B&M helper district on the Western Route

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B&M helper district on the Western Route

Postby Cowford » Sun May 10, 2009 8:40 am

Perhaps the only occurrence of a helper on the Western Route - including an F-unit, no less!
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Re: B&M helper district on the Western Route

Postby jbvb » Sun May 10, 2009 12:38 pm

I'm skeptical about the trailing units actually being a working helper; three units is more power than the B&M ever assigned as a helper elsewhere, and there appears to be only a single GP-9 on the point, running long hood forward. Could it be the Lawrence - Dover local moving a set of power east?
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Re: B&M helper district on the Western Route

Postby Cowford » Sun May 10, 2009 5:27 pm

This was a local going to Dover, but the three units were actually shoving on the rear. As I recall, the train was nearly 60 cars long, so the leading unit was likely over its tonnage rating... how it was able to run at track speed became more and more puzzling with each passing car. That is, until the rear-end appeared. The "helper" power was assigned to the gravel train, so BODO must have dropped its consist in Lawrence (or run light to Lawrence from Dover while the power was laying over). One of those serendipitous events.
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Re: B&M helper district on the Western Route

Postby jbvb » Tue May 12, 2009 4:33 pm

In my 1977 ETT, GP-9s are rated for 3133 tons Boston-Portland. I once saw two GP-7s (5640 ton rating) moving right along with more than 100 empties at Powwow River. The ruling eastward grade appears to be about a mile of average 0.8% starting at Broadway in Dover, NH.
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Re: B&M helper district on the Western Route

Postby bmcdr » Tue May 12, 2009 5:31 pm

In all probability, the 1729 was perhaps experiancing mechanical problems, the rear three units were, as someone else said, cut-off from BODO to assist the ailing local. A GEEP-B UNIT-GEEP was the regular power on DOBO/BODO a lot during the late 70's. I was working on the B&M in the 70's and don't recall ever needing a pusher up through East Kingston unless it was an emergency move made by the East End Dispatcher.
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