Visibility of Engineers

Dan Padova posted:

That's okay with me.  I'll simply be a sleeper.  Like the muscle cars of years ago that looked like junkers, but once moving they outshined the competition.....LOL

Who are you in competition with? Who are you trying to outshine? There's nothing competitive about folks simply trying to help you use the proper terminology.

You're welcome.

Steve

 

OK children,
Getting this slug-fest back on track, those big winged radiators on the new units make things hard to see when having to make single unit back up moves. You are running on the wrong side, with a long hood in your way trying to see signals. Even when the signal happens to be on your side, it is hard to see.

OGR Webmaster posted:

Thanks for getting us back on track, Jim. I completely agree with your statement!

I had better visibility looking forward on steam locomotive 765 than when running a typical diesel long hood first.

I'm not talking "typical" here. I never minded running "typical" EMD units (up through the SD45) long hood forward as long as it had a control stand on the right side. In fact I enjoyed it. It possibly saved my life once when we hit a flat bed load of lumber stuck on the tracks.

What I am speaking of is the new SD70's and such. All of that radiator body work hangs right out in your field of vision when having to operate long hood forward and trying to see signals. And, while this is not a common occurrence, it does pop up from time to time as in having one of these units set off to an outlying point road switcher job. You may start out short hood forward, but, you have to come back with the long hood in the way.

smd4 posted:
Dan Padova posted:

That's okay with me.  I'll simply be a sleeper.  Like the muscle cars of years ago that looked like junkers, but once moving they outshined the competition.....LOL

Who are you in competition with? Who are you trying to outshine? There's nothing competitive about folks simply trying to help you use the proper terminology.

You're welcome.

LOL

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

It's been a rough ride, but I did learn from this thread. I too have wondered about visibility issues, if any, for engineers and firemen on steam locomotives.

As far as visibility, curves would be easier , I suppose, but on straightaways, especially with large (long) engines, I'd think your field of vision must be restricted to areas relatively far away down the track. I'm sure I'd understand much better if I ever actually sat in one of the seats for awhile. It helps, I guess, knowing that you're riding in something that's larger and heavier than most anything you would hit!

breezinup posted:

...but on straightaways, especially with large (long) engines, I'd think your field of vision must be restricted to areas relatively far away down the track....

Yes, your field of view is typically a distance down the track. But you don't need to see things up close to you, right in front of the engine. Even if a car pulled out in front of you right at a crossing, what are you going to do...swerve to miss him?

An engineer is powerless to do anything about something happening close to the locomotive. All he can do is dump the air, ride her down to a stop and hope for the best.

From the visual point of view, it is a completely different experience from driving a car.

Rich Melvin

Here is a view from the fireman's side in  GG1 4934. I have one from the engineers side but the glass was to cloudy, to see the limited view. You can see is isn't much at all. What you can't see is the high hood that completely blocks vision to the right.  

In a push move side window view only, you may as well be standing in a dark closet especially at night. 0% view. pray your radio is working and keep pushing. 

 

GG1 firemans side

gg1 window

This one is the camera through the glass window. This was as good, as it got next to sticking your head out the window. If there the fireman would give the clear Green signal to the engineer on the other side a few seconds faster than the engineer could see it rounding the curve. 

The high hood diesels see less than this. but the 44 &45 tonners with the high center cabs have great vision. 

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Photos (2)

Consider it a badge of honor.  In fishing circles they might call it selective harvest.  Keep the big ones and let the little ones go.  Apparently, honesty is not always the best policy when you are shooting at the big fish in the barrel.  

Ok, so you can’t see so good when you run a locomotive.  And it’s hard to see the forest behind the trees.  Sometimes it’s best to just run full steam ahead with the blinders on.  If you’re asked  to drive miss Daisy, don’t invite her for a ride in a steam engine.

I’m running out of sayings.  Aw shucks, just when this was getting fun.  Cheers.

Thanks for posting those excellent photos. As can be seen by even the most inexperienced individual, the visibility really isn't that bad, even when compared to today's modern diesel units (at least one of today's modern diesel units operating forward, and NOT in reverse). Everyone must remember, with the large, modern main line steam locomotives, there is ALWAYS a Fireman on the left side, to assist the Engineer on the right side.

As a side note, the forward visibility on a UP 4-6-6-4 equipped with wind wings, i.e. smoke lifters, was MUCH MORE restricted!

Hot Water posted:

 As can be seen by even the most inexperienced individual, the visibility really isn't that bad, even when compared to today's modern diesel units (at least one of today's modern diesel units operating forward, and NOT in reverse).

Exactly. Yet, there are some posters (looking at you, William 1 and CSX Fan), probably who have never been in a steam locomotive cab, who would have us believe that the visibility in the cab is practically zero. Wyhog's great photos amply demonstrate that this simply not the case.

Steve

 

Yesterday I deleted a post in this thread from Tinplate Art about hooking up a steam locomotive. The post didn't seem to have anything to do with the subject at hand here, namely the visibility of an engineer. Art, your post was so far off the subject of this thread that I honestly thought you had accidentally posted this response in the wrong thread, which is why I deleted it.

My apologies.

Rich Melvin

Rich: THANK YOU for your explanation. My post was my response to an earlier deviation in this thread about an engineer making it hard on the fireman by not properly hooking up the valve cutoff. My comments were based on my personal experiences running steam engines at TVRM under the guidance of seasoned steam men back in 1984. Running in the corner at speed is hard on the machinery, the fireman and wastes coal!

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

Tinplate Art posted:

Rich: THANK YOU for your explanation. My post was my response to an earlier deviation in this thread about an engineer making it hard on the fireman by not properly hooking up the valve cutoff. My comments were based on my personal experiences running steam engines at TVRM under the guidance of seasoned steam men back in 1984. Running in the corner at speed is hard on the machinery, the fireman and wastes coal!

Art,

For what it's worth, I did NOT say the Engineer was "running her in the corner"!  On a steep, ascending grade with 50+ empty hoppers, enroute to the Widen, W.Va. coal mine, simply 3 -4  notches TOWARD the corner was sufficient to properly teach me about firing AND how to properly run a steam locomotive. The same is true for either SP 4449, UP 844, or UP 3985, not to mention NKP 765.

HOT WATER: THANK YOU for the clarification! We did have a couple of engineers that ran the engines harder than usual, but they did not last long. A 43 year veteran with the L&N who actually ran steam back in the day, and who I fired under while training to be an engineer, once confided to me that a good steam exhaust had a sound like bacon frying. I am not sure I understood his comment, but I do know that he never worked me hard and he was a good man in that right hand seat! His name was Billy Byrd, and he was once interviewed by Charles Kuralt for his TV show.

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

CSX FAN posted:

Here is a view from the fireman's side in  GG1 4934. I have one from the engineers side but the glass was to cloudy, to see the limited view. You can see is isn't much at all. What you can't see is the high hood that completely blocks vision to the right.  

In a push move side window view only, you may as well be standing in a dark closet especially at night. 0% view. pray your radio is working and keep pushing. 

gg1 window

I talked with a former PRR engineer at the Strasburg museum once. He said he hated running GG1s for as tight as the cab was and how awful the view was.

p51 posted:
CSX FAN posted:

Here is a view from the fireman's side in  GG1 4934. I have one from the engineers side but the glass was to cloudy, to see the limited view. You can see is isn't much at all. What you can't see is the high hood that completely blocks vision to the right.  

In a push move side window view only, you may as well be standing in a dark closet especially at night. 0% view. pray your radio is working and keep pushing. 

gg1 window

I talked with a former PRR engineer at the Strasburg museum once. He said he hated running GG1s for as tight as the cab was and how awful the view was.

Please remember that the entire electrified areas of the PRR all were equipped with cab signal/automatic train control. Yes, the forward visibility of a PRR GG1 was "limited", but having ridder more that one GG1, plus a P5a Modified, back in the 1950s, it really wasn't all that bad. 

Tinplate Art posted:

HOT WATER: THANK YOU for the clarification! We did have a couple of engineers that ran the engines harder than usual, but they did not last long. A 43 year veteran with the L&N who actually ran steam back in the day, and who I fired under while training to be an engineer, once confided to me that a good steam exhaust had a sound like bacon frying. I do know that he never worked me hard and he was a good man in that right hand seat!

Art, to clarify a bit more, just because an Engineer runs the locomotive with a bit too much back pressure, i.e. not hooked-up properly, doing such does NOT really "damage the machinery". Only fuel and water is wasted.

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