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Old 28th April 2010, 22:21   #1
Bittern
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Default What were the duties of a station pilot?

I've actually wondered this for a while. I assume one of such duties was shunting to make up a train or something.
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Old 28th April 2010, 22:37   #2
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As far as I am aware, and I may stand corrected of course, is that this was not a 'role' as such, it was an engine that shunted stock about at a station.
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Old 28th April 2010, 23:24   #3
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Correct..having done this duty on several occasions.

Depending on where you were based,you would be remashalling stock,shunts with mail trains,basically move what was needed to be moved.
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Old 28th April 2010, 23:27   #4
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Attaching/ detaching coaches, making up and shunting parcels/ newspaper trains.

Yes these things really used to take place
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Old 28th April 2010, 23:36   #5
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Such a shame they don't now. Guess there's no need for it with all these multiple units.
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Old 28th April 2010, 23:42   #6
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Thats progress..used to love sitting on the 08 at Leicester with the tea can on the stove waiting for the next move.You could watch the night life,the sky,trains coming and going..happy days
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Old 29th April 2010, 08:45   #7
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The pilot at York was kept pretty busy IIRR. I used to spend hours down at the old cattle docks by Holgate Junction, and it was frequently to be seen coming down from its siding where platform 1 had been to get across the points to another part of the station. Goodness knows what it was doing because the few loco-hauled trains that terminated at York tended to do so in platforms 15 and 16 (now 10 and 11), so didn't need to be shunt released (this is after the end of deltics on the Kings Cross > York short workings that IIRR used the bay platforms 10 and 11, now 6 and 7). The exception to this was the loco-hauled Scarborough shorts which ran out of platforms 6 or 7 (Scarborough facing bays, now platform 2 only) and the 08 released the 31 before propelling the stock back.

Which raises the question, if it was OK for the 08 to propel a rake of stock into a platform, why couldn't the 31 propel the rake out in the first place? In other words, what was the point of shunt releasing?
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Old 29th April 2010, 09:24   #8
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you still get loads of shunt moving at Munich Hauptbahnhof as not all trains are units or have driving trailers. The Italian & Swiss trains don't have driving trailers, nor do the night trains. Alex and some of the regional sets are the same, Alex trains are also frequently lengthened/shortened
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Old 30th April 2010, 21:04   #9
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The "West" pilot at Birmingham New Street was used as a "standby " loco to replace "failed" or "failing/poor steaming" locos heading West from B'ham towards Bristol.Bath and South Wales,it was also used as a "banker" between New Street and Church Road Jcn. on the "West Suburban lines" if required.It was also used for "shunting" parcels/mail vans from one train to another,also working Empty stock to/from Saltley Carriage Sidings.
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Old 1st May 2010, 06:21   #10
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Quote:
Which raises the question, if it was OK for the 08 to propel a rake of stock into a platform, why couldn't the 31 propel the rake out in the first place? In other words, what was the point of shunt releasing?
Because you never propel a train with passengers on.
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Old 1st May 2010, 07:21   #11
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It wouldn't have passengers on in that situation (i.e. propelling out of the platform to allow the loco to run round, after the passengers had all alighted). To answer the original question (without particularly knowing the layout at the time!), would the 31 have been able to run round once it had propelled out? If not, then you'd have to release the stock with something else, otherwise the loco wouldn't be able to run round to propel back in!
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Old 1st May 2010, 12:13   #12
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I remember being on the 'West pilot' one evening when we had been 'parked' in the 'Fish Dock' right by the gates that lead out into Station Street. Nothing much was expected to happen so my mate said I could go to the 'News Theatre' (now the Electric Cinema) across the street for an hour while he had a kip. I got in for nothing so I could not complain when suddenly half way through the programme a message appeared on the screen saying " would the fireman on the west pilot return to his engine NOW"!! As I got up to leave (in the dark) everyone started cheering!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltleyman View Post
The "West" pilot at Birmingham New Street was used as a "standby " loco to replace "failed" or "failing/poor steaming" locos heading West from B'ham towards Bristol.Bath and South Wales,it was also used as a "banker" between New Street and Church Road Jcn. on the "West Suburban lines" if required.It was also used for "shunting" parcels/mail vans from one train to another,also working Empty stock to/from Saltley Carriage Sidings.
Can you jog my memory Saltleyman? I'm trying to recall if the North West side of New Street had a similar 'Pilot Engine' or did we ever bank trains through Monument Lane Tunnel. I seem to recall seeing a Tank Engine shunting on the 'other side' but it would of been of little use to take over/double head a failed WCML express.....At least we generally had a 'Black 5' & were up for anything or anywhere!! Cheers.

Last edited by sykarost; 1st May 2010 at 12:13. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Old 1st May 2010, 21:53   #13
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Here's one of the hundred or more shunters found on the North Eastern Railway in between 1900 and sometime into the '60s.
Steam loco 68723 Newcastle Sept 1963.jpg
They'd spend all day in steam ready for the next movement at most stations and yards.
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Old 2nd May 2010, 13:31   #14
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Default station pilots

Perth, in the early 60s, had South end and North end pilots, positioning stock, adding and detaching restaurant cars and releasing locos from bay platforms. Glasgow to Inverness trains sometimes split at Perth, sending a stopper via Forres...hence the restaurant car movements.
As the Inverness and Aberdeen, to the South, trains used through platforms with double crossovers half-way along their length, pilots would not be involved, the extra train engine(s) were already in place. Some fascinating and complex movements around mid-day as I recall.
Similar to the use of Brits and hoovers in the newspaper train thread, Perth had a habit of using Anglo-Scottish locos on lay-overs. Sometimes despatched to Dundee or Aberdeen on a local or, on one memorable occasion as the Perth South end pilot...a Coronation pushing a restaurant car and short rakes of suburban coaches around. Doubt if WJV Anderson was in place to snap that!
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Old 2nd May 2010, 16:52   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphchadkirk View Post
Because you never propel a train with passengers on.
Then how did the Scarborough - Whitby service operate?
Out of Scarborough to Falsgrave in reverse then forward into the tunnel at the back of the box and on to Whitby.
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