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 Post subject: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 151
On a picture of one of the AC&Y H20-44s it appears there is some sort of pole attached to one of the trucks. What exactly were these used for? I've heard reports from lightning rods to helping move cars from fouling switches. Help!


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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Northern Illinois
Yeah, it's a poling pole. I've never, ever heard these referred to as a "lightening rod"???

The other side of the unit likely carries a tow chain, used for much the same. Was a time when this was considered standard switcher equipment.

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Dennis Storzek


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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:54 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4967
Dennis -

Yes, I agree it's a push pole. First time I have ever seen one attached to a locomotive truck though. Usually they were hung in brackets under the frame. I wonder if any other railroads did it this way?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 7:38 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:36 pm
Posts: 170
Funny thing is I do not see push pole pockets on the corners of the loco.

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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:37 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Northern Illinois
They are at the ends of the body bolster / jacking pad casting. This photo shows them better:

Image

Note the rerail frog hung on the rear truck.

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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:45 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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I don't think the OP understands what poling was, or he wouldn't be confused into thinking this could involve "lightning rods' made of wood.

The idea was that the locomotive could be used to push a car on an adjacent track with the pole -- pockets were provided to keep the pole from springing out and causing injury; this is also part of why the pole is so thick and tapered.

It's likely on the truck here for convenience - close to where the pocket is. I note that there is not a 'reverse' pocket on each of those castings, so you still have to walk the pole toward the other end for a reverse push ... just not as far.

Poling has been forbidden as a switching practice for many years now.

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Last edited by Overmod on Thu May 18, 2017 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 350
Location: Milford,Mass
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Hi
I found this photo on the net, of a polling pole in operation on the CNR. This should answer your question. Pat


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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 297
Here is an unorthodox way of poling a car, which had a lot of us on the Peoria Railfan facebook closed group scratching our heads. The date is 1954, the location is the connection track between the then Gulf Mobile & Ohio and the then Nickel Plate in Bloomington Illinois, the old Bloomington target and the main passenger station on the GM&O is just out of view to the left, I stood at this location hundreds of times when I was a student at ISU. Photo credit is Edward Wayne Bridges, a prolific photographer still active in Central Illinois.


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Last edited by PMC on Thu May 18, 2017 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 151
Overmod wrote:
I don't think the OP understands what poling was, or he wouldn't be confused int thinking this could involve "lightning rods' made of wood.

The idea was that the locomotive could be used to push a car on an adjacent track with the pole -- pockets were provided to keep the pole from springing out and causing injury; this is also part of why the pole is so thick and tapered.

It's likely on the truck here for convenience - close to where the pocket is. I note that there is not a 'reverse' pocket on each of those castings, so you still have to walk the pole toward the other end for a reverse push ... just not as far.

Poling has been forbidden as a switching practice for many years now.


Thanks for the insight Overmod. I had someone ask me what these things were doing on the side of the #505 and I couldn't give them a good answer. At first glance it looked like a metal pole attached to the frame and I though they must be some sort of insulator. Thanks again for that.


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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:59 pm
Posts: 517
Many years ago, Trains Magazine had a good article on poling.

Sorry, I don't have a better reference to it.


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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 am
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I believe you're thinking of an article titled "The perilous push pole". Written by David Jones, it was published in the March 1993 issue of Trains.

It's the only piece I've ever seen that was dedicated to this dangerous practice that despite being long forbidden, still continued into at least the 1990's (Just in a more dangerous fashion since they didn't have equipment built specifically for it and would resort to using material like scrap ties).

GTW lost a brakeman in the early 1990's when the pole failed, for instance.


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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 11:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Northern Illinois
I can't say for sure about the SP car, but by the fifties some roads were ordering their cars without the poling sockets on the corners. If that happens to be the case. then the crew of NKP 90 has just jammed the pole somewhere where it's not likely to slip.

I remember reading somewhere that poling must only be done using the "approved pole". I looked in the 1959 Consolidated Code, but can find no such rule, I likely read it in some road's safety rules. The "approved pole" would be straight grain oak, corners rounded, and a steel ring fitted to each end to prevent splitting. Officially ending the practice was easy; the Mech. Dept. collected all the approved poles, and thereafter any attempt to move a car with a tie or other improvised pole was a rules violation.

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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:52 pm
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Yes, a very dangerous practice. I did this once while working on the narrow gauge as a young man. Even then, it scared me to death.......

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: AC&Y Lightning Rods?
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 3:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Northern Illinois
Wonder of wonders... someone caught this in motion pictures!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7YK6ePUoIo

In this film clip you see the solution to the pole not being exactly where needed... They pull ahead until the tender is even with the caboose (the pole is hung on the tender) drop the pole, then back to get in position.

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