"It’s a common misconception that both Norfolk & Western and Southern Railway (and for a while, successor Norfolk Southern) operated many of their hood units long hood forward for better crew safety in the event of a collision. While that might have been a secondary benefit, the real reason was bidirectional operation capability.
From the acquisition of its first diesel-electric locomotives in late 1955 (both EMD GP9s and Alco RS3s), the N&W’s units were equipped with dual controls, so they could be operated in either direction with the engineer on the traditional right-hand side. Line-side signals, for example, were almost always on the right side of the track, so having the engineer there was an optimum situation. The N&W operated many coalfield “shifters,” where bidirectional diesel operation was ideal — and much better than in the days of steam, when the big Mallets had to find a wye if they needed to reverse direction. Otherwise, an engineer (and fireman) would have to assume an awkward sitting position in the cab on long reverse moves, with the engine’s throttle, reverser, air brake handles, and other controls actually behind him.
The Southern’s approach to bidirectional operation was simpler: Make the short end of the unit the rear, delete the optional low nose, and have the engineer on the right-hand side with the long hood leading. In the event the unit was running in “reverse,” the engineer would be on the left side, but with a short hood, so his forward vision to the right side of the track wasn’t impaired all that much. While new power in this configuration didn’t arrive until the SD45s of 1967, earlier units (SD24s, GP30s and GP35s) all came with high short hoods, but set up as the short hood end as the “front.”
In both cases, the carriers hoped to eliminate terminal expense and delay from turning units on turntables or wyes. In truth, crews on both roads never received the practice warmly.
The last road units N&W purchased came with conventional low-nose short hoods set up as the “front,” and without dual controls. For a time after the NS merger, new units were purchased under the Southern philosophy of long hood forward, but with low-nose short hoods. The advent of “comfort cab” units made such operating practices impractical, so it’s now rare to find a vintage N&W or Southern unit running long hood forward." — Ron Flanary, frequent TRAINS contributor and former Southern Railway employee
The JNXT Family of Transportation Companies:
JNXT Railroad "The Weasel Route" BRTX Railroad "The Buzzard Route" P&S Railroad "Don't blame us, this isn't our equipment" The Buzzardly Shops "Your GOO Headquarters"
NickelPlate: I find an "Ok, Zoomer!" retort with rolled eyes and a valley girl voice can be quite effective. 😄
Feb 25, 2020 16:13:54 GMT -5
John: The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. >>>>
Feb 25, 2020 19:59:15 GMT -5
John: >>>>>> They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” >>>> Socrates
Feb 25, 2020 20:02:10 GMT -5
rbturner: Anyone else getting Pro Boards "failure" messages?
Feb 26, 2020 13:42:35 GMT -5
frankenstein: Yes. For a few days now.
Feb 26, 2020 17:17:40 GMT -5
rbturner: Jerry texted me; the flu is kicking his rear end pretty badly. Keep him in your prayers.
Feb 26, 2020 18:17:19 GMT -5
methuener: You're in my thoughts, Jerry! Feel better soon!
Feb 26, 2020 18:48:55 GMT -5
mph: Sounds like someone needs to send him a jar of get well jam.
Feb 26, 2020 22:47:10 GMT -5
rbturner: I think Jerry is suffering from paint and Solvaset fumes.
Feb 26, 2020 23:02:17 GMT -5
oldtimer52: Hey Jerry, a glass of warm water, honey, lemon juice and a couple shots of whiskey will put you back to rights, real quick. Get better guy.
Feb 27, 2020 5:30:26 GMT -5
wks: Hope you feel better soon.
Feb 27, 2020 6:29:38 GMT -5
rbturner: No news on Jerry; although I did ship him some first aid supplies this morning. I guarantee he'll feel better.
Feb 27, 2020 13:02:19 GMT -5
wks: I am sure he is fine. That virus everyone talks about is afraid to visit Buzzardly.
Feb 27, 2020 13:45:06 GMT -5
JNXT 7707: Thank you all for the thoughts! I am past the "every cell of my body has a hot poker in it" stage, but you could probably knock me over with a feather. Buzzardly is now quarantined by the National Guard
Feb 27, 2020 13:51:31 GMT -5