@CALNNC posted:…The Saluda Grade here in NC is kaput, it is being sold by NS to a biker/hiker group for a trail, a 31 mile long trail…it could have been possible to have one of the finest tourist railroads in the country. I would wager that the insurance on allowing passenger trains regular use of Saluda might have been prohibitive though.
Operating tourist trains on Saluda would be an absolute nightmare! You would beat the locomotive to death hauling the train up the grade, then burn up the brake shoes on the passenger cars coming back down.
The train handling skills demanded when operating on a steep grade profile like this are very high. When the Southern operated this railroad, a Road Foreman of Engines took trains down the grade. In other words, even on a full time professional railroad, only a small group of selected engineers from the ranks of the Road Foremen were trusted with the responsibility to bring trains down that steep grade.
And here’s what can happen going UP the grade…
CLICK TO SEE 611 STALL ON SALUDA