Tender First Query

On my Welsh narrow gauge model I din't need to concern myself about turning locomotives at the end of the line as these small tank engines would run
round the passenger coaches (cars) and run bunker first. For my passenger services on my US narrow gauge layout I've acquired a Bachmann Mogul. There are a few possibilities and I would value opinions.
The loco could could run tender first. Was this common or even allowed?
I could have the loco go off to a non scenic part of the layout and turn it simulating a Wye. Did the whole train turn on a Wye or were the cars left and just the loco turned?
I could add a turntable to the layout. I'd quite like this solution as it would be interesting to model. Thank you Tony (Essex, UK)
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Tony wrote:

Many tender steam engines would not be able or allowed to run as fast tender first as the ride was rougher, so normally they were only run tender first for shorter distances.
To my knowledge secondary and logging lines were generally very concerned about cost. Turntables were more expensive to construct and maintain than a turning wye. Sometimes a turning wye formed the run-around track, too. It couldn't be done more simple and cheaper than that, just three turnouts and some track.
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Venlig hilsen
Erik Olsen
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Better chance of derailing as well, since the lead truck is designed to guide the locomotive into curves and the trailing truck is not.

Even secondary lines had turntables for turning the locomotives at locations where they would be most frequently needed, such as the end of helper districts and similar out of the way locations.
Due to the cost, logging lines tended to not have any turning tracks because their locomotives tended to be geared engines that could operate just as well going forward as in reverse. This is almost always not the case for rod locomotives. Some of the lines used baloon tracks to turn entire trains, but that was generally at the end of the line at the mill, where they would dump one car and then pull forward, etc.
It is true a few of the logging lines operated larger rod locomotives, they were still faced with the increased chance of derailment if the trailing truck was not designed to lead the locomotive into curves. Some of the 2-8-2T locomotives and similar were designed to operate in both directions, but I'm not sure they didn't suffer from an increased chance of derailment. Since speeds were slow and derailments common on the logging lines, I'm not sure that they cared too much.

It is also much easier to create a control system for a wye than just about anything else.
For DC: Take the middle leg of the wye and put a double pole double throw switch on it, and insulate it from the rest of the railroad. Wire it to provide reverse polarity in one position and forward polarity in the other. Rather than reverse the locomotive at the controller, reverse it at the wye switch.
For DCC. this becomes even more simple.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
>> Many tender steam engines would not be able or allowed to run as >> fast tender first as the ride was rougher, so normally they were >> only run tender first for shorter distances.
> Better chance of derailing as well, since the lead truck is designed > to guide the locomotive into curves and the trailing truck is not.
A trailing truck is designed to provide constant resistance in a curve, just like a leading truck. They work in exactly the same way in *either* direction.
You and the OP are making assumptions that are not borne out by experience - I've done many miles at track speed on steam locos running tender first, and never yet suffered a derailment.
In my experience, speed restrictions on locos running tender first are due to signal sighting issues, since the driver is now on the wrong side for the normal running direction, and the visibility round the tender is very poor.
> It is true a few of the logging lines operated larger rod > locomotives, they were still faced with the increased chance of > derailment if the trailing truck was not designed to lead the > locomotive into curves. Some of the 2-8-2T locomotives and similar > were designed to operate in both directions, but I'm not sure they > didn't suffer from an increased chance of derailment.
I have no doubt that they suffered no increased chance of derailment, bearing in mind the comments above, and that the typical US logging 2-8-2 had almost identical trucks front and rear.
Cheers,
Mark.
Cheers,
Mark.
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This has reminded me that the second kit loco I ever built ( a long time ago) was a Somerset and Dorset 2-8-0. Mine always derailed going forwards! This was almost certainly due to my poor construction. The prototype was too big for any of the turntables available to it so it was supplied with a tender cab for reverse running. Best wishes Tony

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On Wed, 22 Aug 2007 19:45:44 +0100, "Tony"

Put a pilot (cowcatcher) on the tender.
The pretty little 4-4-0s of the California and Nevada Railroad had them. This was a 3ft gauge, optimistically intended to link the Pacific with the Colorado narrow gauge but only went a few miles inland from San Francisco Bay before running out of money.
They had surveyed a route through the Sierras using the Sonora Pass and the Union Pacific eventually acquired the line for this. Although they only used part of the right of way in the Bay Area.
These days you see regular tender-first running on tourist lines.

The turntable would usually be at the roundhouse, at one end of the line.
They'd often turn the whole train on a wye. Think observation car at the back - this would be originally be a regular looking car with a rear platform.
But I gave an example above, of one where the engine just ran round the train.

It would be most likely at the roundhouse.

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Tony wrote:
> On my Welsh narrow gauge model I din't need to concern myself about > turning locomotives at the end of the line as these small tank > engines would run round the passenger coaches (cars) and run bunker > first. For my passenger services on my US narrow gauge layout I've > acquired a Bachmann Mogul. There are a few possibilities and I would > value opinions. > > The loco could could run tender first. Was this common or even > allowed?
Yes, it was both allowed and common, and not just on narrrow gauge/minor/industrial railroads or branchlines. On a narrow gauge line it would be perfectly acceptable practice.
> I could have the loco go off to a non scenic part of the layout and > turn it simulating a Wye. Did the whole train turn on a Wye or were > the cars left and just the loco turned?
Entirely dependent on the circumstances, but turning the entire train on a wye was quite common in the US. Not just to keep the observation car pointed the right way, but to keep the head-end cars oriented correctly.
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The Strasburg tourist railroad in Strasburg Pennsylvania has a nice large decapod, which leave the station in normal fashion pulling about 6 old heavy passenger cars. It runs about 5 miles, pulling in parallel to the Philadelphia / Pittsburg / Chicago main line, where it does a run around, running backwards, tender first, back to the station. They have no turntable either, and no cowcatcher on the tender. But they go pretty slow.
http://www.strasburgrailroad.com /
Wayne
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about turning

would run

acquired a

opinions.
allowed?
and turn it

cars left

solution as it

NCDOT still turns the entire passenger train that runs between Raleigh and Charlette on the wye at Raleigh, NC. I've even seen AMTRAK do it once or twice when I was down in that area.
Len
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wrote:

CN and C of NJ, had 4-6-4T engines designed for bi-directional running in commuter service. This was uncommon though for large class 1 railroads. However short lines and branch lines all over North America had places where turning facilities did not exist. Speeds were usually slow so running in reverse with the tender leading was not a huge concern. An engine without a trailing truck, like your mogul would certainly be restricted in speed running this way, but as long as the proper flags or class lights were displayed on the tender when leading it was not that unusual.
http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/steamtown/shs3a.htm
http://cgi.ebay.com/CENTRAL-RAILROAD-OF-NEW-JERSEY-CNJ-4-6-4T-STEAM-LOCO_W0QQitemZ190143193458QQcmdZViewItem
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Yup. While growing up, I lived in a town that was at the end of two (Southern Pacific and Santa Fe) ten-mile-long branch lines, nether of which featured turntables or wyes. The locos would simply run around the cars and return to their points of origin running tender in front.
Since there was never more than one train on a branch at one time, there was no chance of meeting another train, and I don't recall there ever being any problems that resulted from the locos running backwards.
Pete
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wrote

I may have shared this story with the group previously, but I used to visit with Dr. Boyd Travis in Bluffton, Ohio. He was quite the train enthusiast and had a very nice layout in his basement. He used to tell the story of the 2-6-6-6 Alleghenies that were built in Lima, about fifteen miles southwest of Bluffton. It seems that the tracks of the erecting sheds in Lima faced south. The Alleghenies were too long to take a ride on the Lima Locomotive Works turntable, so they were run out onto the NKP line, then run backwards through Bluffton, Findlay and up to Fostoria where they were turned on the wye if necessary, then sent on their way.
He was also the local surgeon and a bit of a practical joker. The small hospital in Bluffton was located close to the railroad tracks. If he happened to have a new nurse in surgery with him and would hear an engine coming (he could tell from the whistle), he would look at the nurse and say something like, "You're going to have to finish up here. There's a new train coming that I want to see!"
dlm
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