What were the duties of a station pilot?

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by Bittern, 28 Apr 2010.

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  1. Bittern

    Bittern Established Member

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    I've actually wondered this for a while. I assume one of such duties was shunting to make up a train or something.
     
  2. CarterUSM

    CarterUSM Established Member

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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.
     
  3. ungreat

    ungreat Member

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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.
     
  4. royaloak

    royaloak Established Member

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    Attaching/ detaching coaches, making up and shunting parcels/ newspaper trains.

    Yes these things really used to take place ;)
     
  5. Bittern

    Bittern Established Member

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    Such a shame they don't now. Guess there's no need for it with all these multiple units.
     
  6. ungreat

    ungreat Member

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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
     
  7. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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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?
     
  8. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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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
     
  9. Saltleyman

    Saltleyman Member

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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.
     
  10. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Because you never propel a train with passengers on.
     
  11. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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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!
     
  12. sykarost

    sykarost Member

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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 ---
    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.
     
  13. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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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.
     
  14. caliwag

    caliwag Member

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    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!
     
  15. Ploughman

    Ploughman Established Member

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    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.
     
  16. 9K43

    9K43 Member

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    I have shunted in and out of Holgate many times with coaching stock.
    When shunting with CS I was always told to get all the passengers out of the train for this move.
    We at EWS were at York Station on regular basis with CS.arriving from the south awaiting steam loco's either hooking on or off.
    The main loco was Green Arrow from/to the NRM.
    The rule book requires the PIC of these movements to ride on a leading suitable vehicle or control the propeling movement from a place of safety on the ground.
    As the Holgate area is very busy. I always rode on the leading coach.
    I always took 2 back to back radios one for me and 1 for the driver. This made life much safer and easier when doing this shunt.
    Sometimes York Box would not allow you to propel into Holgate , so you had to RR with the engine. This could put a good hour onto the move.
    Before any move could be undertaken, the guard and the driver of the train came to a clear understanding of what each were going to do, and stuck to it.
    If the driver lost the signal from the radio the rule book requires him to stop the movement.
    The speed of this movement should not exceed 5mph.
     
  17. matt

    matt Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have been propelled around Chester triangle a few years ago so you can propel with passengers.
     
  18. Saltleyman

    Saltleyman Member

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    There were to my knowledge at least two places where propelling of occupied passenger stock was allowed,Sheffield Midland where a portion of the "Devonian" from Newcastle was attached to the Bradford/Leeds portion of the train.
    And Birmingham New Street where two "portions" of the "Pines Express" were joined together,without the passengers having to "dis-embark".
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I think that at one time there may have been a "pilot" on the "North-West" side of New Street,however I don't think it would have been used for "banking" trains out of the station,the gradient on the "North-West" side was fairly steep but "straight",whereas on the "Midland side it was a lot steeper in places and severely "curved" through the tunnels to Five Ways making it more difficult.
     
  19. 9K43

    9K43 Member

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    It maybe that this move is allowed in the Sectional Appendix for that location.
    Or someone did it off thier own bat.
     
  20. matt

    matt Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Not sure about the sectional appendix but it was this charter http://uksteam.info/tours/t07/t1215c.htm
     
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