Busting knuckles & glad-hands

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David914

Active Member
#1
I have been pondering a question for quite some time in regard to the breaking apart of a freight ( or passenger) train on branch line or in a yard. When the train is cut in two, the brakeman would have to close the air cock on the last car still connected to the locomotive. What about the car or string of cars that have been cut out? Would the air cock also be closed? Does this differ between cars set out on an industrial siding vs. cars in a classification yard?

Thanks in advance!
 

BNSFEng

Locomotive Engineer!!!
#2
I have been pondering a question for quite some time in regard to the breaking apart of a freight ( or passenger) train on branch line or in a yard. When the train is cut in two, the brakeman would have to close the air cock on the last car still connected to the locomotive. What about the car or string of cars that have been cut out? Would the air cock also be closed? Does this differ between cars set out on an industrial siding vs. cars in a classification yard?

Thanks in advance!
That angle cock should be left open so those cars will go into an emergency brake application. Of course, the cars being left behind would have the required number of hand brakes applied prior to being cut away from. An engineer would release the brakes before leaving the cars to ensure they are properly secured, then apply a 20 psi reduction, have the crew member shut the angle cock on the last car going with the engine and then pull away. Now some areas request that after going into emergency they shut the angle cock so the cut of cars can be pulled from the other end after charging them up some time in the future. Another alternative would be after applying a 20 psi reduction the angle cock is shut so a yard engine, attached on the other end, can promptly apply the air so as to not have to waste time charging up a long cut of cars from 0 pressure. Hand brakes would not be applied in that case.
An industrial siding would have the first example used since the cars are normally spotted where the customer wants them and they will not be moved until loaded or unloaded. The second and third example could be used in a yard along with the first example. It all depends on when the cars will be switched by a switch engine. Small cuts would have their air bled off so the cars would roll and then they can be kicked into various tracks. Each car has a bleeder valve so the emergency air application can be bled off to allow free rolling. Longer and heavier cuts require a certain amount of cars having air maintained so the switch engine can use these cars brakes and the engine brakes to control the cars. I remember a time long ago I was supposed to pull a cut of cars a few car lengths down to a spot without applying air. The switch forman neglected to inform me that my little 4 axle switcher was being asked to do this move on a .4% grade with a cut of cars weighing 5000 tons! Needless to say I stopped 40 car lengths away out of the track and down the lead where the grade had finally leveled out. I did my best not to flatten my engines wheels trying to control the cut and ensure the other switch crew was out of my way!!
 



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