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Subject Topic: Hawaiian Islands In The 1930ís Post ReplyPost New Topic
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lakota
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Posted: Oct 04 2019 at 4:13pm | IP Logged Quote lakota

..

      There was a trick to starting a train.
                Occasionally it took several tries.



   In each freight car there is up to six inches of play in the coupler and that is known as slack. In a 100 car train there could be a 300 foot change in the
length of train as the slack runs in and out. If the engineer tries to start the train with the slack stretched out he will have to start all the cars at one time.
The locomotive may not have the tractive effort to do this. The Engineer can set the train brakes very slightly and back the engine enough to gather in the
slack. Then release the train brakes and slowly start one car at a time.

   Adding or reducing power and grade changes in the track cause the slack to run in and out as the train removes along the track. The speed at the front
of the train can be quite different than at the back. When the slack runs all the in or out in can be very violet at the back. And with the Caboose at the back
the brakeman and Conductor can be injured.

    One day on the Borger Bullet Local with a long train I was at the rear end of the crummy (actually a well kept caboose) talking to the conductor when the slack ran
in. The crummy seemingly suddenly stopped sending me about 25 feet to the front door and my right arm sticking through the glass in the door that my arm had
just broken. My injuries were bruises and a bloody arm but minor and we didnít report them!

In my time all freight trains I worked on had two brakemen and one conductor. Today many trains do not have any brakemen.. Don S..   



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