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  • 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 SnoozerZ49
I just started my student trips as an engineer. Wow! I'm amazed at all the throttle positions. They go 1 through 8! As a conductor for a few years I thought the only throttle positions were "Run like hell", "drift while talking on cell phone" and "off" ( aka how hard is the conductor holding on?")


  by Grantham
I'm undergoing training too, on the other side of the world, driving coal trains across the Blue Mountains in Australia. We use four 3000hp units to pull 45 100ton coal wagons over 2.4-3.33% grades for much of the journey. Where are you, Mr Snoozer?

Snoozer-------------------it sounds like that is what you did as a conductor------------------snooze-----------if you did not know the basics of running a engine--------------------were you the type of conductor who came to WORK TO SLEEP-----------------------SNOOZER-----SNOOZER----Most engineer's can't stand a guy who want's to do a 180---------a guy who did not care about staying awake or helping me stay awake----then all of a sudden he gets to go to Engine school and it's like WOW----now I want to learn where I am at---are we going up hill or down hill? WELL you have been out here 4 years---if you did not sleep those 4 years you would know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzSNOOZERzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  by SnoozerZ49
Come on guy, I said I was only kidding, If a conductor and engineer can't rib each other what has this world come to. Seriously I always appreciate working with a good engineer. Like I said, I was only kidding!

Where I'm from conductors battling enginers is a competitive sport :wink:
It helps pass the time and adds some humor to a long night. Sorry again I struck a nerve. And snoozer, well that comes from the nickname of a night local that ran through my home town Z-49 "The snoozer".

G-day, Grantham, good luck in your training. I live in New England and work on a regional railroad. My training has been fantastic so far. Having been familiar with the physical characteristics of the portion of the line I am practicing on has also been a great help. Grades have also been the most challenging for me. We travel from tidewater at New London, Connecticutt inland. My biggest challenge is the the grades have a roller coaster profile. It seems that half your train is going uphill and the other half is descending. There are a lot of curves and almost no tangents and that makes things interesting. Also we have been deluged with tremendous amounts of rain causing lots of washouts, soggy track bed and slow orders.

My imperssion and please correct me if I am wrong is that Australian railroads often haul heavy tonnage over great distances through very hot and dry terrain. I did not realize there were such heavy grades, are they near the coast? Just wondering. Good Luck in your training. I hope things work out for you.
Hey snoozer zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Are you training for commuter or freight?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz snoozer zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsnoozer zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wake me up when we get in the yard!!!!!!!!!!!!zzzzzzzzzzz

  by SnoozerZ49
har, har, har, ok, I get it :-D I'm working in freight. I work on a local. I'm at a one crew crew base so I don't get to many chances to work the road freights right now. Still our consist are up to sixty cars (about half load and empty mix). The loads are usually blocked so the interesting thing for me has been dealing with the interchange loads on the rear and the empties for placement on the head pin. It sure can't compare to what I am sure you big leaguers deal with up in the mountains hauling coal. I have only run one coal train to date, needless to say my seat was puckered and without any dynamics making sure my initial application was the right one as I headed down the first steep grade.

No zzzzzs that day :P

  by UPRR engineer
Does black lung make a guy stupid? Maybe he's eating what he hauls. Stream water running by the mine?

Good deal Snoozer, have fun dude, learn that air brake well and you'll be able to out run most class one boys.

How many times did you get yelled at before you got good at bailing off the engine brakes? :-D

Some of them hogs teaching you to "power brake" the motors while your switching or coming back to your train? Always hated a hog that didnt know when that was ok.
Last edited by UPRR engineer on Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by SnoozerZ49
Thanks, UPRR, appreciate the encouragement. I'm lucky to work with a hogger that has a lot of experience. What I find the most interesting is his lessons showing me how to control the train without using air. Of course knowing where you are and what the characteristics of the train are is crucial. They never quite act the same way twice do they? :wink:

  by SnoozerZ49
Hey UPRR I missed a couple of your points, You hit the nail right on the head regarding bailing off. I thought I was doing okay until one day I got the grip of my engineer who has hands the size of a catchers mitt grinding down on my hand when I was gripping the independent getting ready to bail off. It hurt like hell and as I felt my hand throbbing like it had been run over by a truck I swore I would put his head through the window on the next hitch! He laughed, I calmed down and the speed at which I now bail off is amazing! I never will need to be reminded again!

As far as power braking goes our hoggers don't really do it in the yards. We have a lot of work to do and slow hitches or "parlor car" hitches really slow us down. What is the best use of power braking that yo are talking about?

  by Grantham
Lotsa hot and dry, level and undulating stuff across the middle, it mostly carries intermodal traffic, but there's a mountain range up and down the East Coast. There are coal deposits over many areas of the ranges, and that's where I've squeezed in. There are plenty of steep grades here, the original builders of the lines only knew two gradients, dead level and very steep! Plenty of grades have been eased over the years, but there are always a few that go into the too hard basket.


Of course I miss being able to swap trains with you, on the 600/601. Hope you get some good training, as some of those guys there act as if they invented railroading, and don't want anyone else to know what's going on. (could be, they actually don't know, themselves) Regards :-D

PS; As far as "bailing" goes, remember this. AFTER the BC reaches zero, on your gauges, allow six additional seconds, for each additional unit, for the actuation to effect the entire consist........... :wink:

  by SnoozerZ49
Hey G-A:
I enjoyed your remark about the guys that invented railroading. One of the engineers I used to work with up in White River Jct used to say the same thing. The "know it all"s are still here, I just do my best to learn as much as I can from everyone. The TM you may have been familiar with has been promoted to AGM. If you ever have some time drop me an PM. I'll fill you in.

I have been working a New London based local of late but today I was awarded a Conductors job out of Brattleboro on a Palmer turn (no.602). It will give me a lot more running time when I get back from school. Let me know if JG shared the photos of the most recent Putney derailment. I'd be glad to pass them along. Take care

Haven't seen the pix, yet. Good luck in school, and might be seing you again, before too long. If you get ready for somewhere else to work, remember to give me a holler. ALWAYS something cool going on, in exciting locations around the country............... :-D

  by route_rock
We have guys coming out of the program that need to remember there si someone hanging on and do a nice slow stop.( we cant ride to the joint its a no no :P ) Nothing like banging ones head!

  by slchub
I cannot recall if it was Golden or JCL who wrote about the best way to do switching moves. If it was Golden, can you re-enlighten us?