Author Topic: Helpers Indiana  (Read 1680 times)

Freightrain

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Helpers Indiana
« on: January 18, 2019, 08:15:30 AM »
Watching CSX rack train and there's a engine CSX engine right in the middle idling or running  at McCordsville

Kim_Heusel

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 08:21:48 AM »
Seems to be becoming regular practice on rack trains coming up from Louisville.

http://indianarailroads.org/board/index.php?topic=11363.msg190957#msg190957

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Rick

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 08:47:40 AM »
Probably another dpu train.  These are becoming more common now


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Freightrain

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 12:41:28 PM »
I actually thought another train was coming on the west bound track I also didn't know what DPU  stood for.

Rick

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 01:05:22 PM »
Iíd be interested in seeing how dpu trains with long draw bars actually handles?


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rollinjoe

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 05:32:58 PM »
Earlier this week I saw one coming east out of Avon on the very end. Didn't catch the symbol

CSX2605

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2019, 09:43:58 AM »
Q589 passed Vincennes last night with a DPU(Distributed Power Unit) on the end.  Couple evenings ago a southbound freight had one UP on front and a KCS on rear.  8)
I have heard that on CSX if a train can have DPU then it should be used.  Any truth to this??

lstarnes80

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2019, 12:28:02 PM »
Just saw Q641 EB passing through Brownsburg with a mid-train DPU. Wasnít an abnormally long train, so surprising to see. First time Iíve seen this on the Crawfordsville Sub.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 12:44:12 PM by lstarnes80 »

Hoosierline73

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2019, 06:17:32 PM »
I've seen them running up and down the Monon lately as well with some mid-train and others at the rear.  What is difference in performance with regard to placement?
Vive la Monon.

Rick

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2019, 11:29:14 PM »
I've seen them running up and down the Monon lately as well with some mid-train and others at the rear.  What is difference in performance with regard to placement?
Typically from what Iíve seen up here from CN is short trains have dpu on the end.  Long trains run mid and thatís usually because one half of the train becomes another train when we get it.  I know itís not like that everywhere.  The difference in performance I canít speak for since Iíve never asked or been on one as to how they perform. 


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CSX_CO

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2019, 10:23:34 AM »
If train is going to be over 9000í, DPU must be somewhere in the middle as the signal isnít very reliable above 9000í

ventrue

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2019, 12:24:24 PM »
I saw a YouTube video the other day reportedly showing a CP train which had stalled going thru the Detroit tunnel because it lost comms with the rear-end DPU.  How much is this a thing and how often is it happening?  Can mid-train DPU's "relay" comms on back to rear-end DP?

Rick

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2019, 08:22:42 PM »
I saw a YouTube video the other day reportedly showing a CP train which had stalled going thru the Detroit tunnel because it lost comms with the rear-end DPU.  How much is this a thing and how often is it happening?  Can mid-train DPU's "relay" comms on back to rear-end DP?
I donít know if Iím reading your question correctly but are you asking if the mid train engine can relay to the rear end engine?   

If thatís the question, from what literature Iíve seen for ns you cannot run mid train and rear end dp power.  Itís either one or the other and right now ns I believe only runs mid train dpu.  Other railroads like CP could be different but Iíve only seen CP and CN up here run one or the other and not both at the same time. 


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ventrue

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2019, 09:50:49 PM »
That's exactly what I was asking.

Well, I can't speak from experience, but I thought I've seen trains with both mid-train and read-end DP.  Like maybe BN at La Plata.  I wouldn't expect trains there to have manned "helper's", per se.  I'm just not sure where I've seen it...either on one of the Live Cams or in a recorded video.  There are so many and my memory is bad.

Rick

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2019, 11:12:36 PM »
That's exactly what I was asking.

Well, I can't speak from experience, but I thought I've seen trains with both mid-train and read-end DP.  Like maybe BN at La Plata.  I wouldn't expect trains there to have manned "helper's", per se.  I'm just not sure where I've seen it...either on one of the Live Cams or in a recorded video.  There are so many and my memory is bad.
Itís possible especially from out west where theyíve had dpu trains many decades ago.  If thatís the case I would think the middle set could keep comms with the rear but then again thatís above my realm of knowledge on this subject.  Good question and one Iím curious to know myself. 


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Cheviot_Hill

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2019, 08:16:54 AM »
That's exactly what I was asking.

Well, I can't speak from experience, but I thought I've seen trains with both mid-train and read-end DP.  Like maybe BN at La Plata.  I wouldn't expect trains there to have manned "helper's", per se.  I'm just not sure where I've seen it...either on one of the Live Cams or in a recorded video.  There are so many and my memory is bad.
Seen this in older videos of SP coal trains using mid train and rear train DPU's. Possibly this is where you seen them.
My favorite clip from YouTube.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 08:32:30 AM by Cheviot_Hill »

Rick

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2019, 09:43:32 AM »
Seen this in older videos of SP coal trains using mid train and rear train DPU's. Possibly this is where you seen them.
My favorite clip from YouTube.

Iíve seen that video.  The person who filmed it said those where manned units.  I couldnít see  anyone but I also donít see any type of antanae for remote operation.  Iím not sure


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huelsy

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2019, 10:20:32 AM »
That's exactly what I was asking.

Well, I can't speak from experience, but I thought I've seen trains with both mid-train and read-end DP.  Like maybe BN at La Plata.  I wouldn't expect trains there to have manned "helper's", per se.  I'm just not sure where I've seen it...either on one of the Live Cams or in a recorded video.  There are so many and my memory is bad.

I can confirm BSNF runs mid and rear DPU through La Plata. Somewhere on Youtube I have a video of them.

HoosierVirg

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2019, 11:22:34 AM »
As I have mentioned before from 1968 to 1972 we lived in Montana and I spent a lot of time on Mullan Pass (Northern Pacific) and Mariaís Pass ( Great Northern). The mid train helpers were in the coal trains and yes they would put helpers on the rear to push those trains up over the passes.  The registered trademark of the remote control system was Locotrol.  Great Northern was credited with working and developing it back in the 1950s, I believe 1958. I have slides not scanned of double sets of helpers and the helper sets were usually three or four F9ís which  was quite a sight to see operating. The mid train helpers tended to be the F9ís while on the end they would slap a couple of GP 30s are another set of F9ís. When they first started out they used RCC cars  which were gutted   F9ís that were ballasted with concrete and all the electrical equipment needed to convert radio signals into electrical and air brake function were installed,  they had a dozen of those RCC cars. Around 1972 there was a change in policy because of the numerous coal trains so the U30Cís that was the power for the new coal trains came equipped with a Locotrol and it wasnít necessary to have the RCC cars anymore.
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xgap

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Re: Helpers Indiana
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2019, 11:09:41 PM »
As HoosierVirg described, SRR also used the same Locotrol system. In service system wide where tonnage rating per locomotive was low and headend power was limited to 3 6 axles or 4 4axles due to drawbar stress. Thus, mid train remotes allowed up to 2X the tonnage. Trains were built with full tonnage behind the mid train unit(s). On manifests, head end tonnage would change along the way with set outs and pickups. Lead control units(white number boards with black numbers) had radio equipment in the short hood. A control board was mounted atop the control stand. In addition a 5 button panel above the automatic  brake valve. Radio signals were transmitted to and from, via a mid train Radio Car(Cracker Box) MUed  to standard road power. With some quirks SRR successfully used these on a daily basis. But, any loss of signal continuity would at least cause the drop of the mid train feedvalve. Prior to descending Duncan Hill, when making the brake test , instruction was to cut out the mid train feed valve . Anyone who may have ever ridden mid train units would attest to some wild slack conditions. At a few locations where radio trains would tear in two, speed restrictions were placed.
Fast forward, a while back NS started to run coal trains with 2X1(1 on the rear). More recently larger coal trains with 2X2(2 on the rear). Contrary to old school it seems to work.  But 2 miles of racks with a few hundred feet of slack??