Jim, I sincerely apologize if my response came off being prickly, that certainly was not my intention. I am not sorry you asked the question, it was a good question.
In saying that we should just leave the question as is, was meant that all the options given here are all equally valid, and unfortunately, without, say, the engine's event recorder tapes, theory is all we will be able to give at this point. I just can't give you an absolutely 100% gaurenteed correct answer.
Bob, I unfortunately turned 18 the month after the great blue sale. However, I now work out of Altoona off the extraboard and frequently operate the 6300 series engines in helper service. In fact I just got done this morning shoving the 19g over to Pittsburgh, (I believe 19g equates to the OIPI?).
Sitting here, I'm thinking how I would bring a train to a stop on the curve. As the headend engineer, the first thing to be done is inform the helper of the planned stop, and that I was applying the air. I would stay in full throttle and apply approximately 10lbs air while bailing off. As soon as I detected the brakes grabbing hold, I would begin gradually throttling off in order to prevent excess amperage from building up and ripping a knuckle. In number three throttle, I would allow the train to stall and apply the independent brake fully. As soon as the brake cylinders showed at least 50psi, I'd throttle down to #2. When the independent reached full pressure, I'd throttle to number one and make certain the brake was holding before throttling completely off.
As the helper, I would also stay in full throttle while the air was applied. Bailing off the helpers, I'd watch the amp gauge and make the first throttle reduction when I saw the amps begin to rise. After each throttle reduction, I'd wait until the amps began to rise again and then throttle off again, holding at #3, or maybe even #4 until we stalled out, in order to ensure the rear portion of the train stayed bunched for when we got ready to pull out again. Once stopped, I'd follow the same pattern of applying the independent and throttling off as I would on the head end.
Getting ready to pull out once we were given the okay (figuring that a flagman was protecting the blasting zone), I'd first contact the helper and make certain that he heard we were ready to pull west. As soon as he acknowledges, I'd let him know I'm releasing the air. As the air began to flow, I'm make certain the generator field switch is up and the reverser forward and throttle out to number one. Once the helper said he had the release and was coming up, I'd throttle up to number three while knocking the independent off in #2. Depending on train tonnage, I may wait in #3 or throttle up to #4 and hold until I felt the train moving forward, at which point I'd begin throttling up to get underway.
As the helper, as soon as the headend said "here comes the release" I'd throttle up to #3 and knock off the independent. Once the release reached me, I'd throttle up another notch and let the headend know that the release had reached me and that I was coming up against him. Keeping an eye on the amp gauge and the ground (to gauge actual speed) I'd begin throttling up to take up slack and start shoving the head end out, so they knew it was safe to start throttling up.
Even with that, the problem is that its impossible to know if the rev-up before starting was a manual or automatic effect. There are several conditions on the 40-Es that will cause the engine to automatically rev up... hot turbo's, hot engines, hot traction motors or other electrical components, low air pressure, cold cooling water (I doubt that one is possible considering the climb up from Alto already, but I mention it to show there are many conditions).
Another possibility is that the throttle had been advanced for a certain amount of time while stalled and the engine automatically throttled down to collect slack and then began throttling back up to try to move by taking up the slack it just generated. I saw the remote yard engines do this... two days ago? trying to pull a very heavy cut of cars up out of the lower yard in Altoona. And, no, its not a remote phenomenon... what I don't know is if it is a switcher thing.
__ J. D. Gallaway __
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