Fewer manned helpers at Altoona

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Fewer manned helpers at Altoona

Postby KevinD » Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:07 pm

Been seeing coal drags go past the cameras at Cresson and the Curve with AC traction DPUs on the rear instead of usual pairs of SD40E helper sets. I wonder how many fewer helper crews they are going without now. Do the DPUs get cut off at Altoona or do they go all the way through with the train to its destination? Used to be coal trains would have 2 helper sets on the rear for braking, if they are getting by with just one pair as DPUs now, are there track restrictions (i.e. these can't be sent down "the slide")?
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Re: Fewer manned helpers at Altoona

Postby Acela150 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:31 pm

AFAIK, DPU's stay on the entire trip with no restrictions on the trip other the those posted in Bulletins.
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Re: Fewer manned helpers at Altoona

Postby RMB357 » Tue May 14, 2019 6:59 am

Yesterday in Gallitzin we saw SD60E manned helper set and an SD80Mac manned helper set working the mountain along with the SD40E manned sets, we didn't see one train with a mid train or rear end DPU all day so not sure if it's an experiment they tried or just periodically.
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Re: Fewer manned helpers at Altoona

Postby fcqjx » Sun May 19, 2019 7:14 am

Currently the only DPU trains(rear placement) are eastbound utility trains from Shire Oaks to various North Carolina power plants; the empty returns bunch road and DPU power together on the head end; the earlier experiments with manifest and 200 car crude oil trains have not been continued.

As part of Precision Scheduled Railroading a bunch of employees including helper crews in the Altoona terminal have been furloughed, and strict orders have been issued that no more than 15 helper crews per day will be called causing major headaches for already overloaded and harassed dispatchers and very slow moving and even stalled trains going up the hill; "Do the best you can" is often heard on the radio.
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Re: Fewer manned helpers at Altoona

Postby Wayside » Sun May 19, 2019 8:57 am

fcqjx wrote:"Do the best you can" is often heard on the radio.

So, Precision Scheduled stalls? Dogs wagged by tails. Preventable stalls on the mountain are short-sighted and hazardous for crews. I'm wondering if they have pitched the brake sticks as endorsed by EHH.
We don't know what we don't know.
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