Jul 30, 2014

The weird stuff seems to be gone on the U.S. railroad scene!

The Rock Island Rockets lashed together seems to say the experiment is over. It was an attempt to make passenger train costs lower but pulling bus bodies on the rails was a dismal failure.
A more conventional way to pull commuter trains was with E units in Chicago. Back then BN trains had white/orange noses for better visibility for cars and people to get out of the way.
On top of the weird list should be this odd ball where the builder took 2 switch engines and connected them with one cab so you could not tell which way was the front. Either could the engineer and that was the point working in the yard. Twice the power than a regular unit.
Common to most railroads were towers that guarded rail crossings where they were responsible for one train occupying the crossing at any one time. When two trains did...someone got killed or fired.
This Alco product had the longest nose in railroad history. They could have had a bathroom and shower in there plus a railroad reading library like we have at Evergreen!
We sometimes forget that other railroads had Little Joes other than the Milwaukee Road. Three of them went to the South Shore near Chicago in the fire sale General Electric had back in 1950 when the U.S. embargoed them from the USSR back in the good old Cold War days.
Another feeble attempt to make switch engines more engineer friendly was Alco's effort for the C-415. This one had only 1 engine with a shaft that ran through the cab to work the other truck.

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