Possibly dumb question?

"P. Roehling" wrote:


There are/were turntables at every loco depot and on most branches, but they are/were used to turn locomotives. The couplers (Norwegian chopper) standardized in 1870 are directional. (center buffer with one added hook per mating pair) It's very handy for train operating crews to know where the brake levers/wheels are, given that the NZ concept of "flat" equates approximately with the British concept of "mountain". NZ's geography is long and narrow with mountains up the middle so the railways tend to follow the coasts or cross the mountains at right angles. (horrible over-simplification but ...) Branch lines were built outward from the relevant main line. In the few places where loops were created (such as Wellington-Palmerston North) the connections were made in the same direction, which is logical given that traffic flows were in those directions. Of course their has to be an exception and that is at Christchurch where the northern and southern routes both went to the port creating a "Y". Modern Diseasels can of course run longer distances than the 2-4-0t and 0-6-0ts of 1863, so some trains need to operate from south of Christchurch to Picton/Wellington so the third leg of the "Y" was added. This requires return Picton-Christchurch wagons to be run around the "Y". The couplers (Norwegian chopper) standardized in 1870 are directional. (center buffer with one added hook per mating pair)
Regards, Greg.P.
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On the end sill, or on the brake platform provided for exactly that purpose.
Brake wheel locations evolved over time; with passenger cars originally having them located on the open end-platforms, much like a caboose. After the open platforms became enclosed vestibules, most of the brake wheels were placed inside as you speculated above, but some railroads -notably the Santa Fe- chose to leave them out on the ends of their passenger cars where the customers couldn't fiddle with them. (How they expected the train crew to tighten them down in case of losing the air brakes is a very good question.)
By the time lightweight cars arrived in the late 1930s, nearly all of the manual wheels had migrated to the inside, although I'm not certain whether this was either governmentally mandated or a universal practice.
Freight cars started out with vertical brake shafts that terminated in a brake wheel that extended about a foot above the roof of box cars and the like; the idea being that a brakeman could run along the cartops tightening them down every forty feet or so. On a swaying train. At night. With ice all over the running boards. Whee.
After enough brakemen fell off, froze, went between the cars, or otherwise became suddenly and inexplicably absent from their duties, the air brake was developed and brake wheels eventually moved down to mountings on the ends of the cars, but still up near the cartops; just in case.
Since the goobermint outlawed roofwalks in the early 60s (?), brakewheels are now mounted much lower, but are most commonly still found on the ends of freight cars.
Pete
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On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 04:31:20 GMT, The Seabat

Not sure what you mean here...but most cars have an end platform these days, and you climb the ladder and swing around to the end platform to tie the handbrakes.
They also have invented a thing called the "brake stick" which eliminates the need to climb up on cars...especially those with high hand brakes.
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Gray Ghost wrote:

We've had this discusion before - "doesn't matter" is the correct answer.
Cheers,
Mark.
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Gray Ghost wrote:

They probably leave the factory all facing the same way. With interchange, triangular junctions etc they will slowly become randomised, unless they are only operated on a limited range of routes.
Greg.P.
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2007 23:24:51 -0500, grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

Doesn't matter. Real railroads don't have them all pointing any particular direction, so it doesn't matter on a model railroad, and in fact, it'd look more prototypical for them to be random in the train. Most north american railroads have a minimum 2 handbrake policy for leaving standing cuts of cars (may be more at particular locations). It's easier on the conductor or brakeman if two handbrakes stand end to end, because you can tie one brake, then turn around and step from one end platform to the other and get the other one... but you'd never see cars switched just to get them to line up like this...just too impractical. Usually the handbrakes would be tied on the first two cars left at the cut point (unless a rule specified the opposite end), but often a rail employee might skip that first car on the end if the 2nd and 3rd cars (or 3rd and 4th) happened to stand end to end, because why climb up on the cars twice when you can do it once. But to that effect, say you had a rule where you had to put 10 brakes on the south end of a particular track due to a grade, and you came to the 10th and 11th car, and found two brakes standing together, most concientious rail employees would go ahead and add the extra brake, because they're already up on the equipment and it doesn't hurt to have a little added insurance. They can't run you off for tying too many brakes, but they can run you off for not tying enough.
Someone else said they don't have turntables for cars, but that isn't true at all. Cars were often turned on turntables, on wyes, etc... But rarely had anything to do with the brake wheel, usually a car was turned because it had to be unloaded on a certain side.
It's very common practice for railroads to turn box cars especially because they have to be unloaded from one side in particular. Perhaps the lading was loaded in such a way that it blocks the door on the opposite side and can not be unloaded from that side. Most industries have their unloading dock on one side only, so the car has to be positioned so that the accessible door is lined up to be unloaded for their dock. I have heard of turning other types of cars, but rarely. One example might be a covered hopper that has outlets on the bottom that point a certain direction...but usually the industry can snake their hoses around to get to it without that.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net writes

<snip>
Today's unit coal trains may have to have their couplings facing a certain way so that they can be unloaded by the car rotary discharge unit. This is because they have a fixed coupling at one end and a rotating one at the other. If the fixed couplings are together then one of them will break if they try to rotate it.
On a recent visit to Canada (August) I saw the crew 'turn' a car at Jasper using the Wye so that it faced the right way. I also sow why when I managed to get a visit to the site at Roberts Bank where I was shown the rotary discharge unit.
To show which way round the cars are there is a red panel painted at one end - at least on the CP and CN unit trains that I saw. However, some cars get so dirty that it's very difficult to see the painted panel at times!
--
Mike Hughes
A Taxi driver licensed for London and Brighton
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On Wed, 12 Sep 2007 01:20:39 +0100, Mike Hughes

Not all unit coal trains are like this, I saw a train today with mixed standard and rotary couplers, and they were all randomly turned.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net writes

Of course. It all depends where they are being unloaded. The example I gave was for the unloading at Roberts Bank. If the cars were being unloaded at Grande Cache, Alberta [1] they use two overhead CAT shovels to unload the cars so it wouldn't matter which way round they were.
However, many of the outbound coal cars are off loaded at Roberts Bank and for this they have to be in same direction.
From a modelling point of view this means that you could see empty and loaded coal cars travelling in each direction. ]
1] It's a strange situation here because although there is a power station and a coal mine on the same site, the mine was closed for a number of years, the power station then made a contract with another company to deliver coal which is still in force today. I'm told that the power company wants to buy the local coal, but at lower than market rate (excl. transport) while the coal company is holding out for a market rate. As the coal is (Iam told) of high calorific value it is easily sold so the coal company will probably get the contract when it comes up for renewal.
--
Mike Hughes
A Taxi driver licensed for London and Brighton
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Gray Ghost wrote:

If you watch a train going by once in a while 9assming you're lucky enough to have an accessible grade crossing near you), you'll see that it doesn't matter.
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Yes I have a local grafe crossing, but I rarely get stuck. Drat!
Anyway, thanks guys. I can be obvsessive about details sometimes but the more I thought of it I kinda figured the answer would be "don't matter".
Now to go randomize my freight yard.
Frank
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Gray Ghost wrote:

Do you have a precisely defined formula for doing that?
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Don't get me started. ;)
Frank
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On 9/13/2007 7:17 PM Gray Ghost spake thus:

I suggest a pseudo-random Poisson variability plot using a Gaussian distribution.
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You'll have a lot more fun batting a small plastic ball around like a cat. Whatever cars it touches, you rotate. ;-)
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 20:47:51 -0700, David Nebenzahl wrote:

Whadda fish gotta do with it, you surrender monkey?
--
Steve

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I find that an old-fashioned 7 or above on the Richter Scale randomizes car locations quite nicely.
Living in southern California isn't *all* beer and skittles.
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On 9/14/2007 12:24 AM P. Roehling spake thus:

*7*??? Sheesh; we up here in the Beige Area are all happy and stuff when we get a nice 4.2 (like the one a couple months ago that woke me up at 4:30 am and scared the crap out of me).
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I was wrong. Google tells me that the first (Landers) quake was a 7.5, and the Big Bear quake that followed it a few hours later rated a mere 6.5 on the Richter scale.
The first one scrambled my staging yard quite nicely, derailing or knocking over nearly every car. The second quake just shoved things around a little more.
Oddly, the locos all remained on the track.
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Yes, the brakewheels had to face forward.
One of the biggest problems was depressed center flatcars. They had brake wheels on each end. This caused many brakemen to go insane and they had to be put down. Conductors were issued a pistol for just that reason.
Eric
On Sep 11, 12:24 am, grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

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