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  #21  
Old 9th August 2012, 13:09
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Silver Fox Phil Silver Fox Phil is offline  
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Great stories gents and I really enjoy reading your tales. Its a good thread Philip and thanks to all you old hands for sharing your experiences. I can just imagine the lone guard with his mash can being jossled about! Good stuff.
All the best
Phil
p.s. anyone got anymore stories like this?


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  #22  
Old 1st December 2012, 19:00
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when i first started it was all loose coupled and it took great skill on the drivers part to handle and control them.i once tried to persuade driver and guard in dodworth coll yard to couple the vacuum bags up on about 15 21t coal wagons so we didnt need to pin down brakes.no way would they do it,scared them witless that we wouold have no brakes pinned down even though the brake force would have been greater with the wagons piped up.
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  #23  
Old 17th December 2012, 07:35
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When Waff shut we learned all the pits that they would go into,
Dovecliffe had the worst hill to climb, and if the trucks ran away you would have to bail out.
We also did K22 from The Mill to Wath Yard, with 28 HTV fully fitted back to The Mill, over the S and K.
The route from the Mill was via Darton, Barnsley, Quarry Junction, Aldams Junction and propell into Wath.
Sometimes we had HKV's full of Sand for Beatson Clarked Glass Works,.
This job signed on at 09:00 and you were back on the receptions at Healey Mills, and going Home at 13:00hrs (8 hour diagram) done and dusted.
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  #24  
Old 18th December 2012, 16:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HM181 View Post
When Waff shut we learned all the pits that they would go into,
Dovecliffe had the worst hill to climb, and if the trucks ran away you would have to bail out.
We also did K22 from The Mill to Wath Yard, with 28 HTV fully fitted back to The Mill, over the S and K.
The route from the Mill was via Darton, Barnsley, Quarry Junction, Aldams Junction and propell into Wath.
Sometimes we had HKV's full of Sand for Beatson Clarked Glass Works,.
This job signed on at 09:00 and you were back on the receptions at Healey Mills, and going Home at 13:00hrs (8 hour diagram) done and dusted.
Interesting but can you explain please what happened when you had to bail out? I've got this vision of all the trucks piled up in a heap at the bottom?
Cheers
Phil
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  #25  
Old 18th December 2012, 16:36
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox Phil View Post
Interesting but can you explain please what happened when you had to bail out? I've got this vision of all the trucks piled up in a heap at the bottom?
Cheers
Phil
you jumped hopefully before they picked up speed.know half a dozen or so that bailed out at dovecliffe and pilley.
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  #26  
Old 18th December 2012, 17:45
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you jumped hopefully before they picked up speed.know half a dozen or so that bailed out at dovecliffe and pilley.
At Dovecliffe before a loose coupled train left the siding for Wath, I would pin down as many hand brakes as I thought would be needed for the trip down the bank.
In consutation with the driver, he would set off slowly having regard to the tonage on the train.
On departure the hand brake on the BV would be screwed down as required.
If the load was too much, and the train ran away(never happened to me)
The driver would sound a lot of noise from the horn, and that would be the signal to bail out.
Pining handbrakes down was called AWB(Asssit with Brakes).
As guard working over a route like this on a regular basis it became second nature to know the road, and ho many tons to take down the bank.
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  #27  
Old 12th January 2013, 13:52
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In my mind, the unsung heros of the railway world were those who were involved with loose coupled freight workings.

The extraordinary skills used by footplatemen and guards, particularly on gradients where wagon brakes had to be manually applied, or released seem largely ignored.

It would be nice to hear a few more stories about the exploits of these heros.
The best story that I ever heard was about a loaded cement train from Earles Sidings near Hope that was unintentionally run loose coupled due to there being two engines, the brake valve being left open on the rear engine, the cocks between the two engines having been left shut, and no brake test being carried out! You dropped like a stone towards Chinley Junction and it was 15 mph around the curve then. The driver managed to climb from one class 25 to the other class 25 and apply the brakes. I knew this driver and he was a typical old gimmer who got a sweat on just walking up stairs. I have no idea how he managed this amazing feat at speed AND in the confines of Cowburn Tunnel, but then it is amazing what fear can make us do.

On the subject of heroes though, I have a book about boiler explosions. I started reading it with no particular expectation of enjoying it much, but I was gripped by the tales of destruction and left if awe of the skill of the firemen who managed to keep the water level right on strange engines, sometimes on strange lines, often on heavy gradiants, where the water level indicated in the gauge had to be ignored in favour of gut instinct.

So imagine the full picture, a young fireman, a dark and freezing night with an open cab, exposed to all the elements, a miserable driver, a heavy loose coupled train, firing, looking for signals, checking the water level..... Awsome men!

Brian.

Last edited by brianrob1961; 18th January 2013 at 23:01.
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  #28  
Old 9th November 2017, 07:24
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I was a secondman at Tinsley 1974-81/82... 50% of our work was local trip trains in and around Sheffield & Rotherham. Mostly coal, coke, steel, scrap and stone. They all ran as a class 9. All loose coupled with a tub at the back. There were lots of places where AWB was necessary - bringing loads of coal and coke from outlying areas. One I remember clearly was Smithywood nr Ecclesfield, NW of Sheffield. Single line leaving the coking plant with loaded HCO 21tonne wagons with 2xClass 20. I can't remember the actual maximum load but the gradient from there was fairly steep and we always set off with at least half a dozen wagon brakes pinned. It was a mile or two before we reached a small level crossing, operated by the traincrew and the trick was not to take out the gates.. I remember creeping down that incline, driving, and the pressure was palpable - especially on wet rails.. Once that was sorted it was an easy amble to Tinsley Jct West, hand back the staff and then charge at Tinsley Sth Jct and up the incline into Tinsley Yard, hoping that he would pull off the signal at the top of the climb... Of course in the BV it could be a bit of a rollercoaster for the poor guard.. Going through the hollow at Meadowhall and up the other side there would be the extended length of an 'instanter' between every wagon to take up.. Got to be careful not to divide the train by being rough but to get enough acceleration to climb the grade into Tinsley Yard.. Experienced guards would have the BV brake on going into the dip to take up some of the slack ready for the 20 foot lurch at the far end of all those loose couplers and they would wedge themselves into the seat so that they didn't land on their ar*es...
That was partly the reasoning behind being a secondman for so many years (apart from dead mens shoes).. It took years to learn and understand how different trains would behave on the many and varied grades and learning how to handle trains safely with regard for the welfare of the 3rd member of the team at the back..
Also a 'Good Guard' was worth his weight in gold to the footplate crew.. He could make all the difference, knowing when to help out with a bit of brake and knowing the routes and loading well enough to manage wagon braking when necessary too.
Working loose coupled trains was an art which took many years to master.
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  #29  
Old 9th November 2017, 11:06
The Crab The Crab is offline
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Interesting read - I love hearing tales about my local area.

Last edited by The Crab; 9th November 2017 at 11:07. Reason: Found answer to question.
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