It is currently Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:54 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4981
I have been reading the "Open Boxcar Law" thread with some interest. It got me to thinking about something that I believe I had first read in "First & Fastest", the magazine published by the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society. Apparently there was at least one high level platform on the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban line, which had flip up sections so that passengers did not have a large, dangerous, gap between the edge of the platform and the car vestibules. These flip up sections were kept down most of the time but when a freight train came into the station, a crew member was perched on the front of the electric freight motor and flipped up the first section as the train slowly moved into the station. Then each flip up section was done in turn so that the freight could safely move past the platform. Meanwhile, a crewman on the caboose would flip the sections back down again. When I first read about this, I couldn't believe it! But, obviously it WAS done. I wonder if anyone ever filmed this procedure?

I have also heard of gauntlet track set up in places so that a freight train could take the turnouts set up at before each end and "go around" the wider platform. Apparently the CA&E couldn't afford such an arrangement, or perhaps there was not enough room to do it or maybe a gauntlet would not have been safe due to the other, second mainline.

There probably aren't a lot of high level platforms at traction museums (I know that IRM has one, but I seem to recall that it is on a stub track) and we certainly wouldn't want to actually have to use such a procedure as the CA&E used, but perhaps a "fake" track next to a short unused platform, might make an interesting display for visitors.

Les


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 534
Location: St. Louis, MO
The Museum of Transportation has a high level platform for its electric cars to allow the use of Chicago rapid transit car #44. To allow standard gauge cars to occupy the same track, mostly during the off season or in switching operations, there is a hinged "flip-up" along the platform edge which is down when the electric cars are running, but can be swung up and out of the way for other uses. This is also a combined high and low level loading platform, with stairs to connect the two levels. It is used now by a PCC and an interurban car, in addition to the CTA car.

_________________
Ron Goldfeder
St. Louis


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2067
Location: Northern Illinois
SOMEPLACE, I've seen a movie of this operation, and yes it does have a Keystone Cops aspect to it, but it's not as outlandish as it sounds. The brakeman stood on the front corner of the locomotive (CA&E freight power was all Baldwin-Westinghouse, IIRC) with a long hook, and caught the leading edge of each section and flipped it over. The sections were about 8' long and two boards (11" wide) and the locomotive was narrow enough to clear the platform with the sections down, so he didn't really have to reach far ahead. As the train passed, the flagman stood on the rear platform of the caboose with a similar hook and flipped the sections back down. I'm not sure if the caboose would clear the platform with the sections down, but likely so. This system was only used at a couple stations east of Desplains Ave. where the Chicago Rapid Transit operated "L" trains on trackage rights over the CA&E track, and then only to serve a couple industries, so there wasn't much freight traffic. If I recall the movie, the train that day was only two or three cars, loco, and caboose. Wish I could remember who had the film, but it's been thirty years. It might have been Johnson from IRM.

The CRT's own freight operation on Chicago's north side was done differently; I believe the western most track, the southbound express track, was continuous gantlet all the way from Wilson to Howard St., maybe beyond. Again the locomotives were "L" car width, so had more flexibility of operation than the freight cars. I only missed seeing this operation by a couple years.

The one that I did catch was the old CTA material yard at Lower 63rd. St. The freight connection came off Conrail at the SW corner of the yard, and that track was under trolley wire, as was the lead along the south edge of the property, but everything else was third rail, and the freight cars were unloaded on the same tracks that the work trains were later loaded on. In order to get from the interchange to the material storage yard, the loco (S-202, IIRC, now at the Fox River Trolley Museum) would pull the cars in one at a time,; down the south lead, push back up the base of the incline to the structure, pull south again through a standard #4 double X-over, down the ladder, then push in whatever track they needed to unload by. The #4 X-over was a real bummer; it hadn't been a problem when the yard was built, as the common freight car of the day was only 36' long, but 73' centerbeam flatcars didn't like it one bit. They would often end up with shiny corners on the rotating axle caps of their roller bearings, where the had been hitting the side sills as they went through the curves.

A couple years later the CTA replaced all the track in the yard, but I was never down there after that occurred.

_________________
Dennis Storzek


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:34 pm
Posts: 621
Location: Union, IL
Dennis Storzek wrote:
(CA&E freight power was all Baldwin-Westinghouse, IIRC)


Actually the CA&E had two B-W locomotives, two GE steeplecabs and two homebuilt units originally from Oklahoma, if memory serves. They were typically run in pairs. Too bad none were saved, they looked sharp.

GE's: http://www.davesrailpix.com/cae/htm/cae020.htm
BW's: http://www.davesrailpix.com/cae/htm/cae022.htm
ex-Oklahoma: http://www.davesrailpix.com/cae/htm/cae070.htm

In addition to IRM's 50th Avenue elevated platform and the platform at MOT, Branford (Shore Line Trolley Museum) has a high-level platform dubbed Avenue L and the Fox River Trolley Museum has high-level platforms complete with flip-up sections at both ends of its line.

_________________
Frank Hicks
Preserved North American Electric Railway Equipment News
Hicks Car Works


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:59 pm
Posts: 308
A minor correction, and an additional note about flip platforms...

The locomotive at FRTM is L-202, not S-202.
Easy mistake to make as CTA has most MOW equipment in the "S" series.

The CTA also used a flip type platform on the Skokie Swift Line during the
testing of the SOAC (State of the Art) rapid transit trainset. The SOAC cars
were significantly wider, requiring the platform modification.

_________________
J. Cloos/NW Chicago Suburban Area


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:44 am
Posts: 142
Yes, I've watched movies of this operation on the CA&E, and you have to see it to believe it.

The locomotives were operated in pairs. There had to be two trainmen, one on each locomotive, so the man on the first locomotive would flip up as many sections as he could, and the second man would get any others, as a safety measure. Then a man on the caboose would flip them back down; if he missed one, it was not a big problem. The caboose was too wide to clear the flaps, so they would rub on the caboose's handrails until it had passed, then drop into place. What a way to run a railroad!

_________________
Randall Hicks
Visit Hicks Car Works!
_________________________
Confucius remarked: "There is in the world now really no moral social order at all."


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Bowie, MD
Les Beckman wrote:
I have also heard of gauntlet track set up in places so that a freight train could take the turnouts set up at before each end and "go around" the wider platform.


There is (was?) a gauntlet on Amtrak at New Carrollton, MD. I never saw it used, but have seen fresh rust or no rust on the gauntlet track. Last month I rode Metro and noticed the track was tore up with the wooden ties being replaced by concrete, so have to suspect the gauntlet might be history.

I always wanted to see it being used, but it is rare enough to see the local traffic on the NEC anyway. Sounds like these days, Amtrak would might cite a non-ticketed person on the platform anyway. A shame, sort of, since one of my all time favorite rushes was watching a south bound E-60 bounce around the corner and rush through the station at 90mph. AEM-7's don't have the same boxy look and the crazy movement to make you think briefly of turning and running away.

Bob


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:37 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:02 am
Posts: 104
Location: Northern California
Does the new DMU service in the Portland, Oregon, area use similar platforms? The faux Pacific Electric tourist service in San Pedro, California does.

_________________
Joe Magruder


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:12 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2067
Location: Northern Illinois
JohnCloos wrote:
A minor correction, and an additional note about flip platforms...

The locomotive at FRTM is L-202, not S-202.
Easy mistake to make as CTA has most MOW equipment in the "S" series.


It was the S-343 when I was there:
Image
That's the Skyway ramp in the background.
Quote:
The CTA also used a flip type platform on the Skokie Swift Line during the
testing of the SOAC (State of the Art) rapid transit trainset. The SOAC cars
were significantly wider, requiring the platform modification.


Not really hinged, but retractable. A typical big bucks government solution to a problem that could have been solved with a few boards and strap hinges.

_________________
Dennis Storzek


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:22 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:52 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Chicago
Yep. I remember the flip-ups at 5th Avenue in Maywood, the first station west of Des Plaines. I remember the station master being in charge of flipping, but I could easily be wrong.

_________________
Jim Dyer.
Brakeman on the C&NW (Cheap And Nothing Wasted) 1966 thru 1969. Looking for news about Galena Div. then.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:59 pm
Posts: 308
The locomotive at FRTM wears number L-202.
I know, because 9 years ago this summer, I led the crew that started a job to repair some of the decking, and ultimately ended up with a more complete cosmetic restoration of the exterior which included the complete repainting of the locomotive, relettering, and replacing the safety stripes to the ends (which had been missing for a number of years) We lettered the loco L-202, which if memory serves me is a carry over from it's original Chicago City Railways days.

_________________
J. Cloos/NW Chicago Suburban Area


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2067
Location: Northern Illinois
Yes, I ran into that while searching for a photo; originally numbered L-202 when built, it kept that number after the Chicago City Railways was taken over first by CSL, and later CTA, and kept that same number after being transfered to the CTA "rapid transit div." and retrucked with "L" car trucks. However, at some time after that, it was re-numbered S-343, and that's the number I was grasping for.

_________________
Dennis Storzek


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Freight equipment and high level passenger platforms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:34 pm
Posts: 621
Location: Union, IL
For more info on CTA L-202/S-343 click here.

_________________
Frank Hicks
Preserved North American Electric Railway Equipment News
Hicks Car Works


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], kevin kohls, Rainier Rails and 38 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: