usually those which were signalled in one direction, and had designated directions of movement. It did have a time limit (so trains scheduled after the expiration time were not shown on the form). The permit form also had a Line R; which permitted movement in one direction on tracks signalled in both directions and other tracks on which the use of the Line C was not allowed; a Line W which allowed movements in both directions; and a Line O which took the track out of service for major work. On a Line R the track car could only follow trains, and no following or opposing trains could be sent. A foreman in charge of a Line W could allow trains to pass through his limits with the use of Stop boards.

I'll leave it up to you to decide if it was equivalent.

  by JimBoylan
Does anyone still make torpedoes? TYBR's rules still require their use, but we can't find a supplier.
PRR even had torpedo placing machines, as part of the signal and interlocking system in foggy areas.
  by BR&P
They used to be made by Standard Railway Fusee Corp of Boonton NJ, and I believe Olin also made them. Standard is now part of Orion and so is about every other former manufacturer. Samuel Jackson Fusee Co, Lakeside Fusee Co, Bristol Flare Co, Anthes, Standard, Olin, all seem to be names from the past. ("Fallen flares" rather than "fallen flags"? :wink: )

They used to come in handy when working a 1-man crew in an industrial operation. You'd go to pull an empty car and place a torpedo JUST behind the rear wheel. Take away that car, and when you shove in with the next load when you got close just inch along. When you heard the "bang" you knew the car was right on spot.
  by JimBoylan
BR&P wrote:Bristol Flare Co.
of Pennsylvania is still in business, (215) ST 8-3001, and hasn't had an accident in at least 6 years. Their owner, Orion in Indiana, says they're not being manufactured, but the Bristol plant heard a rumor that the Canadian branch still has some in inventory. They will investigate and call me 6/24/9.
They may still sell 5 and 10 minute Railway Fusees.
  by Arrestmespi
i've got some in my flagging kit still shows you how old my flagging kit is
  by JimBoylan
Bristol Flare said that a Canadian company, C.I.L. or Cil, has some modern torpedoes with spring clips instead of lead straps at their location near Kansas, U. S. of A.
Price is $254.40 per case of 96. 10% discount for 5 cases. Shipping is extra. With the discount, that would be $1,144.80 for 480 torpedoes, or $2.385 each, plus shipping. Does anyone want to split an order?
Send Private Message for more details as I get them.
  by Plate F
haha thats cool thanks for the info :)
  by Ken W2KB
Here's a CalTrain rule:

Caltrain Rule-of-the-Day

February 7, 2010

General Code of Operating Rules for Maintenance of Way Employees

6.19.1 Providing Flag Protection

When flag protection must be provided, a flagman must immediately go at least the
distance prescribe in the table below in each direction from the location to be protected.
After reaching the correct distance, the flagman must place torpedoes on the rails and
leave one lighted fusee.
The flagman may then return half the distance to the location
being protected.

Specified Flagging Distance:

Maximum Speed Flagging Distance
For Any Train
25 MPH or less 1 mile
Over 25 MPH 2 miles

Flagman must stop all trains Approaching the location being protected and must
remain until instructed by their supervisor to return.

Before Reaching Prescribed Distance

If the flagman hears or sees a train approaching before reaching the prescribed
distance, the flagman must immediately place torpedoes, continue toward the
approaching train, and give stop signals.

Caltrain Rule-of-the-Day is brought to you by the Risk Management Dept.
  by HighlandRail&DEY-7 652
Anybody find a source for torpedoes? Interested if so.
  by Ken W2KB
HighlandRail/DEY-7 652 wrote:Anybody find a source for torpedoes? Interested if so.
"Lapeer Police Lt. Dave Frisch said officers evacuated and shut down the gas station next to Canadian National Railroad tracks at South Main Street for nearly an hour as a Michigan State Police Bomb Disposal Unit was called in from Bridgeport.

Frisch said police found 25 railroad torpedoes in the back of a 22-year-old Lapeer man’s Ford Explorer at 4:52 p.m. Monday. The man was briefly detained and cited with possession and transportation of illegal fireworks or a pyrotechnic device. He said the devices were a Division 1.4 explosive, roughly equivalent to an M-80, which has been illegal since the 1970s."

http://thecountypress.mihomepaper.com/n ... st_on.html
  by DutchRailnut
Correct, yet on railroad property they are legal by employees, off property you need an explosives permit.