Driving a steam locomotive and tender backwards.

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Harlesden

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Necessary on occasions but not quite sure why. Must be very awkward with all the controls facing away from the direction of travel with the driver needing to be constantly facing them and the fireman busily shovelling. Is there a third man in the cab these days acting as a lookout, assigned to stand facing the direction of travel?
 
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Spagnoletti

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I always wondered how a steam train with two coaches behind could leave a single track branch.

The 1950 BR rule book forbids propelling trains except under specific circumstances, one being to use an autocoach, so the driver would actually be at the front of the train and in control of the brakes and regulator.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GWR_Autocoach
 
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ComUtoR

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The 1950 BR rule book forbids propelling trains except under specific circumstances

What does the 2016 rule book state ?

I know at least two places where there is a movement from other than the leading cab every day. One is on the mainline.
 

Mvann

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There used to be a speed limit imposed on tender engines hauling tender first. I'm also pretty sure that on rail tours, there is a traction inspector on board.
 

randyrippley

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If I remember history correctly, didn't the passenger locos on the S&DJR routinely run backwards when heading north?
 

chorleyjeff

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Necessary on occasions but not quite sure why. Must be very awkward with all the controls facing away from the direction of travel with the driver needing to be constantly facing them and the fireman busily shovelling. Is there a third man in the cab these days acting as a lookout, assigned to stand facing the direction of travel?

Tank engines often went backwards in normal traffic and I guess the controls were laid out as in tender engines.
It was quite normal for tender engines to tavel tender first but were limited to, I think, 40 mph. Quite a few engines were fitted with tnder cabs so drivers could see where they were going without looking over thetender or sticking their head out of the cabside. The ex L&Y certainly used tender engines backwards on passenger trains when necessary - have seen pictures of Crabs doing soon the Calder Valley line. On branch lines there would be no choice but to travel one waytender first unless there was a turntable at the end. The KWVR was sucha branch line. And firemen didn't spend all their time shovelling. Itwas part of their duty to assist the driver in sighting signals.
 

edwin_m

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What does the 2016 rule book state ?

I know at least two places where there is a movement from other than the leading cab every day. One is on the mainline.

I believe it is authorised by local instruction in specific places, such as between Derby station and the RTC yard.
 

matt

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There used to be a speed limit imposed on tender engines hauling tender first. I'm also pretty sure that on rail tours, there is a traction inspector on board.

On the mainline today tender first running is limited to 45mph.
 

E&W Lucas

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Necessary on occasions but not quite sure why. Must be very awkward with all the controls facing away from the direction of travel with the driver needing to be constantly facing them and the fireman busily shovelling. Is there a third man in the cab these days acting as a lookout, assigned to stand facing the direction of travel?

You've made two false assumptions, which are what is confusing you.

1. Visibility is obstructed in either direction on a steam loco. Team work in sighting signals is essential in either direction. Firemen are required to assist in keeping a look out, and must be disengaged from physically firing when necessary to do so. There is far, far more to firing a loco than just shovelling rock; the latter is not a continuous process rather.

2. Drivers do not need to be facing controls, or constantly hands on with them. Easy enough to adjust something when you need to. Driving trains is a totally different concept to road vehicles.

Any limits imposed on tender first running are due to the suitability of the tender itself for being propelled. Propelling a train is a totally different matter to tender first running, which was/ is perfectly normal and acceptable on low speed lines. You'll see it every day on the Esk Valley, come the summer months.
 

6Gman

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Tender-first running was "normal practice" in some circumstances to the degree that a few locos were fitted with 'tender cabs' to provide better weather protection.

My impression is that getting ****ed on when it rained was of more concern to the crews than issues of visibility or handling the controls!

:D
 

randyrippley

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just remembered I've seen four or five Youtube videos of Black 5's or BR Standards running tender first on passenger services toward Carnforth on the Barrow line in the last days of steam. I don't know if it was normal practice, but it seems strange that all the films seem to show that way of working. Was there a turntable problem at Barrow at the end?
 

thenorthern

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Running tender first is common place on steam railways today but its strange that it was at one point rare.

Don't some of the diesel shunters only have cab controls in one direction?

just remembered I've seen four or five Youtube videos of Black 5's or BR Standards running tender first on passenger services toward Carnforth on the Barrow line in the last days of steam. I don't know if it was normal practice, but it seems strange that all the films seem to show that way of working. Was there a turntable problem at Barrow at the end?

I have seen images of trains on what is now the Furness Line running tender first so I think it was common on that line.

Until around 2008 the steam special trains on that line terminated at Sellafield because there was a triangular junction there where they could turn around as they were banned beyond Maryport because of low tunnels.
 

AndrewE

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If I remember history correctly, didn't the passenger locos on the S&DJR routinely run backwards when heading north?

Makes sense to run tender-first through tunnels anyway, especially when single-bore...
I've got a picture somewhere of a steam special in Slovenia about to set off tendr-first from Bohinjska Bistrica into a 6.3-km long tunnel!
A
 

chorleyjeff

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Not generally, no.

How about the Ulverston to Lakeside branch.
Locos ran round their. trains at Ulverston if from the East and South.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Tender-first running was "normal practice" in some circumstances to the degree that a few locos were fitted with 'tender cabs' to provide better weather protection.

My impression is that getting ****ed on when it rained was of more concern to the crews than issues of visibility or handling the controls!

:D

Yes. Better than a canvas sheet.
My comment was in the context of the original post.
 

Wavertreelad

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It was common on the Edge Hill Gridiron for locomotives to run tender first as some freight trains to reversed up the entire length of bank. The one problem this created was the locomotive then had to wait for the train to be gravity shunted before the brake van rolled down the gradient to be coupled back up to the locomotive. Trains with locomotive on the front going up the bank, would usually be held whilst the locomotive ran round the train and waited for the brake van to be gravity shunted down to the waiting locomotive. Then it was off to Edge Hill tender first.
 

30907

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How about the Ulverston to Lakeside branch.
Locos ran round their. trains at Ulverston if from the East and South.

Plenty of odd examples, but largely branch lines, including Swanage (Pacifics only) and Lymington on summer Saturdays. Though there was an Exeter- Axminster return booked for a WC pacific too.

I was specifically referring to the S&DJR - I thought Highbridge had a turntable, so the only working I could think of was the Bailey Gate milk.
 

PHILIPE

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You regularly had the local pick up freights which would call at every gatepost running tender first if no turning facilities available.
 

randyrippley

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If I remember history correctly, didn't the passenger locos on the S&DJR routinely run backwards when heading north?


from the Wikipaedia entry re the S&D 7F class
" As the locomotives were initially too large for some of the turntables, it was envisaged that they would spend half their time travelling in reverse. Consequently, they were fitted with tablet exchanging apparatus on both sides of the locomotive. In addition, the first six were equipped with cab tenders, but these were later removed circa 1920"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S&DJR_7F_2-8-0

I'm sure I've read that the 9F class also had the same problem
 

edwin_m

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Do main line certified steam locos carry a second TPWS antenna for reverse running? I know the antenna has to be within a certain distance behind the first wheel otherwise the signal might have returned to red by the time the antenna gets to the TPWS loop.
 

krus_aragon

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Running tender first is common place on steam railways today but its strange that it was at one point rare.
To take the Anglesey Central Railway (Gaerwen - Amlwch) as an example, it never had a turntable in its 150+ year history. Originally they planned to use Fairlie locos which would run equally well either way, but when they got rid of these they didn't feel the need to build a turntable.
Don't some of the diesel shunters only have cab controls in one direction?
Yes, and some mainline locos too (see Class 20). Visibility was no worse than on some of the steam locos they replaced.
 

RichmondCommu

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Tender-first running was "normal practice" in some circumstances to the degree that a few locos were fitted with 'tender cabs' to provide better weather protection.

My impression is that getting ****ed on when it rained was of more concern to the crews than issues of visibility or handling the controls!

:D

Hellifield based 3F's and later on 4F's were fitted with tender cabs for working snow ploughs on the S & C.
 

ungreat

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Do main line certified steam locos carry a second TPWS antenna for reverse running? I know the antenna has to be within a certain distance behind the first wheel otherwise the signal might have returned to red by the time the antenna gets to the TPWS loop.

Am I being thick here.......I've been driving trains now for 29 years,and have never heard of a TPWS antenna. TPWS magnets yes,not antenna. Our trains use the AWS magnets for the TPWS system,as I imagine most UK trains do
What is that? Some sort of strange insect headgear for trains?
 
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MarkyT

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Am I being thick here.......I've been driving trains now for 29 years,and have never heard of a TPWS antenna. TPWS magnets yes,not antenna. Our trains use the AWS magnets for the TPWS system,as I imagine most UK trains do

Technically TPWS DOES use a form of short range antenna to broadcast from trackside and detect the various frequencies of signals onboard, unlike AWS which very definitely uses magnets. Perhaps we should just use the generic term transponder to avoid confusion!

What is that? Some sort of strange insect headgear for trains?

LOL
 
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