Using a Locomotive to Push Rolling Stock Into Yard Tracks

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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
On my CM&N Railroad I have a small yard that's off a long yard entrance lead. The yard has four main tracks that will receive cars that are in transit and are being separated according to their destinations. There is one problem with the yard and its that the hidden under track and above track Kadee uncouplers are some what, but not impossible to locate to spot a car over for uncoupling. Some taller scenery ridges and buildings help hide the uncouplers from view.

One uncoupler at the entrance to the yard tracks "could" service three of the four yard tracks, but there a long distance to shove the cars into their respective tracks without the possiblility of the cars re-coupling.

Chet also known as "Montanan" on the Forum once described that on his club layout, helper locomotives had their front coupler modified so they could push and really never couple to the last car of the train the the locomotive was acting as a helper. Once over the hill the helper locomotives just backed off form the train they were pushing.

This gave me the idea that perhaps I could dedicate an engine as the switcher for this yard and use the locomotive to push cars into their assigned tracks. Another locomotive could "drop" the cars on the yard entrance lead and then be replaced by the yard switcher. The yard switcher could spot cars in three out of the four yard tracks without trouble.

Does this like it would work in a reasonable manner? This might just add some additional work for the yard switcher in another wise difficult situation.

I watch switching at the UP Butler yard and some switching moves use a lot of different movements to achieve.

Thanks.

Greg

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Rico

BN Modeller
I guess that might work if you’re pushing blocks of cars all down one track.
Not so good if you need to cut cars out and head for another track tho.
Your loco would be limited to that service I suppose.
I just use skewers to reach over and uncouple, it’s not everyone’s cup o' tea tho.
 

GeeTee

Well-Known Member
On my CM&N Railroad I have a small yard that's off a long yard entrance lead. The yard has four main tracks that will receive cars that are in transit and are being separated according to their destinations. There is one problem with the yard and its that the hidden under track and above track Kadee uncouplers are some what, but not impossible to locate to spot a car over for uncoupling. Some taller scenery ridges and buildings help hide the uncouplers from view.

One uncoupler at the entrance to the yard tracks "could" service three of the four yard tracks, but there a long distance to shove the cars into their respective tracks without the possiblility of the cars re-coupling.

Chet also known as "Montanan" on the Forum once described that on his club layout, helper locomotives had their front coupler modified so they could push and really never couple to the last car of the train the the locomotive was acting as a helper. Once over the hill the helper locomotives just backed off form the train they were pushing.

This gave me the idea that perhaps I could dedicate an engine as the switcher for this yard and use the locomotive to push cars into their assigned tracks. Another locomotive could "drop" the cars on the yard entrance lead and then be replaced by the yard switcher. The yard switcher could spot cars in three out of the four yard tracks without trouble.

Does this like it would work in a reasonable manner? This might just add some additional work for the yard switcher in another wise difficult situation.

I watch switching at the UP Butler yard and some switching moves use a lot of different movements to achieve.

Thanks.

Greg

##########################

I think we are in agreement here but I'll state the way I've normally seen done :

1: Train pulls in on the siding ( the switcher is sitting on the lead track )
2. Head end power is removed and sent for servicing
3. the switch couples to the train an breaks the train cutting it into sections and pushing down the ladder to the appropriate track.

Yard tracks are usually organized according outgoing trains , one for a local , one the eastbound fast freight ...ect. In an industrial setting they be organized by process .

Uncouplers would need to be at the location for cutting the head end power at both ends ( for train entering from either end) , and at least one on the yard lead.

The problem I see with a dedicated pusher is you have to have some way to pull cars on the lead,and cars have to be pushed and pulled on uncouplers to get them to separate.

If I were concerned about uncouplers showing , I would either hide them with service road parallel to yard ladder or use Kadee 308's

uncoupling and pushing long distances can be a problem if the cars bounce on the couplers , there are methods for remedying that but most cause other issues. Steel axles cause a lot of issues with unwanted coupling and uncoupling .

If you do use a dedicated pusher engine , you might want to consider modifying a dummy loco and just inserting it in for a pusher .


The other ways i have heard of is you run two switchers one to pull the train on to the lead and a second to pull them down the ladder to the appropriate track , and the last track is the runaround uncouplers are at the far end of the lead , and the opposite end of each yard track , so no pushing takes place and cars are never pulled over an uncoupler.

No 2 is a single switcher with a double lead runaround , pull the cars on to the lead cut loose , run around on the second lead and pull the cars to the appropriate track , again the last track is the runaround uncouplers are at the far end of the lead , and the opposite end of each yard track , so no pushing takes place and cars are never pulled over an uncoupler.

P.S. I think the issue with the last two was if the tracks already had cars , you had to push the whole track load back up to the lead couple and pull back down.
 
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cv_acr

Active Member
I'm pretty familiar with yard switching and you need to push and pull to switch cars to different tracks. I can't picture how an engine would ever be used to ONLY push.
 

GeeTee

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty familiar with yard switching and you need to push and pull to switch cars to different tracks. I can't picture how an engine would ever be used to ONLY push.
Single ended yard , you have to push in and pull out. You don't necessarily have to do it with the same loco , one could be dedicated pusher.

In a double end yard you could just push , one switcher on one end and one on the other , So the cars are always pushed across the uncoupler.

I think that the orginal question the issue is probably to do with unwanted uncoupling . Where you might be dragging a cut of cars and lose the last one or two when cross the ramp.

I am not sure that there's any real benefit to a dedicated pusher. I think any benefit would probably be outweighed by the inconvenience.
 

cv_acr

Active Member
In a double end yard you could just push , one switcher on one end and one on the other , So the cars are always pushed across the uncoupler.
But even to push cars into tracks, unless you always push ALL the cars into one track (which I'm not sure why you'd even have a switch engine in that case) you have to be able to pull back in order to sort cars into more than one track.

So you can't say that cars are always pushed - switching just doesn't work like that.
 

GeeTee

Well-Known Member
But even to push cars into tracks, unless you always push ALL the cars into one track (which I'm not sure why you'd even have a switch engine in that case) you have to be able to pull back in order to sort cars into more than one track.
I am not sure that isn't whats intended. To shove them all into a single track. I kinda got that impression.

Normally we might sort according to direction or destination , but some one else may have other ideas.

Or perhaps its an industrial yard and its just loads and empties, in which case sorting maybe more or less irrelevant.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
There is actually three main tracks in this small yard. Two are relative short, maybe four cars and the third long enough to help sort cars to the other two tracks.

Greg
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
There is one problem with the yard and its that the hidden under track and above track Kadee uncouplers are some what, but not impossible to locate to spot a car over for uncoupling. Some taller scenery ridges and buildings help hide the uncouplers from view.
The real problem isn't the couplers its that you have hidden the yard behind scenery so you can't see where to uncouple the cars.

Sounds like if you fix that then the problem goes away.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Dave - I have one uncoupling magnet that is hidden behind a building, that's why I have it there to begin with; but I marked it with a utility pole in order to know its exact location.
 

GeeTee

Well-Known Member
Under track uncouplers , you mark with a whistle post and U or UNC . If you cant see them , then either a well placed mirror , or even a wireless ip camera might be in order.
 




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