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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have often wondered why most US diesels have walkways outside the main body of the loco as against the UK system of internal access, apart from our lousy weather or a lower sound level with the US system I can't think of any reason for the difference, Come on you railway gurus, put me out of my suspense.

Branchy
 

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Most US freight trains have several locomotives hauling them - I have seen up to ten!!! The external walkways makes it easier to pass between locomotives whilst running, to check out a malfunctioning unit, or whatever. Also the access doors can be opened without fouling the loading gauge, so work can be done on the run.

Most passenger trains in the US have full width bodies, as there is usually only a single unit, at least on commuter trains, etc. But mainly the full width ones are for aesthetic reasons, I think
 

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I remember when a slow moving train near where I live (Concord Naval Weapons Station) with a couple of workers standing on the walkways ran over a protestor who was sitting on the track attempting to block the train from entering the Weapons Yard, not a good idea. Crushed both his legs ... didn't do the workers much good either. I remember that they tried to sue Brian Wilson, the subsequent double amputee for mental distress.

Sorry to highjack the thread but everytime I think about diesels and external walkways my mind returns to this episode more than 20 years ago.


Sept. 1, 1987: Brian Wilson tries too late to get out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Alan, that sounds logical. How come you did not know this Dennis, come on man, shape up.


I presume 10 locos would be interspersed within the train, 10 at the front all pulling would put an enormous strain on the forward wagon couplings. Do they have an engineer in each cab for the entire journey?

Dennis, I guess the guy on the tracks didn't know that locos don't stop like cars.

I have decided to use my correct forename to sign off from now on, just add an i and lose the chy and you get:-

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds exciting, if we had them over here the front of the train would probably arrive before the end departed. Lets hope that the communication with the caboose doesn't break down otherwise it's hell of a walk.

Brian
 

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We don't use no stinking caboose anymore.


Here's an exception to the rule:

If you want to see a lot of long trains go to the Tehachapi Loop (operated jointly by the Union Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads) near Bakersfield, California. It's on the main artery joining the agricultural and petroleum products of the San Joaquin Valley to Arizona and east. As many as 40 freight trains a day execute the loop, making it the busiest single-track line in the United States. Long eastbound freight trains cannot negotiate the grade with a normal locomotive complement, and it is undesirable for the couplings between forward cars to support the high tension loads. Therefore, "helper" engines are inserted in the middle of the train. Upon reaching the City of Tehachapi, the helpers are switched out, and then returned to Bakersfield.

Many of the trains are over a mile long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Stay with me Dennis, I'm just working this out. One mile at 1/87 scale equals 60 ft near as dammit, that means to reproduce one of these I need to use the complete planned circuit unless I double it with a gosover. Now to figure out the cost of the stock, ----------? I think I shall forget that and stick to 1/4 mile trains at maximum.

Brian
 
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