A Primer on Setting Out Cars (and advocacy of “Slow Operations”) — Part III

All right, let’s wrap up the East Job.  

In this concluding post (also see Part I and Part II), we will get the train together to conclude the East Job.

During the narrative offered by Jim, Director of Operations for the LCN RR, think about how pulling pins, connecting air hoses, setting brake wheels, pumping up air brakes, brake tests, unlocking derails, tugging on couples out of kilter, all can (with a little imagination) enrich your scale operations on your layout.

A Primer on Setting Out Cars (and advocacy of “Slow Operations”) — Part II

Last bit of work is picking up two empties at the Sanderson Wholesale Food Distributor. This spur has a derail that must be unlocked and swung into the dirt before we can couple into the cars.

Coupled in, stretched to insure a good joint, laced up, hand brakes knocked off, brakes pumped up, a look around to insure no unloading ramps have been left in place, we see the conductor making sure the brake piston extends when the engineer sets the brakes before pulling the cars out of the spur.

Coupled in, stretched to insure a good joint, laced up, hand brakes knocked off, brakes pumped up, a look around to insure no unloading ramps have been left in place, we see the conductor making sure the brake piston extends when the engineer sets the brakes before pulling the cars out of the spur.

Everything out on the main, switch lined, derail back on, we are ready to back down the main to the rest of our train.  Better hurry, the skies are threatening a bit.  We are beginning to smell a little rain in the area.

Everything out on the main, switch lined, derail back on, we are ready to back down the main to the rest of our train. Better hurry, the skies are threatening a bit. We are beginning to smell a little rain in the area.

"That'll do", CRASH, "stretch'em", That'll do", "set and center" (tell the engineer to set the engine brakes and center the reverser handle because you are going between the cars), connect the air hoses, open the angle cock SLOWLY.  Let the brakes pump off.  "when you're ready take'em ahead".

“That’ll do”, CRASH, “stretch’em”, That’ll do”, “set and center” (tell the engineer to set the engine brakes and center the reverser handle because you are going between the cars), connect the air hoses, open the angle cock SLOWLY. Let the brakes pump off. “when you’re ready take’em ahead”.

When the rear car gets close have the engineer stop the train and set the brakes.  The brakes should set up on the rear car, insuring the trainline is connected all the way to the last car and no angle cocks are closed, except the very last one at the end of the train, unless an end of train (ETD) is used.  Sophisticated ETDs can radio the rear end brake pressure to the engineer and save the conductor the walk to the head end, but the LCN has not sprung for those expensive devices figuring the conductor can walk as the trains are pretty short.  Release the brakes, make sure the brakes on the rear car release, walk to the head end, checking all the cars as you go to insure the brakes have released, all the wheels are on the rails, everything looks good.  And watch out for junk, trash, cactus, anything that may trip you, and snakes that may bite you.

When the rear car gets close have the engineer stop the train and set the brakes. The brakes should set up on the rear car, insuring the trainline is connected all the way to the last car and no angle cocks are closed, except the very last one at the end of the train, unless an end of train (ETD) is used. Sophisticated ETDs can radio the rear end brake pressure to the engineer and save the conductor the walk to the head end, but the LCN has not sprung for those expensive devices figuring the conductor can walk as the trains are pretty short. Release the brakes, make sure the brakes on the rear car release, walk to the head end, checking all the cars as you go to insure the brakes have released, all the wheels are on the rails, everything looks good. And watch out for junk, trash, cactus, anything that may trip you, and snakes that may bite you.

All right, it’s a train.  Enough time spent in Sanderson for a day.  Hope you enjoyed this run on the LCN loaded with a lot of operational tidbits thanks to B. Smith and his layout, the LCN RR.

(For another site that discusses “slow operations” principles see Lance Mindheim’s excellent site — Voodoo and Palmettos.) 

I say we head to town.  The rain is getting closer and there are a couple of low spots between here and Marathon!  

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