Actually I meant when the cars are assembled into a train, are the ends of
the car on which the brake wheels mounted facing toward the engine or
caboose? Railroad dependent? AAR rules? Union rules? Don't matter?
On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 07:06:05 +0200, "Klaus D. Mikkelsen"
Actually cars are often turned on turntables (if available) but more
commonly on WYES, but not for brake wheel reasons, but rather for
making the lading accessible for unloading, as often a car can only be
unloaded from one side, and that side may not line up with the
customers dock until the car is turned.
Don't forget the rare case of a unit train equipped with rotary couplers.
They would all have to be lined up the same way. I've been told that is wy
cars with rotary couplers have one end painted a bright colro.
That would be "cars with a rotary coupler". You only need one per car
and two would make getting meeting couplers in sync more difficult.
The bright painted end almost certainly indicates the rotating coupling
I don't think it normally matters. At least I've never heard of anyone
arraigning a freight train with that in mind.
That said, there _are_ some passenger cars that do have a well-defined front
and rear*, and in those cases you could say that the brake wheels were
always on either the front or the rear of the car. (In fact, entire
passenger trains were commonly turned on a wye at the ends of their runs
rather then just turning some of the individual cars.)
*Observations, most RPOs, most dome cars, diners, Etc.
there is no set direction for brake wheels. The crews are not about to
turn a car to make the wheel face east so in any given train you'll
see: AB, BA, AB, AB, BA etc. with B being the brake end and A the
other end. In a train i assisted last night they only have to have 2
brakes on. The orientation was AB, BA, BA, AB so i waited at the 3rd
"B" end for the conductor.
The coastal line and the Wairarapa line both enter Palmerston North from
Several stations (Christchurch for example) were built in "Y" formation,
(Lytellton Port at the base, North and South as the arms) so the brake
levers pointed north north of Christchurch and south south of Chch.
The only exception was one coalmine branch on the West Coast with a Fell
incline where the coal hopper wagons all had their brake levers on the
downhill end and so were at odds with the rest of the system.
When the Cook Strait ferries were introduced (1960s)the two islands
effectively became connected for through running and all the coupler
hooks in the South Island had to be moved to the other end.
In the early 90s the Christchurch "Y" had the third track added so
trains could run Dunedin-Picton without entering Christchurch yards.
That requires a corresponding move around the Y if the return train goes
The NI remains single directional.
Since they've basically only got two directions from which to choose -north
or south- you'd think the islands would eventually end up sinking at one
end or the other due to the weight of all those trains accumulating over
Err, basically the South Island is two tectonic plates pushing together
and gradually rising, with the errosion detrius forming the eastern
The North Island is a collection of overlapping
active/semiactive/temporarily dormant volcanoes.
We're not in the least bit worried about any land sinking, but we do
tend to worry a little about earthquakes and the odd puff of smoke above
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