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Well remote control operations have been discussed before I'm wondering about the older days when you had helper locomotives Midway along the train or at the back. How was it done in the 60s 70s 80s ect did the have a crew manning the other locomotives talking to the head end, did they have a device they could hook up to the MU cables to controll the helper units via radio, when did this technology come along.


Ham, you're a fucking idiot.

Distributed Power, of which you're speaking, and BeltPak, of which you're showing an image of, are two INCREDIBLY different things.

But since you insist, DP is run the same way now as it basically was back when it was first developed and it runs basically the same was a manned pusher. Radio communication between the head end and it matches what the notch and reverser position of the engineer by default. You can set up what's called a "fence" and isolate the rear motor, have it pushing while you're using dynamic braking, and that's about it. Its automatic brake valve is also cut in and will perform service reductions to match the head end so you get faster brake applications and releases. In fact, you'd almost think you were driving an automobile how fast an 8,000 ft. empty coal train with DP can stop.

There are a few other things it does in the event of lost communication like remaining in the last throttle position unless you make a 12(I think)lb. reduction in which case it goes to idle.

Different systems and all that, but it's basically the same now as it was then. It's not a very complex system.

Beltpak is very different with a computer actually taking over the selection of notch positions, most braking actions, and other stuff. It's pretty simple to run and I like it most of the time, but that's for another discussion.


Man down! Man Down!… Every time you throw a switch.


>Not holding the little button to disable it for a minute.
Mine also says "tilt timeout"

Which is the dumbest thing because it doesn't sound severe. It also stops broadcasting after 10 minutes. So add in that we have 1 man remote jobs and stupid yardmasters, you can conceivably get critically injured or incapacitated and the only way they'll know something is wrong when they realize the cars aren't getting switched.

So much for safety.


I remember getting cab rides on CP Rail's Laggan Subdivision, that's the mainline west of Calgary, Alberta up into the Rockies, circa 1985 & 1986. Usually 3 SD40-2's on the head end, a pair of slaves and a blue robot car about 40% of the way back.

I do recall tipping over the Divide and the engineer had the head end power idling but the slaves were still throttled up getting the tonnage behind it up & over. Then full dynamics all the way down to Field, BC thru the Spiral Tunnels. I've forgotten how exactly he manipulated the cab controls so he could control the slaves separately.

I once rode *cough!* without permission in the slaves on another westbound trip hauling Sultran gondolas full of sulphur pellets, 105 cars irc. That was winter 1985. Sorta weird to hear the engine throttling up & down with no one visibly doing it.

Lookup "Locotrol"

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