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Some Railroad Trivia "Click" to Login or Register 
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Buster got it right, what he is referring to is the piece of wood sitting above the independent brake handle, it's called a plug and engineers kept an assortment of them in their pockets, this one I fashioned by gluing a wooden clothes peg together back-to-back, in the old days we did a lot of power or stretch braking, when doing this an application of the automatic brake handle by pulling it to the right into the service zone would apply the brakes on the train and the locomotives simultaneously, so by pushing down on the independent brake handle it would bail the locomotive brakes off, and with the throttle opened it would keep the train stretched out for smoother handling, and give the boys in the caboose a better ride. The rules dictated that this had to be done manually, but by placing a wooden plug would save having to do this repetitious action every time you set the automatic brake. Of course you had to be careful and not leave it in, if a company official, or board of transport inspector saw this you would be in deep trouble. Lorne mentioned this in his first derailment, but technology has now caught up with us, in about 1979 the CPR started installing black boxes (nicknamed "stool pigeons" by the rails) in their remote control lead units, this would download all the information showing everything you are doing with the locomotive and any time and place, this spread out across all the railways in North America, and practices like stretch braking are now frowned on as of the increased fuel that was used doing this, and like Lorne said they now download this information at random, and you'll get a letter with the discipline attached. I've added a picture of one of the plastic handles for the automatic brake handles they now use.

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Another view of the plastic automatic brake handle, although Light weight, the steel ones were useful when detached as a hammer, or a weapon of self-defense if you needed it, you couldn't do much damage with a plastic one Smile

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
IHC Member 1668
Picture of Donnie Tackett
posted
Larry, Have you had the opportunity to see inside the cab of the newer wide body locomotives? The EMD SD70MAC or the newer General Electric CW4400AC or CW6000AC? They are 5000-6000 H.P. Units with 3 phase AC traction motors instead of the tradional DC motors. The technolgy in these newer units is unbeliveable. Thanks, Donnie T. Smile

Nice pictures Wink
 
Posts: 83 | Location: West Virginia in the USA | Registered: January 30, 2012
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Hello Donnie:

In the late 1990s CP made some big orders from General Electric here is a photo of me on CP 9513 GE AC4400CW you are correct in saying these new units are incredible technology, in the old days with the EMD SD-40-2 units if you lost a traction motor your horsepower would be reduced by 50%, with these GE units if you lose a traction motor the other five just take up the slack and you keep plugging away, also amazing dynamic brake capabilities.

a photo of me on the CP 9513 at Bowell siding circa 1998, this unit has the dual flags that CP Rail used for a while, I don't think it was very popular in the United States

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
At that time the CPR was also buying some new General Motors power here is CPR 9127 GMD SD90MAC that I am about to take westward from Medicine Hat, Alberta.

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
A photo of the roomy comfortable cab interior, what I also liked about these locomotives is that they had a motor assisted power handbrake that you did not have to put on manually.

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Here is a plastic replacement independent Brake handle for later model EMD SD40-2's, these were modified by the addition of a steel bar that raise the handle so engineers would not hit their knees on them.

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Another view

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Older style independent brake handle for EMD GP units, one is factory issue, the other made by a machinist in the CPR shops.

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Side view.

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
This is one of the older control stands for the EMD SD-40, with the reverser handle taken out, it would've been one of the red ones like the throttle lever, and the selector lever above. These were different from the SD-40-2 as the throttle, and dynamic brake were combined, the selector lever above had to be pushed to the right to use the throttle, and to go to dynamic braking it had to be moved to the left a couple of time to go into the dynamic braking mode, does anybody remember these?

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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