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Shunting With Engines With Two Cabs

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Rudolf, May 28, 2020.

  1. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    A question for the experts. If you need to do shunting with e.g. a class 37 or class 31 , you may need to run around and so reverse. You can do it in the lazy way, just set the reverser backward, but how does this work in real life? Is the driver expected to to do a full change cabs procedure? Driving backward over some distance is dangerous because you do not have any sight on what is behind you, or is there a shunter (not sure this is the correct term) that is on watch for you using radio contact?
     
  2. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Well-Known Member

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    Hi. In the UK, you nearly always drive from the leading cab so you would need to demobilise the cab, walk to the other cab and drive the train from there. So yes you would do a full change cabs procedure and this time would be built into the diagram. E.g. You may get 10 minutes for it. If there is a lot of shunting where you have to keep switch cabs, what they might do is have 2 drivers, one in each cab. So when you’ve done your part of the shunt, you will demobilise the cab, let the other driver know you’ve done this either by bell buzzer or telephone and they can do their part. Not so useful if it’s just a locomotive on its own but say it was a 10 coach train, having to walk back and forth could take several minutes and become tedious. And they would be able to let you know when you’re clear of a set of points or signal instead of just guessing where to stop.

    You would never just put the switch into reverse and go. The main everyday use of reverse is when doing a pull test or setting back for coupling or uncoupling respectively. Other than that, it is exceptionally rare to reverse or drive from other than the leading cab. If you were to drive from other than the leading cab, there would be strict instructions such as a Shunter who will keep in constant communication with you throughout the move. They will stand in an appropriate position so they can keep an eye on obstructions/vehicles/signals, etc...

    The only times I could see you driving from other than the leading cab* would be propelling, assisting from the rear or if the controls in the leading cab are defective. Again, there would be a shunter or a driver at the front who would keep in constant communication with you and they would be responsible for keeping a lookout for signals, etc...This would only be done just to clear the mainline and take the train out of service as soon as possible. (Not going to go into Banking locomotive)

    *Not necessarily reversing but you’re unable to see in front

    This is the UK mainline rules including in depots and yards. The US is very, very different and intriguing in many respects. Some metro lines such as the Underground have different rules.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  3. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful information, Olaf! Thank you! Of course, the DB BR 204, recently brought to TSW by Rivet Games, presents a very workable alternative to the processes you've described: an engine with a single cab but two separate control desks. Are there any equivalents in other countries?
     
  4. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Well-Known Member

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    No problem :)
    The Class 08 or 09 shunt engines are similar. It’s got a single cab and 2 control desks albeit in the same direction so one desk on the left side and one on the right side facing the long hood end. But the reason you’re able to drive the train from the same cab is because you’re able to see out in both directions. I’m not certain but I’m going to guess that when you’re driving ‘forwards’, you sit on the left side and when driving ‘backwards’, you sit on the right side (facing the long hood end). Then you will be sitting on the left side with respect to direction of control as normal in the UK so seeing position light signals will be easier. Class 08 is available on the Tees Valley Line and Class 09 is on the West Somerset Railway. Of course there are other shunt locomotives in the UK as well although these are probably the main 2 that still operate in UK mainline depots and yards.

    The other thing with a dedicated shunt locomotive such as Class 08 or 09 is that you are able to set external lights to one red and one white light in both directions. This tells people walking around the depot or yard that this train could be going in either direction. Some multiple units can do this but not all so if you can’t, then you will just have to put markers* on the front and tail lights at the rear and then switch the lights over when you change ends.

    I guess something similar could be said about the American switcher locomotives; there may only be one control desk but you’re able to see both directions from the cab.

    *just to be clear a marker light in the UK is a dim headlight and a tail light is a red light. In the US and other countries, marker lights are what the UK call taillights so can be confusing.

    1st picture: Class 08 shunt engine looking at the Long hood end showing 1 tail light and 1 marker light (it looks like it’s a headlight actually)
    2nd picture: Class 08 shunt engine facing long hood end and you can see identical control desks on the left and right sides.
    (Not my pictures)
    18632B68-E99C-4ECE-B3B4-27CA53F97BB0.jpeg FC64C83B-8A8E-4AA1-BB91-9DC369F74620.png
     
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  5. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot Olaf the Snowman. :):) :):)This is very helpful. Can I use your text for the TSW Starters Guide and for the route guides I create? I think this kind of information adds a lot to the fun of driving TSW and later, when hopefully we get an editor to create realistic scenarios and services.
     
  6. thrashmetal86

    thrashmetal86 New Member

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    NS had a penchant for running long hood forward, and some of their Geeps have dual control stands because of this.
     
  7. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Well-Known Member

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    No problem. And of course you can, thanks for asking :)
     
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  8. hyperlord

    hyperlord Active Member

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    Without the Starter Guide I would have never had the courage to learn PZB when I joined TSW :)

    So regarding the BR 204 - for example the first scenario, you have to drive "backwards" without seeing anything. I guess there will be a colleague standing on the last/first coach and talk to the driver. I've seen "today" the driver him/herself stands there controlling the train with an remote control.
     
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  9. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Nice to hear! I could use a bit more comments on the Starters Guide.
     
  10. -PjM-

    -PjM- Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up and information again Olaf.
    A good example of that is just after the 2hr 23min point on this video. A long freight train reversing into a customers siding.


    Well you've seen the forthcoming class 20. There was also the central cabbed class 14 and 17. Neither are in service now but there are preserved examples of both types - hint hint to DTG. :)
     
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  11. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    They really do keep in constant communication.
     
  12. -PjM-

    -PjM- Well-Known Member

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    Received. :)
     
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  13. Juxen

    Juxen Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that is WAY different than what I'm used to. At the shortline I was at, we'd typically be in reverse for about 50% of the day. If there were no cars behind the loco (in reverse), the engineer would just run it backwards, looking out beyond the long hood. With cars, a conductor or brakeman would ride the last car (or first?) in the consist, verifying switches and giving a car count to the engineer ("Good for 20 cars", "Good for 10 cars", etc.) A car length is the imagined distance that an average railcar is, and so many brakemen have different understandings of how long that actually is.
     
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