Do Not Hump Train Car – Dear Cecil: While driving recently, my friend and I got stuck at a crossing waiting for a freight train. To pass the time, we started speculating about the meaning of the sign we saw on some cars that said DO NOT DRIVE. We speculated that this might be some kind of safe-sex campaign that the railroads would run after the AIDS crisis, but the idea was eventually scrapped. So we’ll tell you, Cecil – what does this strange instruction mean? Gene W., Dallas
I’m sad to report that DO NOT HUMP has no meaning outside of the colors that seem to give many of the Teeming Millions their primary reason to go on living. It refers to a common method of sorting goods wagons called a “dumpathi”, which involves the use of a man-made hill or mound. The path climbs up the hill and branches into several parallel paths on its way down to the other side. For new trains, a switch engine pushes a line of cars to the top of the hill, where the cars are detached one at a time. After figuring out the car’s destination, a worker in a nearby tower pushes buttons or throws levers or whatever to get the track switches (those things where one track splits into two, I know) to line up properly. Then the car is boosted, causing it to roll down the hill onto the right road.
Do Not Hump Train Car
The advantage of the hump is that it is much faster than having switch engines haul trains back and forth all day. The downside is that it is sometimes a bit rough with the freight wagons and their contents. Sometimes a car derails downhill, which means the crew has to stop working and try to get the wheels back on track, which is no fun, especially in the middle of winter. The worst is the possibility that the car could roll down the hill too fast and crash into the car in front, pushing or damaging the cars and what’s in them. The races have special tricks called “slows” that are meant to slow down the action and prevent this, but they have been known to fail. Accordingly, cars with particularly breakable contents are marked with DO NOT HUMP, which tells the yard staff to leave the car aside for special handling. This especially applies to tank trucks used to transport dangerous chemicals, many of which do NOT have permanent stenciling on the side.
Union Pacific Rocket Booster Flatcar 5 Pack Wo/rocket
The railway industry is perhaps one of the few fields in which, without further education, you can still hope to destroy a big environmental mess. An old high school teacher told me he once worked at a steel mill helping change coal cars. During his first week on the job, he was asked to take part in a dangerous operation called the “flying switch”. The idea was that the locomotive would go into gear pulling one coal wagon behind it. At the right moment, someone would disconnect the car and the locomotive would proceed through the switch to the main track. When the locomotive was free, my high school teacher had to throw the switch to roll the coal car onto the siding.
Everything was going great until they got to the part where the teacher had to throw the switch. For reasons that time had mercifully slipped from his memory, he waited to throw the clutch until the coal car’s front wheels had gone onto the main track. However, the rear part was now going to the siding. You can see the obvious problem with this. My teacher had the privilege of watching a spectacular slow-motion disaster as the coal truck rolled sideways down the line until the tracks got too far apart, then it overturned and dumped 50 tons of coal on top of creation. A great railway moment – almost as funny as the time I almost knocked the side of a building with a crane. But we will return to that story another day. And here are some very clever scans of Steve Katkus and Mike Gerenday’s missile cars: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16
In a September 29, 1998 email, I asked ARR railroad fan Jeff Childs, “What exactly was the USAF command train used for?” His response was very informative. “Back in the days when SAC and the USAF were certain the Russians would use their Bear bombers to bomb us, the theory was that local USAF and Army commands could be saved from destruction if they were in ‘mobile mode.’ Korea, some genius commander here decided that the best way to survive would be in a command train pulled by an Alaskan railroad engine. The command train contained passenger gear still painted in ARR colors (so as not to draw too much attention to itself, no doubt). windows boarded up, the latest communications equipment installed, an electric car, a couple of tank cars to feed the electric car, and a galley and sleeping quarters for men The idea was to drive an electric car.train to something along the line of tunnels and park in under all that rock Eventually the equipment became obsolete for the passengers and was replaced by ex-MX missile cars converted for the same purpose but given network ll defense and nuclear/bacterial/chemical defense (NBC ). As stated in the previous newsletter, all MX cars have been dismantled as the train was no longer needed now that the Cold War had been won. The only car left from the “modern” train is a big box car that looks like it started life as an 86-foot auto parts box car. The older cars have been preserved and are scattered around the yard. Apparently the three I posted pix of were parked in Ft. Richardson has just been shuffled into the yard.”
December 3, 2003 Curt Fortenberry adds: “The USAF’s on-train web page has a variety of topics. Have you seen this page before?
Old Train Cars In Alamosa Colorado Stock Photo
“Now I was at the 21st CES when we changed the cars. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Even though we have a good craftsman, they’re used to building with 2×4 machines, not light weight efficient construction. I think they spent more money on the transmission electronics than rebuilding the cars War history is common, but there are other stories.I disagree with what Jeff said, as the post commando cars were made in 1982, way after Korea.That’s how I remember it.
“I believe it was General Clark (not a political man at this time) who had just come from Europe at the time. Europe has a complex rail system and mobile command posts seem to work well there. So he wanted to recreate the same concept here in Alaska. They were skeptical about railroads , as did many USAF people I knew at the time. The railroad suggested he paint the MOW plan cars gray to look like service cars. he wanted it to look like passenger cars. How many passenger cars do you see sitting on sidings with antennas and satellite dishes. Also, less than 400 miles on the main line up to the A10 could fly the line in an hour.
“The only user experience I had with them was working for Clear AFS as a site civil engineer. The railroad called me to pick up some old siding from a plowing camp (it was winter). When I reported this at a staff meeting I was criticized for revealing a secret, I suggested they should call the railroad and tell to them that it was a secret, for it called me.
“When General Clark visited ALcop in Clear, one of the first things he reported was that the enemy knew where they were. I think it was an operational failure, and when he left Clark, I don’t know if he was.” never used again.
Catch A Ride Out Of St. Louis On A Historic Pullman Car
“Honestly, the DAFX cars weren’t part of Alcop. Completely separate subjects. I don’t think anyone we know has the truth, but they came out around the same time Eielson got the GP40s. My guess is that’s true. . . a package deal, and the cars went immediately surplus, they hid them pretty well, as I was told early on about some of the cars coming to Alaska, and my searches around the base didn’t turn them up. Alcop was about 1982.”
On 4 December 2003, ARR’s chief mechanical engineer adds: “It was all scrapped without ever being used. It was intended to replace the original command station
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