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Dumb Question - Locomotive Consists

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  • Dumb Question - Locomotive Consists

    I have a dumb question regarding the arrangement of locomotives MUed together in a consist. If memory serves me right the first locomotive could either be arranged with long hood forward (better engineer protection in case of collision) or short hood forward (better forward visibility) depending on the railroad. My question is this, is there any methodology used to determine the arrangement of trailing units (long hood forward vs. short hood forward) or is it solely a function of convenience (don't turn the locomotive if you don't need to)? If there is a methodology, does it vary from road to road?

    If I am only running two locomotives, I would probably run them back to back so that I could simply do a runaround to reverse direction and have the locomotives in the same arrangement. Not sure about three or more locomotives.

    I have seen four-locomotive consists with the first unit short hood forward and the trailing units long hood forward. I have also seen four-locomotive consists with the first three lomoctives short hood forward and the last unit long hood forward. I guess this is the same basic arrangement as the first, but running in the opposite direction. I have seen other combinations as well, such as a

    three-locomotive consist with the first and third locomotive running short hood forward and the middle locomotive running long hood forward. I was just wondering if various roads had standard policies regarding the arrangement of locomotives in consists.

    Also, are there any rules of thumb regarding the order of locomotives in a consist when different types of units are used? Is the largest hp locomotive first, last, does it matter?

    Edited by - PowerEngineer on 05/24/2002 15:57:23

  • #2
    Diesels in MU can run equally well in either direction, and it depends on how the lead loco is set up (which way the control stand is facing) as to which end of the loco is the front. Changing ends (cabs) is usually quicker than turning a loco.

    As to loco orientation, it is largely up to individual railroads. When a high rate of loco failures is common a loco consist may have an equal number of locos facing each way in case another train needs a loco.

    I think gear ratios, transition settings and brake system often affect where a loco is in a consist, but I'm sure there are others who can give a more definitive answer.

    Russ

    Moss Lake Lumber Co.
    Russ

    Moss Lake Lumber Co.

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    • #3
      There isn't such a thing as a "dumb question"! That's how we ALL learn and I'm glad you asked. Now more of us know! Thanks!

      Debbie


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      • #4
        If I remember correctly, the Jersey Central and the Reading ran long hood forward. Safety??????.......anybody know? I suspect long hood forward would be clumsy at best with the desk type control position on the wide cab units.

        Cheers

        Len

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        • #5
          This is a great question Power Engineer. Usually the order and direction of units in a consist is determined by how they come into the engine facility. At places with a high unit count like Laurel Mt., unless specified by dispatchers or train brief, all one worries about is if any unit is lead qualified. We may of been instructed to have the trailing unit to be a certain GP whatever and they will ask for it to face a certain direction. Another instance would be things like work trains and certain other trains where back to back is specified.

          Sometimes unit order is determined by if it is running or not, and if it is to set out for maintence at a shop in route. If the unit is being towed as D.I.C.(dead in consist)or as a carcass to be disposed of or rebuilt, it should be on the rear. Any unit that is not MU equipped will be on the rear.

          To close I would just say that if the train is called and it finally pulls up on the fuel dock, service it and get the cab ready and don't worry about order or direction unless specified. That's how I've done it all these years at the many different terminals I've worked. Railroads do things in the quickest way possible because no one wants to waste effort. When you are short staffed and are about to see 40 to 60 engines in 8 hours, you don't have time for anything else. I hope this may help.

          BN Walt

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          • #6
            quote:



            There isn't such a thing as a "dumb question"! That's how we ALL learn and I'm glad you asked. Now more of us know! Thanks!


            Debbie




            id=quote>id=quote>OK, so what's the speed of dark?

            (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
            Coloring outside the lines is more fun than inside them
            Which box am I susposed to think outside of?

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:



              quote:



              There isn't such a thing as a "dumb question"! That's how we ALL learn and I'm glad you asked. Now more of us know! Thanks!


              Debbie




              id=quote>id=quote>OK, so what's the speed of dark?

              (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
              Coloring outside the lines is more fun than inside them


              id=quote>
              id=quote>
              HA HA HA HA !!! I don't know...DO YOU?

              Debbie


              Comment

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