12 thoughts on “Then VS Now

  1. When I was growing up in the 40’s in East Point, Georgia (suburban Atlanta) which was built along the railroad tracks, a poor guy got caught between two cars and had a pair of those old-style couplers couple through him. There was nothing to be done and basically the radio news kept up with it while they waited for him to die.

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    • Heard that same story second hand from my old boss. This was in the 90’s when I heard it and supposedly happened in our local train yard back in the day The guy was basically mangled, but being held together by the couplers. Story was they went and got his wife to say goodbye to him and then pulled the cars apart at which point he expired. I wonder if the original event became an urban legend of sorts, like the Jet assisted take off rocket mounted on the muscle car and just traveled around the country.

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      • Sounds similar to the story in the Navy P-3 Orion community about a man getting caught in the closing bomb bay doors. Never any “who, where, when” on it though.

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        • My father told my brother and I about a Boeing tech that got in the way of the bomb bay doors closing during maintenance. Lost an arm. Dad didn’t say which part though. Yes, he lived.

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          • That is not so much an urban legend. I have been railroading for almost 40 years and have heard of…but never seen(thankfully)…of many such instances where a switchman or brakeman goes between cars to line up the drawheads with his back to the other car,totally unaware that it is rolling towards him. When coupling freight cars,we always stand to the outside of the track and never go between cars unless the equipment is stationary and secured,with verbal radio instructions to the engineer . However,yard crews get in a hurry and grisly shit happens. Speaking of busted knuckles, it can a real bitch to change a broken coupling knuckle in the snow or piss pouring rain.

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  2. North American freight vs passenger couplers. Freight trains still use the old knuckle style couplers. Passenger train couplers vary around the world, but require additional connections for head end power and controls (upper part of coupling shown). Company I work for rebuilds the cushioning units that the coupler mounts on.

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  3. I always like the old shit. All the new shit is just more expense and things to fix at a higher cost. Would prefer to set points than have a black box computer monitor my car.

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    • I hafta agree with you on that, at least you don’t need an electrical engineers degree or computer science degree to fix the offing things……
      I remember the old cam driven fuel pumps that when they started leaking you could fix the diaphragm with a screw driver,, crescent and a piece of inner tube to get you home. Now it takes a full blown shop and $1200-1600 dollars to fix. And this is progress??? yeah riiiight……

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    • Old shit for sure….. old mechanical diesel components….. no points, no computers and fuel lives on for half a dozen years or more with additives.

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  4. The “new” video is about a power/data coupler between engines, I do believe. The D-Rex system. Passes lots of data and commands and has multiple connections to remotely control the car you are connecting to. Used on subway cars, from what I can glean of the Interwebbies… definitely not designed for freight!

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