Old 10-01-2003, 09:14 PM   #1
Gregory Wallace
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Default Backwards? Forwards?

Ok, another question by the rookie, and I hope it makes sense:

Is there a reason I sometimes see locomotives running with their cabs forward, and other times with the cabs to the rear? Does it matter which way it runs (ie, is there a true forward and reverse to the mechanisms?) Is there a preferred direction?

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~Gregory
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Old 10-01-2003, 09:58 PM   #2
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Yes there is a forward and reverse on the trains but they run just as fats in either direction it is just easy for the enginner to operate it if runs in forward but there are some railroads (ex. Southern Railway) that wanted to have the locomotive's cab toward the rear end of the locomotive when the locomotive was running forward for protection in case of a collision. when the locomotive is running with the cab toward the rear weather or not the locomotive is in reverse of forward it is called running long hood forward.
This is all that i know i hope others can add on
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Old 10-01-2003, 09:58 PM   #3
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Yes there is a forward and reverse on the trains but they run just as fast in either direction it is just easy for the enginner to operate it if runs in forward but there are some railroads (ex. Southern Railway) that wanted to have the locomotive's cab toward the rear end of the locomotive when the locomotive was running forward for protection in case of a collision. when the locomotive is running with the cab toward the rear weather or not the locomotive is in reverse of forward it is called running long hood forward.
This is all that i know i hope others can add on
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Old 10-01-2003, 11:32 PM   #4
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Running cab forward is definately the preferred way when operating a locomotive. On a train with two or more locomotives, you will usually find the lead unit running cab forward while the last unit will usually be running long hood forward. So on the return trip, the crew will again be running cab forward. Sometimes on switching duties or on a local train, the locomotive will be forced to run long hood forward. Of course they don't have to travel hundred's of miles like mainline trains do. Also, I would have to assume that there is no difference in speed nor pulling power when a locomotive is running cab forward or long hood forward.
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Old 10-02-2003, 12:40 AM   #5
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I was always wondering about that too.

Thanks for the answers
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Old 10-02-2003, 11:09 AM   #6
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Glad to help!
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Old 10-07-2003, 04:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Backwards? Forwards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregory Wallace
Ok, another question by the rookie, and I hope it makes sense:

Is there a reason I sometimes see locomotives running with their cabs forward, and other times with the cabs to the rear? Does it matter which way it runs (ie, is there a true forward and reverse to the mechanisms?) Is there a preferred direction?

Thanks,
~Gregory
Aside from the correct responses posted, most class one freight railroads (if possible) will build a locomotive consist with the second locomotive facing forward as well. Reason being, if the first "Lead" unit fails, it can be removed from the train and the second unit would then become the leader, which can be annoying if the crew must operate it backwards while limping the train to the next yard.
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Old 10-07-2003, 07:21 PM   #8
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I see,

Merci pour la response

is that how you say it?
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Old 10-07-2003, 08:27 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your responses -- you folks are extremely generous and knowledgable when I ask these simpleton questions.

In summation, I'm led to believe that whether a locomotive runs cab-forward or long-hood-forward is all a matter of operator preference, safety considerations, or ease of switching. But it makes no difference to the locomotive - reverse or forward is all the same to it (unlike an automobile).

Thanks!
~Gregory
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Old 10-08-2003, 04:52 PM   #10
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Hey Gregory,

The main diadvantage to long hood forward is visability. On NS they still run long hood forward occasionaly. Some of their locomotives were built with the control stand on the left side of the cab(normaly conductors side) for this purpose. They call it bi directional control. Currently on their new units(SD70M & C40-9W) they are getting them with standard control stands as opposed to the desktop style that most have changed to. The only units they have that have desktop controls are ex-Conrail units. The most unusual ones that I know of is that some of the ex-NW SD40's were built with dual control stands, one on each side of the cab.

Robert
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