December Puzzle

Discussion in 'General' started by The Puzzler, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. The Puzzler

    The Puzzler Member

    The Puzzler thanks Karl Brand for his meteor question. The two impact craters are the Weaubleau Structure, which was crossed by the Clinton and Osceola Subs. The Steelville Structure was crossed by the Salem Br.

    The December Question

    Section Foreman Raymond L. Rhodes prepared his motor car for his daily inspection trip. He inspected his track car and found all to be in order. He made certain that the required number of fusees, torpedoes, and flags were on board the car. He stopped by the Newburg, Mo depot, and received a Train Line Up Form from the agent. He read the line up, and made a mental note of where and when he might meet trains. The coming of the diesel locomotive eliminated the smoke plumes that made trains more visible to men traveling on motor cars. Before setting the car, on the mainline, Ray went back into the tool house and grabbed a couple of extra light bulbs. He set the car on the track, he started the car, and began his inspection trip.
    Why did he grab the light bulbs?

    The Puzzler will be away during the first part of January, so there won't be a January question.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
    The Puzzler
  2. Posibluly for signals along the way. Or maybe for night time motor car use? Just some ideas to throw out,
    Murphy Millican:cool:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2008
  3. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    My guess - with two leads on the bulb to check voltage between rails at the start of the next block - if no voltage, an oncoming train has shorted the block - but the block signals would also indicate this - probably a bad guess. Doug
  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Thanks for the clue, Doug. I think that I have figured this one out. I have been looking through my photos to find an example that would answer this question, but thus far, I have been unsuccessful. Perhaps someone else has a picture.

    Operating a motorcar over a busy subdivision was like playing on the freeway. Given their light weight, motorcars would not always shunt the track circuit, so they were insulated so they would never shunt a track circuit. In other words, track cars wouldn’t activate track-side signals or highway crossing signals. Track cars were not assigned rights; it was up to the operator to stay out of the way trains and other motorcars. See Rules 229 and 230 from the Rules for Maintenance of Way and Structures and Rule 726 from the Rules of the Transportation Department.

    Before placing a car on the track, the operator had to have a lineup sheet, which stated the location and time of trains. See attached example from the Rule Book. Using the line-up sheet with the timetable, the operator should be able to avoid trains. Operators still had to exercise caution with regard to other motorcars as well as extra trains, which may have originated after the line-up sheet was written.

    Trackside signals were helpful, but they didn’t always provide an absolute notion of if a train was in the circuit. To improve safety, the Frisco utilized two types of block indicators.

    In ABS territory, the Frisco used a round, gauge-like indicator. The yellow indicator case had a glass-covered opening through which a small metal semaphore could be seen. A horizontal blade meant that the block was occupied; a vertical blade meant that the block was clear. The indicator usually sat on the “shoulder” of a relay box, and a motorcar setoff was nearby.

    In CTC territory, a small white lamp was mounted on the mast of a relay box. The lamp had a black, rectangular shield that helped to make the light more visible on sunny days. When the light was on, the block was clear, when the light was dark, the block was occupied. A motorcar setoff was nearby.

    Therefore, I believe that this is the answer to the Puzzler’s question. Operators carried extra light bulbs so that if they came across a dark block indicator, they could replace the original bulb with a new one to see if the old one was burned-out. If the new bulb stayed dark, it was time to get the motorcar off the track.

    The Book of Rules had special provisions for lightly traveled lines. In these cases, the train would receive train orders to help let “others” know about the train’s location. In the example of the Highline May 31, 1978 Line-up sheet, Train 1310 most likely received a Form “E” Time order or wait order that matched the line-up sheet. It would look something similar to the August 25, 1976 Clinton Sub order.

    These days off-track equipment occupies the track by virtue of a warrant, and safety is much improved..

    Attached Files:

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