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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
I wonder how many are running dead-head.....?
Well technically, 'deadheading' is a term used for activities or actions that don't perform a service, like a returning crew, or an empty boxcar or coach.
I'm not sure the term can be accurately used for a locomotive.
Interesting notion though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
I miss the mile long power consists SP used to run, the oil cans had the most units I ever saw on a single train back in the day
The longest train I ever saw was a coal drag in Ohio in '73.
It was pulled (IIRC) by four SD's, and there were two mid-train helpers.
I'm only guessing, but I believe is was over 120 hoppers, moving through the grade crossing at about 40mph.
I shut the bike off after about a ten minute idle.
 

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Watched the SP oil cans go over Tehachapi in the late 80’s, no idea how many cars, there were 12 units up front, 6 mid train, and 4 pushing on the rear, and this was prior to DPU so 3 full crews and a caboose as those weren’t completely gone yet, it was slow, loud, and produced a ton of smoke, a friend of mine recorded it on VHS, unfortunately I never got a copy, was one of the most impressive sights I’ve ever seen
 

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Well technically, 'deadheading' is a term used for activities or actions that don't perform a service, like a returning crew, or an empty boxcar or coach.
I'm not sure the term can be accurately used for a locomotive.
Interesting notion though.
I never heard of "dead heading" as anything but a non-running locomotive in a train being transported to another location, for repairs or new power needed at another location, it's simply treated as another car, saves fuel and another crew just to get it there.....at least that’s what I understood....

Deadheading Locomotive
 

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Deadheading is used to refer to crews as well, sometimes they’ll ride the second unit “deadheading” back to their home terminal when traffic is down and there’s more crews than trains to run, some territories this is a common occurrence, last year after Covid hit, traffic was down and they’d deadhead 3-4 crews on a crew van back to Chicago from Clinton Iowa
 

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Until today I'd only ever heard deadheading used in reference to an empty truck going from point A to point B.

"Take the load down to Charlotte and deadhead back."

"Take the load to Charlotte, deadhead down to Charleston and pick up a load."

 

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Here’s the best description I could find......

Deadhead: A term which applies to both railroad equipment and employees, meaning to move in a train but in no way helping, merely to ride along to be repositioned for later work/use.
 
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