Author Topic: Norfolk Southern Caboose  (Read 578 times)

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Bobster

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Norfolk Southern Caboose
« on: May 23, 2016, 11:25:18 PM »
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Good evening all,

Apparently the Norfolk Southern is still using a caboose.   I've passed this plant during switching on occasion.   Cruising on US 321 South of Gastonia, NC, just North of the NC-SC state line yesterday and what do I find but a train apparently tied up for the day.  A caboose, about 10 chemical tankers, and 2 engines.  They've always had the Freds  when I've seen them

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Bobster

Missaberoad

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Re: Norfolk Southern Caboose
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2016, 11:37:05 PM »
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A riding platform! Likely this job has a long backup move and this gives a safe place for the conductor to stand while riding the leading end. The SBU would still be a requirement since there is no one inside to monitor the pipe pressure or for an emergency brake application... 

Nice pictures!
Ryan in Alberta

nscaler711

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Re: Norfolk Southern Caboose
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 02:44:00 AM »
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BNSF still uses Beese as well, but like @Missaberoad said they are riding platforms, the BNSF ones usually have welded over windows... And doors... Though I don't believe the cupola is welded shut on most... Go figure.
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RockGp40

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Re: Norfolk Southern Caboose
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 11:06:27 AM »
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I've caught a Roanoke, VA local, using one as a shoving platform more than once on the camera feed. Not totally uncommon. CSX in Baltimore uses older stone cars (Ortner) for long shoves.
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Bobster

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Re: Norfolk Southern Caboose
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2016, 10:16:37 PM »
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Good evening,

Missaberoad, thank you for the compliment.

All,  I've seen this small chemical plant switched out maybe 5 times over the last couple years.  It has a trailing point switch as the train heads south, like in the pictures.  This is my first time seeing  the caboose.  This is a north south branch line from off the NS main in downtown Gastonia.  Again the pictures show the engines on the south end of the train.  There is a scrap yard a little farther south down the line.   

In the past there have been two engines leading south followed by 5 tankers then 3 gondolas.   The chemical plant would get switched first.  Then the train would head south.  The train in the past disconnected the power on the downhill right before the scrap yard with its facing point switch.   The engines pull in the scrap yard then roll the tankers and gondolas past the scrap yard very slowly with gravity. With the engines now on the north end of the train it becomes a trailing point switch.   Normally they would switch out the scrapyard and then reattach the engines at the north end of the string of cars. 

This train was unique in the fact that it did not have any gondolas for the scrap yard and a larger than usual number of tankers, and of course the caboose.

If the above maneuver was not done then the caboose would be kept on the north end of the train and it would be in the lead for about 5 or 6 miles as the train was pushed back thru town to the Norfolk Southern main.

Just my thoughts,
Bobster

Spikre

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Re: Norfolk Southern Caboose
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2016, 01:38:19 PM »
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 :)
  the ones used on the R&D line thru here are Brake Regulators,
  and have a FRED on the rear end also.
  they are heavily vandalized though.
  interesting seeing former N&W cabeese on a Southern line.
     Spikre
       :(