Author Topic: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?  (Read 1803 times)

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Chris333

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2016, 06:30:30 PM »
0
Great Northern around mid 1940's. At the 5:00 mark there is a switcher running backwards:
/>
About 9:00 running forward with no light.
About 19:20 trains with lights on, but it is winter and looks cloudy.

Chris333

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2016, 06:33:34 PM »
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Can't tell if these lights are on or not. Just looks like a shiny reflector.

Chris333

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2016, 06:37:34 PM »
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Last NP steam, no lights:
/>
Same title, but with lights  :?
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 06:39:32 PM by Chris333 »

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2016, 07:16:48 PM »
+1
Well, that sheds some light on the subject  :facepalm:
Otto K.

narrowminded

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2016, 07:20:46 PM »
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Maybe it was a violation. :| What's the statute of limitations for giving somebody some time off? :trollface:
Mark G.

robert3985

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2016, 11:31:15 PM »
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Haha  Otto...  :D

However, I think that mainline running is not what Max is asking about.  My 15 minutes of research by looking at Emil Albrecht's photos of the rail operations in Utah and Wyoming from 1945 to the mid-50's makes it pretty clear that engines did not have their lights on in the yards during daylight hours.

This is particularly evident when looking at photos of switchers, both diesel and steam.

What is also evident, is that engines pulling trains on the mainline, turned their light on during the day, with photos dated from the late 1940's, but then, the headlights were off once they came into close proximity with the yards.  I assume (maybe wrongly) that once the trains were going "yard speed" and inside yard limits, the lights got turned off during the day, and there's a good chance that it was because there was a rule covering turning lights off inside yard limits during daylight hours.

Interestingly, you would think that from a safety standpoint, trains traveling on urban trackage would keep their lights on, but Emil's photos show trains traveling on the streets in Salt Lake City with no lights during the day.  Crossing guards with flags are keeping automotive traffic at bay at the grade crossings.

Of course, my research deals only with the U.P., S.P., Bamberger and D&RGW.

It will be interesting to read the actual rule for the N.P. if anybody comes up with it...

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 11:35:18 PM by robert3985 »

wazzou

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2016, 12:39:56 PM »
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@mmagliaro - I was able to track down my Uncle. 
He was a hostler's helper and hostler at the roundhouse in Centralia, WA.  He said the NP ran many L-9's in the Centralia, WA yard.
He told me that during the daylight hours, they did not use any lights but in the evenings they had both front and rear lights on at all times.
I found it interesting that he said that even on the mainline, trains wouldn't run with headlights until some years after WWII.
Bryan

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mmagliaro

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2016, 12:42:20 AM »
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@mmagliaro - I was able to track down my Uncle. 
He was a hostler's helper and hostler at the roundhouse in Centralia, WA.  He said the NP ran many L-9's in the Centralia, WA yard.
He told me that during the daylight hours, they did not use any lights but in the evenings they had both front and rear lights on at all times.
I found it interesting that he said that even on the mainline, trains wouldn't run with headlights until some years after WWII.

Thank you so very much for tracking him down and getting this info!  And thank you to all for the very good video clips and other information.  I supposed forward on all the time and reverse on "dim" wouldn't be a bad compromise.  True, I won't be running at night most of the time.  But that's where I will stretch things with artistic license. 

Missaberoad

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2016, 07:05:17 PM »
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You knew it was coming: is this a prototype-specific or N/Z scale-specific question?

Well its a prototype question for his N scale switcher...
That should give you something to ponder  ;) ;) ;)
Ryan in Alberta

peteski

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2016, 07:12:01 PM »
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Well its a prototype question for his N scale switcher...
That should give you something to ponder  ;) ;) ;)

I get it now!
So all of the prototype-related questions in the "Prototype Railroads: News, Photos, Research" asked  to aid in building accurate N scale models are posted in the wrong section?  They should all be moved here!  :trollface: :D

I also had to chuckle seeing Max (after all the answers were provided) decide to use his artistic modeler's license.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 07:14:20 PM by peteski »
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Missaberoad

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2016, 07:26:54 PM »
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I get it now!
So all of the prototype-related questions in the "Prototype Railroads: News, Photos, Research" asked  to aid in building accurate N scale models are posted in the wrong section?  They should all be moved here!  :trollface: :D

I also had to chuckle seeing Max (after all the answers were provided) decide to use his artistic modeler's license.

Lol... I like the direction you went with that  :trollface:

Well at the end of the day no matter how accurate we make things we are creating an artistic representation...

To be a little more on subject, as far as headlights go alot of it was up to the individual engineer... I know according to the latest CROR engines in yard service can have the light on the end coupled to cars extinguished. some hoggers do some leave it on...
Ryan in Alberta

mmagliaro

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2016, 12:26:34 AM »
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I get it now!
So all of the prototype-related questions in the "Prototype Railroads: News, Photos, Research" asked  to aid in building accurate N scale models are posted in the wrong section?  They should all be moved here!  :trollface: :D

I also had to chuckle seeing Max (after all the answers were provided) decide to use his artistic modeler's license.

I never said I wasn't going to use some artistic license in this.  My intent was to see what the prototype did, and try to psychologically make peace between that and the options I have for a model engine.  In other words, there is zero chance that I'm not going to give it a working headlight, especially since it already has one in a custom-made housing with a real glass lens!  But the tail light was up in the air.

The strongest bit of evidence for me is the direct testimony of an NP engineer operating L-9 switchers (which this SP&S is a variant of) saying that they did put the headlight on and the taillight on at all times in the evenings.
So just how dark did it have to get before they put on the lights?  And were some engineers more cautious than others, putting them on before it got "too dark"?  This is where I can play a little fast and loose.
But at least I do know that it was in fact reasonable for these switchers to be operating with both lights on all the time at some times of the day.

peteski

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Re: Q: Did steam switchers have their tail lights on all the time?
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2016, 12:54:56 AM »
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I never said I wasn't going to use some artistic license in this. 

LOL, but you also didn't mention that you might.

The thread you started and your initial question  (and your usual quest for building realistic models) clearly implied to me that you wanted to follow the prototype practice.  I hope that you can see this from my point of view. There is nothing wrong with you using artistic license - it just took me by surprise and I found your decision amusing. 
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