General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

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Postby D Alex » Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:26 pm

Back during the period when steam was waning, just WHAT did a fireman do when assigned to a diesel?
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Re: Firemen?

Postby amtrakhogger » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:44 am

Fireman in diesel era could have done many things such as, operate or tend the steam generator on passenger locos, deal with mechanical issues, grab orders, etc.
His train? It's MY train! I know what I'm doing, do you?
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Re: Firemen?

Postby ExCon90 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:58 pm

... and in later years there were plenty of mechanical issues requiring somebody to go back there and check on things -- and maybe troubleshoot and fix things.
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Re: Firemen?

Postby BR&P » Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:05 pm

Sleep while the engineer was running, run while the engineer was sleeping. Image
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Re: Firemen?

Postby Engineer Spike » Fri May 25, 2018 1:48 am

On some early diesels they had to open and close shutters, and engage and disengage cooling fans. This was based on the weather, and how hard the engine was working. One other duty of the fireman was to watch for motions before portable radios were given to train crews.
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Re: Firemen?

Postby Engineer Spike » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:13 pm

One point that was not mentioned was that a fireman was in an apprenticeship toward becoming an engineer. The engineer could give out many pointers about how to run the train, on a given line. Often the fireman ran under the engineer’s supervision. This is how the craft used to be taught.
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Re: Firemen?

Postby henry2018 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:00 pm

All of what has been posted above along with calling signals out and just being an extra set of eyes in the locomotive cab.
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