locked Topic on Scales and Scale Tracks is locked, and I'd like to ask a question


George Eichelberger
 

Bruce:

Your question is a good one! I'll post it as new topic while I figure out how to “unlock” a topic.

My guess, only that, is a switch crew would uncouple, spot and recouple cars on the scale as with any other work. No other “signal” equipment would be necessary. I have seen memos in the SRHA archives telling crews they MUST uncouple cars as they were weighed to get accurate readings.

Ike


On Jan 22, 2021, at 5:43 AM, <bruce.harrison@...> <bruce.harrison@...> wrote:

Hi, thank you for maintaining this group.  I wanted to ask a question about how the scale operator would signal the engineer to advance the cars over the scale. The drawing  states “street car head lights to be mounted on poles.  I assume that’s how this was done,  but wonder if it was a plain light or colored, and if anyone could add any addition info.
 
The topic has been locked after 14 days, so I’m not sure how to ask – do I create a new topic? Or do you unlock it?  
 
Bruce Harrison
Columbia, CT


David Payne
 

 
Never saw a Southern crew, nor even a CofG crew, weigh cars, but watched under my grandfather's "supervision" as the West Point Route (A&WP/WofA) weighed cars in Newnan, Ga.
 
The local freight crew would shove the car onto the "weigh" rails, cut off, the conductor (I assume) would work the scale, then couple-up and move on to the next car to be weighed or other work.
 
This was a scale with an "open shack" not an enclosed house as many plans show.  The one on the CofG in Newnan was similar.  I think both were of Fairbanks-Morse construction.  I attribute this to the relatively mild weather which didn't require a building to enclose the beam, but there was such a building in Athens, Ga.  Go figure.
 
David Payne
 
 
 
 


michael lowe
 

    Between 1980 and 1988, I weighed some cars on a small scale in an enclosed shack on the MKT in Dallas, Texas. The first car would be shoved acorss the locked track, then uncoupled.
I would unlock the scale and weigh the car. I waited for the scale to quit bouncing and the switch crew would get frustrated with me, but I wanted an accurate weight.  Then I would lock the
scale and the crew would shove the next car, etc.  Sometimes, I had a car, that I had to weigh each half of the car, because it was too long. I was a certified  WWIB weighmaster.
   The scale had a slot to put the scale ticket in and clamp it down, so it embossed the weight.    
    Michael Lowe.


bruce_l_harrison
 

Thank you for the replies. I’m modeling the scale house that once stood in the yard in Monroe Virginia. It must have been built using the same plans Ike posted (minus the interlocking).  I have several photos of the scale house (one from the archives) that show two lights mounted on short poles  As I mentioned in my note, I’m trying to understand how these lights that were used.  Ike’s drawing states they are  street car head lights to be mounted on poles”.  Were they used to signal the engineer, or to illuminate the markings on the cars at night, or ???


Daniel Bourque
 

Bruce,

 

Here’s an excerpt that might help—it’s from Hugh and Ed Wolfe’s book “Appalachian Coal Hauler” describing how they used the light on the scale house at Andover Yard on the Interstate RR:

 

“Now, years ago when they weighed cars, they just used hand signals. Trains were short. Probably didn’t have over 10-15 cars to weigh. Fireman and engineer had to keep their head out the cab window all the time for signals. As trains got longer and longer, it got tougher and tougher to see those signals. Conductor had a pretty rough time getting’ the engineer to move. Somebody come up with the idea of puttin’ a light up by the scale house. It was an amber light on top of a long pole. Light just turned on and off. [The conductor on the yard crew] would sit inside the scale house at that bay window and operate that light with a foot switch. When the light came on, that meant for the engineer to give ‘em a start. He’d let his foot off the pedal, the light would go out and the engineer would stop. Now, if the cars got too far down on the scales, two short flashes meant to pull forward and one short flash meant to stop. The engine could be way up there on the main line at the upper end of Andover and the engineer could still see that light.”

 

I’m sure the two-light setup you describe worked a little differently than the single-light setup described here, but it’s probably pretty similar in its use.

 

While it’s all about coal, "Appalachian Coal Hauler” is an outstanding resource for not just those interested in the Interstate RR both pre- and post-Southern but for anyone wanting to understand from a first-hand perspective how train crews in the coal fields approached switching and overcame operational challenges. Absolutely fascinating!

 

Dan Bourque

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: bruce_l_harrison
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2021 5:37 PM
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Topic on Scales and Scale Tracks is locked, and I'd like to ask a question

 

Thank you for the replies. I’m modeling the scale house that once stood in the yard in Monroe Virginia. It must have been built using the same plans Ike posted (minus the interlocking).  I have several photos of the scale house (one from the archives) that show two lights mounted on short poles  As I mentioned in my note, I’m trying to understand how these lights that were used.  Ike’s drawing states they are  “street car head lights to be mounted on poles”.  Were they used to signal the engineer, or to illuminate the markings on the cars at night, or ???