Pushing operation on mine runs
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Jul 25 00:30:39 EDT 2005
I grew up in Kopperston in the eighties, and pushing caboose-first was the
normal procedure. It was done every day until cabooses were canned for
Sometimes, I would run up the hill, by the tunnel (long concrete VGN culvert
under a fill), up the path to trackside to see the conductor leaning by the
brakewheel and controlling the movement.
This is mentioned in Kurt Reisweber's "VGN Rails 1953-1993" as the move from
Plunkett to Kopperston.
Kopperston does have a siding plenty long enough to run around a train, but
this is where some of the loads were "dropped" to for storage.
Now, since cabooses are gone, there are units on each end.
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>Can anyone comment on the extent to which N&W & VGN used pushing movements
>to get empties to mines that lacked run-arounds?
>1. What was about the maximum distance that pushing would be used before a
>major effort would be made to find a place to build a run-around?
>2. Would a caboose usually lead the train?
>3. Were there any special operating techniques used to communicate between
>the loco and the head-end of the train before radios?
>4. Are "long-distance" pushing movements more common today than in steam
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