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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:35 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 31
GME:

The remote cabooses and flatcar used on the WC could be used/and were
as shoving platforms but there were no controls on it to operate a locomotive nor did there need to be. All movement of engines was controlled by a belt pack operated by an engineer/conductor whether on the caboose or in the engine using normal controls. The reason for this unique set up was so that any locomotive MUed up to the caboose "thought" the caboose was it's mother and took all instructions via radio on the caboose to the belt pack of the operator. This enabled us to avoid having dedicated remote locomotives and could use any available as long as they had MU connections.
We used this on the White Pine operation where one man, a couple of locomotives, the caboose and his train operated over 100 miles to a copper mine where the train was deleivered the power/caboose cut off and the everything tied down. The next day the engineer/operator coupled everything to an out bound train (set out by the mine switcher) performed an air test and proceeded back back to the main line. Using only one person on this job allowed us to be competitive over trucks for handling this movement and making a small profit.

We used to control back up movement on several railroads I worked on over the years with the simple caboose valves and back up whistles using hand signs and later radios to provide instructions to the engineer. Keep in mind the person protecting the shove is the eyes and ears for the engineer when it comes to these movements and he had no authority to move without instructions.

The air horn on the IC caboose at Monticello appears to be a temporary set up so I will need to clarify this before I teach their annual rules/safety class next year. With your picture I do recall the "monkey tail" hose and valve we used on the Wabash caboose last year but there was no horn...just the air whistle.

exprail


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:21 am
Posts: 39
Location: Milner, KY
Les,

Is that a regular 3/8 inch air line to the horn? It appears to be directly connected to the brake line.

How do you guys like that? Do you feel that a larger hose, and/or air reserve are unnecessary?

Thank you,

James Hinman

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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5021
jameshinman wrote:
Les,

Is that a regular 3/8 inch air line to the horn? It appears to be directly connected to the brake line.

How do you guys like that? Do you feel that a larger hose, and/or air reserve are unnecessary?

Thank you,

James Hinman


James -

If you're talking about the B&LE caboose at HVRM, I can't give you an answer as I'm not sure how the horn is actually connected. If you're asking about the IC caboose at MRM, you'll have to hope that someone from that organization sees your question and can let you know.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:27 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:51 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
I recently saw a well equipped "Remote control caboose" in this video of the Cincinnati East Terminal Railway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBMx-TvCu0w

There are cupola mounted air horns, a strobe light, dual headlights, a solar panel, and a big F marking the front of the platform. Interesting.

A little bit of research shows that it was a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic caboose and they had several similar ones, as seen in these photos:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=4213595
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=4213602

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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:41 am 

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 11:23 pm
Posts: 5
There is a tank hung on the ladder. It is completely necessary. Without the added volume, the horn will not work well (tried it).

A check valve is useful between the tail house and tank. Doing so allows for some 'honk' after you have dumped the air.

Les's photo is of the second horn setup in Monticello, the backup if another train is running with the first. The 'regular' use setup is similar, but has a two chime Leslie mounted to a c-clamp. The entire setup is portable and had been in regular service since at least 1996. On WAB 2834: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2496577

MRM has one caboose on the property with a mounted horn, N&W 500836. The horn valve is inside with a rope ran to one end. Some of these photos show the horn: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rspict ... x?id=41042
The other P&WV cabooses have the same horn. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1591235

EDIT: this setup assists the flagman in protecting the shove. There is still radio contact with the engineer during these movements.

Derek

jameshinman wrote:
Les,

Is that a regular 3/8 inch air line to the horn? It appears to be directly connected to the brake line.

How do you guys like that? Do you feel that a larger hose, and/or air reserve are unnecessary?

Thank you,

James Hinman


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:03 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2455
Location: S.F. Bay Area
hotbox wrote:
Neither an employee with a remote control operator's box nor horns, lights, and a dump valve make it an actual cab-car. It's still just a shoving platform/

Fair enough.

Quote:
Making a caboose into an actual cab-car is probably more trouble than it's worth. Spending the time and money to install the MU cables and main reservoir line of the length of the train to have functional control over the brakes, other than to dump the air, would be a waste of resources for most heritage operations.

There'd be no need. Most railroad museums already have a cab car. It's that Lackawanna, MP54, South Shore, or other scoot, that's forgotten in the back 40 or even the mainstay of the fleet. Often, somebody tore all the cab controls off for no reason that makes any sense whatsoever. What a waste.

I have turned a thought to activating horn, bell, headlight, wipers, conductor's bell, brake if feasible to plumb up main reservoir (or add a local compressor). Needless to say, this being me, it would involve no modifications whatsoever, only restoring the car to as-received condition, except perhaps for a solar panel on the roof to upkeep control batteries.

For MU, option 1 is to use the car's native MU signals to illuminate lights in the locomotive cab, essentially an engine telegraph, the motorman calls for power (or not). The existing reverser interlock and deadman functions on the controller would continue to function, so it couldn't work without the reverser key, and if the motorman stepped away or fell off, it would knock out control power and extinguish the "go" lights in the diesel cab. Option 2 is a relay box to convert the dissimilar MU signals, mind you, you wouldn't have to implement the entire range, only the first 3-4 notches would suffice.

I certainly wouldn't recommend having the locomotive unoccupied, you'd want someone to shut it off. I for one prefer the "go lights".

Quote:
Additionally, if the car has it's own brake stand (not a tail hose) and throttle controls then just like any cab-car it is considered a locomotive and must be inspected and maintained as such on FRA regulated properties.

*rolls eyes* no. Off-general-system, FRA exempts all that stuff. They don't want people tearing all the cab controls off historic equipment.

In-general-system, likely the FRA will ignore the passenger coach under the 238 exemption. Read 238.3(c)(3). "Tourist, scenic, historic or excursion operations, whether on or off the general railroad system of transportation". But even if they insist on applying 229 whole-hog, read 229.14, the scope is limited to control equipment. Which is reasonable. And probably only controls in active use.

dkouz wrote:
There is a tank hung on the ladder. It is completely necessary. Without the added volume, the horn will not work well (tried it).

That's right. That's something we ran into at Rio Vista. With trailers in the Westinghouse M23/M24 system, you don't trainline main reservoir to the trailers; you trainline control pipe. The trailer does not have its own feed valve, control pipe is feed-valve-regulated air, i.e. 70 PSI. The reservoir for blowing the horn was not large enough. Fine for signaling, but a good solid toot would apply the brakes. An orifice plate was inserted between control pipe and horn reservoir, but it took a few rounds of calibration to get it to stop applying the brakes. And then recovery time was long. And the reservoir quickly ran out. Of course we were using a horn correct for the car, not a "truck" horn. Those tend to be a lot easier on air.


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:46 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 31
A little clarification for the Monticello operation if I may?

I spoke with the transportation head at MRM last night regarding the horn on the IC caboose and he told me it was a temporary set up used primarily when there is more than one train such as Railfan Days. Being temporary it can be and is moved from caboose to caboose as required.

He also stated that all their cabooses have the typical air valve whistle and use a "monkey tail" backup hose/valve for their shoves.

I will cover this on their rules class next year. Thanks, for the information and pix if okay to include in my PPT?

exprail


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Posts: 668
Location: MA
robertmacdowell wrote:
hotbox wrote:
Neither an employee with a remote control operator's box nor horns, lights, and a dump valve make it an actual cab-car. It's still just a shoving platform/

Fair enough.

Quote:
Making a caboose into an actual cab-car is probably more trouble than it's worth. Spending the time and money to install the MU cables and main reservoir line of the length of the train to have functional control over the brakes, other than to dump the air, would be a waste of resources for most heritage operations.

There'd be no need. Most railroad museums already have a cab car. It's that Lackawanna, MP54, South Shore, or other scoot, that's forgotten in the back 40 or even the mainstay of the fleet. Often, somebody tore all the cab controls off for no reason that makes any sense whatsoever. What a waste.

I have turned a thought to activating horn, bell, headlight, wipers, conductor's bell, brake if feasible to plumb up main reservoir (or add a local compressor). Needless to say, this being me, it would involve no modifications whatsoever, only restoring the car to as-received condition, except perhaps for a solar panel on the roof to upkeep control batteries.

For MU, option 1 is to use the car's native MU signals to illuminate lights in the locomotive cab, essentially an engine telegraph, the motorman calls for power (or not). The existing reverser interlock and deadman functions on the controller would continue to function, so it couldn't work without the reverser key, and if the motorman stepped away or fell off, it would knock out control power and extinguish the "go" lights in the diesel cab. Option 2 is a relay box to convert the dissimilar MU signals, mind you, you wouldn't have to implement the entire range, only the first 3-4 notches would suffice.

I certainly wouldn't recommend having the locomotive unoccupied, you'd want someone to shut it off. I for one prefer the "go lights".

Quote:
Additionally, if the car has it's own brake stand (not a tail hose) and throttle controls then just like any cab-car it is considered a locomotive and must be inspected and maintained as such on FRA regulated properties.

*rolls eyes* no. Off-general-system, FRA exempts all that stuff. They don't want people tearing all the cab controls off historic equipment.

In-general-system, likely the FRA will ignore the passenger coach under the 238 exemption. Read 238.3(c)(3). "Tourist, scenic, historic or excursion operations, whether on or off the general railroad system of transportation". But even if they insist on applying 229 whole-hog, read 229.14, the scope is limited to control equipment. Which is reasonable. And probably only controls in active use.

dkouz wrote:
There is a tank hung on the ladder. It is completely necessary. Without the added volume, the horn will not work well (tried it).

That's right. That's something we ran into at Rio Vista. With trailers in the Westinghouse M23/M24 system, you don't trainline main reservoir to the trailers; you trainline control pipe. The trailer does not have its own feed valve, control pipe is feed-valve-regulated air, i.e. 70 PSI. The reservoir for blowing the horn was not large enough. Fine for signaling, but a good solid toot would apply the brakes. An orifice plate was inserted between control pipe and horn reservoir, but it took a few rounds of calibration to get it to stop applying the brakes. And then recovery time was long. And the reservoir quickly ran out. Of course we were using a horn correct for the car, not a "truck" horn. Those tend to be a lot easier on air.

that's why you should rig it with a generator and compressor you can have the person running it sit inside in the climeat controlled caboose and have full on headlights and ditch lights and horn.


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2125
Location: Northern Illinois
RCD wrote:
that's why you should rig it with a generator and compressor you can have the person running it sit inside in the climeat controlled caboose and have full on headlights and ditch lights and horn.


Another flight of fancy for the tourist RR guys, AKA model railroaders in 1:1 scale. Museums should just use the old tech... a tail hose.

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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 797
Location: NJ
Question already asked and answered by some of the adults in the room.

You DON'T need a generator for ditch lights or headlights, if you use LEDS. A car battery, charged by solar panels, will do just fine. Go to Harbor Freight...

You DON'T need a compressor for an air horn. An air horn can work off the brake pipe, although an aux. reservoir, fed through a choke and check valve, would be a nice touch.

All but the newest cabooses would not be legal to be occupied as control cars or shoving platforms. This is due to either age, lack of FRA 223 glazing, or both.

As far as push-pull passenger service, tourist line style, instead of wiring all of your cars for MU and piping them for an MR pipe, use a tail hose and a radio. No need to reinvent the wheel. (Having said that, I have worked on MU adaptor cables, RDC to 27 pin, but only because the rest of the fleet had MR pipes and 27 pin).

EDM
South Dirty, NJ


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2455
Location: S.F. Bay Area
exprail wrote:
He also stated that all their cabooses have the typical air valve whistle and use a "monkey tail" backup hose/valve for their shoves.


I've never understood the monkey tail. Any properly equipped caboose **already has that exact valve on it**. Like literally 2 feet from the monkey tail.

The logic has been presented to me "Well, the monkey tail brings it over to the corner step, from which we give hand signs", fair enough, except they always use the radio. Also the cabooses I'm thinking of have signs that the backup valve used to be over there, but was moved by the predecessor road.

Dennis Storzek wrote:
RCD wrote:
that's why you should rig it with a generator and compressor you can have the person running it sit inside in the climeat controlled caboose and have full on headlights and ditch lights and horn.

Another flight of fancy for the tourist RR guys, AKA model railroaders in 1:1 scale. Museums should just use the old tech... a tail hose.

I'm OK with it if it's an overlay that assures the absolute minimum alteration of the historic fabric. Hence how my view differs from most ideas to relight GG1s.

The ditch lights, though... let's just say those will be *magnetic mount* and will come off the instant the thing leaves the Class I railroad.


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:15 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
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Dennis Storzek wrote:
Another flight of fancy for the tourist RR guys, AKA model railroaders in 1:1 scale. Museums should just use the old tech... a tail hose.


I agree, this is almost getting to the point of a contest to design Rube Goldberg style caboose.

I would question the legality and safety of some of these contraptions but, since it's unlikely that most of them will ever be assembled, I think we'll be ok.


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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:11 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
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Location: Danbury, CT
There's no need to convert a caboose for such an operation, especially in a museum/tourist operation. Cabooses weren't designed to operate in that fashion. One of the missions of a museum is to not only restore/preserve the equipment, but to interpret and even demonstrate the methods used to operate it. The use of a caboose with back-up hose or dump valve provides both an accurate demonstration of such equipment as well as a practice that is compliant under FRA requirements and railroad operating rules.

As mentioned here before, there's no need to re-invent the wheel. Cab cars exist in museum collections and some still operate in that capacity, as do the C&NW bi-levels at the Illinois Railway Museum.

A caboose is a caboose....... or a hack, clown car, buggy, van, crummy, etc. Leave it that way.

There are some SPV-2000's for sale.

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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Thank you, Randy.

Several people have referred to the tail pipe / hose as a "dump valve." That is true, I suppose, if the operators are poorly trained or just lazy. Admittedly, that is the way the C&NW switch crews used them while spotting trains in Northwestern Station, but their next move was going to be to cut off the switcher, so they needed the train dumped anyway. In other operations, it is most certainly possible to make a controlled stop with a tail pipe. All it takes is practice.

I have not operated in years, but back when I was active at IRM, "push-pull" was the standard mode of operations for locomotive hauled consists. On a typical trip the train made a running brake test and two stops while backing, and the conductors were trained, and expected to, make these stops with the tail hose. The key is opening the valve gently, and increasing the rate of flow until it is venting air faster than the locomotive feed valve is supplying it. At that point the rear cars will start to take a set. Since this is a backing move, speeds are slow, and with a set on some cars the movement will stop. The engine crew should be aware of what is going on, and shut off power when they feel the train taking a set.

Enforcing the operating procedure that the conductor is going to initiate the brake reduction keeps the conductors in practice.

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 Post subject: Re: CABoose
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
robertmacdowell wrote:
exprail wrote:
He also stated that all their cabooses have the typical air valve whistle and use a "monkey tail" backup hose/valve for their shoves.


I've never understood the monkey tail. Any properly equipped caboose **already has that exact valve on it**. Like literally 2 feet from the monkey tail.


A lot of caboose tail pipes have a very rudimentary whistle arrangement; a valve, tee with a pipe whistle, and a big ol' elbow for the vent. To blow the whistle you cover the elbow with your gloved hand and use the brake valve to sound the whistle. Let your hand slip off the elbow, and you dump the air.

A lot of people don't like covering the air outlet with their hand, and are afraid of dumping the air. Many of the tail hoses I've seen have a much more refined whistle set up, with the whistle built into the brake valve handle, and a push button in the valve pivot to sound it. I guess if I wasn't going to be wearing gloves all day and had a tail hose handy, I'd hang it, too.

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