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Thread: Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Alta Service Region, Alberta, Canada.
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    697

    Default Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

    Well, our little training crew got a blast at CN's Sarcee yard here in Calgary with the belt pack operations. How many railroaders who post here at the forum run remote controlled locomotive systems? How do you guys like running those things. It's a neat way to marshall cars around I think.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    2,327

    Default RE: Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

    My brother in law is one of the trainers in my area. I keep telling him my RailDriver is much cooler. ;)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Sacramento, Ca.
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    1,071

    Default RE: Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

    IMO, as a trained RCO, an engineer and crew (at least a conductor) can do the work faster and safer. There are daily accidents involving remotes around the country........most of these never make the news or the foamer hotlines/chat rooms as they do not involve injuries. But from time to time they do make the evening news when someone loses their life or a limb.

    Also, IMO, the only place the remote does an excellent job is working the hump. At the hump here, there is only one person in control and they run the engine over to the receiving yard, pick up the cut of cars and proceed to shove them over the hump. If the RCO sees a problem he does not need to call the engineer, but rather immediately stop the movement or adjust the speed to compensate.

    My general attitude towards remote operations is they have their place, however for continued effeciency at moving freight cars and building trains remotes are not the answer. I have seen on many occasions an engineer with a brakeman and/or conductor build twice as many trains as a two man remote crew.


    Regards,
    Erik Pierson
    Sacramento, Ca

    www.sacramentolocomotiveworks.com
    You can find information about SLW upcoming releases at the following links
    [link:www.elvastower.com/forums/index.php|Elvas Tower Forums]
    [link:www.3dtrains.com/forums/index.php|3dTrains Forums]

    Erik Pierson
    Sacramento California

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    Posts
    986

    Default RE: Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

    Erik, as I understand it, here in Canada anyone operating remotes has to go through a very thorough training session, not just in controlling the remotes but also in train handling and the like. I'm sure Rory or one of other members from up here can give you some detail as to what is entailed.

    From what I've been told, the "training course" for most of the railroads in the US is not much more than a 6-hour classroom session.

    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Sacramento, Ca.
    Posts
    1,071

    Default RE: Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

    >From what I've been told, the "training course" for most of
    >the railroads in the US is not much more than a 6-hour
    >classroom session.
    >
    Well I had 6 days of class room...7 to 5 each day, though two or three hours each day was for field exercises. Then I had 2 and a half months of supervised hands on training.

    Regards,
    Erik Pierson
    Sacramento, Ca

    www.sacramentolocomotiveworks.com
    You can find information about SLW upcoming releases at the following links
    [link:www.elvastower.com/forums/index.php|Elvas Tower Forums]
    [link:www.3dtrains.com/forums/index.php|3dTrains Forums]

    Erik Pierson
    Sacramento California

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA.
    Posts
    360

    Default RE: Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

    Well I'm a Conductor for the BNSF here in Denver I got 40 hrs classroom and 40 hrs OJT. I like them but they can be very dangerous if your not paying attention! theye're like having your own model Railroad only Lifesize!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Alta Service Region, Alberta, Canada.
    Posts
    697

    Default RE: Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

    Yep comes right down to situational awareness and training. I figure when 2 guys are doing the pitch and catch in the yard, they should know what there doing..and they usually do up here anyways. It's a senior yard and these guys run the beltpack like it's an extra arm. I personally got about 32 hours of training with these things.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Colorado, USA.
    Posts
    992

    Default RE: Remotes at Sarcee in Calgary

    When the remotes actually work (they converted old equipment) they are nice in some aspects. They are easy to use, and once you get the basics down, they can do some operations as fast as an engineer. After using them day after day, I find them convenient and I enjoy them. Like its been mentioned, its your own big model train. On the safety advantage, you know what the remote is going to do. You're in control, and you don't have to worry about the hoghead at the other end. They work well (like eric mentioned) for humping operations and small switching. They also work well for coupling tracks.

    There are some problems though: At the hub I work at, they don't have zones, so your headend is blind. If you protect the headend, then you only have one person doing all the work. Building trains is not a good idea with the remotes. Too much train and not enough experience (in some cases) to handle that kind of tonnage.

    They don't spend enough time training people on them. They "should" require one year of experience working the field before you go through remote training. Then you better understand train handling, and how the yard works. Engineers get 6 months of training, RCO crews get 40hrs class, 40hrs on the job training. Its hard for a newbee to get everything down when they step out of class. Many people struggle


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