Author Topic: Joe Fox at his day job...  (Read 736 times)

Joe Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 621
    • View Profile
Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2017, 03:13:19 AM »
I have some interesting stories in the few years I have been a railroader, but I am not sure any are really book worthy. One day I got a train over the road with a blown high pressure gasket, just barely though. Or the time when we had to use steam to save the day. There are a few more stories I might be able to think of, but those two are the most interesting in my opinion.

John McNamara

  • Operating Volunteers
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,055
    • View Profile
Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2017, 03:32:32 AM »
Or the time when we had to use steam to save the day.
Inquiring minds want to know.....
-John M

Bill Baskerville

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 347
    • View Profile
Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2017, 12:21:30 PM »
Dito what John said.......

Joe Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 621
    • View Profile
Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2017, 12:41:27 PM »
One of my first days as apprentice fireman, the "sisters" (two f units) had air compressor problems which took the normal valley train engine off the valley to go assist the notch train. While sitting in front of the station with steam, two other engines were attempted to be started but with dead batteries they would need to be charged for at least an hour.

Then it was decided to run steam on the valley train to Bartlett ahead of the notch train which was still disabled at Mountain Junction. It was an interesting run to Bartlett and there were more people out taking pictures than on the advertised steam run to Bartlett for Railfan weekends.

If we didnt have steam ready to go, there wouldn't have been a trip to Bartlett. It was a great first day for me on steam, and added to my first year of experiences on the full size stuff.

John Stone

  • Museum Member
  • Hostler
  • ***
  • Posts: 294
    • View Profile
Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2017, 12:15:06 AM »
I'm glad to see those 7500's went on to a new home with a good hand behind the throttle! I've always liked the standard cab as opposed to the wide body format. The fellow who was my conductor for many years in assigned service said that the 7500's had excellent "sleeping cabs"! Do they still have the horn valve you can quill, or did they get the solenoid?
 

Joe Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 621
    • View Profile
Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2017, 09:42:03 PM »
Another favorite memory of mine reverts back to "job briefing" and why they are so important.

One day when running a tourist train in NH, we were on our return trip about 3 miles from the station when I heard a sudden loud air hissing noise coming from the engine room.  After telling the conductor we would be stopping so I could check ot out, we slowed and came to a stop at the bottom of the last big hill before the station. I opened the doors and realized we had blown a gasket on the compressor and time was critical as we were losing air pressure. The conductor and trainman walked up to the engine, just in time for me to get back in the seat and tell them we had to go. So the conductor told me ok to continue back to the station. Thinking they got off between the first and second car, I throttled up rather quickly. I glanced back and saw them still walking by the train and thought, oh this isnt good and applied the brakes and began throttling down. (We had already increased to 8mph) The trainman jumped on, and the conductor was running trying to catch the last step. He made it, but his radio fell off his hip. After we stoped again and he got his radio, we continued back to the station with the bad air leak. By now the engine resevoir had dropped to 110 pounds. We got the train up the hill, across the 3 whistle crossings in good time, but the challenge was yet to come. Going over the final crossing before the station the bell quit working. As you enter the station theres a slight down hill grade at the beginning of the yard. Air pressure had now dropped low enough that the train brakes had began to apply. By the time we stopped at the station the brakes were dragging so bad that I had the engine in Notch 5. The brake pipe had been reduced from 90psi down to 77psi. Not only did we arrive 1 minute late, but none of the passengers really knew what was going on. (Before someone fires off that running with the train line lower than intended pressure is risky, let me explain how it works. On a short train, even the slightest air leak will apply the cars. The only thing to be aware of is that once the brake pipe pressure drops below 50psi the brakes may begin to lose effectiveness. Below 45psi and an emergency brake application can no longer be made reliably.)

After doing a power swap, we left on the next trip about 14 minutes late. Knowing how to make up time on rough track will come in the near future.

Paul Uhland

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 567
    • View Profile
Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2017, 04:00:27 AM »
Nice  to know how a pro uses his experience, intelligence, and with a little luck, smoothly makes a possible disaster into a "no problemo" outcome.  ;)
Way to go, Joe..   
Paul Uhland

Joe Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 621
    • View Profile
Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2017, 10:44:39 PM »
That was one thing I valued the most from my training at Conway. Was learning the experiences of the guys who trained me, rather it was running machines, track work, or being on the train. Many of my mentors have passed on, but I think of them often and value the knowledge they shared.