Fire21;Enjoyable video, as always. But I don't think you fully answered the first question. I listened twice, but never did hear if you could tell if a car mid-train was derailed. Are there sensors that would tell, or does it take you or the conductor to actually see the problem? Would you feel an extra drag force? Thanks.
Thanks, TF, I appreciate the reply.Fire21;
Years ago, while waiting for a Southern Pacific freight to roll through a grade crossing, I noticed a mid-train derailed wheel tearing up the ties as it was dragged along. This was back when trains still had a caboose on the rear, and before cell phones existed. I hurried back to my nearby apartment and called Southern Pacific. They were grateful, but said the car had derailed completely further down the track. None of the crew in the caboose noticed, or did anything about the clearly visible damaged ties. Or figured out that something had to be wrong with their train to do that to the track. Maybe they were drunk or stoned? In any case, so much for the eagle-eyed conductor or brakeman seeing the problem. Today, no cabooses, no brakemen, and the conductor rides in the locomotive cab. A trackside "dragging equipment detector" might notice a derailed wheel, and send a radio message to the crew, but the crew might not notice much themselves since the problem would be behind them.
Thanks Tom, your reply also helped explain things to me.Actually, on longer trains with 50+ cars have so much momentum, if a wheel set or truck was derailed in the middle of the train, you wouldn’t really notice it in the locomotive, especially if you are running with more than one engine in the consist. If you had a caboose, the flagman and/or Conductor would look back behind the train for damage to the ties or ballast that would indicate a problem mid-train.
One railroad I worked for, ran a 67 car train and there was a derailed car near the end of the train. No caboose and the car was dragged 15 miles before it finally came off the tracks completely at a switch and put the train brakes into emergency. The cause was a low rail joint and the wheel marks on the ties started at that point and ended at the derailment site.