"Decks of Fate"

sajay Oct 12, 2000

  1. sajay

    sajay Guest

    Maxwell Plant suggests "deck of fate" cards in the topic about keeping operating sessions fresh. I get the general idea - add unexpected occurrences to a session. But in the instances used as examples, what would be the result? What happens when a car has a "hotbox"? What is "sit in the hole"? And the others...

    I'm rather new to the operating "biz".

    Scott Jay
    member of:
    Half Nuts Model Railroaders

    [This message has been edited by sajay (edited 12 October 2000).]
  2. A 'hotbox' is where an axle journal or bearing overheats. In the days of oil soaked materials packed in the axle journal to keep the axle end lubed, the 'waste' (packing) would dry out and let the bearing material overheat. Far less often, the modern ball bearing can also fail with devastation effects.

    I told you that to tell you this. When a 'hotbox' is detected by personnel or by a detector, the train must stop. Today, the Conductor must walk the train and physically observe the wheel/axle with the hotbox. If the damage doesn't appear great or cannot readily be seen, the train will proceed at reduced speed to a place the car may be set out on a siding or in a yard to be worked on later.

    That would produce a temporary slow down in train operations.

    What would really foul up operations is what happened near me the other evening. A flaming hotbox was spotted by a local police officer who called the info into police HQ who called the dispatcher who ordered the train stopped. The damage was extensive as the axle end was nearly burnt off and the wheel was now locked up. The 'Block Truck' was called out to assess the damage and do whatever was necessary to help get the disabled car off of the train and somewhere the wheels and/or entire truck (bogey) could be changed.

    The truck had to find the car and get to it. Then they worked over the car and had the engineer attempt to move it. The wheels would not turn. They worked on it again, disconnected the rest of the train from the front half with the bad order car and dragged it to a branch line a mile away. By this time the wheel was turning slightly, so they backed the bad order into the branch and left it for the yard crew to drag into the yard the next morning. The train was re-assembled and proceeded into the yard to make its normal set off and pick up. Time elapsed? Nearly to two hours.

    The schedule was shot while other trains had to be detoured around the problem or sit and wait for the track to be cleared.

    In an operating session, you could have a train stopped, be inspected and proceed at reduced speed, or you could have a real time consuming problem like this was. Worse case would be a wreck caused by the collapse of the wheel. You would simulate this by a halt in all traffic on the line until an alternate route could be established.

    I'll let someone else answer for the other items.


    Roger Hensley - rhensley@anderson.cioe.com
    == http://cid.railfan.net/eci_new.html ==
    == East Central Indiana Railroad ==
  3. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

    "In the Hole" refers to being put into the passing track. Your trains priority is low and other trains are running by you while you sit. This sometimes even happens to trains with a high priority, Passenger Trains! [​IMG] I've heard stories of train crews that get out of the yard and then get put in the first passing track they come to. They'll sit there for there entire shift and take a Taxi Cab ride back to the yard and go home. [​IMG]

    Brent Tidaback, Member #234
    BNSF Railfan-to-the Max and a N-Scaler to boot!
    "Ship it on the Route of The Roadrunners!"
    The Aransas Odessa & Western, a division of the BNSF

    [This message has been edited by Maxwell Plant (edited 12 October 2000).]

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