• Terminology - 1952 DL&W Employee Timetable

  • Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.
Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.

Moderator: blockline4180

  by Cactus Jack
Was just reading the September 28, 1952 DL&W System Employee Timetable, a nice steam / diesel transition era TT that still listed water stations and tonnage ratings for steam.

It includes a section telling of locations of "Replacers" - can anyone explain ? - Is this a location of re-rerailment blocking ?

...also, mention of never turning up retainers on the lead car, which is in many air brake rules books, but I have never gotten a good answer from an air brake person or examiner as to why....can anyone explain that ? - either why I have not gotten a good answer, or the reason for not turning up the retainer on the lead car !! (LOL)



  by henry6
OK, yeah. Replacers. I do believe they are rerailers. Most engines, especially switch engines, had one hung on each side.

Retainers. Still around. Its a valve on a car which allows a certain amount of air brake pressure to allow brake shoes to partially apply. They were turned "up" when going down a hill and turned "down" when hill was over. Although dynamic braking is available today, cars are still equipped with this feature under the guise of a safety appliance. e
Each road, each hill, each type of car, number of cars, gradient, etc,.one or all of the preceeding, called for a different application of retainers. The bottom line: if you want to get down the hill in one piece..you and the train..turn em up according to rules.

  by Cactus Jack

You are correct in explaining retainers, for those who may not be familiar with them and their use. It was a handy useful thing prior to pressure maintaining brake systems in that an application could be "retained" on cars with the retaining valve turned up while the engineer made a release in order to recharge the main reservior.

However, still looking for an answer to either of my open questions regarding braking.

  by dlw1137

Where exactly is the reference to "replacers"? In the General Instructions? One of the Division sections? Got a reference number? I looked, I can't find it.


  by Cactus Jack
reference Page 183 of ETT #102 dated Sept. 28, 1952 under Local Instruction of M&E Division.

...also page 224 for Scranton Division

and Page 244 for Buffalo Division

  by dlw1137
Thanks CJ,

What puzzled me was how I missed it. "Replacers" weren't listed in the ETTs at least up to number 99. I spend most of my time in the ETTs below 100. :-D Of course I can't find my copies of 100 or 101, but they were added after 99 which was from April 29, 1951. I wonder if they started listing it with the demise of steam. Seems that way.

Another interesting bit of trivia is shortly after the combination of the Scranton and Buffalo divisions in 1957 (ETT 114 and later) they stopped listing "Replacers" for the new, combined division. The M&E still had it listed until the merger.


  by mxdata
The "replacer" is indeed a type of rerailer, the most common being the Alexander Car Replacer. These were a pair of fixtures having slightly different heights and contours. One was an "outside replacer", used with the wheel that was off the outside of the rail, the other was an "inside replacer", for the wheel on the inside of the rail. The reasons for the different heights and contour was to "steer" the wheelset back onto the track as it was pulled up the ramp.

Those retainer were (are ?) used on the Conrail Pheonixville branch, out of Abrahms. I ran that line a few times, in the early 90's, and as per CR TT/SI, 100% retainer useage was mandatory, per special instructions. That 100% does include the head car. I have never heard of not applying retainers on the head car. Most rulebooks will dictate use of retainers beginning with the head car, and applying sufficient amount to control train speed, with automatic brakes released, and re-charging. The retainers were to be turned to HP, and the brakes applied, and released, to "charge the retainers", before descending the grade, at Pheonix. Once we reached the bottom, we stopped, and retainers were returned to the direct exhaust position. Also used on the SP and SF, on the grades between LA and LV. Regards :-D