DMUs hauling freight

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jim s-w
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DMUs hauling freight

Postby jim s-w » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:23 pm

Hi all

In the early days DMUs could be seen hauling a wagon or 2 on branch lines. The thought occurred to me, how were these vehicles added or removed? Assuming there wasn’t a convenient shunter handy, were they hand shunted or did they use the DMU? If they did did the passengers stay on the train and get shunted as well?

Just curious

Jim

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jon price
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Re: DMUs hauling freight

Postby jon price » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:42 pm

This isn't my primary area of interest, but I was fascinated by the idea, but whilst searching for this I found an image which may be relevant, and which touches on the mechanics and staffing of "abnormal" operation.

http://warwickshirerailways.com/gwr/gwrb772a.htm

The motor fitted 0-4-2T is shunting wagons, presumably because it has brought them, or is about to take them away. The suggestion is that a horsebox is being placed in a loading bay.The driving carriage is (for obvious reasons) still attached, and a guards van now finds itself in the middle of the train, with the guard directing events whilst hanging off the side of his van.

So maybe the guard on the DMU carries out the same function as the steam era guard.
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John Palmer
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Re: DMUs hauling freight

Postby John Palmer » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:12 pm

Regardless of the motive power employed, propelling wagons into a siding involved the high probability of a facing movement over unbolted points. The 1960 edition General Appendix stipulates that vehicles conveying passengers should not be shunted over such points unless they are clipped or scotched. Strict observance of this directive could entail detachment of passenger-carrying vehicles to preclude their participation in such a movement or, in the case of a DMU, required detraining of such passengers.

The GA supplies a limited exemption from the clipping/scotching requirement in the case of a movement that is (a) controlled by lowering of a signal (b) through points mechanically detected by such signal and (c) under the close view of the Signalman. I don't know the date of origin either of the GA's stipulation or of the exemption described, but it struck me some time ago that just such a proscribed propelling movement attracted no adverse comment whatsoever at the inquiry into the 1915 accident at Quintinshill.

I can't remember where, but recall reading of some form of shunting exercise involving passenger-carrying stock at Dollar on the Devon Valley line where the passengers were supposed to detrain but a blind eye was turned when they opted to remain aboard. So I wonder how far the GA's instructions in this respect were observed in practice.

Albert Hall
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Re: DMUs hauling freight

Postby Albert Hall » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:39 pm

John Palmer wrote: So I wonder how far the GA's instructions in this respect were observed in practice.


Reminds me of the expression I was taught in the carriage works at York - Rules for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.

Wise men being supposedly plentiful at this time of year of course.

Roy

Bulwell Hall

Re: DMUs hauling freight

Postby Bulwell Hall » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:23 pm

jim s-w wrote:Hi all

In the early days DMUs could be seen hauling a wagon or 2 on branch lines. The thought occurred to me, how were these vehicles added or removed? Assuming there wasn’t a convenient shunter handy, were they hand shunted or did they use the DMU? If they did did the passengers stay on the train and get shunted as well?

Just curious

Jim


Many years ago - circa 1968-70 - I visited Maiden Newton station on the Wilts Somerset & Weymouth line in Dorset which was the junction for the Bridport branch. On the occasion of my visit there were a large number of BR china clay wagons stabled in various sidings around the station. Quite why they were at Maiden Newton I have no idea as they were certainly not a regular sight there. During the course of my visit the single unit railcar arrived from Bridport and, having disembarked the passengers in the bay platform, then commenced shunting the wagons! Unfortunately my anti-diesel prejudice - which was a strong then as it is now - prevented me from photographing this interesting activety so you will have to take my word that it happened! It was in fact merely a continuation of steam practice whereby the Bridport branch locomotive would do the shunting required at Maiden Newton. I subsequently realised that the BR china clay wagons were converted to Clay Hoods around that time so I can only assume that the wagons were stored in the little used sidings at Maiden Newton prior to being sent to Swindon for conversion.

Also at Maiden Newton there was a siding with a trailing connection that was regularly accessed by a passenger train to collect tail traffic - in this case Rotank milk tank wagons - and the train could only access the vehicles over the unlocked turnout. I believe that the requirement for all connections to be traversed by passenger vehicles to be locked was a BR rule and not rigidly applied in earlier times but I maybe wrong here. At Maiden Newton the siding was a trailing connection to the up line and the train reversed into the siding at very low speed to collect the tail traffic. I have certainly not heard of the passengers having to detrain before the manoeuvre was carried out.

Hope all this helps.

Gerry

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Noel
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Re: DMUs hauling freight

Postby Noel » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:32 pm

jim s-w wrote:In the early days DMUs could be seen hauling a wagon or 2 on branch lines. The thought occurred to me, how were these vehicles added or removed?


On a short branch it's possible that they were collected at the junction, or the terminus, while the DMU was empty, and were disposed of at the other end after the passengers had left. Or, at the junction another train could have delivered the tail traffic to the branch bay, where the DMU could just couple to it on arrival. Any tail traffic would have to be vacuum braked. It did occur on main lines sometimes as well; I've seen a photo of a pair of single units on the Saltash Bridge, towing a couple of milk tanks.
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Noel

Albert Hall
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Re: DMUs hauling freight

Postby Albert Hall » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:33 am

I'm starting to wonder about the role of the guard in all this. One of the guys I worked with in the eighties said he started work as a goods guard but apart from some obvious differences I have no idea how the role differed from that of passenger guard when it came to shunting and brake tests.

Roy

billbedford
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Re: DMUs hauling freight

Postby billbedford » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:55 am

jim s-w wrote:Hi all

In the early days DMUs could be seen hauling a wagon or 2 on branch lines. The thought occurred to me, how were these vehicles added or removed? Assuming there wasn’t a convenient shunter handy, were they hand shunted or did they use the DMU? If they did did the passengers stay on the train and get shunted as well?



Much the same way as horse boxes/CCTs/cattle wagons etc were added or detach from local passenger train from the beginnings of railways. With the exception, of course, that the engine could not be detached with a DMU.

The answer was that it depended very much on what was possible at a particular location. For instance it was not unusual for vans to be dropped off at the platform and hand/horse shunted into sidings.
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
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Hardwicke
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Re: DMUs hauling freight

Postby Hardwicke » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:05 pm

At Retford pre 1976, a DMU used to arrive from Sheffield with a van, PMV or CCT. After arriving in (the old) platform 3 it would uncouple, run south to the down main and then back along the down main and reverse back along the down slow to couple up again before setting off to Sheffield. I'm not sure if it ever set back into the Carriage siding if a train was heading North along the slow line. It was the only time I ever say a DMU with a van and the reason why I have a few K's and Parkside SR 4w lwb vans.
Builder of Forge Mill Sidings, Kirkcliffe Coking Plant, Swanage and Heaby. Still trying to "Keep the Balance".


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