Author Topic: Ditch lights in Canada  (Read 3225 times)

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Mark5

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Ditch lights in Canada
« on: June 11, 2007, 10:10:18 AM »
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I was thumbing thru TRP this morning on the MARC train and there's a photo of a CP C424 #4229 in Hamilton, Ontario dated June 26, 1976. The loco has ditch lights. Is the date wrong or was CP using ditch lights in 1976?

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cv_acr

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2007, 10:51:52 AM »
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All the Canadian railways started using ditch lights in the 70s.

Mark5

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 11:00:17 AM »
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light years ahead of the US in this area, eh?  8)

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cv_acr

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2007, 11:01:20 AM »
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Pretty much. IIRC they were fairly well required by some point in the mid-80s.

Lenny53

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2007, 07:14:43 AM »
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CP started installing ditch lights well before they were mandated after an incident where a train hit a rock slide in the Rockie Mountains.  CN would add removal ditch lights for running through the mountains but did
not adopt system wide usage until many years later.

bobcat

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2007, 07:43:29 AM »
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light years ahead of the US in this area, eh?  8)

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Ahead in wide cabs too, A? ;) ;D

cv_acr

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2007, 10:09:39 PM »
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light years ahead of the US in this area, eh?  8)

Thanks!

Ahead in wide cabs too, A? ;) ;D

Yeppers. The first modern safety cabs were on a CN GP38-2W and M420W. The two were built very close to the same time.

lock4244

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2007, 09:16:53 AM »
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The M420W's came first.

BTW, contrary to popular belief, Canadian locomotives do not have wider cabs that their US counterparts... just wide noses  :P
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cv_acr

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2007, 12:07:47 PM »
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I think CN actually displayed the first GP38-2W as the first safety cab unit (I've seen a photo of it with a banner on it) even though the first M420W was actually completed first. IIRC the GP38-2W was actually the last engine on an order of standard-cab GP38-2s, the rest of the GP38-2Ws ordered in a separate batch later, followed by large fleets of wide nose SD40-2W and GP40-2L and GP40-2Ws. The M420Ws then would have been the first complete order of engines with the safety cab.

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2007, 12:35:26 PM »
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Am I alone in not liking ditch lights on locomotives.  I just think they distract from the overall looks of a locomotive.  I really don't like them on older historic diesels that are still running.  Maybe I'm just old fashion.

3rdrail

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2007, 12:39:47 PM »
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Am I alone in not liking ditch lights on locomotives.  I just think they distract from the overall looks of a locomotive.  I really don't like them on older historic diesels that are still running.  Maybe I'm just old fashion.

No, you're not alone. I call them "Nancy Kassebaum" lights, as when she was Senator from Kansas she insisted that they be added to locomotives. She pestered her fellow Senators until the provision was added to a bill. She claimed in was in memory of some constituents that couldn't tell how far away the train was and were killed in a grade crossing accident.

lock4244

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2007, 01:10:04 PM »
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I like ditch lights, but then again, they've been a fact of life in Canada for so long that they almost become unnoticeable. With you on older, historic units. I think they suck on the front of CP's Empress steamer, but it's the law, right. Also think they suck on CP's F-units...
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Mark5

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2007, 01:15:32 PM »
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Am I alone in not liking ditch lights on locomotives.  I just think they distract from the overall looks of a locomotive.  I really don't like them on older historic diesels that are still running.  Maybe I'm just old fashion.


I don't like them either. But hell, I don't even like low-nose units (don't ask me about the big cabs!).

I'm sure the crews like the "wide" cabs though.

lock4244

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2007, 02:53:19 PM »
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I'm sure the crews like the "wide" cabs though.

ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!

 ;)

Likely most crews could care less about the cab... so long as it does not have the desktop control stand. AC is likely also prefered over the type of cab.

... clean potty, too  :P
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cv_acr

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Re: Ditch lights in Canada
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2007, 03:53:01 PM »
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No, you're not alone. I call them "Nancy Kassebaum" lights, as when she was Senator from Kansas she insisted that they be added to locomotives. She pestered her fellow Senators until the provision was added to a bill. She claimed in was in memory of some constituents that couldn't tell how far away the train was and were killed in a grade crossing accident.

Hmm. That's a little different than the original intent to see rocks on the tracks from farther away at night. ::)