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Thread: What you can do when climbing a long grade

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
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    Default What you can do when climbing a long grade

    When I first started running Run8 over a year ago I noticed that some of the grades were high. Not uncommon since I've run KHP for MSTS and others. The scenery was nice to look at climbing out of Caliente as well as Mojave which kept me amused when other train meets weren't taking place (or by myself).

    Now when I got Needles I was very surprised as many that it's not as flat as some think. In fact I believe one of the first trips I took was out of Needles heading west on a manifest train. For example a 1.5 HP Ton manifest will take you about 1 hour just to get to Ibis and about another 30 minutes or more to finally get to the top of Goffs.

    I've been told by those who work on the railroad (in general) that manifests trains are given enough power not to stall on the hill. They are the lowest priority trains compared to the Q and Z trains. They tend to have quite a bit of power to at least make track speed (but not always in all places).

    Given that I need manifests for my system to work (falling short of spawning a train further up or in the yard - not as fun) I wanted to find a solution. Then I looked around being a single guy and thought perhaps I should get some house work done

    Running out of Needles the only thing that is going to get your attention is the alerter that goes off every 2 minutes. There are also a bridge crossing, and grade crossing on both sides of Ibis requiring your attention. Other than that not much else is happening and the scenery is not as robust as the mountains out this way.

    So I simply did some chores this afternoon while I was climbing towards Goffs which took about 1.5 hours or so with my 1.5 HP/Ton train (these are the lowest HPT settings I use for Needles in my generating). Every 2 minutes I would come back to my screen to see what was ahead and reset the alerter. Then go back to chores while I let my train do the work. Got a bit of exercise going back and forth as well. At the 1 hour mark I was in Ibis so this was a nice chance to relax a bit and take full control.

    Some might say why bother running a train if your not going to be enjoying it 100%. Not all places have the greatest scenic views such as life. The advantages is if your single you get work around the house done while you move a train into more interesting territory. If you are living with someone (been there done that) I'm sure you'll get a few bonus points for doing some work. They might even let you run more often. Plus the longer your on a server chances are someone will be coming towards you soon enough.

    For those in anarchy of course you can cheat and see what is in your area. But another trick that works well is watching the opposite track's signals in both directions. An absolute signal lit up in the opposite direction may indicate something is coming shortly. Once you know that the intermediates will be your next clue. Every 2 minutes you hit that alerter you can time it so that it's in visibility of a signal. Once you notice those signals start dropping you know someone is coming and perhaps you can take another break.

    As long as you know your territory well you can take advantage of these situations. There are other locations where you can get away with this too once you run long enough. Thought I'd share that for anyone looking for some extra incentive to run those trains and/or get some housework done at the same time

    Thanks

    Sean

  2. #2

    Default

    Sean I do this too; on a long hard pull i.e. running up The Hill or Goffs, I tend to chores i.e. clean up the deck, clean the kitchen, empty the dishwasher, etc. If you are a real world engineer, I imagine after putting it in notch 8, you pour a cup of coffee and prop both legs up on the window sill.

    One pastime I have developed for the long grades is to shift-F12 out into walking mode, than blast ahead about a 1/2-mile up the grade. Then I pretend I am a railfan, watching the train approach. I even blow the horn at myself! Or, take an aerial tour of the territory. In shift-F12 mode, the alerter is disabled...so you could just let your train roll by, tend to your chores for 15-20 min, come back and ctrl-F11 back into the cab. No running back to reset the alerter every 2 min.

  3. #3
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    Interesting, for some reason I thought I had a penalty application apply when I wasn't in the cab (and had no idea what happened). Perhaps it was a #4 pass by view but I think I'll try that. I normally just hit reset every couple of minutes. I know you can cheat with Piglet mode as well.

    Yeah I've been taking some video lately and doing the rail fan view down the track by a grade crossing before the lights come on. Recorded another video tonight for YouTube trying some different rail fan views controlling my own panning etc. like at the loop at Walong.

    Now I'm not sure about the rule in the states, but I do recall a section about napping that is permitted with at least 1 crew member watching. I forget how it was worded or even applied. But I've heard some stories from the road regardless if it was legal or not.

    Thanks

    Sean

  4. #4
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    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurvivorSean View Post
    Now I'm not sure about the rule in the states, but I do recall a section about napping that is permitted with at least 1 crew member watching. I forget how it was worded or even applied. But I've heard some stories from the road regardless if it was legal or not.
    As per GCOR 6th Edition, Sean:

    1.11 Sleeping
    Employees must not sleep while on duty, except as outlined under Rule 1.11.1 (Napping). Employees reclined with their eyes closed will be in violation of this rule.

    1.11.1 Napping
    Napping is permitted by train crews, except crews in passenger, commuter or yard service, under the following conditions:
    • The crew is waiting for departure of their train.
    or
    • The train is stopped enroute waiting to be met or passed by a train, waiting for track work, waiting for helper locomotive, or similar conditions.

    Restrictions are as follows:
    • A job briefing must be conducted, with agreement reached as to who will nap and who must remain awake. Each crew member has the right and responsibility to refuse to allow another crew member to take a nap if doing so could jeopardize the personal safety of employees, the train, or the public.
    • One crew member must remain awake at all times.
    • The nap period must not exceed 45 minutes, which includes the time needed to fall asleep. The napping employee is relieved of all duties.
    • Train must not be delayed for an employee to take a nap. When conditions allow the train to move, the employee who is to remain awake must immediately waken the napping employee.
    • Before napping, while waiting for the arrival of their train, employees must ensure all duties have been completed. These duties include reviewing general orders and notices; securing and reviewing track warrants, track bulletins, and other paperwork, if available.
    • Before napping is allowed enroute, the employee in charge of the locomotive controls must:
    1. Make at least a 10-lb. brake pipe reduction.
    2. Place generator field switch in the “OFF” position.
    3. Center the reverser and remove, if removable.
    • The employee who is to remain awake must remain on the locomotive while others on the locomotive are napping, except when inspecting passing trains.
    • If waiting for the arrival of or make-up of train, one crew member must remain awake while waiting for their train’s arrival or make-up at their initial terminal unless arrangements have been made with a third party to wake up all crew members.

    All crew members that are deadheading or otherwise relieved of duties may nap.

    Good napping!
    Doc.
    Last edited by MachinistBrazil; 09-12-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Default

    So much for that idea then I highly doubt Canada would be an exception as both would have to be alert in case of the other not in compliance with other operating rules.

    I wonder if there is a rule that allows house keeping?

    Thanks

    Sean

  6. #6
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    Apr 2012
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    UP's Santa Barbara subdivision - USA
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    Default

    I usually eat something and sometimes surf the net on my ipod touch while slugging up a grade.
    EMD 2-strokes rule! My all-time favorite:SD45X I also like SD40-2/SD40T-2/SD45-2/SD45T-2/DD35A/DDA40X/SD70ACe/SD80ACe
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  7. #7
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    UK
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    I play on a laptop so i have the TV in front of me which provides entertainment whilst climbing grades

  8. #8
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    Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
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    Cool

    CROR has nothing positive to say on napping either as far as I can tell

    Maybe you guys should purchase chore simulator and run it in a window !!

    Tim K - VIA Rail Canada 🇨🇦 Western Region

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SurvivorSean View Post

    I wonder if there is a rule that allows house keeping?

    Thanks

    Sean
    For sure you can do housekeeping working at VIA ... There's lots of stuff to keep you busy across Canada on "The Canadian" ....... BUT you won't be working in the head end doing any of that for sure!


    Tim K - VIA Rail Canada 🇨🇦 Western Region

  10. #10
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    Default

    If they're hiring I might apply for housekeeping

    Thanks

    Sean

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