Engine Operation Question

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

Do real railroads run there locos backwards besides in switching? I am looking at point to point operations and didn't know if railroads run the train in reverse for long distances.


Coal Shoveler
Yes. About a month ago, I saw an NS GEVO running long hood forward, with 2-3 other units behind it. They were all facing the wrong direction. Definitely not a switching move.



Drum Driver
Allot of times the reason you see some engines hooked up back to back is so they don't have to turn them around in long runs...they switch off and then operate the consistence from the opposite engine when they head back.. <<--1--- ---2-->>


Diesel Detail Freak
All the time... There's no real "front" or "back" to an engine power wise, they work the same either way.


Central Indiana & Ohio RR
Good gracious YES. Sorry..LOL
Yes, on the NS I grew up running long hood. In most of the older power, the control stands were setup to run long hood. Its not to hard on older power, but the newer stuff with the "wings" as the crews call em for radiators, makes it rough. Deck top controls make it close to impossible, but it happens from time to time.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.